There are few dog breeds on this planet as instantly recognizable as the Bloodhound. With their hangdog face and droopy ears, these dogs are truly adorable, and given how powerful their noses are, they’re incredibly useful as well.
Owning a Bloodhound can be incredibly rewarding — emotionally, anyway. In terms of finances, they can be quite the drain on your pocketbook, so it’s worth asking yourself if you can actually afford one of these dogs before you bring them home.
This guide will break down the costs associated with Bloodhound ownership into categories, enabling you to see exactly where your money will be going (and where you might be able to save a few bucks).
It’s worth noting that many Bloodhounds are kept as working dogs, either by search-and-rescue teams, law enforcement, or just dedicated hunters. These dogs will be more expensive across the board, so for the purposes of this article, we focused on the costs associated with owning a Bloodhound as a pet, nothing more.
Bringing Home a New Bloodhound: One-Time Costs
Bloodhounds are so adorable that they can be impossible to resist when you’re given the opportunity to own one. However, if you’re not careful, a weak or impulsive moment can lead to years of heavy financial strain.
That’s not counting all the time and effort that one of these dogs requires. Don’t make a hasty or emotional decision, or else you could find yourself in an uncomfortable position for years to come.
If you live in certain parts of the country (specifically the South), you’ll find that Bloodhound ownership is quite common. It’s not unheard of, then, to be presented with the opportunity to adopt an unexpected pup from a friend or neighbor.
While this can save you money upfront, these savings will not counteract all the money that you’ll be spending on the dog throughout their life. Don’t accept the animal if you’re not in a position, both financially and otherwise, to care for them.
It can be possible to find a purebred Bloodhound at either a shelter or a rescue group, but that will generally depend on where you live (your chances are better in the South). These places will vary in terms of the adoption fees that they charge, and younger dogs are usually more expensive than older ones.
Rescue groups may be your best bet, and you might be able to find one that’s totally dedicated to Bloodhounds and similar dogs. If so, you can likely find the exact dog that you’re looking for; otherwise, you might have to take what you can get, and that means compromising on things like age or bloodline.
Keep in mind that if the dog required expensive medical care, you may be asked to pay for all or a portion of it as part of the adoption fee.
Going through a breeder is the easiest and most reliable way to find the perfect Bloodhound, but it’s also the most expensive. Keep in mind that the highest-priced dogs will be those with elite bloodlines that are intended for showing or breeding or those that have been bred (and likely already trained) to serve as tracking dogs.
In some places, there are enough breeders that competition will keep prices relatively low, but don’t get caught up in bargain shopping for your new dog. The lowest prices will likely come from unsavory characters like puppy mills or backyard breeders, and you don’t want to support those organizations.
Initial Setup and Supplies
There’s a surprising amount of stuff that every dog needs, and unless you already have some of the gear on hand, you’ll need to spend cash right out of the gate to get your pup properly equipped.
You can save money by shopping around and not opting for high-end merchandise, but be careful about seeking out deals. In some cases (like with dog beds or brushes), the pricier models are indeed worth it. In others (such as collars and bowls), the more expensive items are usually just prettier to look at, not necessarily more functional.
List of Bloodhound Care Supplies and Costs
|ID Tag and Collar||$10-$30|
|Nail Clipper (optional)||$7-$20|
|Food and Water Bowls||$10-$30+|
How Much Does a Bloodhound Cost Per Month?
- $75-$200+ per month
Bloodhounds are big dogs, and bigger dogs are more expensive to own and care for than smaller dogs. Food is one of the primary drivers of these costs, but the thing that can cripple you is medical care.
Fortunately, these dogs are relatively healthy, and many of their most expensive medical conditions can be avoided with proper care and management. If you can sidestep exorbitant vet bills, Bloodhound ownership can be quite manageable from a financial perspective.
- $15-$200+ per month
Most of the common ailments that befall Bloodhounds (such as bloat) are one-time events, so you shouldn’t necessarily need to include them in your monthly budget. However, they are prone to skin infections and similar ailments, so you might need to buy them special treatments for that.
Also, Bloodhounds love being outdoors, and they especially enjoy plunging into dense undergrowth, where fleas and ticks live. Giving them a monthly flea and tick treatment is essential.
Beyond that, all you have to worry about are semiannual checkups. However, if you get unlucky and your dog has a serious condition, these costs could skyrocket.
- $30-$100+ per month
Bloodhounds are big dogs, regularly tipping the scales at 100 pounds or more. As a result, they can pack away the kibble, so expect to buy a new bag every month or so.
Many people try to save money by feeding their dogs bargain-basement kibble, but we’d urge you not to do that. Cheap food is usually lacking in important nutrients (or filled with other stuff that you don’t want your dog eating), and poor diet can cause health issues down the line. It’s a perfect example of being penny wise and pound foolish.
- $0-$30+ per month
Bloodhounds don’t require much in the way of grooming, so you can easily handle it yourself without having to pay an outside person for help. They only need to be bathed when visibly dirty, and you only need to brush them once a week or so.
The important things are to trim their nails and brush their teeth. If you can handle both these tasks yourself, not only will you save on grooming costs, but you’ll also reduce the risk of expensive medical conditions developing down the line.
Medications and Vet Visits
- $20-$100+ per month
If you take good care of your dog, you may never need to pay for high-end medical treatments. There’s no guarantee of this, of course, as even the best-maintained pups can develop expensive conditions like cancer.
With Bloodhounds, the conditions that you most need to worry about are hip and elbow dysplasia and heart disease. You can lower your dog’s risk of these by keeping them at a healthy weight and providing them with plenty of exercise, as being obese and out of shape are terrible for their long-term health.
The breed is also prone to various eye conditions; while these shouldn’t be too expensive on their own, they may require periodic trips to the vet, and those can add up quickly.
- $40-$100+ per month
Pet insurance isn’t a requirement, and Bloodhounds are healthy enough that you might want to roll the dice without it. However, it can be a lifesaver (both literally and figuratively) if your dog needs emergency surgery.
Many people prefer to pay a set amount each month and have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that they’re protected against massive vet bills rather than deal with those situations as they arise. Ultimately, it’s entirely up to you and how comfortable you are with risk.
- $0-$50+ per month
Bloodhounds don’t need much in terms of environmental maintenance. All you really have to buy are poop bags for walks; however, most people who own these dogs have yards, so you may be able to just get a pooper scooper instead.
One area in which these dogs can cost you is fence maintenance. They have a reputation for being incredible escape artists, and when their noses pick up a scent, they may not be able to resist following it. You may need to patch and repair your fence periodically to ensure that your dog stays put.
- $20-$50+ per month
You won’t necessarily need to shower your Bloodhound with toys, but like every dog, they need a little entertainment every now and then. Chew toys and pull toys seem to be popular with the breed.
However, keep in mind that these dogs are nose-centered, so nothing will entertain them as much as the ability to get out and sniff around. A long walk can be way more fun than even the most expensive toy, and it’s completely free to do (not to mention healthy for both of you).
You can also hide treats and let your pup sniff them out; these dogs love games like that.
Total Monthly Cost of a Bloodhound
- $75-$200+ per month
Bloodhounds are great dogs, and they don’t have to be massively expensive to own. However, some costs are simply unavoidable, with food likely to be the biggest ongoing financial burden.
Beyond food, the biggest things that you have to worry about are medical expenses. Fortunately, though, you can avoid many of those simply by being a responsible pet parent.
Additional Costs to Factor In
There will always be unexpected expenses when you own a pet, and Bloodhounds are no different in that regard. Given the fact that they love to escape and follow scent trails, you may have to deal with medical costs associated with an injury, as they tend to lose all sense of their surroundings when their noses are in high gear.
You’ll also need a plan to take care of them when you’re not around. This could mean a pet sitter, dog walker, or boarding center. While these costs aren’t common enough to be monthly expenses, they can be considerable when they do arise, so plan accordingly.
Training is another area in which you may need to spend money. These dogs are notoriously stubborn and can be difficult to train. If you’re not up to the task, you’ll have to call in a professional, and they are not free.
Having a Bloodhound on a Budget
Bloodhounds aren’t expensive dogs to own, so there aren’t many ways to reduce your monthly costs.
Given that food costs will likely be your biggest expense, you may be tempted to switch your dog to a cheap food, but we urge you against doing that. Pricier foods are usually better, and that means they have more of the nutrition that your dog needs to stay healthy, which can save you from sizable vet bills later.
If you’re dead-set on cutting costs, though, remember that you can always substitute your time and attention for things like new toys, professional trainers, etc. By doing some of these things yourself, not only will you save money, but you’ll also strengthen the bond that you have with your pooch.
Saving Money on Bloodhound Care
The best way to save money on health care costs for your Bloodhound is to not require health care at all. You can’t guarantee that will be the case, of course, but you can drastically improve your odds by feeding them a healthy diet, giving them plenty of exercise, and taking them in for regular checkups.
Going to the vet twice a year or so may seem like an unnecessary expense if your dog is healthy, but this will enable your doctor to keep an eye on your pup’s condition, as they may spot potential issues while they’re in the early stages (and are relatively cheap to treat).
Bloodhounds are great dogs, and they can be wonderful companions without also being expensive dates. All it takes is a little proactive effort on your part, and you can likely own one of these animals for over 10 years without ever going into debt as a result.
However, you will need to spend money on food each month, as these dogs can really put away the groceries. You’ll also need to be careful not to overfeed them, as obesity is one of the leading causes of health issues for the breed.
If you’re a responsible pet parent, though, there’s a good chance that you can avoid some of the most expensive issues that the breed is known to encounter. That means you can have a happy, healthy dog — and a happy and healthy bank account.
Featured Image Credit: Anna Tronova, Shutterstock
- Bringing Home a New Bloodhound: One-Time Costs
- List of Bloodhound Care Supplies and Costs
- How Much Does a Bloodhound Cost Per Month?
- Total Monthly Cost of a Bloodhound
- Additional Costs to Factor In
- Having a Bloodhound on a Budget