Planning to buy a puppy but concerned that it might put you in debt? You aren’t alone. It’s one thing to find a particular breed cute — but buying a puppy of that breed is more complex when you figure out the challenges that come with it. The kids might not understand those complicating variables yet, but you do.
While some puppies require an unbelievable amount of attention from their parents, others leave you out to dry with a crazy amount of accessories, food, and medical bills. We’re always talking about cutting extra costs and living smartly. So we’ve listed the puppies with the highest medical costs (and the possible medical issues) they bring to the table.
But hey, if you can afford those bills or get health insurance for your dog — you can pretty much bring any lovely pooch home.
What Do Medical Costs Entail?
Medical costs for dogs can vary depending on your dog’s breed and the type of care they need. If you’re planning to buy a puppy, you may first want to put together a good estimate of the medical bills you’ll be paying each month. Here’s what you can expect to cover in those bills:
- Routine Check-ups: These can include vaccinations (especially for puppies), blood tests, and physical examinations.
- Medications: Some dogs may require prescription medications for a variety of conditions, such as allergies, infections, or chronic illnesses.
- Emergency Care: Accidents and illnesses can happen unexpectedly — so you may include treatment for broken bones, infections, or ingestion of toxic substances.
- Surgery: Conditions like spaying/neutering, tumor removal, etc. may require surgery.
- Dental care: Just like humans, dogs can suffer from dental problems, which may require cleanings, extractions, or other procedures.
- Specialized care: Some dogs may require specialized care — such as physical therapy for arthritis.
Puppies Known to Have the Highest Medical Costs
1. Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
This breed is prone to certain health issues, including hip dysplasia, bloat, and cancer (osteosarcoma). It’s important to choose a reputable breeder and keep up with regular vet checkups. Larger dog breeds are most commonly affected by orthopedic issues.
The cost to diagnose and treat each of these conditions can run between $1,500 to $6,000.
Rottweilers are prone to similar health issues. Regular vet visits are mandatory. If you’re buying a puppy, you’ll have to weigh in first-year vaccinations as well.
Regular check-ups and preventive care can help manage these costs but you should always factor them in. Orthopedic issues such as elbow and hip dysplasia and torn ligaments are not uncommon.
3. Dogue de Bordeaux
First-year expenses of keeping a Dogue de Bordeaux can easily cost you well over $5,000. Vet bills for this breed range from $1,500 to $2,500 per year. And that’s without any surgeries, treatments or diagnoses. The health issues are similar to the previous two breeds.
4. French Bulldog
You can expect problems like spinal disorders, skin allergies, and respiratory problems with this breed. The overall medical costs for a French Bulldog are significantly lower than the aforementioned three breeds but should be around $600 to $1,000 per year. That estimate doesn’t include the surgical intervention for spinal issues (such as intervertebral disc disease) which can cost up to $8,000.
5. Great Dane
Some great danes are prone to orthopedic problems, heart disease, and bloat. Heart disease can lead to expensive medication and treatment.
The yearly medical costs for this breed are easily over $1,000 (sometimes double, depending on where you live).
Newfoundlands are prone to gastric torsion (bloat), which can be life-threatening and requires immediate vet attention. It may end up costing you anywhere between $1,500 to $3,000. They’re also prone to a heart disease called subaortic stenosis (SAS).
Surgical interventions can be pricey. Expect to pay around $1,500 to $2,500 for average yearly medical costs.
7. Doberman Pinscher
They’re prone to Wobbler’s syndrome, which may end up costing you over $9,000 for treatment. They’re also prone to cardiac diseases and orthopedic issues, both of which require immediate vet intervention.
You can expect to pay around $700 to $800 in regular vet bills every year (excluding emergencies and diagnoses).
8. Basset Hound
They’re prone to diabetes, orthopedic problems, intervertebral disc disease, ear infections, and more. You can expect to pay around $500 to $1,500 in medical bills for Basset Hounds each year. Surgical interventions will have you paying more.
9. English Cocker Spaniel
They’re most commonly prone to eye problems, ear infections, and arthritis. Some checkups for an English Spaniel will cost between $300 to $1,500. on every vet visit in the case of ear infections (cleaning/treatment).
The regular visits shouldn’t cost you a fortune — probably just around $500 for two to three checkups a year.
10. Bernese Mountain Dog
The Bernese Mountain Dog is similar to the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, with a long double coat and a susceptibility to similar health issues. Like the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, the Bernese Mountain Dog is also prone to cancer, and the cost of radiation therapy for treatment can be as high as $20,000.
Dog Breeds With Low Medical Costs
It’s important to understand that medical costs can vary widely depending on your location, the vet you choose, and the severity of your dog’s condition. It’s always a good idea to have pet insurance or a savings plan in place to help cover unexpected medical costs.
Just because a breed is prone to a disease doesn’t mean that your dog is going to get ill. The medical costs have to be weighed in for the worst-case scenarios. Consider if you’ll be able to afford treatment for the dog and the emotional damage it might cause to your family if you can’t.
By contrast, if you’re interested in dogs with the lowest medical costs — you can look into the Australian Labradoodle, Shichon, and Miniature Goldendoodle.