Veterinary Costs Associated With a New Puppy

2012-10-15 00:00:00

Most puppies are weaned away from their mothers around six weeks old. This is also around the time that their baby teeth come in and they should receive their first set of vaccinations. It is always a good idea to see the vet with any new puppy; even if it is not old enough for vaccines.  This way they can be properly de-wormed and checked for common birth defects. Here is a rough estimate of veterinary costs associated with a new puppy. These figures are extremely variable and may not accurately depict veterinarians in your area:

Typical first visit (6-8 weeks old):

Physical examination  $0-$50

Distemper/Parvo combination vaccine   $30-$50

Fecal Examination   $10-$40

De-worming   $5-$35

Average total cost for 1st visit   $35-$175

Typical second visit (9-12 weeks old):

Physical examination   $0-$50

Distemper/Parvo combination vaccine   $30-$50

Fecal Examination   $10-$40

De-worming   $5-$35

If your puppy is 12 weeks old, it is old enough for a rabies vaccine.  However, many vets will wait until the final puppy visit, at around 16 weeks old to give this vaccine. There are several other vaccines that may be given at the second puppy visit.  These vaccines are often administered again at the third and/or fourth puppy visit.  Some vaccines are usually only given in certain parts of the country (Lyme Disease, rattlesnake venom, canine influenza).  Some vaccines, like Bordatella (Kennel Cough), may only be given if your puppy will be around a lot of other dogs, like at a training class, kennel or dog park.  The average price of each of these vaccines is around $25.  If given, these vaccines will require a second booster.  Also, your puppy will be old enough to start heartworm and flea and tick prevention at this time. If your puppy is a larger breed dog then you will need to buy single doses of these medications until they reach a steady weight. Single doses of heartworm prevention are typically $10-$15 and single doses of flea and tick prevention are typically $15-$30.

Cost for second puppy visit at 9-12 weeks of age   $35-$175

Any additional vaccines (depending on area of the country and lifestyle)   $25/vaccine

Heartworm/Flea and tick prevention (single doses)   $25-$45

Total estimated cost for second puppy visit w/ heartworm and flea/tick prevention   $85-$250

The same vaccinations given at the second puppy visit will need to be repeated.  The cost for the third and fourth puppy visit will be about the same as the 9-12 week puppy visit. How many visits/vaccines your puppy requires will vary with location and the age at which the vaccinations were started. In general, puppies should receive vaccines every 3-4 weeks starting at 6 weeks old. THE MOST IMPORTANT thing is that the final 2 vaccinations at around 12 and 16 weeks old are NOT MORE THAN 28 DAYS APART. If it is a longer time between the last two vaccinations another set of properly timed boosters will be required.  This will ensure that your puppy has adequate immunity to the diseases for which it has been vaccinated.

Average cost for all puppy visits put together   $300-$950

*TIP: Many veterinarians will either provide a discounted or free physical examination for healthy puppies. Finding a vet who does this will take a significant amount of expense from each visit. 

This is just a rough estimate of the costs of veterinary visits while your dog is still a puppy.  Most of the vaccines your puppy receives will be continued to be administered into adulthood.  Dogs require distemper and parvo vaccines yearly throughout adulthood.  Bordatella, if administered, is required every 6 months.  Rabies vaccines vary in their frequency.  This variation depends on the age and size of your dog.  Most puppy vaccines last about a year.  After the year vaccines, most dogs can receive a 3-year vaccine.  This means that your dog will have to have a new rabies booster at least once every 3 years throughout its life.  Dogs, like people, also require regular physicals and check-ups.  Between physicals and shots, plan on taking your dog to the vet at least once, if not a couple of times a year.     If your dog is at a steady weight you may purchase 6 months -12 months of heartworm and flea and tick prevention.  The cost of these medications varies with weight and whether you purchase a name brand medication or a generic medication. Estimates of cost for 6-month supplies of these medications:

Average price by weight for 6 months of generic heartworm prevention:

0-25 lbs.           $22

26-50 lbs.         $35

51-100 lbs.       $45

Average price by weight for 6 months of name brand heartworm prevention: 

0-25 lbs.           $30

26-50 lbs.         $48

51-100 lbs.       $63

Flea and tick prevention can be very costly, but in this case you get what you pay for. The name brand products tend to be much more effective than generic or over-the-counter flea products.  If they are products that need to be applied topically, be sure to follow the guidelines concerning how to apply the medication.  Also be sure to properly space application of medication from any baths your dog has or will receive.  If you are properly using flea and tick medicine but are still experiencing issues, your house or yard may be infested with fleas and may require treatment such as bombing and/or extermination.

If you have a new puppy or are looking into getting one, it is very important to pick the right veterinarian and other professional assistance you may need.  On Pet Kept Secrets you can find local veterinarians, trainers, breeders, pet-friendly hotels, dog parks and other pet professionals and venues on our pet services search pages.