Pet Insurance for Papillons

Find out all about Papillons and their common health conditions, and then compare pet insurance options from some of Australia’s leading insurers.

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, updated on September 29th, 2023       

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Price range

$2,400 –$4,000


20cm - 28cm


1.5kg - 3.5kg


Friendly, alert, intelligent

Coat length

Long, silky

Exercise needs




Life expectancy

14 - 16 years



The Papillon, known for its long butterfly-like ears, is a toy breed that is thought to be a descendent of the European Toy Spaniel, sometimes called a Dwarf Spaniel. They probably originated in France, where they are depicted in paintings going back to the 1600s. The word ‘papillon’ is French for ‘butterfly.’ However, their distinctive ‘butterfly’ erect ears did not appear until the late 1800s, when they became a fashionable and popular breed among European royal families.  

This tiny dog, originally bred as a companion dog, has a long, silky coat and plumed tail but no undercoat. It does not shed, and its coat is comparatively low-maintenance because it does not tend to matt. They also do not need to be bathed very often. 

Papillons are known for their intelligence and lively nature, but they also love snuggling on a lap, so they make excellent lap dogs. They are also used as support dogs. They are quick learners and easy to train, excelling in obedience and agility training. 

Common diseases and conditions of Papillons

  • Dental disease: Papillons are known to suffer from tartar build-up which can lead to infections of the gums and roots of the teeth.
  • Obesity: They also have a tendency towards obesity if they are not given sufficient exercise.
  • Luxating Patella: Luxating patella is a condition where the kneecap (patella) dislocates from its normal position. It can cause lameness and discomfort.
  • Portosystemic Shunt (PSS): An inherited condition in which there is insufficient blood flow to the liver, so it cannot remove toxins from the bloodstream.
  • Eye problems: Papillons can be prone to a variety of eye problems, such as cataracts, glaucoma, and progressive retinal atrophy.

Breed-specific issues:

The Papillon makes an excellent companion for those living in apartments, as they do not have a ‘doggy odour’ and do not shed bi-annually, so they are low-maintenance companions for those living in small spaces.   

How much does pet insurance cost for a Papillon?

Most Australians can expect to pay between $20 and $60 a month for pet insurance. There are many factors that can influence the cost of pet insurance for your dog, which is why it's important to compare pet insurance policies. Factors affecting the cost of your insurance include: 

  • Age: The older your dog is, the more pet insurance is likely to cost. This is because senior dogs tend to have more physical health conditions and illnesses due to age, and so present a higher insurance risk.    
  • Type of insurance you choose:  There are three basic types of pet insurance available in Australia; accident-only, accident and illness, and comprehensive insurance. An accident-only policy is the cheapest type of insurance available, with comprehensive coverage costing the most.  
  • The policy annual limit: Each pet insurance policy has an annual limit, which is the maximum amount that will be paid out on the policy in one financial year. Annual limits range from around $10,000 up to $25,000 or more.   
  • Sub-limits: In addition to an annual limit, there may also be sub-limits that apply to the policy, for example, a $300 sub-limit for consultation fees, or a $5,000 limit for cruciate ligament conditions.   
  • Benefit percentage: Pet insurance does not cover 100% of the cost of your vet bill. Instead, it may pay a percentage of the total bill. This can range from 50% for cheaper policies, up to 90% for the best policies available.   
  • Excess amount: This is the amount you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket each time you make a claim on your policy. Some pet insurance policies do not come with an excess amount, whilst others do.  
  • Any add-ons you choose: It’s possible to add on more cover options to a basic policy, such as emergency boarding fees, routine care and dental care. These add-ons extend the scope of your pet insurance, but do increase the overall cost of the policy.  
  • Discounts: some insurers offer discounts of between 5% and 15% if you have multiple pets insured together, if you pay your premium annually, or if you bundle your pet insurance with other forms of insurance with the same company.
  • Gap-only insurance options: Some insurance companies offer a gap-only insurance option, which means when you go to the vet you'll only be required to pay the gap amount, not the cost of the whole bill. This is similar to the Medicare system of health insurance for humans in Australia, where gap payments can be made at HICAPS terminals at the time of treatment. 

Types of pet insurance you can choose from

Why compare pet insurance with Savvy?

Common questions about Papillons

Do all Papillons have erect ‘butterfly’ ears?

No, some Papillons have ears that flop down or bend over at the tips. These dogs are known as the Phalene type of Papillon (the word phalene means ‘moth-eared’ in French) and are sometimes called a Continental Toy Spaniel or Moth-eared Toy Spaniel. However, puppies with erect and folded ears can be born in the same litter, so they are considered a single breed with two variants in ear shape. 

Are Papillons good with young children?

Papillons can be excellent companions for families with respectful small children. However, they are small and delicate dogs, so it's essential to teach children to handle them gently and with care. Papillons are generally patient and affectionate, making them very suitable pets for families with young children. 

Do Papillons bark a lot?

Papillons can be alert and vocal, making them good watchdogs. However, they are not considered yappy dogs. While they may bark in response to visitors or unusual sounds, excessive barking can be curbed through proper training and socialisation. Early training can help them differentiate between appropriate times to bark, such as alerting their owners, and situations where silence is more desirable. 

Do Papillons get along well with other pets?

Papillons are typically good with other pets, including dogs and cats, when properly socialised from a young age. Their friendly and sociable nature often helps them form positive relationships with other animals in the household. 

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