If you are on the lookout for a loyal and very endearing companion dog, then Saint Bernard may be the perfect match for you.
Quite known for their huge size and lighthearted demeanor, Saint Bernards are amusing dogs to have around, be it for yourself or as a family pet.
So how much would one spend to have a Saint Bernard? Saint Bernard puppies taken from a reputable breeder would cost around $1000-$2000 on average depending on the breeders and where you buy it. However, Saint Bernard puppies who have a bloodline that can be traced from competition or show dogs might cost you up to $4000.
Anything lower should make you wary; though they may still be healthy pups, they might not be purebreds as they are advertising them to be, or could be the product of a puppy mill.
Though it might seem steep for just a pup, there are factors that can affect why there is such a hefty price tag for acquiring a Saint Bernard.
You can also take these into consideration when getting your pup, so you can avoid overspending on things that may not apply to you, yet somehow get passed to you by the breeders.
Factors That Affect the Price of Saint Bernard Puppies
Buying one from a breeder who is known for winning competitions, or one that boasts a unique characteristic on their dog’s appearance will cause you extra. These breeders will bank on their dog’s standout features to put a premium on their pup’s price tag. If you’re looking for that limited edition Saint Bernard, it will really cost you.
Breed Registry Papers
Some breeders, especially those who sell pups with competition bloodlines, will have their dogs registered in a breed registry group (such as the AKC in the US) to authenticate their dog’s bloodlines and breed.
This comes at the expense and time of the breeder, and they in turn will pass those expenses and the cost of their effort to the new pet owners.
If you just wish to have a Saint Bernard pet, you can look for breeders that don’t require this, and it will probably be lower than the $1000-$200 price tag that was quoted earlier.
However, if you are planning to join prized competitions or shows with your Saint Bernard, then this is a must.
As with most dog breeds, most of the Saint Bernard pups are sold when they are between 8 to 12 weeks old, as they are old enough to survive on their own, but young enough that they are still dependent and can easily form bonds with their new owners.
Of course, not all dogs get sold around this period, and that can also be true for Saint Bernards, as high in demand as they are. If you see a Saint Bernard for sale and the price seems to be a bit lower than usual, it might be due to the age of the pup.
Health Checkups and Vaccines
Some, but not all, breeders might pass off the expenses of the checkup of the dam during its pregnancy, as well as initial vaccinations on the pups to their customers.
While it can be convenient that you won’t have to worry about such details, make sure to get copies of these visits to the vet for proof and for future references when you visit the vet with your dog for later checkups.
If the breeder you’re planning to buy your Saint Bernard from is well-known who sells healthy pups, especially if they’ve joined quite a few competitions themselves, then you can expect not only a long waiting time but an additional premium due to this reputation.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are breeders who may be reputed to be running a puppy mill. I would advise against buying from such places, as the dam of these puppies are usually overworked, and you might end up owning a sickly pup, which will cost you more in the long run.
A good breeder would be more than happy to show you the parents of your pup-to-be, as they are confident with the health and conditions of their dogs.
You can also approach them for additional tips on taking care of your new pup, as they would have had extensive experience on their belt by then.
Types of Breeders and How Much to Expect From Them
Places that offer relatively low prices for their pups might be the most tempting place to buy your Saint Bernard, but it could be a puppy mill masquerading as a reputable seller.
As mentioned earlier, there is a high chance of getting a sick pup from these types of mills, which might lead to more expenses and heartbreak in the long run.
The average price of a Saint Bernard pup from a puppy mill: $400 – $600
Though they might also offer their puppies cheap, this is often due to unplanned pet pregnancies and not being able to take care of extra dogs.
While they may not exactly have the same standards as reputable breeders in terms of quality of breeds and such, they are definitely better than puppy mills.
They could also be first-time breeders and haven’t got all the details figured out yet. If you are just looking for a Saint Bernard as a pet, you might be more inclined to buy from a backyard breeder that you know or someone you know recommended.
The average price of a Saint Bernard pup from a backyard breeder: $700 – $1000
These are the people who dedicate their time to the dog breeding industry and follow ethical standards when breeding and raising pups.
They often have a reputation around the dog breeding circles, either due to competing in various competitions or simply due to the quality of the pups they breed.
If you are planning to buy from one of these reputable breeders, expect a waiting list for pups and a higher price than usual, particularly if the pups come from a champion dam or sire. It will also cost you quite a lot to secure one of the pups they sell.
The upside to this is that you’ll have an extensive record of the pup you are getting, from breed registry papers to medical records of the pups and of the parents, if you request for them.
Some might even offer support post-purchase, as they want to make sure the pup you have is being well taken care of.
The average price of a Saint Bernard pup from a backyard breeder: $1000 – $2000
For pups bred from championship dogs or have great bloodlines, it can go up to $4000 in some cases.
Again, these details might not be important to someone who just wants a pet Saint Bernard, but it’s a good thing to consider.
While you may not be looking for a championship show dog, you do not want to buy from someone who potentially runs a puppy mill that treats their dogs poorly.
Taking Your Saint Bernard Home: Initial Cost to Get Started
After going through all those considerations and finding a breeder that you’re satisfied with, you finally have your Saint Bernard pup.
Congratulations! But you’re not out of the woods yet. Now you have to look into your pup’s basic short and long-term needs.
Here’s a list of things you might need to start your life with your new Saint Bernard pup:
|Type of Expense||Cost|
|A Good Quality Puppy Food||$100|
|Dog Crate and Bed||$120|
|Toys, Leashes, and Bowls||$150|
|Initial Vet Visit (if the breeder hasn’t done so)||$60|
|Initial Vaccinations (if the breeder hasn’t done so)||$115|
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Meds (if applicable)||$80|
Please note that prices may vary depending on brands and the vet you choose. This is just to give you an approximation of the initial additional costs of having a Saint Bernard pup.
For starters, you’ll need some good quality puppy food for your pooch. While Saint Bernards can usually eat the same food we do, pups might not be able to digest them properly yet. Pups generally tend to eat more, so that they can grow faster and stronger.
Along with food comes treats, which is especially important in training and winning your pup’s affection. This is extremely important if you wish to groom your Saint Bernard for shows and competition, as they pick up on tricks and commands through repetition.
It might also be the case for basic training, so don’t get mad if they don’t seem to be picking up on things quickly. You’ll need a lot of patience and treats for this, but it beats having a huge misbehaving dog in the long run.
Next up, the bed. It is a good idea to get them a large bed since they’ll be using it until they grow up. A typical male Saint Bernard can grow up to 27 inches sitting up, while female ones tend to be at 25 inches or slightly smaller.
At the very least, buying a large one at the get-go will lessen costs, and also help you plan around its location in the house early on.
For toys and other accessories like leashes and collars, do note that Saint Bernards are chewers. They can also drool a lot, so you might want to get them toys and accessories that are durable and won’t soak up saliva that much.
Chew toys and toy bones are definitely a must if you want them to stay away from chewing other stuff in the house.
As for taking care of their health, you’ll probably need to go to the vet for a few times to get them checked out, even if they’re not displaying any signs of discomfort. It would also be a good time to get them their first round of vaccines if the breeder hasn’t already done so.
You’ll also be going back a few times as your Saint Bernard grows, either for further vaccinations or neutering/spaying (if you wish to).
You can opt to sign up for your pup for pet insurance to cover medical costs. A lot of them have puppy coverage that can take care of other things such as deworming, vaccinations, and other pup-related concerns. They normally go for $30 – $60 a month, depending on the pet insurance you are getting.
Lastly, you’ll have to invest in other basic equipment such as bowls, as well as carpet cleaners, and a good brush for their fur.
Saint Bernards shed their fur moderately, but it’s still a good idea to brush their fur every few days to head off those random shedding at your home.
You can also opt to take them to a pet groomer if their fur has grown too long and unruly.
My First-Year Expenses with Saint Bernard
These are my expenses in the first year of owning St. Bernard:
|Type of Expense||Cost|
|Saint Bernard Pup (from a reputable breeder)||$1500|
|Deworming, Tick, and Flea Meds (if needed)||$320|
|Other Veterinarian Expenses (lessened due to pet insurance)||$130|
Equipment includes stuff such as beds, leashes, and toys, as well as purchases for cleaning and potty training your pup. Please be advised that these are approximations of costs for your reference.
Notice that there are other items that have been lessened or does not cost anything. This is due to the pet insurance I got for our Saint Bernard pup.
It is particularly useful and convenient for the first few years of raising your Saint Bernard, as you’ll be taking them to the vet for regular checkups then.
Monthly Cost of Owning a Saint Bernard
If those expenses seem daunting, worry not. Taking care of your Saint Bernard will get cheaper as it reaches adulthood.
One major expense that will be lessened is its food expenses, as Saint Bernards don’t have problems eating what we eat.
Just make sure that you don’t serve them food with ingredients that can cause dogs to have adverse reactions.
Though it would still be advisable to keep them on a dog food diet, it wouldn’t be bad for them to have these kinds of food every once in a while.
There are also fewer expenses on toys and treats, as you are most likely done with training your Saint Bernard on tricks and basic behavior by now.
But it’s still a good idea to keep some treats around to reward your pooch for good behavior once in a while.
These are my monthly expenses of owning St. Bernard:
|Type of Expense||Cost|
|Treats and Toys||$30|
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications (if needed)||$35|
While you have pet insurance handy for health emergencies, it is still a good idea to have a small emergency fund, in case your Saint Bernard needs additional care and such. It never hurts to be prepared!
Other Possible Expenses for Your Saint Bernard
These are just additional things that might cost you in raising your pup, but some, if not most of them are optional, depending on your lifestyle and preferences.
Training your pup is definitely a must during the first year or so, in order to head of unruly behavior and bad habits.
While you can choose to do this yourself, and some people actually prefer to do so, you can also enroll your pooch to puppy classes, so you can have a professional train your pup for you.
Puppy classes can range from $50 – $70, while private lessons from reputable professionals might cost more.
Day Care & Pet Walking Services
Saint Bernards are highly social animals, and can actually develop anxiety if left alone in your home without any companions.
If you are at work for most of the day and don’t have someone staying home for the most part, it might be a good idea to take your Saint Bernard to a Doggy Day Care. Daycares nowadays have a fee of $20 to $40 per day, depending on the area and the facilities they have.
Likewise, you can also hire someone to take your Saint Bernard for a walk for some much-needed exercise. Though it would be great if you can also take walks with your dogs on your day-offs so that they can have some quality time with you outdoors.
I’ve mentioned before how helpful having pet insurance for your Saint Bernard is, especially while it’s still a pup. It can also be useful in the long run, if you feel like your Saint Bernard needs constant vet visits.
You should expect to pay between $30 to $60 a month for dog insurance plan with decent coverage.
Kennel Club Registration
If you decided to purchase from a breeder that does not provide breed registry papers, you could opt to register your dog with a kennel club (such as AKC). You can check the AKC registration fees here.
As mentioned earlier, grooming your Saint Bernard is a must, especially during its seasonal shedding. If you do not have the time or the equipment to do so, you can opt to take your Saint Bernard to the pet groomer.
You’ll only need to take them to the groomer 1-2 times a year. Depending on the pet packages your local groomer offers, it might cost you $50 – $100 dollars per visit (plus a tip to your groomer, of course).
Adopting a Saint Bernard
Lastly, let us talk about the option of adopting a Saint Bernard from a shelter. The obvious downsides are that you won’t get any breed registry papers and won’t have the pleasure of raising them from being a pup.
They’re also well past the years of training, and you don’t quite know what behavior or attitude your Saint Bernard will have.
But on the upside, you have a dog that knows how to deal with people in general, as it has been with another family for quite some time.
You just need to give them some extra care and love so that their loyalty would eventually be with you. And giving a dog another chance on a forever home is always a nice thing to do.
It will surely need a lot of effort, but some would say it is an effort of love to adopt and give shelter dogs a new home.
Animal shelters or adoption centers do charge a small adoption fee that usually covers the expenses for veterinary wellness visits, spaying/neutering, food, and transportation.
The adoption fee usually ranges from $100 to $700 depending on the age, breed, and size of the dog.
My Final Thoughts on Owning a Saint Bernard
A well-bred Saint Bernard is calm, sensible, and patient. But it still depends on how you train them as they grow up whether they become more outgoing or possibly unruly.
Training them while young is always a good idea, be it behavior, potty training, and their attitude towards other people or pets around them.
Early socialization also helps them be less wary of new people or elements in their environment.
Being social dogs, they can take cues when there are sudden changes in their environment, be it the social relations of their owners or how you treat them at home.
They are quite sensitive dogs and may develop anxiety or destructive behaviors if subjected to such situations often.
While adult Saint Bernards are calm and quiet indoors, they still need space and deserve a spacious home to move around in.
Having a spacious yard is a plus, but if it’s not possible, taking them to parks for walks and playtime is also an option for their continued good health.
If you’re going out, giving them things to do like wearing a backpack and such gives them a purpose and could help you carry some stuff around.
They also like pulling stuff around and are actually used as sleigh dogs in cold and mountainous regions.
Giving them some stuff to carry around can also count as added exercise for them. Of course, you shouldn’t force it on them, as they are likely to bite or chew it off if they feel uncomfortable.
I hope that this has helped you with your questions and concerns about having a Saint Bernard as a pet. Here’s to enjoying the company of your lovable giant for years to come!