When you decide on the type of dog you want, there's really no holding you back: You're flying to Scotland to pick up your golden retriever from its "ancestral home." But if you're on the fence, you may be questioning: do certain breeds live longer? Are some harder to care for than others? Will this breed cost me more money? No, you're not a villain for having these thoughts. It just means you're a thoughtful future pet owner.
So, which popular breeds should you be watching out for? We checked in with New York City veterinarian Dr. Katja Lang, DVM (aka @doctorkibble), who explained that it's not totally black or white. Instead, "You should think twice (or thrice) before you say 'yup to the pup'!" Why? Because certain breeds often require more care and more costs. Here are the five popular dog breeds that Dr. Lang warns people should be extra careful about before bringing home.
Dog breeds with the most health issues
Dog breeds with the most health issues
“People love them for their laid-back personality and ridiculous wrinkles, but be prepared to spend hours on skin care. Their skin folds and feet need to be cleaned daily, and they are very prone to allergies and recurrent skin infections. Due to their short, bow-legged limbs they are also susceptible to arthritis and other orthopedic disorders.”
“Another bulldog breed that’s impossible to hate with their permanent smiles. Like their cousin the English Bulldog, it is very common for them to have skin issues and chronic allergy problems. They also can have severe breathing issues that can require a visit to their puppy plastic surgeon to help them breathe easier. Another reason they may have to see a veterinary surgeon is an injury to their spine caused by a prolapsed disc or malformed vertebrae.”
“There is no wonder why these are the dogs protecting our country and also tucking our human babies into bed at night—they’re intelligent and caring. Unfortunately, though, they are susceptible to many orthopedic problems including hip and elbow dysplasia which can lead to early onset of arthritis. Another common genetic disorder we see is called degenerative myelopathy which affects their spinal cord and has no cure at this time.”
CAVALIER KING CHARLES SPANIEL
“It is easy to fall in love with this gentle, happy-go-lucky breed, but by six to seven years of age, many develop a heart condition that causes their valves to be leaky. These cuties can be maintained for years after the diagnosis with the proper medications and monitoring, but their life expectancy is shortened (that is unless you want to travel to Japan for a new heart valve).”
BERNESE MOUNTAIN DOG
“These lovable guys and gals are a walking bear hug. Yep, they are soft and cuddly little…cancer machines. Studies have shown that BMD are 225 times more likely to develop a specific form of cancer called histiocytic sarcoma and about 25 percent will be affected in their lifetime. So hug a Berner today if you haven’t yet.”
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We know: It's nearly impossible to look at those adorable faces and read the scary descriptions. But, as Lang told us, "If you have done your research and still decide this is the breed for you, then I say go for it, because you might get lucky with a healthy little pup! And always: The best thing you can do is either #adoptdontshop or go to a highly qualified breeder."
30 least expensive dog breeds
30 least expensive dog breeds
30. Manchester Terrier
The spirited and observant Manchester Terrier costs an average of $600 to purchase and has a life expectancy of 14 to 16 years. Over the years, these game terriers can rack up a potential minimum healthcare cost of around $10,500, due to common breed health issues such as cataracts, patellar luxation (kneecap issues) and cardiomyopathy.
Luckily, Manchester Terriers are easy and inexpensive to groom with a typical bathing cost of $27.
These small dogs, weighing in at only 10 to 16 pounds, are often referred to as little black devils thanks to their mischievous and energetic temperament. Schipperkes cost an average of $650 to purchase with typical bathing costs coming in around $30.
Schipperkes are at risk to develop eye problems, patellar luxation and autoimmune thyroiditis, bringing their minimum potential healthcare costs to $7,200 throughout their 13-to-15-year lifetime.
Photo credit: Svetlana Valoueva/Shutterstock.com
28. Irish Terrier
Don’t get an Irish Terrier if you’re looking for a lap dog. These feisty dogs have a life expectancy of 13 to 14 years and have an average purchase price of $650.
Their lifetime healthcare cost is lower than other dog breeds' at only $1,000. Grooming costs sit around $42 due to a coat that requires careful attention. But at least these dogs hardly shed.
Photo credit: Rita Kochmarjova/Shutterstock.com
27. German Wirehaired Pointer
If you dream of owning a German Wirehaired Pointer, you might want to consider adopting instead of buying one. These medium-sized hunting dogs cost an average of $700 to purchase with minimal bathing costs of just $35.
German Wirehaired Pointers make the least expensive dog list because they’re generally healthy, with potential minimum healthcare costs equating to about $1,700 throughout their 12-to-14-year lifespan.
Photo credit: Alisa/Shutterstock.com
26. Border Collie
Smart working dogs that hate to be bored, Border Collies land on the list of least expensive dogs thanks to an average purchase cost of only $525 and lifetime healthcare costs that are around $1,800. Just look out for hip and eye health issues, which can progress over time throughout their 13-to-16-year life expectancy.
To groom a Board Collie, expect to pay around $50. And, be sure to brush them two to three times a week for minimal shedding.
Photo credit: LSphotoCZ/Shutterstock.com
A Beagle’s easy coat and low bathing cost of only $23 make this one of the least expensive dog breeds to own. These friendly and happy dogs cost approximately $650 to purchase and have a life expectancy of 11 to 15 years.
Their minimum lifetime healthcare costs could potentially total $7,700, thanks to common health conditions such as spinal problems, hip dysplasia, chronic ear infections and allergies. To offset these high healthcare costs, consider taking advantage of the tax breaks for pet owners.
Photo credit: SomPhoto/Shutterstock.com
24. Australian Silky Terrier
The Australian Silky Terrier comes in a smart and sassy, 10-pound package at a purchase price of $550. This terrier’s silky coat requires frequent brushing to prevent matting, and typical grooming costs total $45.
These dogs are fairly healthy and can live 12 to 15 years, but common genetic health problems can add up to a minimum of $2,500 in healthcare costs.
Photo credit: Utekhina Anna/Shutterstock.com
23. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
These active, low-to-the-ground dogs are a favorite of the Queen of England, who has owned and bred Pembroke Welsh Corgis. With an average purchase price of $550 and average bathing cost of $40, Corgis make the cut as an affordable dog breed to own.
These dogs live 12 to 14 years and have a minimum potential lifetime healthcare cost of $4,000 due to genetic conditions like hip dysplasia and the most serious breed-specific issue: degenerative myelopathy, a type of spinal cord disease.
Photo credit: TatyanaPanova/Shutterstock.com
The Otterhound was originally used to hunt — you guessed it — otters in Great Britain. They cost around $550 to purchase and require careful bathing practices that typically cost around $40.
An Otterhound usually lives 10 to 13 years and is at risk of developing health issues like hip and elbow dysplasia, epilepsy and gastric torsion (bloating), which can lead to potential minimum health costs of $3,500.
Photo credit: Christian Mueller/Shutterstock.com
These spotted dogs are famous for their running abilities and their firehouse mascot status. A Dalmatian has an average purchase price of $700 and bathing costs of only $30. But it’s the low cost of healthcare that makes these dogs inexpensive.
Dalmatians live an average of 10 to 13 years and have a minimum healthcare cost of only $700, although they are prone to genetic health problems such as deafness and kidney and bladder stones.
Photo credit: volofin/Shutterstock.com
These tiny, feisty dogs have become famous as the purse-sized companions of rich celebrities, and they make the list of least expensive dogs due to their cheap $23 bathing price tag. On average, they cost $650 to purchase.
Chihuahuas have a life expectancy of 12 to 18 years, with potential lifetime healthcare expenses adding up to a minimum of $5,500.
Photo credit: otsphoto/Shutterstock.com
19. Cesky Terrier
The average purchase cost of a Cesky Terrier is only $400, and the minimum potential healthcare costs for this dog comes out to $1,500.
With a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years, this terrier's grooming costs can be pricier than other breeds, at about $57 per session.
Photo credit: Andreas Gradin/Shutterstock.com
18. Field Spaniel
A relative of the Cocker Spaniel and English Springer Spaniel, the Field Spaniel is an ideal hunting dog and family dog. These dogs live 10 to 12 years and come with an average price tag of $550.
Having this dog professionally bathed can cost around $40, and their lifetime healthcare costs add up to a potential minimum of $2,300. Common health issues include hip dysplasia and autoimmune thyroiditis.
Photo credit: Dmytro Vietrov/Shutterstock.com
17. Redbone Coonhound
Laidback and gentle, Redbone Coonhounds stand out with their striking mahogany-red coats. They have an average purchase cost of $650.
Redbone Coonhounds land on this list of the least expensive dogs thanks to a low grooming cost of $31 and a lifetime minimum healthcare cost that could possibly hit $1,500. These dogs will live 11 to 12 years.
Despite a bad reputation, American Pit Bull Terriers can be loving, trustworthy and loyal family dogs. With an average purchase cost of $600 and a typical bathing cost of only $27, Pit Bulls are one of the least expensive dogs to own.
These dogs have a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years and a minimum potential healthcare cost of $5,100 for common health issues like hip and elbow dysplasia and bloat.
Photo credit: Matthew Lyon/Shutterstock.com
The Pekingese, who typically weighs in at no more than 14 pounds, is characterized by a bold attitude fit for a much bigger dog. These dogs have an average purchase price of $500 and a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.
Professional bathing for a Pekingese typically costs $40, while the minimum healthcare cost for common issues — like Legg-Calve-Perthes disease and pyloric stenosis — can potentially reach $3,150.
Photo credit: Rita Kochmarjova/Shutterstock.com
14. Bichon Frise
Known as one of the sweetest and most affectionate dogs, the Bichon Frise is characterized by its curly, cotton-ball like hair. An average purchase price of $525 and typical bathing cost of $33 make the Bichon one of the cheapest dogs to own.
These dogs have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years and a potential minimum healthcare cost of $4,300 to treat common breed-specific issues, like cataracts and patellar luxation.
Photo credit: Vladimir Nenezic/Shutterstock.com
The Affenpinscher comes with a low $400 average purchase price tag and an estimated grooming cost of $42 to keep up its shaggy but neat coat.
The average lifespan of an Affenpinscher is 11 to 14 years, and over their lifetime, the minimum healthcare costs for common issues could reach $4,000.
Initially bred to hunt badgers, Dachshunds are characterized by their short legs, long backs and fun spirits. They’re inexpensive to own, with an average purchase price of $500 and a typical bathing cost of only $23.
Weiner dogs, as they’re affectionately called, have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. Expect to potentially pay a minimum of $7,300 for back problems, the breed’s most common health issue.
Photo credit: OlgaOvcharenko/Shutterstock.com
Papillons are known for their butterfly wing ears. These small, smart dogs cost on average $400 to purchase, and estimated bathing costs total $40.
A Pappilon's life expectancy is 13 to 15 years, and minimum healthcare costs come in around $3,600 due to a number of health issues that commonly affect smaller toy dog breeds.
Buying a wrinkly-faced Pug costs an average of $350. These dogs have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. Bathing costs are a low $27, but healthcare costs for issues common to the breed and other flat-faced dogs start at a potential minimum of $9,600.
This hunting dog is known for its distinctive feathered coat. An English Setter has an average purchase price of $350 and a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years.
It will cost about $40 to bathe an English Setter in order to prevent mats and tangles, and the breed’s potential minimum cost for common health issues sits around $3,900.
Photo credit: Best dog photo/Shutterstock.com
8. Treeing Walker Coonhound
These tri-colored dogs are often confused for an oversized Beagle, although the two breeds are totally different.
The speedy and competitive Treeing Walker makes the list of least expensive dogs with an average purchase price of $500, typical grooming costs of $31 per session, and minimum healthcare cost of common issues starting at only $1,500. Their life expectancy is 12 to 13 years.
Photo credit: Lindsay Helms/Shutterstock.com
7. Miniature Pinscher
Miniature Pinschers think they’re bigger than they are, and often bark at and chase anything that crosses their path. The average purchase cost of a Miniature Pinscher is $500, and like many small dogs, they have a longer life expectancy of 14 to 15 years.
The typical cost of bathing is low at $25, and the potential minimum healthcare costs for common issues like patellar luxation and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease start at $2,500.
Photo credit: DragoNika/Shutterstock.com
6. American Foxhound
Although the American Foxhound is one of the older American breeds, it’s also one of the least well-known. The average purchase cost of an American Foxhound is $475, with bathing costs coming out to an estimated $27. The minimum potential cost for medical issues totals $1,500.
Photo credit: Steve Heap/Shutterstock.com
5. Parson Russell Terrier
Parson Russell Terriers are athletic, cleaver and friendly. These medium-sized terriers have a $400 average price tag, with a typical $25 professional bathing cost.
The breed, also known as a Jack Russell Terrier, is generally healthy. The minimum cost of potential common healthcare issues is a budget-friendly $2,800.
Photo credit: Christian Mueller/Shutterstock.com
4. Plott Hound
The Plott Hound is a tenacious hunting dog who will sniff out any animal, from a raccoon to a bear. The breed’s low $275 average purchase cost makes it one of the most affordable dog breeds to own.
The typical grooming cost for a Plott Hound is $31, and it will general cost a minimum of potentially $3,000 to treat health problems like gastric torsion, commonly known as bloat.
Photo credit: Will Hughes/Shutterstock.com
3. Black and Tan Coonhound
American born and bred, this hunting dog known for its black and tan coloring is happy-go-lucky and calm by nature. Ranked No. 3 on the list of least expensive dog breeds to own, the Black and Tan Coonhound has an average purchase price of $350 and estimated bathing costs are $27. Healthcare costs to treat common issues like hip dysplasia come out to only $1,500.
Playful and fearless, Rat Terriers love to “talk” and socialize with their families. These small dogs are one of the least expensive toy breeds, with a purchase price tag averaging $350 and typical professional bathing expenses coming out to $25.
The low $1,500 minimum healthcare cost of the breed’s common issues helps to round-out the Rat Terrier as the second-least expensive dog to own.
Photo credit: Shane Cotee/Shutterstock.com
No. 1 on the list, the Harrier, is the most affordable and also one of the rarest dog breeds. This hound is sweet and affectionate, but as a hunting dog you can expect a Harrier to be high-energy.
This is the cheapest dog to own thanks to the budget-friendly combination of a $300 average purchase price, $27 typical grooming costs and a minimum potential healthcare cost of $1,500 for common issues.