Pet Insurance for German Shorthaired Pointers


Bryan Huynh

- Updated February 19, 2024

Key Takeaways

  • Learn about the health challenges of GSPs, including potential pet insurance considerations
  • Find out the potential costs of pet insurance for GSPs, possible providers, and alternative insurance options
  • Learn about the real-life impact of pet insurance for GSPs and financial planning for GSPs
Pet Insurance for German Shorthaired Pointers

Who doesn’t love German Shorthaired Pointers (GSPs), with their high energy levels and friendly demeanor? Originally bred for hunting, these dogs possess a keen sense of smell and a strong prey drive. They are medium to large in size and have a distinctive short, thick coat. They make great working dogs and family companions.

Unfortunately, like many purebred dogs, GSPs are prone to health issues. Given their predisposition to conditions like hip dysplasia, owners should consider purchasing pet insurance for their dogs. Get early coverage if you can, as it can mitigate the costs of both routine and unexpected medical treatments.

Here’s what to know about the health conditions your GSP may face and how you can manage them with a good insurance plan.


Health Profile of German Shorthaired Pointers

If you're thinking about getting a GSP, it’s good to know what you’ll be up against in terms of health issues.

Hip Dysplasia

This is a common condition in GSPs, where the hip joint does not develop as it should. While it's often genetic, maintaining a healthy weight and regular exercise can help manage the condition. Non-surgical and surgical treatments are available in severe cases.

Teresa Kho-Pelfrey, DVM says, "This misalignment [of the hip or elbow joints] causes rubbing and grinding of the bones. Over time, this leads to deterioration and arthritis of the joint, causing pain and loss of function.”

Bloat (Gastric Dilation-Volvulus, GDV)

Bloat is more serious than it sounds. A life-threatening condition common in deep-chested breeds like GSPs, it occurs when the stomach fills with gas and twists, cutting off blood flow to the stomach and other organs. To prevent bloat, be sure to feed your dog smaller meals throughout the day and avoid exercise right after eating.

Heart Trouble

GSPs can be affected by subaortic stenosis, a condition detected often as a heart murmur in young dogs. This condition can vary in severity. Mild cases might not require treatment, but if your dog suffers from a severe case, they will likely need lifelong medication.

Alyssa Anderson with WebMD stresses the importance of watching for signs of heart disease, which include “…difficulty breathing, fainting, and a decreased desire to exercise.”

Skin Allergies

In GSPs, skin allergies manifest as itching, redness, and hair loss. You can keep allergies at bay with the right medication, dietary changes, and avoiding allergenic triggers.

Customizing Pet Insurance for GSPs

Finding the right insurance for your dog can be easier said than done, but there are a few things to keep in mind as you begin your search.

Critical Coverage Areas for GSPs

Choose a comprehensive policy that covers hereditary and breed-specific conditions, especially for hip dysplasia and bloat.

Navigating Policy Specifics for GSPs

Common policy exclusions or limits in pet insurance to be mindful of include breed-specific and pre-existing conditions, hereditary or congenital issues, and certain age-related ailments. Policy limits vary, with caps on reimbursement for specific conditions or overall annual limits.

Expert Recommendations on Policy Selection

Licensed insurance agent Matthew H. Nash urges owners to remember the ultimate purpose of insurance when selecting a plan. “The purpose of dog insurance is to reimburse dog owners for a portion of their costs in veterinary bills…This can be a helpful tool because insurance coverage ensures that dogs can receive the appropriate medical care that they need at a more affordable price.”

Experts at Rover say, “Do your best with the limited data you have and make the choice that brings you peace of mind—whatever that looks like for you. Then go give your buddy some pets and face the future with lots of love…”

Pricing Dynamics of GSP Pet Insurance

So, how much can you expect to pay to insure your furry friend? GSP premiums vary based on several factors, including:

  • Age
  • Health history
  • Location
  • Selected coverage options

For example, the average cost to insure a three-month-old dog is $37 a month. For a 10-year-old, monthly rates can be as high as $99.

Rates also vary based on your selected provider. Lemonade offers some of the cheapest insurance, with plans starting at around $24 a month.


In-Depth Comparison of Pet Insurance Providers

Lemonade is a great option for GSP owners, but it’s hardly the only provider on the market today. Here are some of the top pet insurance providers in 2023, as ranked by Forbes.


When it comes to Spot, Forbes advisor staff writer Krista Fabregas says, “Spot gives you lots of ways to adjust your benefits levels so that you can fit pet insurance into your budget. Note that this is the same plan and pricing offered by ASPCA but with different choices for annual limits and deductibles.”


Embrace offers maximum annual coverage amounts of $5,000, $10,000, or unlimited. “Embrace’s plan earned the highest score for pet insurance benefits among the plans we evaluated,” Fabregas says. “Its wide variety of options for coverage, reimbursement, and deductible can help you work within your budget.”

Healthy Paws

Like Embrace, Healthy Paws can be a great option for those seeking unlimited annual coverage. It also offers flexibility in reimbursement, with rates between 70 and 90%. Fabregas also points out that “…Healthy Paws is great for…covering alternative therapies which aren’t always covered by insurers.”

Paw Protect

Forbes considers Paw Protect the best for paying claims instantly. Fabregas notes that they offer customers an optional $5,000 interest-free line of credit to pay covered vet bills upfront, “…reducing the need to draw on your savings or use an expensive credit card.”


ManyPets offers less flexibility in terms of annual coverage and reimbursement limits but was ranked by Forbes as the best for the lowest out-of-pocket claims costs. “It also has very competitive pricing that makes it worth a look if it’s available in your state,” says Fabregas.

Real-Life Examples: Insurance and GSP Health

Insurance can be a lifesaver for dogs. In one case, a seven-year-old dog developed cancer and subsequently racked up a vet bill of around $3,000. However, because their owner had insurance, they were reimbursed almost the entire amount.

Another owner tells the story of how their dogs had X-rays performed on them for a total of $1,000. They were reimbursed 90% within two days, and they said of the ordeal, “Insurance more than paid for itself.”

When a dog named Luna became lethargic and stopped eating, she was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure. Long story short, her ongoing treatment totaled $4,000 per year. Thankfully, her insurance covered most of the treatment, leaving her owner responsible for just $1,150 per year.

Dr. Philippa Pavia urges pet owners to “…put themselves in the situation of having a much-loved pet require expensive emergency care or a surgical procedure. Would paying for that procedure be a significant source of financial stress? Is a smaller monthly amount feasible for your family and preferable to saving separately for that possible — but not guaranteed — future need?”

“If an emergency arises and treatment/surgery is required, it can reach into the thousands of dollars to resolve the situation,” says Dr. Sandra Norman. “Many families may not have these kinds of resources available and may have to make the very painful decision to euthanize their beloved pet.”

The consensus here is clear: pet insurance is a must for GSP owners.

Long-Term Financial Planning for GSP Owners

With the number of health conditions for which these dogs are at risk, as well as the cost to insure them, you may wonder whether or not GSP ownership is worth it. Here’s what to consider before welcoming this breed into your home.

Cost-Benefit Analysis Specific to GSPs

There’s no sugarcoating it: owning a dog can be expensive. Katelynn Sobus with A-Z Animals notes that “Most people will pay around $5,300 for their German Shorthaired Pointer in the first year, and $2,300 in the following years. This includes pet insurance, routine veterinary care, kibble, and more.”

According to Sobus, GSP puppies from reputable breeders can cost anywhere from $800 to $3,000 or more, and first-year vaccinations can cost up to $700. Insurance can help offset some of these costs.

Experts at the American Veterinary Medical Association advise owners to inquire about costs early on. “If you’re concerned about covering the expenses upfront, ask your veterinarian about payment options that will work for you in case you need to make arrangements.”

Planning for Unexpected Health Expenses

When budgeting for health emergencies and chronic conditions in German Shorthaired Pointers, it’s important to consider both immediate and long-term costs. Set aside a monthly budget for potential veterinary expenses and get pet insurance to mitigate high costs. Compare plans to find one that suits your budget and covers breed-specific conditions.

You might also think about maintaining a separate emergency fund for unexpected veterinary costs. Regularly review and adjust your budget as your GSP ages or if their health needs change.

Exploring Alternative Insurance Options

Non-traditional pet insurance solutions like wellness programs, health savings accounts (HSAs), and breed-specific health assistance offer alternatives to traditional pet insurance for GSPS. Consider enlisting your dog in a wellness program for preventative care — this can be an affordable solution to managing regular health expenses.

The downside to these programs is that they don’t usually cover emergency treatments or serious illnesses, which are common concerns for GSPs. HSAs allow pet owners to save money tax-free for veterinary expenses. This option provides flexibility and can be used for any type of veterinary care, but its effectiveness depends on the amount you save.

Breed-specific programs are invaluable for breeds with known health issues. They typically offer subsidies or support for specific conditions common to the breed. However, they’re limited in terms of scope and don’t cover all potential health issues.

So, should you invest in one (or more) of these alternatives? The short answer is yes, but remember, alternative options are always most effective when paired with traditional insurance.


Expert Roundtable Discussion

Before getting a GSP, it’s important to hear diverse perspectives and advice on ownership. Tammy Bashore, the proud owner of Bentley and Berkley, says, “This breed…requires you to exercise their mind. GSPs are hunting dogs. They are inherently born to use their body and mind in tandem for hunting purposes.”

What do they eat? Writers at ProDog Raw suggest providing your dog with “species-appropriate nutrition,” which includes a combination of protein, healthy fats, and more.

And what about grooming? How can you keep your dog looking their best? German Shorthaired Pointer Club of Illinois experts recommend focusing on the ears. “The large floppy ears do not allow for good airflow, and they can be prone to yeast infections in the ear canal. It is imperative that you have your vet demonstrate proper ear maintenance to you. Regular cleaning with mild solution, designed for years, will keep this area under control.”

The American Kennel Club stresses the importance of choosing a reputable breeder. “A responsible breeder will screen their breeding stock for conditions that affect the breed.”

Guide to Insurance Claims for GSP Owners

With the right approach, navigating the claims process for your GSP can be a breeze. Here's how to ensure a smooth experience:

  1. Understand Your Policy: Familiarize yourself with the specifics of your pet insurance policy. Know what types of health issues and treatments are covered.
  2. Keep Detailed Records: Be sure to maintain a comprehensive record of your GSP's health history, including vaccinations, previous illnesses, and treatments.
  3. Submit Claims Promptly: File claims as soon as possible after incurring veterinary expenses. This can greatly speed up the process.
  4. Ensure Accurate Documentation: Fill out all claims forms accurately and completely. Attach any necessary documentation.
  5. Obtain Pre-Approval for Expensive Treatments: For costly procedures, consider getting pre-approval from your insurance provider. This can clarify coverage and prevent surprises regarding reimbursement amounts.
  6. Engage in Direct Communication: If you have any doubts or questions, contact your insurance provider straight away. This is key to resolving issues quickly.

Bear in mind that your claim may be denied. Melissa Gutierrez, SVP, says the most common reasons for this are you have yet to meet your deductible, your policy doesn’t cover provided services, or your dog’s condition was deemed pre-existing.

Insure Your GSP to Promote Health, Happiness, and Longevity

No one wants to think that their dog could experience a debilitating illness or accident, but the sad truth is it happens every day. Because German Shorthaired Pointers are at risk for so many different health conditions, it’s important to choose a robust insurance plan.

By insuring your dog, you can prepare for disaster and find solutions that fit your budget, leading to a long life for your pet.

About The Author

Bryan Huynh

Bryan Huynh

Product Tester & Writer

Bryan Huynh is a dedicated Product Tester & Writer. Just as insurance has your back, Bryan works to review and inform you about the wide range of insurance products available, ranging from business, auto, health, home, pet, to life insurance.

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