Adopting a dog is a very serious commitment — financially, emotionally, and practically speaking. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 44% of U.S. households have a dog. And as much as people love their animals, it doesn’t change that it costs a pretty penny to properly care for a pet. According to Petfinder, annual dog care expenses can soar to more than $10,000. And the cost can vary substantially depending on dog breeds.
Grooming is a large cost associated with owning certain breeds. Plus, some dog breeds have certain health problems. We’ve ranked the most and least expensive dog breeds to own and maintain, based on the main costs that vary across each breed: medical care, grooming, and food. First, let’s take a look at seven of the most expensive dog breeds.
- Average cost from a breeder: $800
- Medical problems: Akitas are prone to conditions, such as hip dysplasia, retinal atrophy, and stomach bloat, according to the American Kennel Club. Bloat, for example, would cost between $1,500 and $7,500, according to Embrace Pet Insurance.
- Grooming: Akitas are like cats and love to groom themselves. As an owner, you’ll want to brush them weekly to take care of their shedding tendencies. Basic bath and trimming services start at $16 at PetSmart.
- Food: For a large and somewhat active breed, it will cost $235 per year to feed an Akita.
- Average cost from a breeder: $1,150
- Medical problems: These fluffy dogs are prone to several common medical conditions, including hip dysplasia, cardiac diseases, and various eye diseases. Treatment for these conditions runs anywhere from $1,500 to $6,000 for hip dysplasia and $500 to $1,500 for aortic stenosis, according to petbreeds.com
- Grooming: Basic grooming costs will be more frequent for a dog with this thick mane. So annual costs are about $408 to account for matting and shedding, according to petbreeds.com. On a per groom basis, PetSmart advertises services starting at $29 for a grooming package.
- Food: It will cost, on average, $235 per year to feed this medium-sized, active dog.
3. Great Dane
- Average cost from a breeder: $1,100
- Medical problems: Great Danes are a relatively healthy breed but can be prone to pricey medical conditions due to their large size. Common health concerns are stomach bloat ($7,500) and cardiomyopathy ($1,500).
- Grooming: Short hair and minimal shedding helps keep grooming costs low. Standard bathing and nail clipping is all that’s needed and can be found at PetSmart for $16.
- Food: For a large, medium-energy breed, it costs $235 per year to feed a Dane.
4. Golden retriever
- Average cost from a breeder: $1,500
- Medical problems: With a number of costly predisposed medical conditions, such as cancer ($15,000), cataracts ($5,000), and hip dysplasia ($6,000), goldens can be an extremely expensive breed to fund.
- Grooming: This breed has a long coat that requires regular grooming. Basic bathing and brushing ($16 at PetSmart) should do the trick.
- Food: Goldens are large, medium-energy dogs. Petbreeds.com estimates owners will spend $235 annually to feed them.
- Average cost from a breeder: $1,600
- Medical problems: The Rottweiler ranks as the third most expensive breed for medical costs, according to petbreeds.com. Rottweilers are prone to hip dysplasia and cancers that can run between $1,500 and $6,000.
- Grooming: The AKC states though infrequent grooming is necessary due to its short hair, owners must still perform standard grooming duties. Maintenance will cost about $16 at PetSmart per visit.
- Food: Rotties are medium size and energy dogs and require an average of $235 to be spent per year on food.
6. Portuguese water dog
- Average cost from a breeder: $2,500
- Medical problems: Common ailment Addison’s disease would cost between $1,000 and $5,000 to treat. Hip dysplasia is also common, and the vet bill could be around $1,500 to $6,000 to treat it.
- Grooming: Regular attention is required to keep this coat maintained and trimmed according to standard. Owners might spend up to $500 annually on grooming.
- Food: The AKC says Portuguese water dogs are high-energy and medium-sized. Petbreeds.com estimates $235 annually will be required to feed this type of dog.
7. Tibetan mastiff
- Average cost from a breeder: $3,000
- Medical problems: Tibetan mastiffs are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, which can set you back $1,500 on the lower end or $6,000 on the higher end.
- Grooming: PetSmart will perform grooming services for about $29. But with such a long, thick coat, expect frequent grooming fees totaling about $408 annually, per petbreeds.com.
- Food: Mastiffs are, well, massive dogs with a medium energy level. Expect to pay $235 annually just on dog food alone.
Next: The least expensive dog breeds you should consider
Those were seven of the most expensive dog breeds. Now, here are the lucky seven of the least expensive breeds.
- Average cost from a breeder: $650
- Medical problems: PetMD ranked this dog as one of the healthiest breeds. It reports, “With an average lifespan of 14 to 18 years, chihuahuas are known to have health conditions, including hypoglycemia, patellar luxation, and pulmonic stenosis, a heart valve disorder.” Patellar luxation could cost $1,500 to $3,000.
- Grooming: Smooth-coated chihuahuas need very little grooming besides regular upkeep. Petsmart has basic grooming packages that start at $16 for this breed.
- Food: Small dogs need less food than larger breeds. Expect to pay about $55 annually, according to petbreeds.com
2. Miniature pinscher
- Average cost from a breeder: $500
- Medical problems: For a small breed, miniature pinschers are relatively healthy and sturdy dogs. There are a few potential health care costs, including patellar luxation and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. The price to treat these conditions ranges from $1,000 to $3,000.
- Grooming: With a short coat and only occasional grooming needed, most owners can purchase a basic bath and trim at Petsmart for $16.
- Food: The AKC reports min pins are small in size and somewhat energetic. The average annual cost of food per year is only $55.
3. Black and tan coonhound
- Average cost from a breeder: $350
- Medical problems: Coonhounds are generally healthy, but some are prone to cataracts or hip dysplasia. This could cost $1,500 at minimum but can exceed $6,000.
- Grooming: Although this breed requires infrequent grooming, basic upkeep is still recommended. PetSmart services will do the trick at $16 per visit.
- Food: Coonhounds are large, working dogs and will require adequate feeding to accommodate such a lifestyle. It will cost $235 per year, according to petbreeds.com.
4. English setter
- Average cost from a breeder: $350
- Medical problems: An active breed, English setters are prone to hip dysplasia and deafness. If needed, medical costs would be about $300 to $1,500 on the low end. But they are otherwise generally healthy dogs.
- Grooming: Long-feathered coats require frequent care to guard against mats and tangles. Grooming is about $29 at PetSmart.
- Food: These medium-sized dogs are boisterous and active. Annual feeding costs are about $235, according to petbreeds.com.
- Average cost from a breeder: $475
- Medical problems: The AKC states though some bouts of hip dysplasia and ear infections can occur, they’re not common enough to be considered chronic. One of the healthiest dog breeds, foxhounds have minimal veterinary costs outside the normal vet checkups.
- Grooming: Short coats make this breed quite budget-friendly. All that’s needed is the occasional bath and trim, which can be done at PetSmart for $16
- Food: This very active breed will need lots of food to supplement its running lifestyle at about $235 per year.
- Average cost from a breeder: $300
- Medical problems: Harriers are known for their excellent health. Expect minimum health issues and medical expenses associated with them outside of hip dysplasia. Petbreeds.com estimates this could cost about $1,500 to $6,000, though the possibility for diagnosis is low.
- Grooming: Their short coat requires little maintenance beyond standard brushing and bath. A few visits to PetSmart will suffice and will only cost $16.
- Food: Harriers are large and quite active. For similar breeds in size and activity level, it can cost about $235 per year, and harriers are no different.
7. Mixed breeds
- Average cost: The average price to adopt a dog (where you’ll find most mixed breeds) ranges from $0 to $250.
- Medical problems: Costs are often minimal, outside of the standard vet visits. “A recent study showed that mixed breed dogs were significantly less likely to develop 10 genetically based diseases, including some types of heart disease, musculoskeletal problems, allergic skin disease and hyperthyroidism,” according to PetMD.
- Grooming: Varies depending on the dog
- Food: Varies depending on the size and activity level of the dog