More often than not, the first question of those who dream of owning a Saint Bernard puppy is, “How much does a Saint Bernard cost?”
Due to the large size of the Saint Bernard breed, it is considered one of the most expensive dogs on the market.
However, its price is only the first aspect of being a Saint Bernard owner. There are other things to consider when it comes to purchasing one.
To help you weigh all the factors of having this pup, let’s dive deeper into this article. This will make you aware of this gentle giant’s needs and get those finances planned out.
The Average Cost of a Saint Bernard Puppy
The price of Saint Bernard pups ranges between $1,000 and $2,000. However, it can still increase depending on the dog’s quality, lineage or pedigree, and coat color. Meanwhile, show dogs and champion line puppies have a price range of $2,000 to $3,000.
Depending on the breeder, the average price may include hands-on care, vaccinations, and vet needs to ensure the quality of these large dogs.
Purchasing puppies from well-known breeders will most likely incur extra dollars on the price tag compared to small breeders.
However, it is essential to thoroughly research their backgrounds since some puppy mills nowadays disguise themselves as reputable breeders.
If you are hesitating to spend a large amount of money on a new puppy, one of the most practical options is to adopt one.
Factors Affecting the Cost of a Saint Bernard Puppy
Deciding to purchase a Saint Bernard should not be an impulsive decision. Breeders don’t just pick a random amount and put them in the dog’s price tag.
There is a lot of work done to breed a healthy pup, and there are a lot of factors affecting its price.
Knowing these factors could give you more transparency and understanding of where your money is going and if this breed is truly worth purchasing.
Listed below are some breeder considerations when it comes to pricing Saint Bernard dogs:
- Age: Most dog lovers have an age preference for buying Saint Bernards. Adult dogs are considered less expensive than puppies. Buying adult or senior dogs is great for your budget, but if you want to shape the dog’s behavioral pattern at a young age, go for puppies instead.
- Appearance: According to the AKC, Saint Bernard puppies have nine standard colors and a unique marking known as the black mask. All Saint Bernards are a combination of colors and never just single-colored dogs. Those of rare color combinations are quite sought-after, thus, more expensive.
- Bloodline: Another significant factor affecting the Saint Bernard’s price is their lineage. If you are just eyeing a family pet or companion, you don’t need to purchase a champion line or a show dog. You’ll be spending much more on these dogs than the regular ones.
- Breeder’s Reputation: Like other dogs, a puppy from reputable Saint Bernard breeders is costly. They are more likely to produce healthy, high-quality pups than backyard breeders. Their expertise, experiences, and efforts in dog breeds allow them to set higher prices.
- Registration Papers: A Saint Bernard may be registered in recognized kennel clubs to determine if they are purebred and of high quality. These papers are also requirements for dog shows and competitions. It is also important to note that you can purchase Saint Bernards without such documents.
- Health Guarantees and Check-Ups: Some breeders give dog owners health guarantees when purchasing Saint Bernard puppies. In addition, there are cases where breeders add the dam’s check-ups during pregnancy and the puppies’ initial vaccination to the price.
Those mentioned above may already be a lot, but other factors affect the price of Saint Bernard puppies. These include gender, reservation fees, breeder’s location, and transportation costs.
Consulting with a Saint Bernard breeder is highly recommended. While you’re at it, you should also ask for documents that can support the breeder’s claim just to make sure you get your money’s worth.
Moreover, if you’re curious about how large a Saint Bernard pup can grow, here’s a video of its transition into adulthood:
How Much Does It Cost to Adopt a Saint Bernard From a Rescue?
A Saint Bernard in a shelter is usually a young adult or senior dog. It’s pretty rare to find puppies unless they are surrendered from an accidental litter. Nevertheless, they typically have an adoption fee ranging from $150 to $600.
An adoption fee is required due to the shelter’s expenses on food and other dog necessities. The fees are also spent on vaccinations, spaying or neutering costs, supplements, vet care, and additional medical costs.
Pet lovers sometimes pursue adopting dogs not just because it’s much cheaper but because it can save a life. However, you should be mindful that a rescue dog’s history is not usually disclosed in shelters.
Moreover, there are a lot of animal shelters located in different states that offer Saint Bernards. Some of them will be suggested later on in this article.
Initial Cost of Saint Bernard Ownership
Now that we’ve tackled the purchase price of a Saint Bernard puppy, let’s move on to the essential expenses to keep your pup healthy and happy. This gentle giant has a lot of needs that pet owners need to tend to.
Below is the list of initial items you will need as you open your home to a Saint Bernard pup:
- Foods and Treats: Since they grow up as giant dogs, Saint Bernard puppies have a great appetite. It is essential to invest in good quality puppy food to grow healthy. Treats are also great for training, behavioral corrections, and teaching them tricks and commands. The cost range for this is $100 to $200.
- Food and Water Bowls: There are many variations in feeding bowls. With Saint Bernards, it is vital to invest in good quality ones. Since the serving size is large, an appropriate bowl is needed. Usually, the cost range is $15 to $35. Stainless bowls are much more durable and also safer for dogs.
- Bed: Saint Bernard puppies require plus-size beds until they become adults. Bed costs range from around $50 to $200 for this large breed. Choosing a high-quality and comfortable bed is also extremely important since Saint Bernards are at high risk for hip and elbow dysplasia.
- Crate: Although a Saint Bernard is not usually caged, this is still essential for travels. It also serves as a safe spot or space for your dog in case they want to be alone or if you’re not around. The cost range for crates is usually $60 to $500 for giant dogs.
- Leashes and Collars: Like other dog breeds, a Saint Bernard needs to be walked daily. Quality leashes and collars are essential and should be appropriate and made from solid material. A leash and collar suited for a Saint Bernard cost around $15 to $50.
- Toys: Saint Bernard puppies love to chew toys, especially when teething. High-quality toys often range from $30 to $50. Chewing on toys can release energy and improve mental development. This also prevents boredom and furniture destruction.
- Grooming Essentials: Saint Bernards tend to shed a lot. That’s why grooming should be a priority for this kind of dog. They usually go through seasonal shedding, most likely during autumn and spring. Brushes, shampoos, supplements, and other grooming essentials cost around $40 to $180.
- Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications: Keeping your Saint Bernard free from parasites is one of the obligations of a responsible fur parent. These medications are essential to prevent severe medical conditions such as ehrlichiosis and internal parasites like roundworms. These may cost between $50 and $200.
- Initial Vet Visits: A dog’s health should always be a priority of pet owners. Medical expenses for initial vet visits cost between $100 and $300. Saint Bernard puppies need to undergo a series of health check-ups to ensure that no health issues will develop as they age.
- Initial Vaccine Shots: Breeders usually add up the cost of vaccines to the price when purchasing a Saint Bernard. The same goes for the adoption fees of shelters. But in some cases, additional vaccines are needed for a Saint Bernard puppy, and they cost between $75 and $200.
- Neutering or Spaying: A Saint Bernard being released to a new home is usually not spayed or neutered at a very young age. However, the owner will shoulder the cost of the procedure later on. This is very beneficial for your dog and will cost you around $50 to $500.
- Dog License: The licensing process is essential for Saint Bernard puppies. Everything about your dog’s identity can be found in this document, which also signifies legal proof of ownership. The cost of acquiring a dog license for a Saint Bernard ranges between $10 and $20.
- Microchips: These tiny devices give a permanent form of pet identification and information. Microchips have been very helpful in reuniting owners and pets in cases of accidental separation. It costs about $40 to $60 to acquire microchips for a Saint Bernard.
- Miscellaneous Supplies: With the appetite and size of Saint Bernard puppies, their urine and fecal matter are much more challenging to deal with compared to other dogs. Cleaning tools and other miscellaneous supplies can reach around $15 to $30, depending on the age of your Saint Bernard.
To break down the initial costs of Saint Bernard puppies into a single list, check out the table below:
|Type of Expense||Cost|
|Food and Treats||$100 – $120|
|Food and Water Bowls||$15 – $35|
|Bed||$50 – $200|
|Crate||$60 – $500|
|Leashes and Collars||$15 – $50|
|Toys||$30 – $50|
|Grooming Essentials||$40 – $180|
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications||$50 – $200|
|Initial Vet Visits||$100 – $300|
|Initial Vaccine Shots||$75 – $200|
|Neutering or Spaying||$50 – $500|
|Dog License||$10 – $20|
|Microchip||$40 – $60|
|Miscellaneous Supplies||$15 – $30|
|Total Initial Cost||$650 – $2,445|
As you can see, you will need $650 to $2,445 to purchase these initial essentials when you decide to be a Saint Bernard owner. This may be a lot, especially if you go for high-quality items, but it’s undoubtedly worth it.
Having these for your dog will not only keep it healthy but will also ensure its overall well-being. It can also help you save money in the long run when you invest in these items without hesitation.
For example, keeping your dog’s vaccines up-to-date will not cost you large vet bills in the future if they get sick.
You may also want to ask your breeder if they offer freebies like dog brushes, cleaning essentials, and feeding bowls. This can help you cut your spending for a Saint Bernard.
READ NEXT: Facts About Saint Bernard Shedding
Annual Cost of Owning a Saint Bernard
Now that the initial costing is out of the way, let’s focus on your dog’s annual expenses. Budgeting plays a significant role when you have a huge dog to take care of.
The primary recurring needs of a Saint Bernard are usually food, pet insurance, grooming, and vet care.
The cost may be intimidating, but to help you assess if you can afford to get a Saint Bernard, here’s a breakdown of its annual costs:
|Type of Expense||Yearly Estimate|
|Food and Treats||$900 – $1,200|
|Toys||$30 – $150|
|Bed and Crate||$240 – $500|
|Leashes and Collars||$30 – $50|
|Grooming||$200 – $500|
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications||$150 – $250|
|Routine Veterinary Care||$200 – $400|
|Pet Insurance||$800 – $1,500|
|Vaccinations||$80 – $250|
|Miscellaneous Supplies||$30 – $50|
|Yearly Total||$2,660 – $4,850|
|Average Monthly Cost||$222 – $404|
It’s important to note that the average lifespan of a Saint Bernard breed is around 8 to 10 years. You can multiply the computed annual estimate by the number of years to have an overview of this breed’s lifetime expenses.
You will need to allot money not only for food but also for grooming. This can be considered a fundamental need for your pet.
Grooming tools such as brushes, dog shampoos, nail trimmers, and the like will roughly cost you $200 to $500.
Moreover, regular vet check-ups may be costly but vital in keeping your Saint Bernard healthy.
Veterinarians may prescribe supplements, boosters, medications, and heartworm maintenance. Consultations may cost around $200 to $400.
In addition, if you want to save money concerning medical costs, investing in pet insurance could be very helpful. They just cost about $800 to $1,500 annually. This is way cheaper than a medical vet bill for your dog.
Other Potential Expenses
By now, we’ve walked through the non-negotiable and essential needs of your Saint Bernard. However, other potential expenses may arise that you should prepare for.
Here’s a list of additional potential costs for Saint Bernard puppies:
- Pet Daycare: You may be a dog lover, but not all neighbors are. Most family members that are not used to dogs may also not be fully equipped to take care of one. Pet daycare facilities have experts that can look after your Saint Bernard if you have a business trip or vacation. They charge around $20 to $30 a day.
- Emergency Treatment: No matter how much we take care of our dogs, there are times when life-threatening accidents happen. Being financially prepared for emergencies is very important. These types of treatment have prices ranging between $1,000 and $5,000, so it’s best if you save in advance.
- Kennel Club Certifications: Kennel club registrations are not necessary, but they are recommended, especially if you plan to join your dog in dog show events. It costs around $80 to $200 to register in AKC.
- Grooming Services: While we can groom our dogs at home, bringing them to professional groomers from time to time is vital for their hygiene. The cost range is between $30 and $80 per session.
It’s beneficial to be aware of these expenses to know how to stretch your budget when needed. These services may be optional to invest in, but they are beneficial when the need arises.
Places to Find Saint Bernard Puppies for Sale and Adoption
After learning about the costs, it’s time to look for reputable breeders and rescues to acquire a Saint Bernard. Before we go through the list, here is our puppy buying guide to give you tips when buying puppies online.
Backyard breeders and puppy mills will provide you with a meager price. However, they are usually unsanitary and unethical when it comes to producing dogs of any breed. Most dogs from these places are treated as money-making machines.
To help you weigh your options, I’ve suggested a few breeders that only produce healthy and high-quality Saint Bernards. These sources have proven their reputation over the years:
- Blue Collar St. Bernards – This breeder has been producing Saint Bernard puppies since 1990. They yield excellent quality dogs, whether you want a champion line or simply a best friend. In addition, potential owners undergo a screening process to ensure that these pups will go to a deserving family.
- Covered Bridge Saint Bernards – Healthy, high quality, and well-mannered Saint Bernards are what these breeders take pride in producing. They also offer lifetime breeder support, which is great for future dog owners.
- West Wind Saints – This kennel has been breeding affordable yet high-quality Saint Bernards for over 30 years. All their pups are AKC registered, which ensures that high standards are met. They are also members of the St. Bernard Club of America and USA Therapy Dogs.
You can also check out our top 10 picks of Saint Bernard breeders for more options.
Not all dogs are lucky enough to have a loving home. Some surrendered and rescued Saint Bernards are in shelters waiting for a family.
If you opted for adopting instead of buying this breed, here’s a list of rescue organizations you might want to consider:
- Sunny Saints St. Bernard Rescues – This is a non-profit organization that saved over 700 Saint Bernards in the last decade. They provide the needed medical care and rehabilitation for this breed before placing them into permanent and loving homes.
- Saint Bernard Rescue Foundation, Inc. – This foundation does not only save and rescue Saint Bernards. They also respond to emergency cases, do fundraising, educate the public, and advocate for pet responsible ownership.
- Colorado Saint Bernard Rescue – This is an all-volunteer organization founded in 1997. They dedicated their time and efforts to rescuing and rehoming unwanted, abused, and abandoned St. Bernard dogs.
There are many other reputable breeders and rescue groups. Another helpful way to find them is by browsing social media groups that advocate for Saint Bernards. You can also reach out to local breeders and vets.
Money-Saving Tips for Saint Bernard Owners
The Saint Bernard breed may have intimidating costs. Still, it only takes several wise and creative adjustments to save money while giving your dog the life he deserves.
Here are some practical and helpful tips for cutting some expenses:
- Go on regular vet visits. Dogs cannot tell us how they feel or if something in their body is hurting. This is why having them checked regularly by a vet is very important. Spending money on preventive measures is way cheaper than paying for expensive vet bills due to severe diseases.
- Cook homemade food and treats. You can save a lot by buying ingredients for homemade dog food since they are usually bought in bulk. By preparing your pet’s meal at home, you can also control what they eat and preserve their health.
- Groom your Saint Bernard at home. Since Saint Bernards are large in size, bringing them to professional groomers may cost you extra. Learning DIY grooming time may require a lot of effort, but it is a great way to save cash.
- Invest in high-quality essentials. Buying cheaper dog essentials will cost you more in the long run since most of them are of low quality. High-quality products may be expensive, but they will surely last longer and save you money.
There are also other ways to save money when it comes to the needs of this breed. However, your goal should still be to provide quality care for your dog. Cost-cutting should never lead to neglect and irresponsible pet ownership.
Saint Bernards are well-mannered, gentle, and loving dogs. With everything they have to offer, they come with a high price and lots of maintenance.
However, as fur parents, you must understand the financial responsibilities of owning this breed.
As the size of the dog increases, their needs are also doubled. We recommend you sit through with it and examine everything before deciding to get a Saint Bernard.
Getting one just because of their size and appearance isn’t enough. You need to make sure you are comfortable with the finances that come with raising and owning one.