The most expensive dog breeds to insure in 2022

Turning Points 2 min read

There are a number of factors that determine the cost of pet insurance, including your pet’s age and where you live. But the type of dog you choose to welcome into your family also plays a role. In this article, we break down some of the most expensive dog breeds in the U.S., plus a few of the least expensive, based on medical conditions common to each breed.

Labrador retriever

These big, lovable dogs are among the most popular among pet owners. They’re also among the most expensive breeds to insure. Labrador retrievers have significantly increased odds of various medical ailments over other breeds, according to a study in Nature, including:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Lipomas (fatty tumors)
  • Kennel cough
  • Musculoskeletal disorders

Golden retriever

Golden retrievers, with their lustrous coats, are another popular breed among American pet owners because of their gentle and playful nature. But they’re genetically predisposed to several serious medical conditions, according to the Golden Retriever Club of America. Among them:

  • Hemangiosarcoma (cancer of the blood vessels)
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia (abnormal joint development)
  • Aortic stenosis (narrowing of the aortic valve)

French bulldog

The American Kennel Club recognizes these adorable munchkins as being extremely affectionate and adaptable, and not prone to barking — great traits in any dog! However, the way they’ve been bred over the last 160 years or so means that they’re also prone to a range of ailments, particularly when it comes to their snoots and their creases and folds:

  • Allergies
  • Brachycephalic airway syndrome, which makes it hard for them to breathe
  • Pink eye
  • Bacterial skin infections
  • Ear infections

German shepherd

They’re gorgeous. They’re noble. They’re super intelligent. They’ve also got joint issues in particular, which can really ramp up the number of vet visits necessary to keep them healthy. According to Petco and the American Kennel Club, German shepherds might suffer from:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Degenerative myelopathy, which results in paralysis of the legs
  • Epilepsy
  • Bloat


These are friendly, active dogs that have been bred — golden retrievers with poodles — since the 1990s and are popular with families because they can be less allergenic than other dogs and tend to shed a lot less, too. But that doesn’t mean they’re without some serious health concerns. These include:

  • Hip dysplasia (no surprise; they’re part Golden)
  • Subvalvular aortic stenosis (congenital heart defect)
  • Sebaceous adenitis (skin disease)
  • Addison’s disease (adrenal malfunction)
  • Cataracts

Dog breeds that may be cheaper to insure

Looking for a potentially lower-maintenance pet? Smaller dog breeds, such as Yorkshire terriers, are generally less prone to illness and therefore may be less expensive to insure.

Nonetheless, there are zero guarantees that any dog will coast through life without encountering health issues or accidents. Having a comprehensive dog insurance policy ensures that your dog gets the care he needs — regardless of his breed.

Was this article helpful?

4 min
5 min
2 min
4 min
3 min