Veterinary Care Estimates

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In discussing various cost of different breeds,  several cost estimated have been noted on various e-mail list and various web sites.  When considering dog ownership, people need to factor in the costs of keeping the animal healthy through routine care, and emergency care as needed.

The quotes for veterinary care listed below are estimates, offered to provide a general idea of what to expect. They are not "the ideal" nor are they intended as a guideline to determine whether any given veterinarian is "gouging" his/her customers. Average costs will vary with area.

Cost of Initial Veterinary Care (for puppies or adopted dogs):

Puppies: Puppies should receive a thorough checkup by a veterinarian to ensure growth is progressing normally. During these visits, the vaccination series will be completed.  infected as they explore the Costs will vary by area.  It is a good idea to have the puppy checked by a veterinarian soon after it is brought to its new home. Discuss health guarantees with your breeder before you take the puppy away from the breeder's home 

Adults: Recently adopted dogs also benefit from a thourough initial checkup. This exam does not eliminate the need for future annual checkups and vaccine boosters. Some dogs may require medication, and older dogs may suffer from chronic illness. The dog will be facing many changes in its new home; do everyone a favor by ruling out health problems before assuming the dog has behavior/training problems (e.g., a dog suffering from a bladder infection may urinate inside the house in spite of being housebroken).

In the USA, the rabies vaccination is the only immunization that is required by law. However, several other vaccinations are recommended (these may vary by geographical area and local risks). New puppy and adult dog owners also need to budget for the spay/neuter operation, which is routinely recommended for companion pet dogs. Other costs, likely to be incurred in the first year or thereafter, are listed below under "Continued Veterinary Care."

Item Estimated Cost
Cost of each office call $10 - $15+
Cost of Vaccines for First Year $40+
Cost of routine exam $20+
Total Cost of Completing Vaccinations $200 - $300 (multiple visits plus cost of vaccines )
Cost of routine castration (neuter) $85
Cost of routine ovariohysterectomy (females > 15 lb.) $100-150

Additional costs may apply during the first year (e.g., cost of anesthetics, prescriptions, etc. See below).

Continued Veterinary Care:

Below are some estimates for routine care, and samples of what medical emergency might cost, as indicated by survey respondents. A breeder suggested to budget $400-600/dog for emergency care annually. Listed below are estimates for assorted tests and procedures one might have performed on a dog (routinely or once in its lifetime). Also rememeber that each visit to the vet's office itself costs $10 - $25.

Item Projected Expense
Routine Checkup (may include several of items listed below) $125 - $200
Flea control and Prevention $40 - $125
Emergency care $100 - $3,000 (the latter for a chronically ill eldery dog)
Heartworm antigen test $25
Heart Doppler $100-$250
General blood profile (routine) $60-$100
CERF exam (eye exam) $20-30 (exam + recording fee)
X-rays (two views) $72
Nails & ear cleansing; teeth cleaning (anesthesia extra) $15-$25; $75 (for the teeth cleaning alone)
Hospital stay (daily cost) $12-18
Radiology to evaluate for hip dysplasia $30-$50
Anesthesia (halothane and oxygen) $63
Routinely prescribed medications (antibiotics, etc.) $9 - $29
Tattooing $15-25
Microchipping $11.50 - $20
Registry fee (to register dog's tattoo or microchip) $35 - $38
Ultrasound (for pregnant bitches) $35-$70

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