How to Care for a Great Dane Without Breaking the Bank
Do you love Great Dane breeds but you aren’t sure if you can afford to buy and take care of one? Dogs are a great investment and some breeds cost more than others, both for the initial adoption and for lifetime care. I believe all dogs are worth the money because they offer love, loyalty, and lots of fun. If you are asking yourself how much do great danes cost, then I am here to give a simple breakdown of what chunk of change you will be looking at if you decide on it.
Great Danes are characterized as loyal, gentle, and loving. However, they are one of the tallest breeds in the world. Male Great Danes can reach up to 34 inches and females up to 32 inches. Their lifespan is 6 to 8 years, so you need to plan everything below with the idea of taking care of your new dog for up to 8 years.
What You Will Need to Own and Care for a Great Dane
Because Great Danes are so big, their price tags are too! Here is a look at what you will need.
Initial Cost: Up to 3,000 for a show-dog Great Dane breed. It will cost around $600-$1000 to buy from a breeder, and the price depends on the breeder and the dog. Adopting one can cost you up to $400 after it’s all said and done.
Food and Diet: You will need to budget $40-80 a month for food. Great Danes have a hefty appetite! They need two to three large meals throughout the day. Keep in mind that they require a low-protein, low-fat diet.
Around the house items and toys: A doghouse. A doghouse for a Great Dane will cost between $100 and $300 in order to give him or her a comfortable and large enough space to sleep and relax outside.
Fencing. These big dogs can reach places that other dogs can’t reach, so you may need to invest in taller fencing and containers for household items that the dog may be able to jump up and reach easily. This could run you anywhere between $100-$400 depending on how you need to create a safe place for your new addition!
Doctor Bills and Check-Ups: Great Danes are susceptible to cardiomyopathy and bloating; they are at risk for osteosarcoma and also hypothyroidism. Lots of dogs need special care and regular doctor’s visits, so this isn’t necessarily an extra step in owning a Great Dane, but because they are so large, simple things like X-rays and procedures will cost more due to the added difficulty of working with a larger breed.
Training a Great Dane: An added bonus of costs is obedience training! It is not necessary but imagines a great naughty dane knocking items over in the house or running outside. Because they are so large, obedience training is something I would highly recommend. This will cost $100 if you do it at home or go to PetsMart and upwards of $300 if you choose another professional.
Did I just make your head explode with all those price tags? The most expensive of it all is really the initial cost, so if you really want a Great Dane, you can save up enough and shop around (hopefully adopt!) a wonderful lifetime friend. The next biggest ticket item is dog food because that is recurring every month and there is no way to lessen the costs because they need proper nutrition and lots of food.
There is a way to save, however.
Let’s be real: Great Danes will destroy toys. To save money, I recommend investing in sturdy well-reviewed toys that will stand the test of time and your new dog’s teeth. Buying a few items to keep the dog entertained, I recommend the Virtually Indestructible Ball and the Kong. You can see a great list of toys for large dogs here if you want to see more.
Do not use rawhide because Great Danes cannot digest them. Stay away from anything with string and tennis balls because the dog will tear through them within a day. If you purchase indestructible toys, you will be saving money.
Beds for Great Danes
Here is a great article for comparing some affordable dog beds for large dogs. It isn’t too difficult to find something affordable and comfortable for a large dog. This isn’t the area I recommend throwing down a large chunk of money! Something inexpensive and soft will do.
Fences for Your House
I recommend a 6ft wood privacy fence for having a fence high enough and secure enough.
Lots of Great Danes prefer to be inside! Buying a house for your dog is not a necessary step and can save you a few hundred dollars if you have enough room for your dog to sleep inside. They are a gentle breed and will prefer to cuddle up on a couch with you.
One way I recommend saving money on Great Danes is figuring out how much their doctor visits cost and how to avoid the need to take them. Regular check-ups are essential but if you are aware of the common ailments and illnesses that these big dogs can get then you the preventative care can save you thousands!
A lot of Great Danes suffer from bloating, and their stomachs flip. It is a very serious medical condition that needs medical attention if you see your dog suffering from the bloat. Some owners get their dogs’ stomachs tacked routinely to prevent their stomachs from flipping. This is a preventative measure for avoiding surgery and avoiding the health scare.
This is where the heart becomes enlarged. I recommend having your dog’s heart checked for heart murmurs every year or so to take the best care of your dog.
They can also suffer from hip dysplasia, Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy, and cancer. They are also prone to other vision and skeletal problems.
How much do Great Danes cost? The chart below gives a glimpse of some costs you may need to spend at the doctor’s office for your pup.
Cost to Diagnose and Treat
Cost to Diagnose and Treat
Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (Bloat)
Osteochondrosis of the Shoulder
An alternative is to get your Great Dane insurance as soon as you adopt the little pup! Here is a comprehensive list of what puppy/dog insurance covers. Insurance for a great dane is a good idea because these big dogs need a lot of veterinary love. Insurance would cover some of the following:
- Breed-specific conditions
- Cancer treatment
- Prescription Drug Coverage
- Diagnostic testing and imaging (e.g. X-ray, ultrasound, MRI)
- Prosthetic limbs and devices including mobility aids
- Alternative therapies and rehabilitation
- ER & specialist care
- Behavioral therapy
- Surgery, hospitalization, and nursing care
I also suggest adopting from someone trusted. You can check out the health of the mom and dad dogs to see if there is any history of the ailments I mentioned earlier. If the parents are healthy, the one you adopt has a better chance of living a long healthy life with the right care and nutrition.
Obedience Training for a Great Dane
Because Great Danes need a lot of exercises and are so big, they will need some form of training as I had briefly mentioned. They need obedience training to ensure that they are well socialized and won’t bite out of fear once they meet other dogs or people later in life. They also need obedience training, so they listen to you as the owner and learn to keep off of tables/tabletops or places you do not want them messing up or knocking things over.
There are many types of training for dogs, but Great Danes are gentle breeds and can learn quickly. So, in order to save money you can train them yourself as opposed to paying professional hundreds of dollars. Do it at home with some time and a few training tools like toys and a clicker. You can buy these at any local pet store.
Great Danes learn well with Clicker Training, which is essentially just clicking the Clicker and giving a treat every time your Great Dane does well or what you asked it to.
They respond well to positive reinforcement since they are a sweet and gentle breed.
Be sure to:
- Be appreciative while training your dog as the Great Danes are sensitive and the positive reinforcement will motivate your dog to perform better.
- Be very gentle yet stern when training the Great Dane so that it doesn’t get afraid of training.
You could get started with training as soon as possible! Be sure to socialize them early on as well. Great Dane obedience training should not cost more than $50 in total for some treats and a clicker.
Adopting a Great Dane
As I mentioned earlier, adopting is what I always recommend. Adopting a Great Dane will ensure you are saving a life, rather than buying from a puppy mill or a seller who breeds just to sell the dogs for money. It is possible to adopt and find the information about the full breed and parents so you will know what kind of health care it will need, but a lot of dogs that come from adoption are mixed breeds instead of pure breeds and in truth it will be more difficult to know its background. But it is much more ethical. I suggest finding a local store like this one or this one in your area.
Conclusion - Keeping Costs Low with your great dane
Below is a summary of what I covered with you today for saving money.
- Adopt from a trusted source
- Consider pet insurance
- Train your dog yourself at home
- Buy durable, long-lasting toys
- Keep a healthy, nutritious diet for your dog
- Keep up with routine health check-ups to avoid costly emergencies
- Skip the outdoor dog house - let your great dane sleep inside (it’ll love you for it)
Great Danes are, dare I say, a Great responsibility. But you wouldn’t be reading this article down to the very last paragraph if you weren’t interested in raising one all for your own someday soon (or in the distant future). They attract attention when you are walking them on the street because of their sheer size. They are big yet very sweet in nature so there is an endless supply of oversized cuddles and dog greetings for years to come if you choose a Great Dane.
Any dog requires money on food, grooming, toys, and immunizations. Great Danes have a slightly higher price tag up front with their adoption costs because they are a special breed. To reiterate, the reason why they cost much more throughout their lifespan is because any doctor bill such as x-rays or surgeries will cost more because of the size. Their diet is also slightly more costly because they need a low-protein diet so what you feed them everyday will cost more than any small to medium-sized dog. They will also need more amounts of food everyday. But if you feed them right and read in-depth articles about the illnesses they can acquire (that I listed above) then you can avoid costly trips to the vet and ensure your dog is healthy! As mentioned, you should also consider pet insurance.
You wanted to know how much Great Danes cost and hopefully this gave you a thorough breakdown of what you can expect but as with any dog, the money you have to spend is always returned with the dog’s love and loyalty that you will receive if you care for it correctly.