THE PRICE OF PUPPY LOVE
Getting a new dog can be such an exciting idea that it's easy to forget there's a financial component to bringing home a four-legged friend. Whether you're adopting a dog from a shelter or splurging for a puppy from a breeder, the breed you choose can really impact the amount of money you spend. From upfront costs such as breeder or adoption fees to feeding and lifetime healthcare costs, there are plenty of factors to consider. While some breeds take only a small bite out of your budget, others can be howlingly expensive.
Considered one of the cheapest dog breeds, harriers can nonetheless be difficult to find. But if you luck out at a shelter or with a breeder, these relatively small and active hound dogs are loyal and playful. Thanks to a short coat, grooming is easy and inexpensive, though they do eat quite a bit since they're very active. They're known for excellent health, though occasionally hip dysplasia can cost between $1,500 and $6,000.
One of the least expensive toy breeds, these small and active pups are a great if you like dogs around 35 pounds. Average purchase price of a rat terrier is around $350 and $175 for adoption fees, and they usually live for about 15 to 18 years. Short hair makes for low-cost grooming, and lifetime healthcare costs tend to be lower than for many other small dogs, usually around $1,500.
BLACK AND TAN COONHOUNDS
These large hunting dogs are some of the least expensive big dogs, and their happy-go-lucky attitude is fun to have around the house (and a large yard). They require only infrequent grooming, though they do shed so be prepared to vacuum and brush. Training is moderately easy, and healthcare costs are generally low. Though they are prone to hip dysplasia, which can run between $1,500 and $6,500 at the vet.
Healthy and sturdy for a small breed, miniature pinschers often act bigger than they are -- so it's like you're getting more dog for less. Life expectancy is around 14 to 15 years, and with short hair their grooming costs are low. Food for min pins usually costs just $200 per year. Common issues include Legg-Calve-Perthes disease and patellar luxation (kneecap dislocation), each of which can cost between $1,000 and $2,500 in healthcare.
A hearty breed, beagles are a great low-cost option and typically sell for around $650 and have a life expectancy of 11 to 15 years. These affectionate dogs don't require much grooming thanks to an easy-to-maintain coat, and can be fed for about $10 per week. Lifetime healthcare costs can run between $1,500 and $7,000, due to conditions such as ear infections, allergies, and spinal problems.
These feisty little pups can get expensive when purchased from some breeders, but they can usually be found for around $650. They'll cost even less from a shelter, where they're often found. Considered one of the healthiest breeds, their lifetime costs are low and as small as they are, don't require a lot of food. Grooming is also inexpensive thanks to a short coat.
Among the more expensive dogs, one of the most popular breeds is also one of the least healthy. Average price for a German shepherd is around $1,150, but a well-bred one can be pricier, though you might have luck at a shelter. Prone to everything from allergies to gastrointestinal ailments and hip and elbow dysplasia, the lifetime healthcare costs can easily skyrocket into the thousands.
Prices for this endearing and popular pup can vary wildly, ranging from a couple hundred dollars at the shelter to thousands for purebreds. A cheerful and playful breed, golden retrievers require regular grooming and around $235 in food annually. They're also prone to plenty of costly ailments, particularly cancer ($6,000+), cataracts ($5,000+), hip dysplasia ($5,000+), and more.
These handsome guardians can get pricey with purebred puppies selling for anywhere from $1,600 to $2,800, though you might find one at a shelter if pedigree is not a priority. Grooming costs are relatively low, but these hungry dogs can sometimes go through as much as $150 of food per month. Rottweilers are also prone to cancer and hip dysplasia, health issues that can cost $1,500 to $6,000.
PORTUGUESE WATER DOG
Thanks in part to Bo, the former First Dog of the Obama family, Portuguese water dogs have been particularly popular in recent years -- and expensive. Their thick coat -- said to have helped them swim to fetch lines for Portuguese fisherman -- requires frequent upkeep costing $500 annually. Addison's disease is a common ailment costing around $1,000 to $5,000, as is hip dysplasia for around the same cost.
These massive and fluffy four-legged wonders are known for protecting their flocks and families, which you would hope for with a price tag ranging from $3,000 to $7,000. A puppy once sold for a cool $1.9 million. An ancient breed with a deep bark, Tibetan mastiffs require frequent upkeep with grooming costs of around $400 annually and around $235 for food. Hip and elbow dysplasia are common and can cost between $1,500 and $4,000.
MOST EXPENSIVE: SAMOYED
These strong, noble-looking herders often fetch a high price tag, sometimes as much as $11,000. A major draw is likely their gleaming white and fluffy coat -- which needs frequent, costly grooming -- not to mention black lips that curl into what's known as the "Samoyed smile." But they're prone to cardiac diseases, hip dysplasia, and eye diseases, so medical costs can quickly jump into the thousands.