The Hidden Costs of Superior Dogs


Elizabeth Boggs

Dog breeds are a particular strain or dog type that humans purposely breed for certain tasks such as herding, hunting, and guarding. Many different names were used for dogs such as breeds, strain, type, kind, and variety.  When choosing a dog breed, many people like to pay for quality.  They perceive a pure breed as being superior to mixed breeds but have they considered the additional costs that come along with these dogs?

The specific types of dogs I’m going to be talking about are the most expensive and why they’re expensive.  The average cost of the Akita which originates from the mountainous region of Japan is $800.  The cost of this dog extends far beyond this cost because they  are prone to conditions, such as hip dysplasia, retinal atrophy, and stomach bloating, according to the American Kennel Club. Bloat, for example, would cost between $1,500 and $7,500, according to Embrace Pet Insurance. Grooming for Akitas are like cats and they 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.

Now, the Great Dane is considerably more expensive. The average cost is $1,100.  As opposed to the Akita, the Great Dane is a relatively healthy breed but can still 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 can minimize shedding and help keep grooming costs low. Standard bathing and nail clipping is all that’s needed and can be found at Pet Smart for $16. Food for such a large dog, medium-energy breed, costs $235 per year.

BCHS teacher, Sarah Garrison, said that her average costs yearly for her two  Shih Tzu’s is anywhere from $250 to $500.  They are very small dogs and possibly shed.  Another person I’ve interviewed was Grace Russell she told me about her older brother’s dog (Blue Healer mixed with Australian Shepherd).   The yearly costs for the dog is $3000 because it is such a big dog and needs a lot of food. It most likely sheds a lot which results in having to sweep or vacuum constantly. The last person I interviewed was my mom Carolyn Boggs. We have a chihuahua and husky.  Together they cost could be as high as $2000. Separately, the chihuahua would be about $125 yearly and the husky would be $235 yearly because it is such a bigger dog.

It is important to consider not only the costs of purchasing the dog but also the price of long-term care associated with these breeds.