There I was, sitting in my sister’s lounge. And suddenly, I felt a huge furry weight on my lap – Lo and behold, my sister’s new Great Dane sat snugly on my lap. That’s when I first fell in love with the breed!
While initially, I preferred dogs belonging to smaller breeds; there is something about Great Danes that makes them such an ideal pet.
Whether it be their innocent eyes, or their adorable habits, if you are a dog person, you will soon fall in love with them as well.
If you are thinking of getting a Great Dane, I am sure you will have a fun time raising it! But, apart from the emotional aspect of the decision, I understand that you need to consider the financial and practical aspects of it too.
Great Danes aren’t just known for being gentle companions; they’re also known for having a significantly higher cost of care than other breeds.
Not only is their initial purchase price fairly high, but the necessary vet bills and high-quality dog food can also set you back a pretty penny over their lifetime.
Before you make the huge (no pun intended) commitment to this breed, it’s strongly recommended that you evaluate the average costs of a Great Dane.
Purchasing a Great Dane Puppy, What You Should Expect to Pay
Buying Great Dane puppies from breeders is as high as you can go with your one-time cost. The average price of puppies ranges between $1000 and $1500. But you will also find certain breeders giving away Great Dane pups for less than $600!
I would suggest that you don’t purchase from them. When my sister was getting another Great Dane puppy, she told me she visited a breeder offering low prices, but the puppies were being kept in horrible conditions.
I learned an important insight from our discussion – any breeder who is charging lower than the market average is probably neglecting the Great Dane pups in some way, thereby bringing the cost down. This can include things like not vaccinating them.
If you buy a puppy from a breeder, your costs are going to vary widely–and for very important reasons.
Most likely, a puppy in good health and raised by a reputable, responsible breeder will run at least $1500, if not more. Show-quality puppies cost as much as $3000.
Why is there such a huge gap in pricing? Well, you get what you pay for. Unfortunately, a cheap puppy often comes from unhealthy parents, or there’s something wrong with the puppy.
Great Danes are genetically prone to many diseases and disorders, and a good breeder ensures their dogs are free of any health conditions.
For example, Great Danes are prone to developing hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is typically hereditary, thus the formation of regulating bodies that allow responsible breeders to have their breeding dogs evaluated for this damaging joint disorder.
It isn’t cheap to have a dog certified by something like the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), so this is going to increase the cost of puppies significantly.
While the idea of spending over a thousand dollars on a dog might be nausea-inducing, it’s going to be more cost-effective to get a healthy dog from the start versus a “cheap” puppy that’s going to be riddled with expensive health problems down the road.
But hey, if you love them, you love them, right?
Also Read: 10 Gentle Giants: Your Guide to Large Dog Breeds (2023)
Getting a Great Dane: The initial cost
The initial price of getting a Great Dane can vary depending on the type of puppy you are getting and the source you are getting from.
As per data collected from ads of different listings, usually, you can purchase a Great Dane puppy for between $1000 and $1500. The average cost of puppies that are below six months is $1000, while a purebred dog can be purchased for a price as high as $3500.
These mentioned prices are for when you purchase the breed from a breeder or a reputable source. However, this is not the only way you can get a Great Dane.
You can also choose to adopt a rescue or abandoned animal. This method prevents overpopulation and also helps in giving a new home to innocent doggos.
Adoption charges vary between $50 and $500. Make sure that regardless of whether you purchase a dog or adopt it, do so from a reputable source. This way, you will get a pet that is healthy and does not have any behavioral issues.
Price Breakdown: One-time costs of a Great Dane
I understand that this might seem like an information overload! While I have mentioned the initial and the one-time cost of Great Danes above, let’s first delve into it, depending on what source you choose to get your Great Dane from. This will vary your one-time cost.
A Free Great Dane: Good or Bad Idea
If someone within your friend’s circle hasn’t neutered their Great Dane, I am sure a time will come when they will have just too many Great Dane puppies to handle. This is when they might ask you if you want a free puppy.
You might have heard of the famous adage, “there is no such thing as a free meal .”This is true in all facets of life, including owning a dog.
Even though adopting a free puppy means you will avoid the initial purchase cost, there are various other expenses you need to keep in mind!
Between the cost of supplies, grooming, food, insurance, and vet, you will still need to allocate a significant monthly budget to the doggo. Don’t accept the free gift until you are well aware of the expenses and your financial standing.
A Good Cause and Cheap Price: Adopting a Great Dane
As I mentioned in one of the initial sections, another way to get a Great Dane is to adopt one from a shelter or for a charitable cost. This generally costs at most $500, with the average range of $75 to $300.
The exact cost of adopting a Great Dane depends on what stage the dog is in within its life cycle. For example, if you adopt an old dog, then the cost will be on the lower side of the range mentioned. But, if you want to adopt a puppy, it will cost you significantly higher.
Moreover, whether or not you will be able to find the right Great Dane breed is also a big question. Usually, purebred Great Danes are rarely found in shelter homes. You can instead find mixed breeds easily.
Purchasing Your Great Dane From The Breeders
It’s tempting to choose a breeder based on the puppy you think is “the one”, but this could be a problem down the road. Instead, look for a breeder before you look for specific puppies.
For those of you who are very particular about the breed of your Great Dane (read: Purebred), then you might only find one through a breeder.
This is especially the case if you wish to raise a cute little Great Dane Puppy by yourself.
You should only purchase a dog from a breeder who lets you visit their home/farm. If they don’t allow visitors, that’s a significant red flag.
Visiting the breeder lets you see the animals’ conditions and meet the parents of the litter you’re picking from. Assessing the health and personality of the parents is a good indicator of what the puppies are going to be like.
Ask where the majority of their puppies go. If they go to shows or pet homes, that’s generally a good sign. However, if their puppies end up at pet stores, it’s time to leave politely. A truly good breeder will never send their puppies off to a pet store.
The breeder should also have a health guarantee in place. This shouldn’t be something you have to fight for; reputable breeders should have no problem providing one. Even if they’ve taken all of the precautions to eliminate hereditary diseases, there’s never a guarantee.
Make sure you get a written health guarantee protecting you if you buy a puppy with a serious illness like parvovirus or a heart condition.
But, Great Danes are anything but cheap. The cost of a purebred puppy could be as high as $3000! But, ensure that you see proper documentation proving the lineage before investing such money.
If you are not particular about the breed, then your expense will be quite low, at an average of $1000.Be careful in choosing the breeders, or else the cost of your pup will be even higher as the healthcare costs start piling up.
Great Dane Veterinary Care Costs
Like all puppies, your Great Dane should be spayed or neutered. This should occur anytime between four to 18 months of age, and the decision should ultimately be made between you and your veterinarian.
The cost of a spay or neuter varies from clinic to clinic, and it depends on how big your dog is at the time of surgery and if you choose to do bloodwork. On average, you can expect to pay at least $300 for the surgical procedure.
Vaccines are also a variable cost and fully depend on your veterinarian. The core vaccines (rabies, distemper, parvo, hepatitis, parainfluenza) are about $75-150 by the time you pay for examinations.
There are also extra vaccines to consider in certain regions of the country or whether you will board your Dane eventually. A Very Important Word About GDV:
Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) is a potentially fatal disorder where your dog’s stomach fills with air and then twists over on itself. GDV swiftly kills your dog if you don’t seek medical attention for them.
Unfortunately, Great Danes are more prone because they’re considered a deep-chested breed and that anatomy makes them more susceptible to it. Most of the time the only cure is emergency abdominal surgery.
Breeds that are more likely to suffer from GDV can have an elective surgical procedure known as a gastropexy. The stomach is “tacked” to the abdominal wall, so if your dog bloats, the stomach has to remain stationary.
While this doesn’t prevent the stomach from bloating, it prevents the stomach from flipping over on itself, improving the odds of surviving treatment.
Gastropexy is usually performed during your puppy’s spay or neuter. The cost depends on a few things. It’s cheaper in female dogs because their abdomen is already open for the spay.
Male dogs require a separate incision into the abdomen. You can opt to have it performed laparoscopically, but that costs significantly more, even though it’s less invasive.
A gastropexy done by itself will run upwards of $500 or more dollars. If it’s performed in conjunction with a spay/neuter and your dog is already under anesthesia, the costs will be less.
What Great Dane Supplies Do You Need to Buy?
Are you unsure what supplies you need for your Great Dane? Here are some of the supplies you need and their average cost:
- Neutering for up to $250
- Medical Tests for up to $1000, including X-ray for $250 and Ultrasound for $600.
- Collar and Tag for $30
- Microchip (location identification) for $55.
- Dental work for a maximum of $700.
- Accommodation for $250, including bed and crate.
- Water bowl and initial food for $30
- Toys for $30
- Grooming material, for up to $55, including nail clipper and brush.
- Waste disposable bags for an average of $15
- Vaccinations (if not already administered) for up to $100
This list and the associated costs are not written in stone. They will vary depending on the brand of item you purchase as well as your location.
The Monthly Figure: How much does a Great Dane cost per month?
After the initial setup and insurance costs sets in, the monthly cost of taking care of a Great Dane will primarily consist of the food cost. Apart from this, you only have to spend sporadically on medications and vet visits.
A ballpark figure for a monthly cost can be an average of $225, with the costs varying between a minimum of $150 and a maximum of $300.
Again, this figure is meant for healthy Great Danes. Costs will differ if your dog isn’t healthy!
Keeping Your Pet Healthy: Healthcare costs of Great Danes
The cost of owning and raising a Great Dane tends to rise exponentially when you add all the miscellaneous expenses. Although the experience is worth it, it is still advised that you research properly before making the decision.
What do Great Danes cost in terms of healthcare? Well, if you have a perfectly healthy dog, it will still require regular visits to the vet to ensure that it remains healthy. The routine checkups will cost you a maximum of $3,000 for your pet’s lifetime.
However, these costs can increase if your doggo gets sick. For starters, due to being large, Great Danes often suffer from Torsion and Bloat, whereby their stomachs twist and the air is trapped in it, leading to immense bloating. Treatment of this disease can cost around $7,500.
Again, due to the size of the Great Danes, they are very vulnerable to hip dysplasia. To reverse this condition, surgery is required, which can cost as much as $5,000. Similarly, if your dog exhibits cardiomyopathy (another common cardiovascular issue), it will cost at most $1500 to rectify.
Hence, as you can see, the healthcare costs of Great Danes can amount to a lot of money, depending on the health and age of your dog.
Don’t just consider the vet appointments when deriving this cost. Think of all the expenses that you can possibly incur and see if you can give the Great Dane the treatments it needs to live a healthy life!
Maintaining Regular Health: Medications and vet visits for Great Danes
As a rule of thumb, all Great Danes should be taken to vets biannually for their routine checkups. This will allow you to detect diseases early on, thereby preventing serious symptoms from being incurred.
There are also a handful of monthly medications that a Great Dane will need to consume for its well-being. This includes heartworm and tick medicine.
Together, the vet visits and medications might cost you up to $100 every month. This figure can increase if your doggo has additional health issues or chronic conditions.
Moreover, there are various dog supplements that many pet owners prefer giving their pets.
Think of them like multivitamins for us; not having them may not have any short-term disadvantages, but in the long run, you are better off eating them. A common health supplement you can give to your Great Dane is glucosamine.
It’s Nom-Nom Time: Food costs of Great Danes
Great Danes eat a lot! It is easy to understand why when you see their size.
I have looked at some of the leading dog food brands to see how much you can expect to spend on your Great Dane’s food.
The first-year average cost of feeding a puppy, which consumes around 500 pounds of dry food annually, is around $550 if you give the pup food from quality brands like Blue Buffalo, Purina, and Pedigree.
Adult Great Danes tend to eat as much as 530 pounds of dry food, and their cost can range between $255 and $810.
Mind you; these are just the cost of dry dog food. I am sure you would also want to give your good boy some treats. This will cost you around $345 annually, given that you give your dog one treat a day.
Your Great Dane Should Look Its Best: Grooming Costs
There is one thing most pet-owners have a love-hate relationship with grooming their pets. For some reason, most pets despise getting their nails or coats trimmed.
Oh, the misery of running behind your doggo who senses that it is grooming time and begins running frantically!
The good news for all the current Great Dane (or to-be) owners is that this breed of dog requires very less and infrequent grooming.
You might have noticed that I only mentioned two grooming tools above – a brush and a nail clipper. This is because this is all you need for your pet.
You must brush your dog’s coat at least once weekly to avoid shedding or knots. Additionally, the nails of a Great Dane should only be trimmed once every month. Check their ears regularly and clean them whenever you see debris accumulating.
And with these three simple steps, a Great Dane can look its best!
Pet insurance costs: Reducing healthcare expenses
According to the State of Industry Report, published by the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, the annual cost of pet insurance is $565, given that you opt for illness and accident coverage. If you only purchase accident insurance, the cost will be around $190.
Remember that the pet insurance cost can balance off the healthcare expenses. For example, while the illness coverage plan may seem expensive, it will ensure that you don’t need to bear the burden in case your Great Dane is diagnosed with any of the common diseases listed above.
Also, keep in mind that the mentioned insurance costs are averages, and the amount you are charged can vary depending on the age of your pet, its breed (mixed breed or pure), where you are located, and the exact plan you choose.
Environment Maintenance costs
As a dog owner, I am always perplexed about my house, especially as my dog is quite a scratcher. When I first got him, all of my furniture had scratch marks on them – especially the doors. This is why I bought a door scratcher for it!
Great Danes are no different. Seeing their sheer size, it is not hard for you to wrap your head around the fact that they are very powerful chewers. And to maintain your home environment, you need to make sure that their chewing habits are satisfied with the right material. And this includes chewing toys.
Give them the toys they need so that the poor products bear the brunt of their habits rather than your furniture or, worse, your accessories! The general cost of chew toys comes down to $20 a month. Just how much the toys will last will depend on the power of your dog and the quality of the toy in question.
Outside your home, to take care of the environmental effects on your dog, you should always carry a waste disposal bag. This bag will come in handy for scooping up the poop when your dog poops during walk time. This will cost you around $5 a month, and there is no avoiding this cost!
Keeping the Great Dane Happy: Entertainment Costs
If you have ever been around Great Danes, you already know how playful they are! Those of you who have only seen their pictures, don’t let their innocent faces and large size fool you. They can be quite mischievous when they want to be!
This is why you need to keep them entertained to avoid boring them. If you think a few chew toys will satisfy them, then you are in for a shocker! When in a mood, they can rip a toy in a blink of an eye, so you need to keep a good stash of toys stored for them. This can cost you around $50 per month.
To avoid the toy expenses from piling up, invest in toys like pull ropes. Get involved, too, as a way to bond with them. Just make sure not to make them run or jump a lot. Their joints are quite vulnerable.
Is that all, folks? Additional costs to factor-in
Even though I have tried to be as exhaustive as possible with the costs that you can expect to incur if you get a Great Dane. But, despite all my research and data collection efforts, all of the costs aren’t the only ones that you should prepare for.
Instead, just like with any other pet, there will be various surprises and miscellaneous costs that you have to be ready for.
If your job doesn’t allow you to be at home for long hours, you will have to invest in a dog walker because Great Danes require daily walks for the sake of their health. Dog walking costs $20 per day.
Similarly, it is advised that you don’t leave your Great Dane alone for long hours. Dog daycare is a much better option for them. This amounts to $25 per day. You can also get your family members to take care of your doggo for you to avoid this cost.
Additionally, you can’t take them with you when you jet off to different places and will need a pet sitter if you don’t have a friend who can take care of them.
This is true for road trips as well because, compared to pugs, they take up a lot of space, so you need enough vehicles for a family trip if you wish to take your dog along with you.
For longer trips, you can consider admitting them to dog boarding places. They charge up to $85 per night. Think of them like a doggo hotel. The exact cost will vary depending on the season, available space, your requirements, and your doggo’s behavior.
Toys and accessories
Speaking from experience, you might also have to spend on your accessories because before Great Danes are trained, they tend to be quite the shoe eaters! My initial visits to my sister’s house proved to be very destructive for my favorite shoes.
And this chewing habit won’t just be limited to your accessories and furniture. Instead, they will rip their beds too!
So, even though generally bed is a one-time cost, it may not be so unless your dog is properly trained – which in turn will require you to invest in a trainer if your dog has serious behavioral problems.
Owning a Great Dane on a Budget: Is it possible?
The costs that I have mentioned above are the averages available, keeping in mind different brands and services.
While it can cost you less as well depending on certain factors, like location, the health of your dog, breed of your dog, etc. still, when owning a Great Dane, you should look at the highest possible figure for reference.
In fact, I don’t think you can own a Great Dane on a limited budget. The breed is quite high-maintenance, and to give the dog a peaceful life, you will have to spend a lot of money.
The expenses will exponentially increase if your doggo exhibits symptoms of any common disease!
Cutting corners with a Great Dane is never recommended. Think about it; this is a canine’s life we are talking about! The last thing you would want to do is let a few savings on medications or insurance affect the well-being of your precious dog!
You might be thinking that you can at least save money on entertainment items, like toys. Well, if you do so, you will be buying more of them than expensive toys as they are not durable at all!
And with cheap food, you can risk giving your doggo diarrhea or feelings of bloating.
So, if your mind is already looking at ways to save money, this is your signal – don’t get a Great Dane dog! You will just be burdening yourself and your dog.
Summary – How Much Do Great Danes Cost?
I understand this guide can be a tad overwhelming! Especially when you keep in mind the number of costs that I have mentioned. Don’t worry. It is normal to feel lost at this point. This is why I am summarizing all the key insights that you have to remember when thinking about the costs associated with the Great Danes.
- The initial expense of getting a Great Dane is between $1000 and $1500. Expenses can differ depending on where you are getting your dog from and whether it is purebred or not. Potential sources of getting the dog are from a friend for free, from a shelter, or from a breeder.
- Regardless of what source you choose, make sure that they employ ethical practices. This way, you can reduce the chances of getting a dog with behavioral and health issues.
- Allocate $500 for supplies and initial setup, including medical tests, accommodation, ID tag, vaccination, etc.
- The average monthly cost for caring for a Great Dane is $225.
- Keep $3000 for the lifetime healthcare and medication costs of the dog.
- Food cost is around $500 for puppies and $850 for adult dogs.
- For pet insurance, keep $565 for a comprehensive health plan, including accident and illness coverage.
- Environmental maintenance cost (including a plastic bag for disposal and chew toys) is around $30 a month.
You can always refer back to the sections for details about all the points mentioned above.
Wrapping Up: Do you want a Great Dane?
Now, you are ready practically to make the decision. With all the costs laid out in front of you, you are better equipped to make the decision of whether it is a good idea to get a Great Dane or not.
If you decide to become an owner of a Great Dane, you are in for a treat! They are one of the cutest and friendliest breeds out there. Make sure you take good care of them.