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How Much Does a Portuguese Water Dog Cost? (2021 Price Guide)

Portuguese Water Dogs come from Portugal and are likely the descendants of dogs used by fishermen for centuries. The breed was almost extinct by the 1970s, however, the formation of the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America helped spread interest in saving and breeding these dogs.

The Portuguese Water Dog is a wonderful companion for an active family. They will need a significant investment of your time and attention. This breed is also prone to some health conditions that can increase the cost of their veterinary care. Keep reading to learn more about the cost of keeping these beautiful dogs.

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Bringing Home a New Portuguese Water Dog: One-Time Costs

Like any pet, a Portuguese Water Dog is a serious investment. They are a relatively rare breed so they can be difficult to find. Their tendency to have genetic health conditions also contributes to the high price of buying a puppy. Good breeders will have extensive testing done on the parents to ensure that they don’t have any genetic conditions that can be inherited by the puppies.

Portuguese Water Dog
Image Credit: susan lipschutz, Pixabay

Free

Because they are a rare and inexpensive breed, it is highly unlikely you will find someone giving away a Portuguese Water Dog for free. You should always be wary of people giving away pets for free as there is a chance the animal is sick or stolen.

Adoption

  • $200–$800

It is more likely that you will find an adult Portuguese Water Dog for adoption through a rescue than in a shelter. These dogs have significant exercise and training needs and often people will misjudge these needs before bringing one home. This is where rescue organizations step in to help rehome these dogs.

Breeder

  • $2,000–$3,000

Portuguese Water Dog puppies purchased from a breeder come with a high price tag. This is due to their rarity and the testing needed to ensure that the parents are healthy.

Some of the genetic diseases these dogs are prone to don’t appear until after they are 2-3 years old. It is recommended that you research the breeder to ensure they aren’t breeding their dogs until they are past this age and genetic disorders are more likely to be apparent.

Initial Setup and Supplies

  • $740–$1,625

After you purchase or adopt your new Portuguese Water Dog, you’ll have to spend quite a bit on initial supplies. The final cost of getting your dog set up in their new home will vary depending on your location, veterinarian, and the supplies you select.

portuguese water dog
Image Credit: Zadranka, Shutterstock

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List of Portuguese Water Dog Care Supplies and Costs

License and Registration $10-$20
Spay/Neuter $100-$200
Puppy Shots Cost $75-$100
Initial Vet Visit Cost $100-$300
Microchip $45-$55
Teeth Cleaning $100-$300
Bed $30-$40
Nail Clipper $6-$10
Brush $12-$30
Leash and Harness $20-$25
Puppy Behavior Classes $150-$400
Toys $30-$50
Crate $50-$80
Food and Water Bowls $15

How Much Does a Portuguese Water Dog Cost Per Month?

  • $170–$560 per month

Portuguese Water Dogs are not cheap to own. Along with initial acquisition and set-up costs, you can expect to spend money each month on their care. These dogs have some high-maintenance care needs as well as the potential for higher veterinary bills

Health Care

  • $145–$500 per month

The health care costs for your Portuguese Water Dog can range quite a bit. The amount you pay monthly will depend on the health of your dog. Frequent veterinary visits will push the cost to the higher end of the range.

Food

  • $75–$100 per month

While the exact amount of food your dog needs will vary depending on their age and activity level, most Portuguese Water Dogs will eat between 2.5 and 3.5 cups of food each day. You’ll want to discuss the best food options for your dog with your veterinarian.

Grooming

  • $10–$100 per month

The Portuguese Water Dog sheds very little for a dog with such long hair. However, they need to be brushed regularly to prevent knots. If their coat isn’t properly cared for, you’ll need to pay a groomer to help detangle it. You’ll also need to keep your dog’s teeth clean and clip their nails regularly.

Medications and Vet Visits

  • $15–$200 per month

Medication and veterinary care costs can vary from month to month. A few things you will want to budget for include heartworm pills and taurine supplements. Portuguese Water Dogs are one of a handful of breeds prone to a heart condition that weakens the heart. Taurine supplements are used to strengthen the heart muscle.

Pet Insurance

  • $45–$100 per month

The actual cost of pet insurance will vary depending on where you live and the breed of your dog. Because they are prone to some serious health conditions, the cost of insurance may be higher for the Portuguese Water Dog. However, it is a worthy investment that will help pay for medical expenses.

Environment Maintenance

  • $15–$20 per month

You’re going to want to spend a lot of time outside with your Portuguese Water Dog. They love being outside and need a bunch of exercise. Extra towels will help when you need to dry them off after swimming. State or other local park passes will give your dog room to romp around.

Biodegradable Poop Bags $5/month
Park Pass $5-$10/month
Towels $5/month

Entertainment

  • $20–$40 per month

Portuguese Water Dogs need constant attention and stimulation. Without it, they’ll become bored and destructive. These dogs tend to chew, so you’ll need to provide them with chew toys.

They are also very smart, so puzzle toys are great options to keep them physically and mentally stimulated.

A monthly subscription box might also be a good choice for a Portuguese Water Dog. This will ensure they get new things to play with every month to keep them busy and entertained.

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Total Monthly Cost of a Portuguese Water Dog

  • $170–$560 per month

The monthly cost of a Portuguese Water Dog can be very high. You’ll need to make sure your family can make this kind of financial commitment before purchasing a dog. Doing so will save you a lot of heartache and stress in the future.

Additional Costs to Factor In

Along with the previously listed monthly costs of owning a Portuguese Water Dog, there are other things you’ll want to consider for the health and happiness of your pet. These dogs don’t do well if left on their own. They need human companionship so doggy daycare might be necessary for working pet parents.

Portuguese Water Dogs are also excellent at agility courses. If you have the time and financial ability to invest in agility training, your dog will most likely love it. It’s also a great way to bond with your pup.

Having a Portuguese Water Dog On a Budget

There is no way to get around the fact that the Portuguese Water Dog is a costly pet. However, there are some ways you can save money on their care. The most important factor in the cost of your pet is going to be their health.

While you can’t predict all health conditions, making sure you are getting your dog from a reputable breeder and providing your dog with plenty of exercise are good steps.

You can also look into low-cost spay and neuter clinics to save on the price of surgery. Some veterinarians will also offer bundles for puppy shots and other preventative care that can save you a little money.

Saving Money on Portuguese Water Dog Care

Spending time with your dog is free and will make the Portuguese Water Dog very happy. While they will enjoy agility training, it isn’t necessary. Investing in park passes for long hikes and swims is a budget-friendly way to keep your dog happy and active.

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Conclusion

The Portuguese Water Dog is a pet that requires a big financial commitment. You should do your homework before bringing one of these lovable, active pups into your family to make sure you have the financial resources to give them the care they need.

Keeping your dog active is a must for their physical and mental health. The lifetime cost of veterinary care may be quite high, so you should invest in pet insurance to ease the stress of an unexpected vet bill. However, if you can meet their needs, you’d have a tough time finding a friendlier or more loyal dog for your family.

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Featured Image Credit: Brook Robinson, Shutterstock