Bethan Boyden
By Bethan Boyden
Finance Writer
Updated 12 September 2023
|Read time: 3 mins

Just like humans, your pet can experience health issues at any point in their lifetime, some of which can be hard for you to spot. It’s important that your pet has a regular vet check to keep them fit and healthy, and to give you peace of mind.

John Lewis Pet Insurance includes an Annual Online Health Check provided by vetfone™ with a trained Veterinary professional, to help you discuss any issues your pet might be having before they become serious. This should not be used as a replacement for an in person vet check-up, but can be used in addition so you can ask questions about your pet’s health and receive advice.

What is a pet health check?

A pet health check is an examination, undertaken by your vet, to assess the general health of your pet. These checks are different to a vet visit when your pet is unwell. The aim of a pet health check is to help prevent illnesses or conditions from developing, or to catch them early to stop them progressing, along with administering any necessary vaccinations or boosters.

Pet health checks are a proactive step to protect the health of your pet and help reduce nasty surprises. It is recommended that you take your pet for a health check at least once a year (a bit like the pet version of an MOT) to make sure they’re not having any health problems that you may not have spotted yourself.

During a pet health check a pet practitioner will typically look over your pet’s entire body, all the way to the tip of their tail! This includes their eyes, teeth and joints, to check for any changes in condition since their last assessment. The practitioner will also ask you a series of questions checking for any changes in your pet’s behaviour or general demeanour that could indicate a health issue.

John Lewis Pet Insurance includes a free Annual Online Health Check for your pet with a fully-trained pet practitioner, over the phone or video chat. This gives you the opportunity to discuss any worries you may have about your pet’s health or behaviour without having to go straight to an in-person vet. This shouldn’t be used as a replacement for an in-person vet check-up but is a good source for early information. If you’d like to book your pet’s Annual Online Health Check, you can ring 0800 316 7119 or sign in to your online account to choose a slot.

If you have an immediate concern about your pet's health you can also speak to an advisor through our vetfone™ helpline on 0800 316 7119.

Does pet insurance cover vet visits?

You can make a claim on your pet insurance for vet treatment bills and some medications. For example if your pet needed surgery or a course of anti-inflammatory tablets, you should be able to make a claim with your pet insurance for the cost of the treatment. As long as it wasn’t to treat a condition that your policy excludes or that began before you took out the policy.

However, pet annual health checks are not typically covered by pet insurance as claims can only be made if your pet requires treatment (if they were unwell or injured). If you took your pet to the vet and they were in good health you wouldn’t be able to make a claim even though the vet would charge you for the visit.

John Lewis Pet Insurance free Annual Online Health Check gives you the opportunity to discuss your pet’s health without paying a hefty fee. This service is not a replacement for a vet in-person physical check-up, but it does allow you to receive lifestyle and diet advice for your pet without having to foot the bill.

How much is a vet check up?

The cost of a pet health check up can vary from vet to vet as the cost of pet treatment is not regulated in the UK. Some vets offer a health check starting at £40-£50 so it can be good to compare the price of practitioners if you are looking to pay less.

You should take your dog to the vet for a check up at least once a year, and any time they are unwell or injured.

Pet insurance can cover medication if it is to treat a condition that is included in your policy and isn't for a pre-existing condition, subject to your policy excess.

Looking for pet insurance for your furry friend?

Insure your pet today by calling us on 0330 102 2490 or get a quote online.

Pet insurance guides

Your policy includes unlimited access to vetfone™ – one of the UK’s most trusted pet advice services.

Owning a pet is a long-term journey, so it's important to be prepared for unexpected challenges and vet bills.

Take steps to keep your pet in good health and reduce their risk of illness by following this handy guide.

John Lewis Finance and John Lewis Insurance are trading names of John Lewis plc. The John Lewis Registered office address is: 171 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 5NN. Registered in England and Wales no. 233462. John Lewis plc is an appointed representative (Financial Conduct Authority number 416011) of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Ltd. John Lewis Pet Insurance is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Ltd (No. 93792). Registered in England and Wales at St. Mark's Court, Chart Way, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1XL. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register No. 202323).

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