Many of us think of our dogs as one of the family and will do everything we can to ensure they have the best quality of life - from feeding them premium dog food and investing in the best bedding to regular grooming sessions and check-ups at the vet.

But, however well we take care of our pets, we can't prepare for everything, and at some point dog owners may have to deal with a sick or injured pooch and the hefty vet bills that come with it.

Therefore, whether you have a purebred pooch or a scruffy mongrel, it is essential that all dog owners have their canine companion covered with comprehensive pet insurance just in case the worst does happen.

And when taking out pet insurance, it's important to ensure that you have all your bases covered so you are protected for any eventuality.

"A comprehensive pet insurance policy should offer good cover limits for accident, injury or illness, advises Dec Fisher, head of ancillaries at Hastings Direct.

"Public liability cover is useful in particular for dog owners, in case their dog bites someone for example. Owners should also look for theft cover and help to advertise if a pet gets lost or strays and compensation for the death of a pet."

While pet insurance is important for any aged pooch, Mr Fisher recommends taking out the most comprehensive pet insurance you can afford during your four-legged friend's first 12 months.

"If you are thinking of getting a kitten or a puppy - as no one yet knows how healthy your pet is, or how responsive to training they are going to be," he explains.

"You are more likely to have to claim in the first year, so make sure you are well protected."

If you're unsure about the right level of pet insurance for your pooch, it's a good idea to speak to your vet who can advise you on the appropriate cover for your pup depending on their age and breed.

Written by: Hannah