A German Shepherd comes with several expenses that a future owner will want to budget. This includes vet fees, training costs, food-related expenses, supplies, grooming and much more. To help with financial planning as a family welcomes a German Shepherd into their home, we have designed a detailed cost calculator.
A German Shepherd puppy is likely to cost between $450-$1,900 with the average price being $800. First-year expenses are around $3,815 and will be about $1,765/year (or $147/month) after that. Through the dog’s lifetime, the average cost of owning a German Shepherd is $17,935.
These figures account for essential expenses, such as supplies, training, medical costs, food, treats, grooming costs, license, microchip, and the like. Additionally, optional costs like insurance or dog walking services are not included. If you spay/neuter your dog, enroll in a pet insurance plan, use a boarding facility for one week every year and require a dog walker every week day for 50 weeks of the year, the total cost of ownership is likely to rise to the $46,975 to $98,770 range. The higher end of the price range is applicable for better quality products and services, particularly if you are living in expensive areas, with the lower end of the spectrum indicating prices in less expensive areas.
Below, we delve into these different costs, offer professional opinions from a dog trainer, two veterinarians, a dog groomer as well as a dog walker and share tips on saving as you raise your German Shepherd. At the bottom, you will also find a cost calculator that lets you apply your unique situation and requirements to generate a much more accurate, personalized estimate of the cost of owning and raising a German Shepherd.
If you are serious about adopting or buying this breed, keep reading this article as we filled it with useful information. To know more about one subject specifically, use the quick links below.
If this short answer is enough for now and you would like to compare the cost with other breeds, you can either visit our All Breeds (A-Z) page or use the following links.
- Puppy Cost
- Supplies Cost
- Training Cost (dog trainer’s opinion)
- Medical Cost (veterinarian’s opinion)
- Food Cost
- Grooming Cost (groomer’s opinion)
- Other Costs (dog walker’s opinion)
- Total Cost
- PetBudget Cost Calculator
How much are German Shepherd puppies?
After reviewing over 2,000 ads across numerous sources that include the American Kennel Club and PuppyFind, our team found the cost of a German Shepherd to range from $450 to $1,900, with over 80% of the puppies under 6 month of age for sale falling within this range. This puts the average cost at $800. The most expensive purebreds with documents are sold for over $10,000.
|Puppy Cost||Range||Average Cost|
|German Shepherd||$450 – $1,900||$800|
Adoption, on the other hand, is a much less expensive ordeal, with rehoming fees typically ranging from $50-$500. If you are actively looking to raise a German Shepherd, we strongly recommend doing some research and finding the most reputable breeders and/or shelters possible. This will make a big difference in terms of your dog’s health and wellbeing.
|Puppies Price Range||Ads Reviewed|
|$100 – $600||715|
|$601 – $1,100||971|
|$1,101 – $1,600||363|
|$1,601 – $2,100||171|
|$2,101 – $2,600||88|
|$2,601 – $3,100||23|
|$3,101 – $3,600||8|
|$3,601 – $4,100||6|
|$4,101 – $12,000||4|
This data is 100% original and has been collected by PetBudget’s team.
“When purchasing from a breeder, it would be ideal, but not required, that the breeder has tested the breeding dogs for the genes for degenerative myelopathy and that they have performed either PennHIP or Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) x-rays of the dogs’ hips to be able to provide the buyer with information on the likelihood of the puppy developing degenerative myelopathy or hip dysplasia later in life. Other things the breeding dogs should be screened for prior to having puppies is elbow dysplasia, autoimmune thyroiditis, temperament testing, and a cardiac evaluation. Buyers should ask the breeder about health screening tests performed.”Leslie Brooks, DVM – Licensed Veterinarian
Factors affecting the price of puppies and why prices vary for the same breed.
- Purebred or mixed. Usually, mixed-breeds are sold at a lower price than purebred dogs
- Bloodline and breeder’s reputation. If the parents are purebred show quality dogs from a reputable breeder, the price will be substantially higher. These breeders also tend to invest more money than others to take care of their breeding dogs and puppies.
- Registration papers/pedigree. Some breeders are members of kennel clubs, the most famous being the American Kennel Club (AKC). They can also have their breeding dogs and puppies registered which would also add to their fees.
- Health screenings and medical expenses. Serious breeders will have their breeding dogs and/or puppies evaluated/tested for different medical conditions. This obviously drives the price higher but also reduces the risk for the buyer to get an unhealthy dog. Moreover, some breeders will take their puppies to the veterinarian for an exam, deworming, vaccines, and/or microchip implantation prior to selling them. Whether the dog is a purebred or not, this aspect is probably the most important. A breeder that is willing to invest in his dogs’ health is more likely to be trustworthy.
- Training and socialization. Some breeders sell their dogs after they are trained and socialized. It will increase the puppy’s price but generate savings as you most probably won’t have to invest in more training and also gives a better chance to get a well-behaved dog.
- Breed popularity in the buyer’s location. Local supply and demand will have an impact on puppy prices. For example, small dogs tend to be more popular in metropolitan areas where people live in apartments or smaller houses. The same logic applies to bigger dogs in rural areas. Some breeds might be more in demand in colder climates, others where hunting is more popular, etc. It is worth looking for prices in different locations to find a dog, but it is risky to buy one without having seen it before or at least have met with the breeder and visited his kennel.
- Age. As most people want to get their puppy as young as possible, prices tend to be lower when the dog gets older. For example, on average a 6-month-old pup is likely to be less expensive than an 8-week-old one.
- Coat color and markings. Coat color trends can change quickly. For any breed, some colors are more popular than others, sometimes temporarily. When the interest for a specific coat color grows, puppies get more expensive as an increase in demand leads to a higher market price (when supply remains the same). Also, for purebred dogs, only certain colors and color combinations are accepted by kennel clubs. Finally, puppies with rare colors can be very expensive as well.
The cost of supplies for a German Shepherd
Having the right supplies can make welcoming your new German Shepherd into your home that much easier. After sorting through more than 250 items across the best seller lists on Amazon, Walmart and PetSmart, the initial cost of supplies is likely to fall anywhere between $215 and $855. On average, your first-year cost should be around the $450 mark for a large dog.
|Supplies Prices||Range||Average Cost|
|Food & Water Bowls||$10 – $40||$20|
|Dog Collars (x2)||$10 – $40||$20|
|Leash||$10 – $30||$15|
|ID Tag with Phone Number||$5 – $20||$10|
|Dog Bed (36″ or 42″)||$20 – $85||$50|
|Dog Crate (36″ or 42″)||$30 – $120||$55|
|Plastic Poop Bags (900-1080)||$15 – $110||$55|
|Pooper Scooper||$10 – $30||$20|
|House Training Pads (75-100)||$15 – $45||$25|
|Stains and Odors Removal Spray||$5 – $20||$10|
|Toys||$50 – $155||$90|
|First-Aid Kit||$15 – $50||$30|
|Brush||$5 – $45||$15|
|Shampoo||$5 – $20||$10|
|Tooth-brushing Kit||$5 – $15||$10|
|Toenail Clippers||$5 – $30||$15|
Things do get cheaper after the initial investment, with the cost for each subsequent year falling between $95 and $385. This puts the average cost for each year after the first one at $215. This includes the cost for items that need to be bought again, such as toys, a bed, shampoo, plastic bags, and a tooth-brushing kit.
|Total Supplies Cost||Range||Average Cost|
|First Year||$215 – $855||$450|
|Subsequent Years||$95 – $385||$215|
Other equipment, such as a muzzle, clothing, play pens and fences are not included here. Rather, it accounts for essential supplies. To help save on some of these items, second-hand stores, local pet shops and popular websites might be worth considering.
The cost of training a German Shepherd
According to dog trainer and animal behaviorist Alexa Diaz, Ph.D., as large and high-energy dogs, German Shepherds would benefit from professional training. To this end, Alexa highly recommends private training for positive leadership and group lessons for basic obedience and socialization with other people and dogs outside the home. Generally, 5-7 private lessons should be enough for a German Shepherd and will cost $750-$1,000 to which you should add five 1-hour group sessions that will likely be $150 to $200.
|Training Cost||Range||Average Cost|
|German Shepherd||$900 – $1,200||$1,050|
Picking up training books can be an inexpensive help, provided you have the time to commit to training your German Shepherd.
Get ready to become a dog parent now!
Dunbar Academy: Best Online Resource for New Dog Owners
We recommend The Dunbar Academy. Dr. Dunbar is a famous and respected veterinarian, dog trainer, and animal behaviorist. He developed easy, effective, and enjoyable methods to get ready to welcome and train your dog. Two options are available:
- The Free Course Collection includes two exciting free courses: Guide to Getting a Dog and Behavior Problems Crash Course.
- The Top Dog Academy includes these courses and many others, like Dog Training for Children, Puppy Training, Dog Training, and Behavior Problems. For $20/month or $150/year, you also get access to a private Facebook group to chat with other members and professional trainers. And you can get personalized help from the Dunbars. $20 for $1,500 worth of courses and a community to support you, it’s a steal!
Brain Training for Dogs: Best Online Training Course
Here is another excellent resource, also developed by a reputable, certified dog trainer, Adrienne Farricelli. Brain Training for Dogs focuses on simple yet effective exercises to develop dogs’ intelligence and teach them to be well-behaved. It addresses most behavioral issues and offers solutions for each one.
For only $47 (lifetime access), it is an excellent alternative to the Dunbar Academy if you have less time and don’t want to be involved in an online community of like-minded dog owners and trainers.
“German Shepherds are sensitive and sweet dogs. They can be a good family dog but can also form a strong bond with one person. They need a lot of exercise, mental stimulation and human interaction.”Alexa Diaz, Ph. D. – Animal Behaviorist
Medical expenses for a German Shepherd
According to our consulting licensed veterinarian, Leslie Brooks, DVM, first year medical expenses for a German Shepherd puppy should be around $630. Even if the number of visits to the clinic are lower for each year that follows, the cost of medication as the dog gets bigger drives the annual price up close to $675. Spay/neuter and gastropexy procedures will add between $250 and $850 to the medical bills (more details below).
|Medical Cost||Range||Average Cost|
|First Year Vet Cost||$425 – $830||$630|
|Spay/Neuter (optional)||$50 – $450||$250|
|Gastropexy (optional)||$200 – $400||$300|
|Adult Year Vet Cost||$425 – $925||$675|
Vet cost for the first year
When it comes to prices, Dr Brooks estimates that a dog owner will pay $65-$170 for each of the three recommended visits for a puppy, with the first one being scheduled at about 8 weeks of age. This will cover the exams, essential vaccines including rabies, the first doses of heartworm and flea prevention as well as a fecal examination.
Most of her clients also follow her advice to purchase heartworm and flea prevention medication for the rest of the year. They respectively cost $75-$120 and $85-$125.
Some German Shepherds may also need additional vaccines depending on activities and lifestyle:
- Leptospirosis if the dog is exposed to wildlife, goes camping often, hikes, plays in puddles, lakes, or ponds ($15-$25 and sometimes already included in the visit).
- Influenza if the dog goes to doggie daycare or is kenneled/boarded often and if the daycare or kennels require it due to intermittent influenza outbreaks ($70-$90 for two doses).
- Lyme, if exposed to ticks often, such as if the dog goes camping or hiking, or lives in a wooded area or on a farm ($60-$80 for two doses).
Some owners will also decide to spay/neuter their dog. Vet clinics usually charge $150-$450 to perform this procedure on a German Shepherd. It is even possible to find low-cost sterilization clinics that will do it for as low as $50 to $100 depending on your location. Generally, the procedure is more expensive for female dogs (spays).
For large, deep-chested dogs like German Shepherds, Leslie Brooks, DVM, also advises performing a gastropexy at the time of their spay or neuter to help prevent the possibility of GDV (Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus) later in life. GDV is a life-threatening condition that must be corrected with surgery. A gastropexy procedure typically adds between $200 and $400 to the spay/neuter bill.
German Shepherd veterinary expenses for the following years
Leslie Brooks expects dog owners to bring their adult German Shepherd to the clinic for an annual checkup. Yearly visits are usually priced between $125-$265 which includes the exam, vaccines, and a heartworm test (as well as blood work for middle aged and senior dogs to detect any potential issue). Additionally, Dr Brooks suggests continuing flea and heartworm prevention medication, which usually fall in the $100-$200 and $200-$300 ranges respectively for a dog this big.
Annual booster shots for the optional lifestyle vaccines presented above will add $15-$45 each to the medical bill. Finally, some dogs may require a fecal examination costing an extra $40-$50. This is mainly if the pet is exposed to wildlife and/or other dogs or shows inconsistent stool quality.
Health problems to be aware of
Not all German Shepherds will have the following health problems listed by Dr Brooks, but it is important to be aware of them when considering this breed.
|Health Problem||Likelihood||Treatment Cost Estimate|
|Hip Dysplasia||High||$500 – $13,000|
|Allergies||High||$100 – $2,000 per year|
|Degenerative Myelopathy||High||$500 – $3,000|
|Lumbosacral Instability & Degenerative Disc Disease||High||$500 – $3,500|
|Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV)||High||$1,500 – $3,000|
This price range for hip dysplasia is very wide because of the variety of treatment options an owner may pursue. Conservative treatment including pain management and physical therapy is the cheapest alternative ($500-$2,500 per year) while total hip replacement costs about $5,000-$6,500 per affected hip. Hip dysplasia can affect a German Shepherd at any age.
Allergies (food or seasonal/environmental): this depends if the pet has allergies throughout the year or just 1-2 flare ups per year. It would also depend on the owner’s decision to proceed with allergy testing and injections. Note that the pet may also need to be fed prescription food, which can easily be as high as $100 per month.
Degenerative myelopathy: genetic testing, medications, and/or a dog wheelchair would probably be $500 to $1,500. If a complete range of diagnostic testing is done to completely rule out any other condition that can mimic degenerative myelopathy, the cost (not necessarily treatment) can be up to $2,000-3,000.
Lumbosacral instability and degenerative disc disease: the lower end of the price range is if the owner elects a conservative treatment of pain medication, physical therapy, and/or a dog wheelchair. The high end on the other hand is applicable if surgical correction is pursued.
“German Shepherd Dogs are prone to multiple joint and spinal abnormalities throughout all stages of their life. The cost of managing these conditions, whether through surgery or conservative care, can be so expensive that it is recommended to have pet insurance.”Leslie Brooks, DVM – Licensed Veterinarian
A second veterinarian opinion on German Shepherds
We have also consulted with another licensed-veterinarian, Mendi Baryzk, DVM, to share her knowledge when it comes to the medical costs of a German Shepherd.
Preventive care for the first year (puppy)
|Strongly Recommended||Cost Estimate|
|Exam & Vaccinations (3 to 4 sets)||$150 each set|
|Fecal Test (2 times)||$45 each|
|Heartworm Prevention||$10 monthly|
|Flea and Tick Prevention||$23 monthly|
According to Dr. Baryzk, medical preventive care will cost around $870 for the puppy’s first year if we add up all the strongly recommended expenses.
|Gastropexy (at the time of sterilization)||$300|
Preventive care for adults each year
|Strongly Recommended||Cost Estimate|
|Annual Exam & Vaccinations||$250|
|Heartworm Prevention||$10 monthly|
|Flea and Tick Prevention||$23 monthly|
For an adult dog, yearly basic preventive care expenses will be about $681 at her clinic.
|Heartworm Tick-Borne Disease Test||$75|
|Blood Work & Urinalysis||$200|
|Dental Cleaning (0 to multiple extractions)||$300 – $1,200|
|Radiographs to Detect Hip Dysplasia||$350|
Most common health issues
|German Shepherd||Treatment Cost Estimate|
|Hip Dysplasia||$1,200 annually – $6,000 per hip replacement|
|Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus||$3,500|
“German Shepherds are intelligent and fiercely loyal to their family. They need professional training to avoid fear aggression.”Mendi Baryzk, DVM – Licensed Veterinarian
Dog health insurance
As mentioned by Dr Brooks, one might consider enrolling their dog in a health insurance plan as a safety net against unexpected costs, making budgeting much easier. As per the North American Pet Health Insurance Association’s latest State of the Industry report, the average annual price for accident and illness coverage plans round out at about $565. For accident only plans, the average price is $190. Contact pet insurance companies to know more and get a quote.
As mentioned, some medical conditions can be expensive to treat. Although purebred dogs may have a higher incidence of some inherited disorders, mixed breed dogs are also likely to develop health conditions, such as cancer and heart disorders. No dog owner should have to make critical decisions about their pets based on their ability to afford care. That’s why pet insurance is more popular every year in the US.
When comparing pet insurances, price is a significant factor, but it is also essential to consider:
- Deductible type (per incident or per year) and amount
- Reimbursements percentage and limits
- Services included (emergency visits, hospitalization, surgery, medications, specialists, cancer treatments, pre-existing conditions, etc.)
- When coverage starts
The price will vary depending on multiple factors, including the dog’s breed, age, location, and the plan chosen.
How much will dog insurance be for you? Don’t overpay!
Pet Insurer: Best for Accident and Illness Coverage
The fastest way to get insurance quotes for your future dog is Pet Insurer. You can get quotes from different insurance companies like Nationwide, PetFirst, Pets Bests, Petplan, Trupanion, HealthyPaws, Embrace, and more, in less than a minute. Pet Insurer guarantees the lowest price for each plan they offer. In a few words, it’s a great way to save time and money if you want accident only or accident and illness coverage.
Eusoh: Best for Complete Health Coverage
Another option to consider is Eusoh, a community-based pet insurance alternative in which members share the cost of their pet’s veterinary expenses. Members get reimbursed for their pet’s illness, accident, wellness, and routine veterinary visits expenses and never pay more than $65/month ($40/month on average). If you are looking for complete health coverage at a low cost, Eusoh is an excellent option to consider.
Cost of feeding a German Shepherd
German Shepherds are large dogs, as adults weigh 70 lb. on average (usually 50 to 90 lb.). After combing through the prices of best-selling brands like Purina, Pedigree and Blue Buffalo, we estimate that the cost of feeding a German Shepherd puppy through its first year is likely to be $260 on average, as puppies will consume around 220 lb. of dry food for the year. Adults generally eat 310 lb. a year depending on the type of food and brand, leading up to a yearly expense of $290 on average. Keep in mind that there can be a massive cost discrepancy between budget and premium brands.
|Yearly Food Cost||Range||Average Cost|
|Puppy||$180 – $355||$260|
|Adult Dog||$160 – $495||$290|
The dog owner will also probably want to treat his dog on a regular basis. After review of 27 best sellers on PetSmart, Walmart and Amazon, a cost estimation for the year has been made (if the dog gets treats daily).
|Treats Cost||Range||Average Cost|
|Yearly Treats||$125 – $715||$345|
This cost estimation for treats is based on the premise that the dog gets one treat every day. If you give your dog a treat every other day, you can divide these amounts by two. If it is once a week, divide them by seven, and so on. Enter the relevant information in the calculator at the end of the article to get your personalized cost estimate.
Four dog food brands compared
The following figures are based on the purchase of 220 lb. of dry food for the first year.
|Puppy Food Brands||Quantity per Bag||Number of Bags / Year||Unit Price||Total Price|
|Purina – Puppy Chow||36 lb.||7||$27.78 (Walmart)||$194.46|
|Purina One – Smart Blend Puppy||16.5 lb.||14||$21.98 (Walmart)||$307.72|
|Pedigree – Puppy||36 lb.||7||$25.83 (Walmart)||$180.81|
|Blue Buffalo – Puppy||30 lb.||8||$44.08 (Amazon)||$352.64|
One will probably need to buy around 310 lb. of food for each adult year of a German Shepherd.
|Adult Food Brands||Quantity per Bag||Number of Bags / Year||Unit Price||Total Price|
|Purina – Dog Chow||50 lb.||7||$22.98 (Walmart)||$160.86|
|Purina One – Smart Blend||40 lb.||8||$40.36 (Walmart)||$322.88|
|Pedigree – Adult||50 lb.||7||$25.83 (Walmart)||$180.81|
|Blue Buffalo – Adult||30 lb.||11||$44.98 (Amazon)||$494.78|
To make bigger savings, purchase in bulk. Although dog food is perishable, it can be stored for extended periods of time, making bulk purchases a practical and affordable option. Additionally, consider consulting your vet to decide what kind of food goes best for your German Shepherd.
Example for a more expensive premium brand
|Royal Canin – Size Health Nutrition||Quantity per Bag||Number of Bags / Year||Unit Price||Total Price|
|Large Puppy||35 lb.||7||$73.99 (PetSmart)||$517.93|
|Large Adult||35 lb.||9||$68.99 (PetSmart)||$620.91|
This illustrates the price difference between budget-friendly and premium dog food.
German Shepherd grooming
Unless owners groom their German Shepherd themselves at home, which is possible according to Corryne Smith (dog groomer), she would suggest taking this breed to a professional groomer 6 times a year. Prices range from $55 to $75 for each visit. Taking the dog to a professional groomer is the owner’s decision but could be beneficial for the dog’s health and well-being.
Therefore, the yearly cost for grooming services would either be $0 if the dog is groomed by its owner all the time, or $330 to $450 if done by a professional.
|Yearly Grooming Cost||Range||Average Cost|
|German Shepherd||$0 – $450||$225|
Professional dog grooming usually includes a bath and shampoo, hair removal (if needed), brushing and styling, nail trimming, teeth brushing and eye and ear cleaning. Prices will vary depending on multiple factors, such as dog size, coat condition, health and age, dog behavior and the services requested.
You can find grooming kits online for $75 on average and they ship with all the tools and equipment you will need to handle your German Shepherd’s grooming needs at home!
Additional costs to consider
|Additional Costs||Range||Average Cost|
|License||$10 – $20||$15|
|Microchip||$25 – $50||$40|
|Dog Walking (per walk)||$15 – $25||$20|
|Dog Boarding (per day)||$25 – $85||$40|
Licenses range from $10-$20 across the U.S.A, provided your dog is spayed or neutered. If not, the cost is likely to be a little bit higher. We strongly recommend licensing your dog, as it can be illegal, depending on state and local regulations, to own an unlicensed dog. Moreover, it makes identification and locating in the case of emergencies that much easier.
Microchips create a unique identification to your German Shepherd, allowing them to be on medical and emergency databases. Many U.S. states require dogs to be microchipped and it will cost $25-$50.
Tamaria Reddick, a professional dog walker and sitter, says that German Shepherds need regular exercise and stimulation. If you cannot dedicate the time to make sure your dog gets its fair share of daily exercise, she strongly recommends hiring a dog walker. Generally, 30-minute walks range from $15-$25, and 1-hour walks fall in the $20-$50 range. Walkers can be found easily on apps such as Rover and/or Wag. An owner might need to pay for private walks if the dog is not well socialized. These are obviously more expensive.
Don’t underestimate the cost of dog walking and dog sitting!
Rover: Best Dog Walking App
If you need a walker or sitter every week, this could become your most significant dog expense. We are talking hundreds or even thousands of dollars every year. Create your free account on Rover now and check the rates in your area to make sure to consider this expense before getting your dog.
Rover is by far the most popular way to find a dog walker or a dog sitter near you. You can compare the prices and services, see reviews from previous customers, book and pay for your services through the app.
Leaving any dog alone is highly inadvisable if you are traveling over days, let alone weeks. Dog boarding services are generally available and accessible, provided you plan. They cost between $25-$85 a day, depending on location, services offered and the time of year. During particularly busy stretches of the year, such as the holidays, you will need to book a dog boarding service in advance, as you are likely to get much better prices.
If you are on a tight budget, checking with any friends or family to see if they would be willing to host your dog is a good idea, as these prices can add up very quickly. Finally, you might be able to take your dog with you, as many airlines and train companies offer special provisions to help move your pets. You will have to submit a formal request ahead of time though, so make sure to plan your trips early. Moreover, the cost varies drastically, as it depends on several variables.
Yearly and monthly cost of a German Shepherd
The first year with your German Shepherd puppy
On average, the first-year cost that comes with a German Shepherd puppy ranges between $2,330 and $6,375. This comes down to an average cost of $3,815, with the bulk of the major expenses taking place within the first few weeks.
|First Year Costs||Range||Average Cost|
|Puppy||$450 – $1,900||$800|
|Supplies||$215 – $855||$450|
|Training||$900 – $1,200||$1,050|
|Medical||$425 – $830||$630|
|Food & Treats||$305 – $1,070||$605|
|Grooming||$0 – $450||$225|
|License||$10 – $20||$15|
|Microchip||$25 – $50||$40|
|First Year Total||$2,330 – $6,375||$3,815|
You might also want to consider some of the additional costs listed below.
|Optional First Year Costs||Range||Average Cost|
|Spay/Neuter||$50 – $450||$250|
|Gastropexy||$200 – $400||$300|
|Insurance||$350 – $780||$565|
|Dog Walking (30 minutes per day)||$15 – $25||$20|
|Dog Boarding (per day)||$25 – $85||$40|
If you choose to neuter/spay your dog and get pet insurance, the cost rises to $4,930 on average for the first year. Add to that a week of dog boarding and a dog walker five days a week for 42 weeks and it will cost you around $9,410.
|Potential First Year Cost||Range||Average Cost|
|With Spay/Neuter and Insurance||$2,930 – $8,005||$4,930|
|With Spay/Neuter, Insurance, Dog Walking and Dog Boarding||$6,255 – $13,850||$9,410|
Yearly and monthly cost of a German Shepherd for the following years
The costs that come with owning a German Shepherd do go down after the first year. For each adult year, supplies, medical expenses, food, treats, grooming services and license renewal will run you anything between $815 and $2,990, with an average cost of $1,765 (if we break it down further, this comes down to a monthly cost in the $68-$249 range and averages $147/month).
|Adult Year Costs||Range||Average Cost|
|Supplies||$95 – $385||$215|
|Medical||$425 – $925||$675|
|Food & Treats||$285 – $1,210||$635|
|Grooming||$0 – $450||$225|
|License||$10 – $20||$15|
|Adult Year Total||$815 – $2,990||$1,765|
|Estimated Monthly Cost||$68 – $249||$147|
With insurance, 30-minute dog walks five days a week for 50 weeks and dog boarding for seven days, the average cost climbs to $7,610 for the year (or $634 every month)!
|Potential Adult Year Cost||Range||Average Cost|
|With Insurance||$1,165 – $3,770||$2,330|
|With Insurance, Dog Walking and Dog Boarding||$5,090 – $10,615||$7,610|
Cost of ownership of a German Shepherd
In total, the cost of owning and raising a German Shepherd for 9 years boils down to the $8,850-$30,295 range, with the average cost being $17,935.
|Total Cost of Ownership (9 years)||Range||Average Cost|
|German Shepherd||$8,850 – $30,295||$17,935|
With additional expenses tacked on, such as spay/neuter, insurance and dog-based services as described in the previous sections, the price of raising a German Shepherd falls in the $46,975 to $98,770 range through the course of its lifetime, which on average will be 9 years (usually 7 to 10 years). The average price of raising a German Shepherd can then be estimated to be $70,290.
|Potential Total Cost of Ownership (9 years)||Range||Average Cost|
|With Spay/Neuter and Insurance||$12,250 – $38,165||$23,570|
|With Spay/Neuter, Insurance, Dog Walking and Dog Boarding||$46,975 – $98,770||$70,290|
Thank you for reading us! Stay tuned for more information about pet costs, product reviews and saving tips.
PetBudget German Shepherd cost calculator
The cost of a German Shepherd – A summary in 7 questions
1- How much is a German Shepherd puppy?
On average a German Shepherd puppy will cost $800 in the USA. Most puppies can be found between $450 and $1,900. The price will vary depending on the breeder and location as well as the dog’s bloodline, color, and age among other things.
2 – How much are dog supplies?
A new owner can expect an initial investment between $215 and $855 in supplies when welcoming a large dog. Every year, the cost to renew some of them should be between $95 and $385. Prices vary depending on location, stores, brands, and products quality.
3 – Does a German Shepherd need training and how much will it cost?
Having a German Shepherd professionally trained is usually recommended (both private and group training) and should cost around $900 to $1,200. For this breed, training should mainly focus on basic obedience, socialization, and positive leadership.
4 – What is the cost of preventive medical care for a German Shepherd?
Preventive medical care should amount to around $425 to $830 for a German Shepherd puppy during the first year and around $425 to $925 every adult year. This does not include spay or neuter and gastropexy procedures (usually $150 to $450 and $200 to $400 respectively).
5 – How much food does a German Shepherd eat and how much will it cost?
A German Shepherd puppy will eat around 220 lb. and an adult close to 310 lb. of dry food yearly (it varies for each dog and food brand). Annual expenses should be between $180 and $520 for a puppy and $160 to $625 for an adult dog. Other types of food and treats would increase the costs.
6 – How often should a German Shepherd be professionally groomed and how much will it cost?
Grooming a German Shepherd is easy enough that most owners should be able to do it themselves. Those who prefer having their dog professionally groomed can expect up to 6 visits to a salon every year. Each session should cost from $55 to $75 depending on the dog and services needed.
7 – Are there any other expenses to expect?
In the United States, a dog license usually costs between $10 and $20. The cost could be slightly higher if the dog is not spayed or neutered. Having the dog licensed is mandatory almost everywhere.
A dog microchip costs $25 to $50 on average in the US and is generally implanted during a medical appointment. It is placed under the skin usually between the shoulder blades. Dogs adopted from a shelter or bought from a breeder sometimes already have a microchip.
According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association’s latest State of the Industry Report, the average annual price is $566 for accident and illness coverage plans or $190 for accident only plans.
Dog walkers usually charge $15 to $25 for 30 minutes group walks and $20 to $50 for 1-hour long ones. Prices vary mainly depending on location. Private walks are more expensive.
A dog owner should budget $25 to $85 per day for dog boarding services. Prices vary depending on location, time of the year, and the level of service among other things.
Other breeds you might like
To help you out, this guide contains all the primary expenses that are necessary to ensure your future dog’s well-being. Make sure to take these considerations seriously before adopting or purchasing a German Shepherd, as they are imperative to your dog leading a healthy, happy, and comfortable life in your home. Moreover, the dog should not be a financial burden on you or your family, so make sure to carefully read through each section to better understand the expenses that come with raising a German Shepherd. Figures provided in this article are for informational purposes only. A dog owner should always find the actual costs applicable to his own situation before making any decision.
References and Resources
- Leslie Brooks, DVM – Licensed Veterinarian
- Mendi Baryzk, DVM – Licensed Veterinarian
- Alexa Diaz, Ph. D. – Animal Behaviorist
- Corryne Smith – Dog Groomer
- Tamaria Reddick – Dog Walker, Pet Sitter
- Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
- The American Kennel Club
- North American Pet Health Insurance Association
- Association of Professional Dog Trainers
This article is original content from PetBudget.
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