5 Most Expensive Dog Breeds to Own

5 Expensive Dog Breeds

Being the owner of any dog isn’t a cheap pastime. There isn’t just the purchase price or an adoption fee for your dog, but also all of the one-off costs like collars, leads, bowls, and beds, plus the cost of food to consider. There are also precautionary routine treatments recommended several times a year for fleas and worms and annual vaccinations to take into account. Then, of course, there are other vet treatments that could be required ad-hoc throughout the life of a pet, and the costs can really stack up!

The lifetime costs of owning a dog are estimated at between £16,000 – £31,000 ($22,000 – $44,000 US) depending on the breed or size of the dog and many other health and behaviour factors.

There is no guarantee that any pet will live a long and healthy life, although we all hope they will, but some breeds of dog are considered to have a greater predisposition to certain health ailments than others. More health issues means more vet treatment, which can result in some dogs ending up being really expensive throughout their days. It can also be the case that pet insurance premiums for certain breeds of dog are higher than others, even if they are perfectly healthy at the time the policy is taken out, because the insurer has to weigh up the risk that any dog has of developing health problems during their lifetime. Many pedigree dogs are likely to have higher insurance premiums according to Gocompare.

Read on to see some of the most expensive dog breeds to own.


Most Expensive Dog BreedsThis breed, which has grown enormously in popularity in the last couple of decades and is often attached to a significant price tag, is predisposed to issues with the eyes and problems with breathing because of selective breeding over the years to produce an ever flatter face. Whilst not all pugs suffer from any or all of the range of ailments that they are sadly now famed for, the possibility of some of these things flaring up at some point should certainly be a consideration before buying a pug puppy. Those vet bills could start to mount up quickly, especially if surgery and ongoing treatment is required.

Great Dane

Most Expensive Dog BreedsThis gentle giant of the dog world, Great Danes are frankly enormous, which means that not only do they get through a lot of food and need the biggest sizes of everything, but they can also be prone to particular health issues due to their large size, such as the risk of bloat and ongoing problems with their joints. Combined with a hefty purchase price, the cost of buying and keeping a Great Dane isn’t something to be taken lightly. You might also need to buy a bigger car!

Shar Pei

Most Expensive Dog Breeds, Shar PeiA breed of dog which has increased in popularity exponentially in the UK recently, there are several conditions which can cause Shar Pei’s to require expert vet treatment throughout their lives. The very nature of the Shar Pei’s wrinkly rolls of skin mean that a condition called Entropion, which is where the eyelid rolls inwards and rubs against the eyeball, is sadly common, as is another eye condition called Cherry Eye. Both of these ailments can require surgery to provide a permanent solution.

Shar Pei’s can also often suffer from skin conditions, exacerbated by their skin folds and if not given proper care, often results in painful infections. The shape of their ears are also predisposed to a buildup of wax and debris, which can unfortunately mean that ear infections are common if the ears are not cleaned regularly.

English Bulldog

Most Expensive Dog Breeds, English BulldogThis is another breed where a high initial purchase price is sadly often only the start of the price of owning one of these clownish and beautiful dogs. These pups usually have to be delivered by cesarean section as they are bred to have large heads which make a natural birth impossible. They can often suffer from problems with their eyes, limbs and hips, as well as a predisposition to cardiac and respiratory disease, so not a breed of dog to be taken on lightly.

Shih Tzu

Most Expensive Dog Breeds, Shih TzuA very popular breed in the UK currently, the Shih Tzu is a small breed which unfortunately often suffer from one or more health conditions at some point in their lives. This type of dog is prone to back problems because of their short legs and longer body, luxating patella (where the kneecap dislocates when the dog runs, giving them a telltale hopping gait), issues with their eyes and respiratory difficulties because of their flat faces. The cost of owning a Shih Tzu isn’t all about vet bills though; they require clipping approximately every six weeks to retain a short coat, and if grown out, they require daily grooming and regular baths in order to keep them free of painful matts. If done professionally, grooming alone can cost upwards of £250 $355 US) a year.

There are many more breeds of dog which are prone to particular health issues and although there are no guarantees, there are ways to help minimize the risk.

If you buy a Kennel Club registered pedigree pup from a responsible breeder who has done the necessary health checks on both parents (and has those same test results from their lines going back several generations) before having a litter, then the chances of avoiding some or all of the main issues are certainly improved.

Owning a dog is something that millions of UK people take great joy in, and whatever the cost of looking after your dog throughout its lifetime, most owners believe that their pets are worth every penny and more!

5 Most Expensive Dog Breeds to Own” was written by Guest Blogger:  Jane Freeman – Twitter: @digital_jane


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6 thoughts on “5 Most Expensive Dog Breeds to Own”

  1. Well you got some of the pricy breeds out there, but I think there is a must-include breed you have missed out: Tibetan Mastif.

  2. Hello, you left out mention of Familial Shar-Pei Fever a VERY serious i disorder of Shar Pei’s which can progress to liver and kidney failure and death (and hefty vet bills).
    I would add the Pekingese to the list, for all the same reasons as the Pug. I love Pekes, and have rescued two. They were both the most expensive dogs (as far as vet bills) that I have ever owned (yet I am planning on getting another lol). Pekes generally suffer from a condition called Dry Eye. When untreated it can progress to ulcerated eyes, eventually necessitating eye removal. This is one reason you see so many one or NO eyed Pekes in rescues. This is a real shame as it is VERY easy and fairly cheap to treat Dry Eye with a twice daily prescription eye drop. I do recommend at least a yearly visit with a canine ophthalmologist (EYE VET) in addition to regular vet visits. I learned the hard way years ago that it is better to spend the money on a specialist because a primary vet may not have the experience or equipment to accurately diagnosis and treat eye problems. This is good advice for any breed, but the brachiocephalic breeds (especially poorly bred ones) have a tendency towards excessively protruding eyes which are subject to trauma (a small scratch untreated can lead to BIG problems later) or even prolapsed eyeballs. I think some breeders are doing a poor job of educating buyers on how to care for Pekes, buyers need to learn about them in advance of buying or adopting one and make sure they are prepared for their proper care from day one.

    Pekes like other brachiocephalic breeds are VERY prone to heat stroke because they have no long nose to cool air, they can overheat in no time, therefore they cannot be left outside in the heat and flying them in the cargo hold is too dangerous (most airlines won’t allow it now after years of losing these breeds to heat stroke on flights). Always take your Peke in a soft carrier onboard with you. Less stress for the dog anyway and safer.
    Any dog breed can get cancer (although some more likely) which can wipe the owner out financially (or cause the dog to be put down without treatment due to cost). So I recommend a GOOD pet insurance policy unless you have unlimited amounts of available cash in the bank and you feel really lucky.

    • Thanks for your extensive response, Nicola. I didn’t know all that about the Pekingese dog, although I have noticed the bulging eyes. It certainly is important to know these things about specific breeds, if you want to be a responsible pet owner. I truly appreciate your input. Take care!

  3. Great post, Jane. I have had Shelties for many years. They can be predisposed to some health issues, but most of my pups have been pretty healthy (one with severe hip dysplasia). The biggest expense I’ve encountered is catering to their high energy and intelligence. We’re involved in a lot of activity (sheep herding, agility, obedience). Lessons are expensive but well worth the time and cost to keep my pack happy and healthy.

    • Thanks for visiting my blog, Feather. Shelties are a wonderful, intelligent breed. It’s nice to hear you keep them so active and learning. (Don’t you just love agility?) There’s hardly anything I enjoy more than working with my dogs. Again, thanks for stopping by, and hope you’ll come back soon. Jeanne


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