Scottish Terriers are little fun-sized dogs, but don’t let their diminutive stature fool you — they pack a ton of personality into a small package.
It’s understandable, then, that they would have so many fans and would be such a popular breed, but many people make the mistake of adopting one of these pups without really thinking about how much it will change their lives, especially in a financial sense.
Owning a dog is an expensive proposition, and some breeds are more expensive than others. If you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into ahead of time, you could find yourself in a financial bind down the road.
Here, we take a look at the typical costs associated with owning one of these dogs so you know what to expect.
Bringing Home a New Scottish Terrier: One-Time Costs
Any new dog will be expensive, but it costs more to get certain breeds through the door than others. Your acquisition costs will depend on which avenue you pursue, whether buying from a breeder or figuring out a way to adopt, but keep in mind that these avenues are different in many ways.
In the most basic sense, buying a dog from a breeder allows you to exchange money (possibly quite a bit of it) for the dog that you want, without having to spend days scouring pounds or contacting rescue groups. Dogs from breeders (reputable ones, anyway) are also more likely to have assurances as to their overall health.
Then again, if you adopt, you could save a poor dog’s life. It’s up to you, but just know that while you don’t have to spend much money to get a Scottish Terrier, it will certainly be easier if you do.
Finding a purebred Scottish Terrier for free is a bit of a long shot, but it can happen. It helps if you already know someone who owns or breeds the animals, as it’s unlikely that you’ll just happen across an opportunity like that by accident.
Even if you do find one for free, don’t tell yourself that it’s a “good deal.” It may be a great deal — for acquiring your new dog. However, even free dogs need food, medical care, supplies, etc. That great deal could end up being wildly expensive.
Many people will urge you to adopt a dog, and it’s hard to argue with them. Adoption gets unwanted dogs off the streets without having to put them down, and it’s significantly cheaper than going through a breeder.
However, if you have your heart set on a Scottish Terrier — and it has to be a purebred — then it’s going to be difficult to find one via adoption. Your best bet is to try to locate a dedicated terrier rescue group in your area, but even then it might take months of waiting, if you ever find one at all.
Your chances are even worse if you want a puppy. They’re hard to come by, and they’ll be significantly more expensive than an older dog.
The easiest way to find a Scottish Terrier is by locating a reputable breeder in your area. Of course, this is also the most expensive way, and some breeders are proud of their puppies, judging by the prices that they charge.
You should expect to pay, at minimum, around a thousand dollars for a Scottish Terrier puppy, and that’s if you’re planning to keep it as a pet. If you want to breed or show your dog and need premium genetics in order to do so, that number will go up significantly.
Beware of bargains on these dogs too. Prices that are too good to be true are usually the sign of a puppy mill and backyard breeder. Not only are these places unethical, but the dogs they produce are also much more likely to have significant health problems later in life.
Initial Setup and Supplies
Your initial costs will depend largely on whether you already have any dog supplies on hand. If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll find that there are quite a few items that you need to buy.
Even if you don’t have any dog gear that you can re-use, that doesn’t mean you have to pay premium prices for everything. You can find many things second-hand if you look hard enough, and sometimes there’s quite a disparity between the cost of a premium product and a cheaper competitor.
Bear in mind, though, that there are a few things that you don’t want to skimp on, like the bed. Some cheap supplies are cheap because they’ll fall apart quickly, while others are just as good as their higher-priced counterparts (although they may not be quite as attractive — but don’t worry, your dog won’t care).
List of Scottish Terrier 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 Scottish Terrier Cost Per Month?
$50-$150+ per month
Smaller dogs are generally less expensive to own than larger ones, and Scottish Terriers are no exception. The biggest monthly cost that most pet parents have is dog food, and these pups don’t (or at least shouldn’t) eat that much.
They’re also fairly healthy, which reduces the risk that you’ll have crippling vet bills to deal with at some point. However, just because the breed is healthy doesn’t mean your individual dog will be, so you’ll always be taking a bit of a risk by bringing any dog home.
$0-$100+ per month
Scotties are known for being a hardy breed, so it’s not likely that you’ll have many health care costs to deal with every month.
Unfortunately, though, when these dogs get sick, they tend to really get sick. Things like cancer, Von Willebrand’s disease, and neurological issues have all been known to plague the breed, and these can be expensive to treat.
$20-$75+ per month
Food is one area in which there can be a great disparity between the high-end estimate and the low-end one. However, be careful about trying to save money with cheap foods, as these are usually nowhere near as nutritious as some of their more expensive counterparts.
While feeding your dog a healthy diet can be more expensive in the short term, it could also potentially save you from having to shell out for pricey medical treatments down the line, so it’s an investment well worth making.
Look for a food with plenty of protein, fat, and fiber, and make sure the ingredients are high quality (as a general rule, if it sounds like it would be good for you, it’s probably also good for your dog). Avoid ingredients like animal by-products, corn, wheat, soy, and artificial colors and flavors.
$0-$50+ per month
Scottish Terriers are a fairly high-maintenance breed in terms of grooming. You’ll need to give them a thorough brushing several times a week, and they should get a full spa treatment (bath, shampoo, trim, etc.) every other month or so.
You can do all these things yourself, but it may be easier to pay a professional to do it. Don’t neglect their grooming, though, as their fur will become terribly matted if it’s not cared for regularly.
Medications and Vet Visits
$0-$50+ per month
Many owners try to save money by avoiding checkups — after all, if there’s nothing wrong with the dog, why waste money on a vet?
This can be a horrible mistake, though. Regular checkups are a great way to monitor your dog’s overall health, and the vet may be able to spot potential issues like cancer in the early stages, while the prognosis is still good and the treatment costs are relatively low.
You’ll also want to spend money on things like a flea and tick treatment and possibly supplements, all of which will vary in terms of price.
$20-$80+ per month
Pet insurance isn’t something that you have to have, but it can give you peace of mind to know that if something terrible happens to your dog, you won’t have to make a huge financial decision in a moment of great stress.
Rates will vary widely depending on where you live, your dog’s health background, and what kind of coverage you want. Many policies reward you for taking proactive care of your dog’s well-being, so signing up for one of those may be in the best interests of both you and your pup.
$0-$5 per month
There’s not much that’s needed in terms of environment maintenance for these dogs. You’ll need poop bags to pick up after them on walks, and that’s about it. If you have a house with a yard, you may also want to invest in a pooper scooper, but that’s a one-time expense.
$20-$50+ per month
Your dog will need entertainment, and spending money on toys will help prevent your pup from destroying your shoes or furniture.
You can buy toys one by one, or you can invest in a subscription box. These are services that will mail you a box of toys and accessories each month for a flat fee (usually between $20 and $50). They vary in terms of quality, so do your research before signing up for anything.
Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Scottish Terrier
$50-$150+ per month
Scotties are far from the most expensive breed of dog to own, but they can still be pricey to own. The good news is that by taking proper care of them, you can reduce the risk that your dog will need costly medical treatments or anything like that.
Additional Costs to Factor In
Any pet will have their fair share of unforeseen expenses, and Scottish Terriers are no exception in that regard.
Medical costs will be the biggest potential issue. This goes beyond typical diseases and conditions and includes things like emergency surgery after eating something that they shouldn’t have or care after an accident. These are unpredictable events but they’re also quite expensive.
You’ll also need someone to take care of your dog when you can’t. That could mean a dog walker, pet sitter, or doggy daycare, but you’ll want someone whom you can trust to look after your pup, and the good ones are usually expensive.
You may need to invest in dog training as well, especially if you’re not confident in your own abilities.
Owning a Scottish Terrier on a Budget
Scottish Terriers aren’t that expensive on a month-to-month basis, so there aren’t many ways to keep your costs down.
The biggest expense is usually food, but we urge you not to skimp on your pup’s kibble. Healthy food will go a long way toward creating a healthy dog, and that will likely pay off handsomely down the road in terms of avoiding vet bills.
The best and easiest way to keep your costs low is to substitute your time for your money. You can play with your dog rather than just giving them a new toy every week, and basic dog obedience training is relatively easy to learn, which can save you from having to hire a pro.
Saving Money on Scottish Terrier Care
These dogs aren’t prone to health issues, generally speaking, but much of that will depend on how well you take care of them. If you allow your dog to become overweight or don’t give them enough exercise, they’ll be much more likely to suffer from something horrible (and expensive).
You should also spend money on regular checkups, as these can keep you from having to drop a fortune on a serious illness that’s been allowed to grow out of control.
Scottish Terriers are wonderful dogs and they make fun and rewarding pets. While they’re far from the most expensive breed to own, you’ll still have various expenses to deal with, so don’t adopt one without first considering whether the animal will fit in your budget.
Their grooming costs are a bit higher than many other breeds, but they offset that by not eating that much and not being prone to debilitating health conditions. Beyond that, it’s ultimately an issue of what you’re willing to spend money on versus the things that you’re willing to skimp on.
Regardless of how much your Scottie costs you, we’re confident that you’ll agree that these spirited pups are worth every penny.
Featured Image Credit: Pavel Shlykov, Shutterstock
- Bringing Home a New Scottish Terrier: One-Time Costs
- List of Scottish Terrier Care Supplies and Costs
- How Much Does a Scottish Terrier Cost Per Month?
- Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Scottish Terrier
- Additional Costs to Factor In
- Owning a Scottish Terrier on a Budget