Puppies bring joy and headaches to their owners’ lives.
They’re full of energy and love but also love to chew and pee everywhere.
If you’re looking to fill your home with the wonderful chaos that a puppy brings, then you’ll find that some breeds tend to be expensive.
It may surprise you to realize that puppies are so expensive.
Here are 10 reasons puppies are so expensive.
Why Are Puppies So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons)
1. Championship Lineages
Some breeders use dogs that have won championships in their past.
The puppies from these lineages tend to be expensive.
That’s because the owner is buying the chance that their puppy may become a champion, too.
A dog that wins a championship does so because it’s the best standard for its breed.
It’s healthy, it has the best features, its structure is sound, and it ultimately looks and performs the best.
The puppies that come from that champion should also share these qualities.
While some features may dilute thanks to the genes shared by the other parent, by and large, there’s a good chance that the puppy will also have a great appearance and performance.
Those who want to take their dog to competition and potentially win take their dog’s breeding very seriously.
They work closely with breeders to mix the best possible parents together to create an ideal dog.
The ideal puppy will have the best features of its breed, have great health, and it will have the ability to learn standard etiquette for a championship show.
That’s a tall order.
The more likely that a dog is going to have these features because of its lineage, the more expensive it’s going to be.
It’s also more expensive if its parents are both champions
or if one of its parents is a repeat champion.
If you want a dog that comes from the best breeding stock, then you can expect to pay a lot for it.
2. Designer Breeds
Another reason puppies are expensive is if they come from a designer breed.
A designer breed is a breed of dog that mixes two different breeds together for a specific purpose.
The standard designer breed is a poodle and some other type of dog.
Many people choose to cross dogs with poodles because of the poodle’s hypoallergenic nature.
It doesn’t shed nearly as much as other breeds of dogs.
It also produces less dander.
That makes it an ideal choice for those who suffer from pet allergies.
The problem is that not everyone wants a poodle.
To solve this problem, certain breeders cross the poodle with other dogs like Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Cocker Spaniels, and even German Shepherds.
The resulting puppy is a healthy mix between the two.
Many find designer breeds to be adorable.
They often look like a mix of their parents, or they take after a specific parent more strongly.
Regardless, their fur tends to be more hypoallergenic which is ideal for many households.
It means less hair in the home that needs cleaning through the year.
The problem with designer breeds is that they’re more expensive.
Breeders spend some time acquiring the perfect parents for their litters.
They often spend a good deal of money choosing two parents that look the best for their specific breed.
Health is another matter, too.
While some breeders don’t pay attention to a dog’s genetics, others do.
They only cross breeds that will result in healthy puppies.
All these details make the puppies more expensive.
3. Genetic Testing
Breeders will sometimes include genetic test results for their puppies.
This gives owners the ability to understand their new dog on a genetic level.
It can help them understand any dietary restrictions that the dog has or any health preconditions that they need to plan for.
While genetic tests won’t tell them that their dog will absolutely develop a certain disease during their life, they can inform them about the possibility.
That enables owners to plan their finances and give the dog the proper lifestyle it needs to reduce its chances of developing that disease.
The problem with genetic tests is that they can be expensive.
A breeder often has to pay for several tests for all their puppies.
To cover the cost, they’ll add it to the puppy’s price.
Some will say that the genetic test is free, but it’s really rolled into the overall price of the puppy.
Not everyone wants to know the genetic makeup of their dog.
You can also always do the test on your own through various companies.
You may even find that this is a cheaper option than what the breeder does.
If the breeder offers genetic testing services, then you can expect the price of the puppy to increase.
It’s up to you to decide whether knowing your dog’s genetics is worth the expense or not.
4. Rare Breeds
Certain puppies are rarer than others.
These puppies are more expensive because it’s more difficult to find breeders for them.
Those who do breed the dogs usually also have a high price for their puppies.
They’re aware that they’re one of the few breeders in the area who sells that specific kind of dog.
If the dog happens to come from a champion line, then the price only increases from there.
Some of the rarest dog breeds include:
- Tibetan Mastiff
- Swedish Vallhund
If you want a puppy from one of these breeds, then you can expect to pay a higher price.
There are many reasons a breed becomes rare.
The most common reason is that the specific job that the dog filled is no longer needed.
The primary example of that is the Otterhound.
As its name might suggest, the Otterhounds were originally bred for hunting and retrieving otters.
They are capable of following otters up rivers and through lakes at great speeds and endurance.
Since otter hunting is now illegal, few hunters needed Otterhounds.
They were also already rare since hunting masters only bred them between themselves and didn’t release them to the general public.
Once otter hunting became illegal, they released the breed to the general public.
While Otterhounds are beautiful and make great pets, the fact that their primary job is no longer available for them caused many to stop breeding them in the first place.
They didn’t gain the same popularity as a household pet as many other breeds.
You can own an endangered breed of your own, but you can expect a high price to go with it.
5. House Training
A large part of owning a puppy is potty training it.
As soon as the puppy enters your home, you’ll quickly discover that puppies have small bladders.
Buying puppy pads to keep their mess contained can become expensive.
It’s almost like buying diapers for a baby.
You never seem to have enough, and you go through them fast.
That also makes a puppy expensive.
Unless you let your puppy use the bathroom in your house wherever it wants, you likely need to invest in a few things to keep your home sanitary and your puppy healthy.
A dog gate is part of house training.
It will keep them out of the areas of the home where you don’t want them using the bathroom.
If you want to keep them crated in one area, then you’ll need to buy a crate.
Those can become expensive, too.
The faster that you can introduce your puppy to using the outdoors as their bathroom, the more money you can save on your puppy in the long run.
Otherwise, they’re a black hole that sucks up all the money you make on puppy pads.
6. Obedience Training
You can always attempt to train your dog on your own, but you may receive mixed results if you’re not a professional.
First-time dog owners will struggle the most.
It’s why you might decide to put your dog through an obedience school instead.
These types of schools have experienced trainers who understand how dogs learn.
They recognize dog behavior and know what they need to do to get the best results.
Obedience schools are also beneficial because it introduces your puppy to other dogs.
This helps socialize them which can make them less anxious or excitable around other people and dogs.
The problem with obedience schools is that they cost money.
That adds to the cost of owning a puppy.
If you buy an older puppy, then some breeders will even take them to obedience training for you.
However, the price of the puppy will definitely go up from there.
The national average for obedience training is $50 an hour.
At most, people will charge $120 an hour.
If you take your puppy to obedience school every day of the week, then you can expect to pay around $200 to $600 every week.
Putting your dog through a boot camp for kennel training can even cost you as much as $500 to $1,250 a week.
Some obedience schools will also offer additional training courses that will cost extra.
Your dog will learn more and be better behaved, but you may find it too expensive for your puppy.
When considering the full scope of buying and raising a puppy, you’ll find that it can become quite expensive.
To keep puppies healthy and safe, they need vaccinations.
These shots aim to give their immune systems a booster shot.
Since puppies are often around other dogs, there’s a good chance that they can become sick.
The vaccines give them a greater chance of either avoiding the illness or handling it better.
When you buy your puppy, most breeders will have already taken care of the shots for you.
That’s because they don’t want to sell an unhealthy puppy to you.
They’re also aware that if one of their puppies becomes ill, then the rest of the litter is at risk, too.
Breeders who take care of the shots for you will say they’re free, but in reality, the cost of the shots is added to the overall price of the puppy.
They’ll likely include the time it took to get to the vet, the time it took for the appointment to end, and the costs of the shots themselves.
There are five vaccines that a brand-new puppy needs to receive.
Some puppies may receive more if they’re particularly at risk for a specific disease.
You can always choose to take the dog to the vet yourself for its vaccinations.
This may save you a little money with the breeder, but you’re still going to need to pay for the shots.
On average, the vaccines cost around $75 to $100.
The core vaccines that your puppy needs are:
One round of vaccine shots isn’t all they need either.
You’ll need to regularly take your puppy to the vet to receive another dose of certain vaccines.
Rabies is the most common type of vaccine that your puppy needs regularly.
The full price of the appointment may be more expensive than that depending on whether the vet charges you anything extra.
There’s no question that vaccination costs add to the overall price of a puppy and make it expensive.
Dogs tend to have trends.
There are certain breeds of dogs that are trendy and others that aren’t.
Demand for those certain breeds often outpaces the supply for them.
This is especially true for rarer breeds or designer breeds that only have a few breeders attached to them.
When the popularity of a dog increases, you can expect it to be difficult to find a breeder with stock.
When the breeder does have stock, you can expect the prices to be high.
That’s because they can only sell so many puppies a season.
Their parents need plenty of time to rest and recover after giving birth before they’re bred again.
Puppy litters aren’t always large either.
Sometimes a dog will only give birth to three or four puppies.
Those puppies need to be healthy enough to sell, too.
This makes the number of available puppies incredibly small.
Since there’s a limited supply, the breeder can set a high price.
Only those who can afford the high price can buy the puppy.
Until there are more breeders, the price will remain high.
There’s no question that the global pandemic has also influenced the price of puppies.
There are several reasons COVID-19 has made puppies more expensive.
The main one is supply and demand.
Since many people were at home all day and night, they missed out on companionship.
To make up for their loss, they turned to puppies.
Others bought a dog because they had more time at home to train it and play with it.
Some bought them as a coping mechanism.
Whatever the reason, people were buying puppies in large amounts during the pandemic.
They were buying popular breeds and less popular breeds.
That created a massive shortage of many different types of dogs.
Even rescue shelters and adoption agencies had their dogs bought and adopted fast.
With a massive shortage of puppies available, those who still had some to sell could do so at a higher price.
Breeders realized that there was a low supply in the market and a huge demand.
They were able to make a tidy profit for themselves by increasing their price.
People who were desperate to have a puppy bought without hesitation.
It also helped that they had some extra funds thanks to the stimulus checks they received from the federal government.
The problem with all the puppy spending in the pandemic is that the shortage is still felt.
Breeders haven’t been able to produce enough puppies to fill the gap that the mass-buying created.
It may take several years before the levels of demand and supply become balanced again.
Until then, you can expect puppies to have a high price.
10. Food Costs
One final reason that puppies are expensive is the cost of food.
While puppies rely on their mother’s milk during their initial few months, they eventually grow teeth and start eating solid food.
That costs money, especially when the breeder has several puppies to feed.
Not all dogs eat the same kind of food or the same amounts either.
Larger dogs will need more food than smaller dogs.
All breeds have specific diets that fit them best.
It’s expensive to support these diets.
Since the breeder wants to keep their parents and puppies healthy, they invest in the best food possible.
That doesn’t come cheap.
You’ll have to buy puppy food, too, which can be costly.
All these expenses add up and make buying and owning a puppy expensive.
Puppies are expensive based on their breed and whether they’re a designer breed or purebred.
The general market also determines a puppy’s price.
If there’s a lot of demand with little supply, then you can expect the cost of a puppy to increase.
Knowing the reasons behind the price of a puppy can help you find ways to save money when choosing one to buy.