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How Much Does a Bernese Mountain Dog Cost? (2021 Price Guide)

Bernese Mountain Dogs are quite large. However, unlike most larger breeds, adopting one isn’t actually too expensive. The average puppy costs anywhere from $700 to $2,000, assuming you’re purchasing them from a qualified breeder. This is decently inexpensive when you take their larger size into account.

Larger dogs are simply more expensive to breed. The parents require more food, and all health care is more expensive. This doesn’t even take into account the space that the dogs take up. Generally, a Bernese Mountain Dog will cost far more to breed than a Pomeranian.

Of course, there is more to a dog’s expenses than simply the price tag on the puppy. You also have to budget for the dog’s care. Usually, you can expect to pay about $300 a month for the first year, though much of this will be upfront on supplies. For the following years, you can expect to pay closer to $175 a month. Much of this will go towards food and veterinary care.

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Bringing Home a New Bernese Mountain Dog: One-Time Costs

When you adopt a puppy, you don’t just have to pay for the puppy—you also have to pay for all the supplies that the new puppy will need. While much of your dog’s expenses will be spread out over the year, every puppy needs certain supplies the second they come home. This includes things like a bed, leash, and toys.

When budgeting for a new puppy, it is important to consider the price of the new puppy as well as the price of all these supplies.

Bernese Mountain Dog
Image Credit: Othmar Sigrist, Pixabay

Free

While Bernese Mountain Dogs are extremely common, you may occasionally be able to find them for free. Most free puppies are going to come from accidental litters. Adults usually come from owners who can no longer care for them.

The problem with free dogs is that they usually haven’t received the proper health care and nutrition. You can’t always tell where they have come from, and you can bet that their parents weren’t health tested. This all leads to puppies with a higher chance of health and behavioral problems further down the road.

Adoption

  • $50 – $500

In some areas, this breed may be common enough to find at your average animal shelter. You’ll likely have a much better chance of finding one at a breed-specific rescue, assuming there is one located in your area. Most of the time, these dogs are adults—not puppies.

Adopting a dog from a rescue is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you can save a lot of money. On the other hand, these dogs usually have an unknown past. They may not have been taken care of as puppies, which can put them at a higher risk of behavioral and health problems later down the line.

Breeder

  • $700 – $2,000

Adopting from a breeder is by far the most expensive option, with a Bernese Mountain Dog costing between $700 and $2,000. However, it is expensive for a reason. Breeders put a lot of time and energy into their dogs. Typically, they run health tests on adult dogs before breeding them, which helps ensure that the litter of puppies produced is healthy. The puppies themselves receive health care, socialization, and even some training.

While you may pay more upfront for these dogs, you’ll likely have to pay less in vet bills and training expenses. In the end, it can be more than worth it to purchase from a breeder.

Initial Setup and Supplies

  • $375 – $635

No matter where you purchase your puppy, they will all need the same startup supplies. Because these dogs are larger, you can expect to pay a bit more than you might for another breed. They will simply need a larger bed and crate, for instance. These are going to be quite a bit more expensive than supplies for smaller dogs.

Be sure to budget appropriately for these supplies. They may end up costing more than the dog itself.

Bernese Mountain Dog in the snow
Image Credit: Nicole Denker, Pixabay
Food and Water Bowls $20
Dog Collars $10
Leash (x2) $40
ID Tag $5 – $15
Dog Bed $60 – $110
Dog Crate $90 – $165
Urine Odor Removal Spray $10
Toys $90 – $155
Brush (x2) $15 – $45
Shampoo $10 – $20
Toothbrushing Supplies $10 – $15
Toenail Clippers $15 – $30

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How Much Does a Bernese Mountain Dog Cost Per Month?

  • $173 – $737 per month

Due to their large size, your main expenses are going to come from the dog’s health care needs. Any sort of preventative vet treatment is going to cost more. If your dog needs medication, you’ll have to pay more for the higher dosage required for their body weight.

These dogs also eat a lot, so this may cost a bit more than you’re expecting. Plus, just because your dog is larger doesn’t mean that you can skimp on the food quality.

You’ll also have to consider expenses like toy replacement. While these dogs aren’t super active, they can be tough on toys because of their size.

Health Care

  • $123 – $247 per month

Health care is probably the most varied category you’ll need to budget for. You need to consider things like preventative vet care, as well as your dog’s diet. We highly recommend getting pet insurance for this breed, even though they are a bit healthier than most. They are prone to a few health problems, and their vet bills will be more expensive because of their size.

Bernese Mountain Dog lying on sand
Image Credit: ArtTower, Pixabay

Food

  • $44 – $49 per month

Due to their large size, you can expect these dogs to eat more than other breeds. You’ll spend slightly more on adults than puppies simply because they’re going to eat more.

There are many different kinds of dog food on the market. In our calculations, we’re assuming that you’re feeding your dog high-quality dog food that is high in protein and meat. While you may be able to spend less by choosing low-quality dog food, this is not recommended.

Grooming

  • $0 – $50 per month

Despite their longer fur, these dogs do not actually require much grooming. If you want to, you can absolutely take care of all their grooming needs at home. This will cost absolutely nothing, besides the one-time purchase of the brushes.

However, some owners may want to take their dog to the groomer. Each session is likely going to cost between $50 to $100. It depends on the groomer, as well as the dog itself. Dogs that are aggressive and in a worse condition will often cost more to groom.

How much you pay in this category is largely up to you.

Medications and Vet Visits

  • $35 – $85 per month

Larger dogs typically have higher vet bills, and the Bernese Mountain Dog is absolutely a bigger dog. Puppies will require a few visits a year, which will cover their vaccinations and exams. Adults may only need one preventative vet visit, but this visit will be more expensive. More will need to be done at this single appointment than any of the puppy appointments.

For this reason, there really isn’t a huge cost difference between puppies and adults in this category. You’ll just be paying all of the adult’s medical bills in one go.

This budget also includes flea, tick, and heartworm protection.

Pet Insurance

  • $44 – $63 per month

Once again, you’re going to be paying more because of this breed’s large size. Larger dogs usually have higher vet bills, and insurance companies know this. Therefore, they will charge more for these bigger breeds.

There are a lot of factors that go into this cost, though. The deductible, where you live, and the age of your dog all affect the cost. The amount of coverage you also get matters. Accident-only coverage is often the cheapest, but it doesn’t cover most things.

Bernese Mountain Dog standing on water
Image Credit: Hebi B., Pixabay

Environmental Maintenance

  • $0 – $400 per month

Unlike cats, dogs don’t require much environmental maintenance. The Bernese Mountain Dog is no different. These dogs are typically laid back enough that the average owner can meet their exercise needs. This can prevent them from falling back on destructive behaviors, which are often their way of blowing off extra energy.

However, if you don’t have any time to walk your dog, your best bet may be a dog walker. This can be quite expensive, though. A single walk can cost around $20. But you’ll likely need to purchase pay for at least a walk a day. If this is the only exercise your dog is getting, it can be expensive.

Dog Walker $0- $400/month

Entertainment

  • $50 – $90 per month

The Bernese Mountain Dog may not be very active. However, they still like playtime. Their larger size often means that you’ll be purchasing the most expensive toys on the shelf. Toys with more material are simply more expensive, and these dogs need some of the largest toys available.

While these dogs won’t destroy toys too often, you should plan on purchasing about two new toys a month. If you’re purchasing high-quality items that will withstand your dog’s jaws, then you can expect to pay at least $50 a month. It depends on the exact toys you’re purchasing.

You can save a lot of money in this category by shopping for sales. There are usually toys in the clearance section. Select those instead of the toys at full price.

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Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Bernese Mountain Dog

  • $173 – $737 per month

If you splurge in every budget category, including hiring a dog walker for multiple walks a week, you can expect to pay quite a bit for these dogs. However, most services really aren’t necessary if you have the time and energy to care for your dog yourself. For instance, taking your dog to a groomer and hiring a dog walker is completely unnecessary if you can meet your dog’s needs yourself.

Therefore, most pet parents are going to be towards the lower end of this range. Those who splurge on one or two items may be closer to $500 a month.

Bernese Mountain Dog standing on snow
Image Credit: ArtTower, Pixabay

Additional Costs to Factor In

When making our budget calculations, we considered regular, predictable costs. However, we all know that dogs aren’t always predictable. Health problems, household damages, and special training can all drive up the cost substantially.

These canines are generally healthy, but they are prone to quite a few expensive health problems. For instance, many are affected by hip dysplasia, which can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $12,000 to treat. Bloat will lead to an emergency vet visit and can cost up to $3,000.

Generally, these dogs are well-behaved and can be trained at home. However, some may need private or group lessons due to behavioral problems. If your dog falls into this category, you can expect to pay about $200 to $400 for a series of private lessons. Group lessons usually cost closer to $100 to $200. While you won’t always need to re-do lessons regularly, some dogs may need multiple sessions.

All of this can add up quickly. For this reason, we recommend purchasing a dog from a qualified breeder. They usually health test the puppy’s parents before breeding to lower the risk of these health problems. Breeders usually provide extensive socialization as well, which can prevent some behavioral problems.

Owning a Bernese Mountain Dog on a Budget

Owning these dogs can be quite expensive. They are large, which means that everything generally costs more. They’ll eat more food and need higher doses of medicine. Grooming can be more expensive due to their large size. It simply takes longer to brush their coat out because there is more of it.

Luckily, there are many expenses that are completely optional. You don’t have to take a Bernese Mountain Dog to a groomer as long as you keep up with regular brushing sessions. This can save you quite a bit of money.

Similarly, a dog walker is not necessary if you take the dog on walks yourself. This can save you hundreds a month, especially if the alternative is hiring a dog walker every day.

With that said, these dogs are still more expensive to care for than most. For this reason, we typically don’t recommend this breed for those who are on a strict budget.

Saving Money on Bernese Mountain Dog Care

When purchasing anything for this dog, we suggest buying it in bulk. They will finish that huge bag of dog food before it goes bad, so save some money by purchasing it. This may only save you a few dollars at a time, but it can add up over the years.

You should also purchase higher-quality items. Spending $50 on a toy that will withstand your dog’s jaws is going to cost less in the long run than a $15 that will be destroyed in a week. You may have to pay more upfront, but it will be worth it in the long run.

Bernese Mountain Dog lying on the ground
Image Credit: PublicDomainPictures, Pixabay

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Conclusion

This dog breed is quite expensive. The puppies themselves are not terribly expensive compared to other large breeds. This is generally because the demand is lower, which forces breeders to keep their prices lower. However, caring for these dogs is quite expensive.

Their larger size means you’ll be spending more in practically every category. You should plan on paying quite a bit for their food, as these dogs need to eat much more than other breeds. Because they weigh more, Bernese Mountain Dogs will need higher doses of medication. This can raise their vet bills substantially. They may also require more expensive surgeries, as an extra assistant is often necessary to lift the dog.

Luckily, there are a few costs that you can avoid. These dogs don’t need professional grooming, for instance, assuming that you’re brushing them regularly. Most don’t need professional training at all, especially if you have some experience with dogs. You can avoid hiring dog walkers by exercising the dog yourself.

All of these costs can lower your overall monthly bills down substantially.

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Featured Image Credit: uppfeldt, Pixabay