Being a dog guardian costs money, and some breeds cost more than others. Knowing what breeds are more expensive can help you budget accordingly to keep your new dog healthy and happy.

When it comes to vet bills, certain breeds tend to have higher medical costs than others. Forbes Advisor recently put together a list of dog breeds with the highest average medical costs, so if you’re looking at a specific breed, then you can use these numbers to help budget for being a dog guardian.

It’s also important to remember that some breeds are predisposed to diseases and illnesses, and if you know what your dog might be susceptible to, then you can take steps to keep them safe and healthy.

Common Genetic Disorders in Dogs

Some dog breeds might have higher medical costs than others, and it could be linked to genetic predispositions to certain illnesses and diseases. Here are some examples of the most common genetic conditions:

  • Epilepsy
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Heart problems
  • Cancer
  • Allergies
  • Cataracts
  • Gastric dilatation volvulus

Dog Breeds with Genetic Predispositions

Some dog breeds are genetically predisposed to one or more of the aforementioned health problems, and those include:

  • Bernese Mountain Dogs
  • Boxers
  • Collies
  • Dachshunds
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • German Shepherds
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Great Danes
  • Irish Setters
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Poodles
  • Rottweilers
  • Saint Bernards
  • Schnauzers
  • Spaniels
  • Terriers

In other words, if you’re looking at one of these dog breeds, you should be prepared in case the pup’s medical expenses are above and beyond regular vet visits and checkups.

Dog Breeds with Low and High Medical Bills

Not surprisingly, several of these breeds appear on the Forbes Advisor list of breeds with the most expensive vet bills. According to the pet insurance claims that they analyzed, the three breeds with the highest medical bills are the:

  • Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
  • Rottweiler
  • Dogue de Bordeaux

By contrast, Forbes Advisor found that the Australian Labradoodle, the Miniature Goldendoodle, and the Shichon have the lowest medical bills.

Covering the Cost of Medical Bills for Pooches

Pet insurance can be a great way to ensure that unexpected medical expenses are covered, including things like diseases and injuries.

Another option is a wellness plan that your veterinarian may offer. These typically include all routine annual expenses, but they might not cover unexpected or emergency bills. You can also put money aside each month into a special emergency fund for your pup. And when all else fails, there are non-profit organizations out there that help pet parents cover unexpected veterinary expenses.

No matter what kind of dog you bring into your family, you’ll have to budget for the cost of their care. Knowing what breeds tend to have higher and lower medical bills can help you plan, but don’t forget about food, toys, beds, accessories, training, and other expenses!


Animal Wellness is North America's top natural health and lifestyle magazine for dogs and cats, with a readership of over one million every year. AW features articles by some of the most renowned experts in the pet industry, with topics ranging from diet and health related issues, to articles on training, fitness and emotional well being.