Some people like small little dogs that are fully capable of sitting in their laps. Others like larger dogs, ones with real heft to them. Still others like huge dogs that also insist on sitting in their laps.
For those last people, Great Danes are the ideal dogs.
These pups are truly massive, occasionally tipping the scales at 200 pounds. But they believe that they’re every bit a lap dog as your average Chihuahua, and they have no problem ignoring your groans of pain as they help themselves to your personal bubble.
Great Danes are wonderful animals, but have you ever wondered how much it would cost to own one?
If so, this guide will break down all the costs associated with Great Dane ownership.
Bringing Home a New Great Dane: One-Time Costs
Bringing home any new pet is an expensive proposition, especially if you’re starting from scratch in terms of gear. Great Danes are no different, but unlike many other animals, your costs might not go down too much after your initial expenditure.
Due to the breed’s popularity, they can be expensive to purchase, and since they will grow a massive amount from the time that they’re puppies until they’re fully mature, many of the things that you buy the day that you bring them home will soon need to be replaced.
Great Danes are wonderful dogs, but make no mistake, they’re expensive dogs too.
If you know someone who owns a Great Dane, the time may come when they ask you, “Hey, would you like a free puppy?”
A word of warning: If you don’t want a puppy, do not look at one. There’s nothing cuter than a Great Dane puppy.
However, a free dog won’t be free for long. While getting a dog without having to pay for them will save you money in the short term, in the long run, you’ll still need to drop a considerable amount of money on this new dog.
All of this is to say that free dogs aren’t cheap.
While not as cheap as a free dog, getting a Great Dane through the pound or a rescue group will still be considerably less expensive than going through a breeder (and you have the bonus of saving an innocent life).
Generally speaking, you’ll have to drop a couple hundred bucks on adopting one of these dogs. Those costs might go up if you want a puppy, or they may even go down if you’re bringing home a senior dog.
However, for many people, it’s not the cost that prevents them from adopting a Great Dane — it’s the fact that purebred Great Danes are incredibly hard to find in pounds and shelters.
If you want to go this route, your best bet is likely to find a large breed rescue and see if they can help you. You might need to wait a few months for them to get a Great Dane, and you might have to forgo your dreams of bringing home a puppy, but it is possible to adopt a Great Dane rather than buy from a breeder.
The easiest way to get your hands on a purebred Great Dane (especially if you want a puppy) is to go through a reputable breeder. Given how popular the breed is, though, don’t expect this to be cheap.
The cost of one of these puppies can skyrocket if you want one with premium bloodlines that you can show or breed. If you’re just looking for a pet, the cost of a Great Dane will still be near $1,000 in most cases, but that’s much better than the exorbitant fees required by breeders whose dogs have papers to back up their lineage.
Make sure you check out any breeder thoroughly before buying from them, though. You can make a great deal of money selling Great Danes, a fact that has not been lost on backyard breeders and puppy mills.
Not only are those operations unethical because they horribly mistreat their dogs, but the animals that come out of them are also prone to more health problems than the ones that are raised responsibly. Great Danes are already expensive as it is — you don’t need to make them even more so.
Initial Setup and Supplies
These costs can vary wildly, depending on what your initial setup consists of.
The main thing that would drive up the cost is if you need to have medical procedures performed, like spaying or neutering the dog or checking them out for other health conditions.
If you’re adopting your Great Dane through a shelter, these costs may be provided for free or lumped into the adoption fees. You may also be able to find discounted procedures through the shelter, or you can find vets in your area that perform low-cost surgical clinics at certain times of the year.
Another positive of getting your dog from the pound is that they’ll often provide the first round (or more) of vaccinations for you. That can save you $100 or more in some cases.
The downside, though, is that your dog is more likely to be exposed to conditions like kennel cough or certain parasites. If the pound doesn’t treat those problems, doing so will fall to you, and that means at least one expensive vet visit.
List of Great Danes Care Supplies and Costs
|ID Tag and Collar||$10-$30|
|Nail Clipper (optional)||$7-$15|
|Waste Disposal Bags||$5-$20|
|Food and Water Bowls||$10-$30|
How Much Does a Great Dane Cost Per Month?
- $75-$200+ per month
These dogs will eat you out of house and home, and if you want to keep them healthy (in order to keep future vet bills down), you’ll need to feed them a high-quality dog food. The food alone could cost well over $100 a month.
They’ll need other things as well: toys to play with and chew on (especially if you value your furniture), flea and tick treatment, and perhaps even supplements to help with things like joint problems.
You’ll soon find out that everything is more expensive for giant breeds. Their toys are bigger and cost more, they need higher doses of vaccines and other treatments, and their beds cost roughly as much as your own.
The bottom line is that owning a Great Dane isn’t a good choice if you’re already strapped for cash. These dogs will put a serious dent in your monthly budget, and while they’re worth every penny, they will certainly cost you a great many pennies.
- $60-$200+ per month
While Great Danes might look invincible, the unfortunate truth is that they’re quite fragile, medically speaking. These dogs are prone to a few health care costs over their tragically short lives.
The first year will bring a few heavy expenses, especially if you’re paying for surgeries. The dog will need frequent checkups and vaccines, and those add up.
The costs will also increase in their senior years. Great Danes are prone to various health conditions, and they’re clumsy and prone to eating things they shouldn’t. Expect at least one surprise emergency vet visit a year, and there may be quite a few appointments for ongoing health issues as well.
The years between the first and the last can be a bit of a grab bag. Some dogs are remarkably healthy through most of their adult lives, while others can be quite sickly. We can’t tell you whether you’ll luck out with a (relatively) cheap Great Dane or if you’ll end up with an adorable money pit.
- $75-$200+ per month
A Great Dane will eat as much food as they can get their teeth into. Even if you buy them bargain-basement kibble, they’ll still eat enough to put a dent in your bank account.
We strongly recommend that you not feed them cheap food, however. The cheap food that you’ll find at grocery stores and similar places is lacking in some of the vital nutrients that these dogs need to stay healthy, and the money that you save in the short term will likely be eaten up (and then some) when your dog needs health care down the road.
Don’t give your Great Dane all the food that they can eat either. These dogs need to have their weight strictly managed, as being overweight is horrible for them. It can shorten their (already short) lifespan and put more stress on joints that are prone to having issues as it is.
- $0-$35+ per month
This is one of the few areas in which a Great Dane won’t actively be trying to bankrupt you.
They have short, manageable coats, and while you can always take them to a groomer, it’s not necessary. You can easily brush them at home a few times a week, and they don’t need much more maintenance beyond that.
Bathing only needs to happen once or twice a year, if that. Their nails should be trimmed regularly, but you may be able to skip doing that if you take them for long walks regularly, as that will file their claws down.
You should brush their teeth several times a week at least. Dental issues are a huge cause of medical problems in dogs, so keeping their teeth healthy will save you a ton of money over time.
Medications and Vet Visits
- $10-$100+ per month
Your dog should go to the vet at least twice a year for routine checkups. While this may seem like an unnecessary expense, especially if the dog is otherwise healthy, these checkups allow your vet to monitor their condition and catch illnesses early, while they’re still treatable.
Your Great Dane will likely need a few monthly medications, such as a heartworm pill and flea and tick treatment. If they have a chronic health issue, you’ll have to factor the cost of that medication into the total too.
Many owners choose to give their dogs health supplements, with glucosamine being especially popular. This isn’t necessary by any means, but if doing so staves off more serious health issues down the road, supplements might be well worth the cost. Don’t expect those pills to be any sort of substitute for a healthy diet and regular exercise, though.
- $40-$150+ per month
Pet insurance companies know how expensive Great Danes are.
As a result, expect your premiums to be extremely high, even if you have a young, healthy dog. Great Danes are prone to expensive medical problems, and your insurer will want to protect themselves from having to cover a litany of costly procedures.
That’s not to say that it’s not worth it, however. While it may be cheaper to just set aside some money yourself every month in case of emergencies, most people won’t do that, and for many people, it’s much easier to pay a set amount every month than to suddenly need to come up with several grand to cover an emergency surgery.
- $10-$50+ per month
The biggest expense in terms of environmental maintenance is likely to be chew toys. Great Danes are powerful chewers, and you want to make sure their destructive urges are focused on toys rather than shoes or furniture.
Not all chew toys are created equal, though. Some will last for months while others will be destroyed as soon as they hit the floor, and price isn’t always a guarantee of quality.
Beyond that, the only things that you’ll really need to be concerned about are poop bags for walks. You may not need to worry about that very often, though, if you have a yard that your dog will use instead. In that case, a one-time investment into a pooper scooper will be all that’s necessary.
|Waste Disposal Bags||$5/month|
- $20-$50+ per month
Great Danes are goofy, playful animals, and they love messing around with toys. They can rip a toy to shreds in seconds as well, so providing them with a steady supply of entertainment options can get expensive fast.
Fortunately, there’s an easy way to keep your toy budget low: by giving them your attention instead. These dogs love to run around and wrestle, and you can have plenty of free fun with them. Cheap toys, like pull ropes, can provide hours of entertainment, so long as you’re involved.
You could also invest in a monthly toy subscription. These services will send you a box of toys and other goodies each month for a set fee, and some are targeted toward large breeds or powerful chewers. It’s a great way to ensure that your dog is always entertained without having to remember to go to the pet store.
Keep in mind, though, that Great Danes shouldn’t participate in high-impact activities, like running, jumping, or climbing stairs, as this will put too much stress on their joints.
Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Great Danes
- $150-$300+ per month
Great Danes are expensive friends to have. Food will be your primary expense (unless the dog has medical issues, of course), and it’s one cost that you shouldn’t try to skimp on.
Beyond that, your monthly costs will depend on what you’re willing to buy for your dog, as well as how lucky you are in terms of having a healthy pooch.
Additional Costs to Factor In
There will always be surprise expenses. That’s true with any dog but it’s especially true with Great Danes.
You’ll need a pet sitter when you go on vacation and possibly a dog walker if you’re not home during the day.
Great Danes can be incredibly destructive, especially as puppies, so expect to have to replace at least a few shoes. They’re also known for obliterating their beds, so don’t be surprised if you go through a few of those.
Given how massive these pups are, training is essential. You can do it yourself for free, of course, but if your dog has problems, you may need a pro. You don’t want to have an uncontrollable 200-pound dog on your hands, after all.
These pups are also notorious counter-surfers, so expect them to grab something that they shouldn’t while you’re making dinner every now and then. If you don’t have to spend a few hundred dollars on emergency vet visits to see if that dishtowel they ate is blocking their intestines, consider yourself lucky.
Owning a Great Danes on a Budget
It’s difficult to responsibly own a Great Dane on a budget. In fact, it may be impossible.
That’s not to say that you can’t save money here and there. Over time, though, owning one of these dogs will be expensive.
You can always buy cheap food and eschew toys, but those strategies can backfire spectacularly. The cheap food could lead to expensive medical conditions, and your dog might choose to play fetch with the dining room table instead of a tennis ball.
The best advice we can give is that if you’re on a strict budget, you might want to consider a less money-intensive breed.
Saving Money on Great Danes Care
It’s almost a foregone conclusion that a Great Dane will need pricey medical care at some point. You may be able to save money by going to low-cost clinics whenever possible, but that may not be an option if your pup needs emergency medical care.
Your best bet in terms of saving money on health care is to feed them a high-quality kibble, provide them with plenty of exercise, and take them to the vet for regular checkups. This kind of preventative maintenance can save you a bundle later in the dog’s life.
Even so, you’ll likely have to shell out for health care at one point or another. It’s just the cost of owning one of these magnificent dogs.
Great Danes are fantastic animals and make affectionate and lovable pets. It’s not hard to see why the breed has enjoyed such enduring popularity over the years.
They’re not cheap to own, though. This breed is one of the most expensive to both purchase and care for, so owning one isn’t for those who are struggling to make ends meet. You’ll need to have a sizable bit of monthly disposable income to attend to all their needs.
Featured Image Credit: mtajmr, Pixabay
- Bringing Home a New Great Dane: One-Time Costs
- List of Great Danes Care Supplies and Costs
- How Much Does a Great Dane Cost Per Month?
- Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Great Danes
- Additional Costs to Factor In
- Owning a Great Danes on a Budget