Is a Great Dane your dream dog? You may be looking at this giant breed and rightly wondering “How much does a Great Dane cost?”
It’s a good place to begin because, without exaggerating, getting and keeping a Great Dane will be a costly exercise.
Of course, all the expense doesn’t happen at once – after your initial investment in a Great Dane puppy, costs will be spread across their lifespan.
Nevertheless, although you’re sure to adore your Great Dane once you have it, you’ll want to consider the financial commitment you’ll be letting yourself in for.
Of course, if you love Great Danes, price may not be at the top of your mind.
You’ll be looking forward to that outsize bundle of love you’re hoping to add to your family, and dreaming of the good times you can enjoy together.
Nevertheless, it helps to be prepared for costs. Let’s take a look at what that might consist of.
How Much Is A Great Dane Puppy?
Brace yourself: Great Dane puppies are anything but cheap. Expect to find the Great Dane price pegged at anything between $1000 and $3000 US dollars.
Be very careful about choosing lower-priced pups. They might not be the “bargain” you think them to be – and buying one might encourage unethical breeding practices.
So, what might make a Great Dane puppy cheap?
Cross-Bred Great Dane
There could be many reasons for a low price tag, beginning with the possibility that it isn’t a pedigreed animal and may even be a cross-breed.
That isn’t necessarily the end of the world. Cross-breeds are often healthier and longer-lived, but the seller should be very clear about their puppies’ mixed lineage.
Signs Of Present Or Future Ill-Health
More disturbingly, a low-priced Great Dane puppy may have failed health screenings.
If so, it’s likely to develop health issues that will cause both your dog and your pocketbook a great deal of pain.
Doesn’t Qualify For Breed Standard Or Poor Example Of Breed Standard
A Great Dane puppy that doesn’t meet breed standards might or might not be a problematic choice.
If you don’t care about winning awards in dog shows, you might decide that you don’t mind having a “substandard” puppy.
But, you should enquire why the puppy doesn’t meet the breed standard.
It may simply be a matter of color or the arrangement of markings on the puppy’s coat. In that case, you might be looking at a perfectly healthy and (in your eyes) good-looking puppy.
But do be aware of Great Dane puppies that are white or mostly white. Low pigmentation means that your dog will need to be protected from harsh sun and may be more prone to blindness, deafness, or cancer.
The bottom line? Always check why the puppy is cheap and always ask for health screening results.
It Comes From A “Puppy Mill”
You’ve probably read about so-called “puppy mills” before – and it doesn’t make for pleasant reading.
Puppy mills are run by unscrupulous people who don’t care about things that should matter to you – like the health of the parents and the conditions in which they are kept.
Although many puppy mills are able to stay on the right side of the law, they’ll literally breed the females to death.
Litter after litter without a rest can take a dramatic toll on their dogs’ lives. Meanwhile, the dogs from which they breed are not pets.
They’re kept like farm animals because that’s exactly what they are to their owners.
Unlike real farm animals, dogs are deeply intelligent and have a great need for social structure, making this a cruel practice.
To crown it all, these “breeders” couldn’t care much about quality, so they may be breeding Great Danes with health issues.
And, since they just want to make the maximum out of money with the lowest investment of time, they won’t begin the all-important puppy socialization process when they should.
Always visit breeders offering Great Dane puppies for sale in person so that you can evaluate whether their dogs are being treated as a valued part of the family.
Engage in conversation to gauge whether the breeder is really passionate about the Great Dane as a breed and takes pride in their work.
It’s A Rescue Great Dane
Rescues are always cheaper than purpose-bred puppies, and you might be in luck if you find rescued dogs or puppies for sale. At the same time, you might want to look into why the dog ended up in a shelter.
The reason could be innocuous: for example, the owner passed away. Or, there could be more sinister problems like expensive health issues.
Then, there’s the possibility that the dog has been mistreated. Don’t get us wrong: it’s possible to rehabilitate a dog with an unpleasant history – but it may take a lot of time and patience to do so.
Even then, your rescue Great Dane may be left with personality quirks that make them a challenging pet.
Fortunately for you, shelters are usually honest and open in sharing as much as they know about rescue dogs’ past lives and current health status.
Should You Choose A Very Expensive Great Dane Puppy?
Having read this far, you might be wondering whether you should just opt for the most expensive Great Dane puppy you can find.
After all, people who are selling Great Dane puppies for so much money must surely be keeping their dogs in the lap of luxury and breeding from the very best stock.
If you can afford it, you can certainly consider it – but it may be a case of you getting a much more expensive puppy than you actually need.
Typically, the most expensive Great Dane puppies are bred from famous champions.
That might seem attractive to you if you’re looking forward to participating in dog shows and hope to breed Great Danes yourself. But, there are no guarantees that the offspring of champion dogs will become champs in their own right.
True story: my mother was a registered dog breeder, and she invested in a gorgeous (and very expensive) puppy bred from an imported sire.
At first, he was doing really well at puppy shows, but as he grew, some purely cosmetic “breed faults” became apparent.
Fortunately, my mom loved the dog anyway, but she might have saved herself a lot of money if she hadn’t been so ambitious in her choice of puppy.
The bottom line? By all means, choose a costly puppy – but don’t expect your choice to result in a champ and be ready to love your Great Dane even if they aren’t going to win any prizes.
Great Dane Price: Consider Other Costs Too
So far, you may have decided that you’re quite comfortable with how much a Great Dane puppy costs.
Since you’re up for this initial investment, you are likely to feel that the cost of keeping a Great Dane is well within your means. All the same, it’s worth knowing what you’re letting yourself in for before you commit.
Treating Great Danes Is More Expensive
If you’re a reasonably experienced dog owner, you might think that you have a fair idea of what routine veterinary costs will add up to.
But, think again – unless you are basing your assumption on your experiences with another large breed dog.
That’s because body mass determines the cost of things like medications and anesthesia. The bigger and heavier the animal, the more it needs, and the more it will cost you.
Vaccine costs depend on the vaccination program recommended for the area in which you live. In the US, only rabies vaccines are mandatory – but your veterinarian is likely to recommend additional vaccines.
These cover some truly dreadful dog illnesses that can permanently harm your dog or kill them in unpleasant ways.
Listen to what your veterinarian suggests and think carefully about the potential consequences of trying to economize.
The cost per vaccine? Expect anything between $25 and $75 per shot.
Spaying Or Neutering
Unless you’re planning to breed with your Great Dane, spaying or neutering are highly recommended for health reasons. It’s also good for your peace of mind.
Managing a male dog when any female dogs for miles around are in heat can be challenging. If your male Great Dane escapes, there are many dangers including dog fights, traffic, and even the chance that someone may try to steal your dog.
As for managing female Great Danes in heat, that’s even tougher.
Always consult your veterinarian about the right time to spay your dog and discuss the health implications of the procedure.
The cost? It can be hard to pin down because individual factors come into play. These range from your veterinarian’s cost structure to the possibility of complications.
To neuter a Great Dane, you’ll need anything from $30 to $500. Chances are that unless you use a non-profit, it will be on the higher end of the scale.
Spays are much more complex than neutering, so expect this to cost more. Pricing varies greatly, even among private veterinary clinics.
Is cheaper better? In general, we would recommend building a relationship with a well-reputed veterinarian and sticking with them throughout your dog’s life.
High-quality care is likely to come at a higher price, but would you want less for your Great Dane?
Bloat is a leading cause of death among giant dog breeds, and it’s one of the top reasons why a Great Dane might die at a younger age than it otherwise might.
As a result, you might want to consider an additional surgery that prevents bloat to be done when your Great Dane is under anesthesia for spaying or neutering.
Don’t know much about bloat? The simple explanation of this danger is that the stomach twists out of position blocking off blood flow to other vital organs.
Weigh this one up with the help of your veterinarian – there are pros and cons to any form of surgery, and they’ll be able to talk you through the finer points.
If you do opt for a preventative gastropexy, it will set you back anything from $500 to $1500.
Routine Health Checks
If your Great Dane is in good health, the routine health check shouldn’t cost you more than it would for any other breed of dog.
However, if your veterinarian spots something that gives them cause for concern, there are likely to be extras to pay for.
For example, your dog may need blood work or other medical tests. This can escalate costs fairly rapidly – and since treatment of any illnesses will prolong your dog’s life, you probably aren’t going to refuse them.
Ticks, fleas, and heartworms: these are all nasty parasites that you’ll have to keep your dog protected from.
And, of course, there’s the matter of deworming. As with other medications, your Great Dane will need bigger doses of the medicines that keep parasites at bay.
Follow the parasite prevention routine your veterinarian recommends and expect it to cost as much as $500 every year.
Treatment Of Any Illnesses Or Pet Health Insurance
Despite your best efforts, there’s always a chance that your Great Dane will fall ill and require anything from meds to major surgery.
If you’re already becoming concerned about the cost of the veterinary care a healthy dog should get, consider getting pet insurance.
Do expect medical costs to rise towards the end of your Great Dane’s life. There’s a lot you can do to keep an older dog comfortable, but the chances of arthritis and heart issues rise as your Great Dane ages.
Cost Of Feeding A Great Dane
You probably guessed that Great Danes eat a lot more than smaller dogs do – and that comes at a cost. The cost of feeding depends on what you feed your dog.
Kibble is usually a staple and it’s the cheapest option – even when you choose the higher-priced brands.
Choose pet food that veterinarians are willing to recommend and expect the cost of a kibble-based diet to be around $2000 per year.
Besides all the things we’ve discussed so far, your Great Dane needs a few extra things of his own.
At the very least, these will be a collar and leash and food and water bowls. But, you’re likely to want to throw in a few extras: grooming supplies, a doggie bed (outsized), some toys, and if you want one, a crate – necessarily, a large one!
Your Home And Car
Never lose sight of the fact that in choosing a Great Dane, you’re getting a gigantic dog. That has two practical implications. Firstly, they will need a large, dog-proof yard.
You can get around having a smaller yard, but the dog-proofing might still be expensive if your home is currently unfenced.
If your yard is small, you’ll have to commit to more regular dog walking and have access to places where your dog will be safe off the leash.
Keeping a puppy can have unexpected costs. That itchy-mouthed teething time means chewed-up items, and few puppy owners won’t have lost a few things to a playful, mouthy puppy.
And, since Great Danes are so big, you can expect bigger damage, sometimes to larger items.
You’ve probably seen the kind of disasters one can come home to after leaving a puppy alone at home for a couple of hours. Chewed up couch anyone?
Then, there’s the question of transport, which you’ll need for vet visits and outings with your dog.
Fortunately, you won’t need a massive truck – a regular-sized car should be fine – but if your runaround is a compact car, you might need to rethink.
Here’s one thing that won’t cost more just because you have a Great Dane: dog training.
Great Danes are good learners and should do well at puppy and dog school. Even if you have trained dogs yourself before, it’s better not to shirk this cost.
Apart from learning valuable lessons in obedience, dog training classes are a great opportunity for your Great Dane to become comfortable with other dogs and people.
And since these are remarkably powerful dogs, that training and socialization practice could save you from very difficult and potentially dangerous situations when out with your dog.
See dog training as a fun and valuable experience for you and your dog. Costs vary depending on your choice of trainer and the distance you’ll travel to get to class.
Your First Great Dane? Worth Every Cent – If You Can Afford It
If the costs of getting and keeping a Great Dane look like they’re going to be budget-breakers, it may not be time for you to get a Great Dane puppy yet.
Before you start gazing into any puppy eyes (after which you’ll be lost) think long and hard about the practicalities that go with keeping a Great Dane.
Be realistic about what you can afford in doggie care – and keep a comfortable margin of safety so that you have enough left over for household and family costs.
It will be tragic for you and your pet if you get a Great Dane only to find that you need to re-home it because you’re struggling to afford its upkeep.
However, if you’re comfortable with a giant-sized pet budget for a giant-sized dog, your Great Dane ownership experience will be an enviable one.
Regal, and imposing-looking, Great Danes are gentle and affectionate dogs- and if you’re ready to be a great pet owner, the two of you will have a very special relationship.