Cost of Medical Care for Dogs



This article is posted as part of PGAA’s curation efforts. This was originally posted at Simple Dollar


There are number of medical considerations for dogs that must be understood before you adopt. Dogs need vaccinations, flea treatments, heartworm medications, ear and dental care, and unless you intend to breed, spaying and neutering.


According to the AKC, dogs need multiple vaccines in their first year of life-and some of these vaccines must be renewed periodically. These include vaccinations for kennel cough, canine distemper, canine hepatitis, canine parainfluenza, coronavirus, heartworms, leptospirosis, lyme disease, parvovirus, and rabies. These vaccinations will cost between $60 to $70 on average, with the rabies vaccine costing an addition $15 to $20.

Flea Control

Eliminating fleas is a matter of comfort not only for you, but for your dog too. Animals with fleas are miserable, and fleas can actually carry a number of dangerous diseases. A flea and tick shampoo could cost as much as $40 per year, depending on the size of the dog and the frequency of treatments. If you give your dog a flea pill, you’re looking at around $150 per year. The most popular treatment for fleas and ticks, an insecticide known as Fipronil, can cost as much as $200 per year.

Heartworm Control

Heartworms kill countless dogs each year, and the sad truth is that many of those deaths could be prevented. Heartworm control is one of the most important parts of owning a dog; while they are easy to prevent, heartworms can be very difficult to treat. The cost of heartworm prevention medication is around $15 per month, or $180. The cost of treating heartworms starts at $400.

Ear and Dental Care

Dog’s ears are particularly sensitive, and their structure can be prone to problems. While most of the issues that affect a dog’s ear aren’t life-threatening, it can be very uncomfortable for your pet-sometimes even very painful. As for a dog’s teeth, they require treatment and care for the same reason humans need dental care. Plaque and tartar can build up on a dog’s teeth and lead to gum disease, weak enamel, and a host of other issues. Ear and dental care is around $40 monthly for both, although specific dental treatments can cost upwards of $1,000 depending on the severity.

Spay and Neuter Costs

If you adopt from a shelter, there is a good chance your dog will have already been spayed or neutered. However, if you have to pay for it yourself, expect to spend up to $200. The surgery is routine enough that it isn’t terribly expensive.

Breed-specific Medical Costs

Certain breeds of dogs are more prone to medical problems than others. Some are almost infamous for them; for example, pugs and bulldogs. Most flat-faced dog breeds have chronic respiratory issues and are known for loud snoring. While that may be an endearing quality to many people, the snoring is a result of the animal struggling to breathe. German Shepherds are also prone to a number of problems like eczema and hip dysplasia.

A good rule to remember is that any animal bred to look a specific way likely has a health issue as a result. King Charles Cavalier Spaniels are prone to brain injury because their skulls have been bred almost too small for their brains, while English Bulldogs face a number of joint issues as well as skin issues.

Here is a list of the dog breeds with the highest per-year medical costs.

Dog Grooming Expenses

While it may seem like grooming is a luxury or something only dogs competing in showcase events require, it’s a necessity for every pooch. Grooming helps keep dogs clean, comfortable, and prevents potential health problems later in life.

Nail Trimming

Trimming a dog’s nails is a delicate task; cut it too short and you can injure them, resulting in pain and bleeding. The last thing anyone wants to do is hurt their pet. Luckily, the cost for trimming a dog’s nails is around $10 or less.

Bathing Costs

Unless you’re one of the few lucky owners whose dog enjoys baths, you likely know the struggle of chasing a dripping wet, slippery animal around your home. If you think a dog is hard to catch normally, try grabbing one covered in soap. The average cost of a full grooming treatment, including a hair trim and a bath, is between $30 and $90. Trimming a dog’s hair stops it from becoming matted, while baths keep their skin clean and health—and keeps Fido from stinking up the house.

This article was provided to Pet Guardian Angels of America by Jessica Carter of The Simple Dollar © 2017