Expenses to Owning a Dog

June 10, 2022

Dogs, like kids, cost money, and if we waited until we had saved the “elusive amount” to be a good owner, we would never own one, but they are worth every penny.  A dog brings so much joy and they love unconditionally!  I still feel it is in my best interest as a breeder to prepare you for the costs even if this means losing a sale. I owe you this information as a responsible breeder.


Expenses for a dog are needed in order to plan ahead for your future family member.  We have to be realistic with our lifestyle, location we live in and budget.  Apartment living is possible, but more challenging. In bad weather or your own illness they still need to go potty. If you are gone all the time traveling for work or work long hours, what are your plans?  Again, it’s doable, but what is your plan. In this document I want to cover the basic costs for you to consider before you get your heart wrapped around a doodle.  Truly they are more expensive dogs.  Not just in price, but in maintenance.  If you hear they are low maintenance you have been misled!


All costs are reflective of my area in a smaller town (90K) and are an average of 3 local vets.  If you live in a larger city, expect a dramatic increase.  Shop around. Not only do you want to consider cost, but you want to feel comfortable with who is caring for your pet.  Many vets are up-charging everything and wanting lots of added procedures and things that are not needed.  The large chains are not recommended for this reason.


Vet Bills:  Your puppy has already has an initial visit to check health and have dew claws removed. He/she also had a 6/7 week visit for the first round of vaccinations. These are not effective until future boosters are given. You will need 3 more visits to complete these booster/vaccinations.  We require them in a timely fashion in our health guarantee.

9 weeks: $130, 

12 weeks: $118, 

16 weeks $118 and 

1 year $175.  

To put this in perspective, you will pay around $366 in the first 2 months they are home on the vet alone! NOT INCLUDING Heartworm and Flea and Tick.


Heartworm/Flea and Tick:  This is Texas ya’ll.  These aren’t really optional although you do have options.  I am only addressing one each here. I am showing the most popular, although, again, there are MANY other options. There are other sizes, but I’m only listing prices for the sizes we breed.

Sentinel for Heartworm: 6 month supply

11-25 lbs $62

26-50 lbs $78

51-80 lbs $91

Bravecto for flea and tick: This is given every 3 months and this is a 3 month supply meaning it will last 9 months.

9-22 lbs $ 62

22.1-44 lbs $63

44.1-88 lbs $64

This means about $20 a month.


Spay/Neuter: This is a requirement of our contract.  Not because we are trying to corner the market, but because it’s the responsible thing to do and breeding doodles is not near as easy or as inexpensive as it seems.  If you are interested in considering breeding, please ask.  I’m happy to share information with anyone. Spay and Neuter is not recommended before 6months.  I suggest later due to growth IF you can and want to put it off.  This would mean a heat cycle for a female and a male becoming fertile enough to impregnate a female.

21-50lb $434

51-80 lbs $441.26


21-50 lbs $399

51-80 lbs $407


Now let’s address the heat cycle of a female as many don’t know the details.  A female is in  heat with blood for an average of 8 days.After that is becomes a cloudy gray and is really light in most cases and can last 14 or more days.  The cloudy gray time is ovulation!!!  This is when she can get pregnant or as I should say, she is MORE likely to get pregnant.  Males are not the only ones that get crazy when they smell a female in heat.  The female is the same way.  Either one is capable of amazing feats of escape.  Theycan scale a fence, tear a fence apart or tear the leash in half in your hands.  Make no mistake, they are both driven to reproduce. The female should not be left unattended even in your backyard.  A male….well you have no idea if a female dog is in heat around you unless you know your neighbors dogs.  If your un-neutered male is acting odd thereis a reason!  If he is acting anxious togo outside, seems restless and over active I would suspect there is a female in heat nearby and I would be on high alert.


One word about AnimalProtection Leagues in your area.  This isa very cost effective way to get vaccinations and spay or neuter, but there area few things to note.  They are NOTexamining your dog, only giving them vaccinations.  They will do a heart worm test for a cost (asthe vet will do the same), but I am not sure they check for other worms andgang they are out of control in our state. All worms: rounds, hooks andheartworms.  If you spay or neuter themthere they are not intubated in the event that something goes wrong.  Now, seldom does something go wrong, but itcan, so choose your comfort level.  Myfriend lost a dog on the table and he WAS intubated at his vet, so it doeshappen, although the vet who was near retirement said he has only had it happentwice in his career including that dog, but that was WITH intubation.


Grooming:  We are going to spend some time her so sitback and get comfortable.  We need tocover some misinformation that needs to stop. I truly believe this is comingfrom either uneducated breeders (meaning they have not fully researched how toproperly breed, raise and represent their breed well to their clients) orbreeders looking to make a quick buck and false information sells themfaster.  We won’t do that to you.  We have been doing this for too long and weplan on continuing so we want our families to be well informed and we want to continueto have a good reputation for being honest and have integrity in what we do. Now…..thenitty gritty.  These dogs are high maintenance.  There, I said it!  What? The care of their coat is not simple.  The good news is they don’t need to be shavedin the summer and in fact they risk sunburn and not being able to properly coolthemselves without the layers that insulate them to adapt to the weather.  A short cut is fine, but shaving should onlyhappen if you goofed and your dog is matted. I promise if your groomer shavedyour dog that’s on you (or me as the case may be….I’m guilty too).  They don’t do it to spite you, but to keepthe dog from being in pain. This means deep skin mats that could take hours ofbrushing that is painful and they make no more money than one who is notmatted. Ya’ll, I’m long winded, stay with me, this is important.  Do not plan on saving money on grooming bydoing it yourself.  The tools you’ll buywon’t actually be adequate and the areas that are critical to get right willnot be done right unless you take a class. I promise.  This is from ahem…personal experience and theexperience of several owners I know.  Thefeet are critical and hard to groom.  Youhave to get in between the toes and this means scissors as well as the clippers.  If not, the toes will begin to spread andthis is not only painful, but begins to deform the feet sometimes causingpermanent damage.  Now on to the privateareas of the dog.  Again, scissors andclippers.  Are you comfortable working onTHAT end of your dog?  Do you have atable or spot to put them and someone to hold them while you do it?  This is why groomers have specialized tablesand harnesses.  This is not cruel, thisis to keep your dog safe.  Do you know thatyou need to seriously brush all mats out before a bath and then dry them or youwill make mats worse?  Brushing a doodlemeans line brushing them.  Look thisup.  You need a heavy duty metal comb anda super quality slicker brush. It takes close to an hour to brush a standarddoodle weekly.  They need grooming every6 weeks, especially if you want them longer. If you keep them pretty short you may be able to go every 2 months ifyou brush the tail, face and private areas regularly and the body pretty often.  Now let’s walk through pricing.  Remember we live in a smallish town so the costis less than most.  It runs from


$60-$120 without tipwhich means $750 a year on average including the tip,


depending on groomer andsize.  This is every 6 weeks in mostcases.  Please don’t think of not tipping20%.  They make the same amount for yourhigh maintenance fur as they do low maintenance.  Many groomers have decided not to takedoodles any more.  Why?  Because poodle owners understand the maintenanceand don’t get mad and blame the groomer for shaving their dog when they need toand they tip well. Doodle owners often appear entitled and get mad at a groomerfor shaving their dog when it was the only reasonable choice due to lack ofproper brushing.  It’s not worth it tothem to be bad mouthed and not tipped properly, not to mention the physicalexertion it takes to bathe, lift and work with your dog. Brushing means deepinto the fur, not just the top coat.  Brushingthe top coat makes them look well brushed, but lurking underneath can be alayer of mats to the skin that cannot be brushed out or at the very leastcannot be brushed out without loads of time and a great deal of pain for yourdog. Find a groomer your trust and let them do what they need to do.  Ask questions, ask them to show youtips.  Pay them well and thank them.  Ah…now I’ll step off my soap box.

One myth I want to clear up!  I have had more people tell me they “heard”that you will ruin the fur of your doodle if you get them cut before ayear?  Who started this rumor?  Breeders to try and make it sound like doodleare low maintenance.  This makes my headspin!  This is a critical part ofsocialization for your dog.  They need togo at 16 weeks when shots are complete whether they need it or not.  The clippers are loud.  The table and harness is a new experience  and if you haven’t seen or heard a truegrooming blow dryer you have no idea how loud and powerful that is.  If you wait a year you run the risk of yourdog going into full blown panic, hurting themselves and/or the groomer andbeing asked to not come back or come back with sedatives from the vet.  PLEASE DON’T BELIEVE THIS MYTH.


Other costs: Crates….justdo it, trust me.  Your dog needs this forcomfort and an escape place and you need them to be crated at certaintimes.  A puppy can chew through a wallif they decide they are mad or scared. Believe it or not, a crate is secure to them. Wide open spaces are not.


Collars and leashes. Treats (use dog food for the first 6 monthsand train before they eat when they are motivated). Supplements.  Dog food, like our food is deficient innutrients.  We are firm believers in NuVetas indicated on one of our pages and all of our dogs get it as well as yourpuppies from the moment they begin eating. We have a code for it for you.  You can only buy it from NuVet. Toys!!!!  They must chew and it cannot be on YOU,although that’s what they’ll do the first year. Do not allow it.  You own what youcondone!  Buy lots of differenttypes.  Dollar Tree has some decent ones,but look at the quality.  If they can beshewed up easily like the bright pick and blue plastic bone toys, don’t wasteyour $1.25. TJ Max and Ross as well as Ollie have some great ones.  We honestly LOVE the Heavy Chewer box withBark Box for about $35 a month.  We do afew month subscription every couple of years and still have many of those toysfrom years ago.  Kong are good.  A disposable water bottle is actually afavorite of most dogs.  Take it away oncethey have punctured it.  Same with ropetoys.  Excellent until they start shreddingand them trim them or throw them away to keep them from swallowing the ropes towrap around their intestines.   A heavyduty metal comb and slicker brush (pay the money for a goodone).  All of these items should be onour website.  We prefer metal bowls.  They are easier to clean and last forever.Beds once they are a year old.  Theytear them up before then if left unattended. Don’t put one in a crate during the first year.  Put a towel and the Snuggle Puppy weprovide.  They MIGHT tear the pup up, butwe have been letting them sleep with at 7 weeks so they often don’t chew thembecause they become comfort.  Treats.  Hold off on these for a while and use foodbefore their meals as treats.  They arehungry so they’re motivated.  It is alsoa great socialization tool to have them eat from your hand to learn how to takefood gently and to trust you. After that we like treats that are soft so we canbreak them into smaller pieces.  Thesmellier the better so bacon and sweet potato are great options.



I hope this helps you plan ahead for your puppy.  They truly are Man’s best friend and we wantyou to enjoy them for a long time and also be able to plan for their needs.  

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