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Policy Guide

This handy guide will give you an idea of the support and help you can expect from us once you've taken out a policy. Plus, helpful tips on keeping your pet safe and healthy, as well as ways to avoid behavioural problems.

If you have any questions about your policy you can call us on 0845 078 7550 – we’re here to help.

For full information about our policy, please refer to the policy document (PDF).

Click here for more information about how to make a claim

Select a heading below to read our tips and advice, or if you'd like to print the whole of this quick guide, click here to open a PDF.


As a pet owner you’ll want to keep your pet fit and healthy. It’s far better to prevent health problems than it is to cure them. Often there are warning signs and it’s important that you’re able to recognise these. It’s best to act on them as soon as you can by seeking help from your vet. Here are some ways to keep your pet healthy.

Visiting the vet

After an initial consultation, your vet will be able to advise you on the right vaccinations for your pet – most vets will provide an initial vaccination between 9-12 weeks, with a booster two weeks later.

Your vet will also give your pet a thorough examination paying particular attention to their paws, coat, eyes, nose and mouth.

24 hour vet helpline

We know how important your pet is to you and your family. That's why we offer a free pet helpline provided by vetfone that you can call day or night.

You can call for expert advice on anything from grooming and feeding to dietary tips and health advice. This may save you an unnecessary trip to the vet.

Long-term cover

Our policy offers long-term cover for your pet, which means you’ll be able to claim for ongoing conditions. There is no time limit on how long treatment can last and we'll pay up to your chosen vet fee limit each year as long as we can continue to offer cover, your premiums are paid and the policy is renewed each year.

For example, if your dog gets arthritis you’ll be covered each time they need treatment up to your chosen vet fee limit each year, as long as you’re insured with us and your premiums are up to date.

Good Health

If you examine your pet regularly you can usually spot potential health problems before they become too serious.

  • Nose – A healthy nose should be cold and damp without any discharge.
  • Coat – The coat should be in good condition, it should be glossy and pleasant to touch.
  • Ears – They should be responsive to all sounds and should be clean with no visible wax or unpleasant smell.
  • Teeth – Healthy teeth should be white and smooth.
  • Claws – Claws should end level with the pad and not be too long.


Grooming your pet on a regular basis gives you an opportunity to look for skin conditions, cuts, abrasions, discharges or parasites. It’s also a great way to bond with your pet.

  • Start grooming your pet from a young age so that they get used to it, you can then build a routine so that it becomes a ‘positive event’.
  • Most pet shops stock a wide range of brushes, combs and grooming scissors and they’ll be able to tell you what’s best for your breed.

Preventing fleas and parasites

There are two types of unwelcome parasites – external and internal. Both can be treated easily if spotted in the
early stages.

  • Fleas and lice – live on the surface of the skin and can be seen when you look closely at your pet’s hair. Look out for thin or bald patches where your pet will have been scratching.
    Treatment - Insecticidal sprays, shampoos and powders can be bought from pet shops and veterinary surgeries. Always treat the surrounding environment including pet bedding and collars as well your pet’s hair, as this will stop re-infestation.
  • Ticks – cling to your pet’s hair, especially on the legs, head or under-belly and pierce their skin.
    Treatment - Simply dab the tick with an alcohol such as gin or methylated spirit, and wait for a few minutes. Then using tweezers remove the tick, making sure to pull it out completely.
  • Worms – live inside your pet’s body and are slightly harder to detect. Upset bowels, emaciation, fits and vomiting are all common symptoms.
    Treatment: Your vet will prescribe a ‘worming’ medication. If you haven’t already got a regular worming routine, they’ll suggest one.


Getting your pet’s diet right is essential to their health and well-being, and can even impact on their behaviour.

  • There are many types of pet food – dry, canned and fresh – your vet can help you decide on the right food for your pet. It’s important to not overfeed them – in the UK over 30% of dogs, and over 25% of cats*, are overweight.
  • Always ensure your pet has an unlimited supply of fresh water.
  • Treats such as hide chews and marrow bones are good for your dog’s oral hygiene. Avoid giving your pet chocolate or sugary sweets as these can be toxic.

If your vet recommends a special diet in order to treat a condition, we’ll pay up to £250 towards the food.


All pets need to be exercised regularly, however, the amount depends on their size, age and breed.

  • Always equip your pet with a collar if you’re going to let them run freely. For cats, putting a small bell on it will alert prey before they have a chance to catch them.
  • Throwing a ball or Frisbee for your dog is a good form of exercise.
  • If you’re leaving a cat indoors for a long amount of time, give them toys to play with to occupy their mind.
  • Keep your dogs on a lead in a public space, alongside a road or in a field with sheep and livestock.
  • Teach your dog basic commands such as ‘come’ and ‘sit’ from an early age.


There are a few simple ways to keep your pet safe, not only for their safety but for yours and that of the general public.

  • Pets are always looking for things to chew on, climb in and jump up on. Always check the house before you leave to make sure there are no hidden dangers. Close windows, tidy away electrical cables and close washing machine doors.
  • Regularly check your pet’s collar – it should be in good condition and fit properly. Remember pets grow and leather collars can become looser over time – you should always be able to fit two fingers underneath the collar.
  • It’s important to tag or microchip your pets, in case they get lost or even stolen. Include your name and your telephone number so that you can be easily contacted.

If your pet goes missing, we can help cover the costs of local advertising, offering a reward or if you wish to make your own posters.

For full information about our policy, please refer to the policy document.


Instilling good behaviour should start from an early age so that your pet knows the boundaries. You, your visitors and members of the public should never feel intimidated by your pet’s behaviour.

  • You have to set the boundaries – your pet needs to know that you are the boss.
  • Reward desirable behaviour from the start, gradually your pet will learn right from wrong.
  • You must not encourage bad behaviour. Don’t allow your dog to jump up at people, bark excessively, beg for or steal food, pull on the lead or chase cyclists.
  • Dog training classes are essential if you have not owned a dog before. Your vet will be able to recommend classes to you.
  • Pets are territorial, they will often mark out their area either by urinating, scratching or rubbing against objects. Train your pets to urinate outside or train indoor cats to use litter trays. Providing cats with scratch posts will stop them scratching your furniture.

If your pet requires complementary treatments such as physiotherapy or therapy for behavioural problems, we could help to cover the cost of the treatment as long as it’s carried out by your vet or a specialist on the recommendation of a vet.

If your dog causes an accident or an injury, you could be covered if you become legally liable to pay compensation as a result.

For full information about our policy, please refer to the policy document.

We have carefully selected Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc to underwrite John Lewis Pet Insurance.

Terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions and eligibility criteria apply. 

John Lewis Insurance is a trading name of John Lewis plc. Registered office: 171 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5NN. Registered in England (No. 233462). John Lewis plc is an appointed representative of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. John Lewis Pet Insurance is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc (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). Calls may be recorded and monitored.

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