Great Danes have an interesting history and they have Mastiff blood in them. The pure Mastiff is considered the closest modern ancestor of the Dane. During the Middle Ages, Great Danes were believed to ward off evil spirits for which they were allowed to roam freely on their owners’ lands.
These gentle giants come in various coat colors. In fact; you won’t find too many breeds sporting as many color variations. You will find Danes in Blue, Black, Mantle, Brindle, Harlequin (Read our article about the price of Harlequin Great Dane), and Fawn colors. Male Danes measure 30-34 inches at withers and weigh between 120-200 lb. Females are slightly shorter and lighter.
If you’re looking to adopt or buy a Great Dane, it is a great decision. However, you must note the fact that the breed is known for an extremely short lifespan – barely 6-7 years. Also, they are known for excess drooling and slobbering. If you do not mind these things, then the Dane is sure to be a loyal and loving addition to your household.
The Great Dane is a giant dog breed but its size is deceptive. They are extremely mild-mannered and gentle. Also, they only need a moderate amount of exercise and grooming and their low loud barks make them excellent guard dogs. Due to these reasons, the Great Dane is extremely popular in the United States. This popularity comes with a price though: you can expect to pay anywhere between $600 and $3000 for your Dane puppy. Pups from pedigree lineage and champion dogs are even costlier.
In this guide, we will have an in-depth discussion about the cost of raising a Great Dane. We will cover the cost of food, medical expenses, training costs, and other unexpected costs. In case you’re in a hurry, here is a quick summary:
The large size of Great Danes increases the cost of their ownership. Expect to pay almost $2000 per year on food and medical expenses on this breed. In the first year, you’d also spend on the purchase/adoption, basic supplies, vaccinations, neutering, and training. These can come to almost $5000. Over your pet’s short lifetime, the cost of ownership can amount to $14,000 to $20,000.
Let us take an in-depth look at these costs.
How Much Does a Great Dane Puppy Cost?
Research your breeder well before you buy your Great Dane puppy from them. It is important to meet and interact with the parent dogs and also check out the premises where your puppy grows up. If a breeder does not allow families to visit, then it could be a red flag. Check somewhere else.
The GDCA or the Great Dane Club of America is a good place to start your research. The breeders here are involved in the welfare efforts of the breed. They also own champion Danes and their puppies are socialized, dewormed, and vaccinated.
Here are some factors affecting the price of Great Dane puppies:
As mentioned earlier, good breeders are genuinely concerned about the dogs’ welfare. They undergo health checks and certifications to ensure they are free from health issues. They usually breed healthy dogs and also offer to take back the puppy should a health issue arise within a year. This is subject to terms and conditions.
Reputed Great Dane breeders tend to charge more for their pups. Some also charge a $100 deposit just to get on their waitlist. Others may charge a non-refundable $500 over the puppy’s price once the pups arrive. This is to ensure that buyers are genuinely interested in their pups. There also may be a shipping charge in case your breeder is in another state.
At the moment, the Harlequin-colored Great Danes are the most popular and they cost more. However, it is also a rare color as breeding a Harlequin requires a lot of trial and error due to the genetics involved. All these factors increase the cost of Harlequin Danes.
Adopting a Great Dane
Adopting a Great Dane is usually cheaper than buying one. You need to find a rescue organization that keeps rescued Danes. Most charge between $300 and $500 for their dogs. However, it is important to determine the dog’s history to ensure there are no major health issues. Otherwise, you’d end up spending a lot more on the dog’s medical care.
Here is a table showing the minimum and maximum costs of Great Dane pups
|The minimum price of a Great Dane puppy||$600|
|The maximum price of a Great Dane puppy||$3000|
|Price bracket||$1000 to $3000|
The Cost of Basic Supplies for Great Danes
With a Great Dane, you’ll have to buy everything in giant sizes. These dogs are huge and they need large beds, bowls, and toys. Here are some basic supplies to make your dog more comfortable:
Bed and bedding
Make sure that your Dane’s bedding is large enough to accommodate your dog’s weight. Many pet stores do not carry such large beds and you may have to get the bedding customized. The cost of large chew-proof bedding is around $50. You might also need a large crate for your puppy to help during potty training.
Buy sturdy and large toys for your Dane to chew on and do ensure they do not have the risk of choking or being swallowed. Chew toys will keep your puppy busy and also soothe its sore gums during its teething phase. The cost of toys for Great Danes should not be more than $30.
Food and water bowls
Great Dane adults and puppies need bigger bowls for food and water. You must also top them up several times a day. Invest in sturdy bowls that won’t skid or tip over. Place silicone or rubber mats under the bowls to curb messes and splashes. Since Danes are prone to bloat, it is a good idea to invest in elevated food and water bowls. The cost is higher though; between $50 and $140.
Leash and collars
Buy a correctly fitting leash and collar for your Great Dane puppy. These will come in handy when you start taking your dog to the Dog Park for walks – after its vaccinations are complete. The cost of a collar and leash for Danes is around $50-$75.
Here is a summary of approximate costs for basic supplies for Danes:
|Baby gates to limit your pet’s entry in parts of your house||$40|
|Treat dispenser toys||$20|
|Sturdy bed||From $50|
|Collapsible crate, crate pads||From $100|
|Mats for containing food messes||$10|
|Grooming tools – brush, comb, dental supplies, shampoo, nail clippers, etc.||$75|
|Potty pads for indoor training||$10|
Great Dane Training Costs
Great Danes need firm, consistent, and early training to prevent behavioral issues. You can opt to train your dog at home, provided you have prior experience in the matter. These days, you can get many inputs from free resources online.
If you choose to take the professional training route, you have many options before you. Most forms of dog training cost between $30 and $80 per class. This depends on the kind of training, the expertise of the trainer, and your city/location.
Expect to pay between $20 and $50 for group training classes. These will not only train your Dane in basic obedience commands but also give it the confidence and social skills it needs. Private dog training can set you back by almost $45 to $120 depending on the trainer. You can also pay upfront for 6-day sessions which cost around $200.
Dog training boot camps cost between $500 and $1250 per week. These may include the board-and-train option, so your pet will reside with the trainer for a week. During this period, your Dane will get potty trained and also learn some basic skills and commands. It is very important to continue the same training at home as well.
|National average dog training cost||$50|
|The minimum cost of dog training||$20|
|The maximum cost of dog training||$120|
|Board and train||$500 – $1250 per week|
Great Dane Food Costs
The giant dog breed needs huge amounts of food to maintain that energy and muscle mass. During the puppy’s growth phase, your Dane will need at least 2500 to 3000 calories in a day.
You need to feed your pup 3-4 meals every day. It is best to feed the same food that the breeder was feeding it. This is very important to prevent stressing out your pet’s digestive health and also ensure there are no gastric disturbances.
Adult Great Danes will need up to 2000 calories in a day depending on their age and activity levels. Feed 8 cups of high-quality dog food to your adult Great Dane and you can choose to divide this into 2 meals per day. Most adult Danes in the average weight range could eat up to 50 pounds of food per week. If you buy high-quality dog food, then you could even spend up to $200 per week.
Make sure to check your dog’s weight from time to time. Your vet can ensure that your pet remains within the healthy weight range. If not, tweak its diet. You’d also need to make dietary changes as your pet transitions through different life stages.
|Type of Food||Approximate quantity||Monthly cost|
|Kibble/dry dog food||60-100 lb. per month||$200-$300|
|Wet food/canned food||3000 lb. per month||$400|
|Freeze-dried food||200 nuggets per day||$500|
|Raw||120 lb. month||$100|
Great Dane Dog Food Comparison
Great Danes need special food and your vet or breeder can guide you in the matter. Look for food specially formulated for large-breed dogs. It should contain lean protein, antioxidants, and healthy fats.
It is a good idea to look for food containing lean proteins from different meat sources: pasture-fed lamb, free-range chicken, and wild-caught salmon are good options. Ideally, the food should also contain bone and joint-strengthening ingredients like glucosamine, MSM, and chondroitin. Make sure there are no fillers like wheat, corn, and soy in the food.
Puppies need food with protein, DHA, and EPA for brain development. It should ideally also contain calcium, phosphorus, and other bone and teeth-strengthening minerals. As mentioned earlier, it is best to feed your puppy the same food as the breeders.
Senior dogs may need some dietary changes and so will lactating or pregnant female Danes. The following table shows different dog foods available in the market along with their approximate costs:
|Name of food||Features||Cost|
|Royal Canin Great Dane Adult Dry Dog Food||Unique kibble shape, high energy food, contains EPA and DHA, promotes digestion||$2/lb|
|Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food Large & Giant Breed Adult||Contains glucosamine, chondroitin, and other joint supporting ingredients||$2.10/lb.|
|Purina Pro Plan Large Breed & Giant Breed Chicken & Rice Adult Dry Dog Food||Probiotics for digestive health, joint benefitting ingredients||$1.54/lb.|
|Purina Large/Giant Breed Chunks in Gravy Canned Dog Food||Made with real chicken, omegas, vitamins, and minerals||$2.44/lb.|
You can read more about the cost of feeding the Great Danes in this article.
Medical Costs for Great Danes
Giant dog breeds have giant health issues. Even in the first year itself, you’d have to consider the cost of vaccinating and de-sexing your Dane. These costs can come to nearly $300-$500. Vaccinations are very important and essential to prevent canine diseases like parvovirus, influenza, distemper, and hepatitis.
If you do not plan to breed your Dane, then it is best to get it neutered. This can prevent behavioral issues and also certain cancers. The cost of spaying a bitch is around $400 for a large breed and neutering a male can cost around $200.
You’d also need to consider the costs of deworming and flea and tick prevention for Danes. This is very important to prevent infestation and also diseases transmitted by these parasites. The cost of preventing ticks and fleas combined with deworming every 3 to 4 months can come to $200 to $300 a year.
Great Danes are prone to bloat. A trip to the vet for an emergency such as bloat can cost almost $5000. Even the cost of X-rays for larger dogs is higher than regular-sized dogs. So, it is important to save up for these incidents.
The following table shows you the approximate costs of vaccinations:
|Name of vaccine||Age of puppy||Cost|
|Distemper||At least 3 doses are to be given between 6 and 16 weeks of age. (2 doses to be given 3-4 weeks apart)||$15 to $25|
|Parvovirus||Same as above|
|Adenovirus, type 1 (CAV-1, canine hepatitis)||The intranasal vaccine may be boosted at one year. Your pet will also need a booster 1 year after completing the initial series, then again, every 3 years.||$15-$50|
|Adenovirus, type 2 (CAV-2, kennel cough)||Between 6 weeks to 16 weeks, at least 3 doses.||$15-$50|
|Rabies 1 and 3 years||Can be given as early as 3 months of age. States have laws about this core vaccine||$35 to $50|
|Parainfluenza||Administered at 6-8 weeks of age, then every 3-4 weeks until 12-14 weeks old. Depending on the manufacturer’s recommendation, a booster may be needed after a year and re-vaccination every 3 years.||$15-$35|
|Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough)||2 doses of injection or one dose of intranasal vaccine given based on manufacturer’s recommendation||$15-$50|
|Lyme disease||Given at 9 weeks and repeated after 2-4 weeks||$20-$40|
|Leptospirosis||2 doses at least 2-4 weeks apart. The first dose is given at around 8 weeks.||$15-$35|
Flea and tick prevention costs
|Name||Cost per year|
|Shampoo + flea comb||$20-$40|
|Weekly flea dip + flea and tick collar||$40-$150|
|Additional costs like flea extermination of the house||$500|
Additional Medical Costs
- Routine check-up – between $50 and $400
- Dental cleaning – $200-$500
- Allergy tests – $190-$300
- X-ray – $500
- Emergency surgery – $2000 to $5000
Health Issues in Great Danes
Great Danes have a short lifespan of around 6 to 7 years. They are known for the following health issues:
Bloat or gastric dilatation volvulus
Bloat is a common health issue seen in most large breed dogs. It causes the stomach to fill up with gas and fluids. Symptoms include trying to vomit, retching, pacing, restlessness, and panting. Please see your vet right away if you see these signs. Your Dane will need major surgery. This could cost around $1500 to $5000 and there may not be any guarantee of survival.
Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition and good breeders must refrain from breeding affected dogs. That is the only way of preventing it. The early signs of HD are seen in pups as young as 5 months. It can lead to decreased activity, pain, limping, etc. The cost of surgery for treating hip dysplasia can be as high as $6300 per hip.
Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle seen in large breed dogs like Danes. It is characterized by a decreased ability of the heart to pump blood through the cardiovascular system. Signs include excess drooling, bluish palor, rapid breathing, collapsing, etc. The prognosis for Cardiomyopathy is not very good: most dogs die 6 months after it is detected.
Pet Insurance: Should You Buy it For Your Great Dane?
Owning any dog entails huge financial responsibility and this is even more applicable to a breed like Great Dane. If your pet ends up being detected with a serious and ongoing health issue, then a comprehensive pet insurance plan can help.
Pet insurance is a sensible way of meeting your Great Dane’s veterinary costs. Today, there are more than 15 great companies offering insurance plans for pets in the United States. They all have different benefits and disadvantages, so it is important to do thorough research.
A good insurance plan will allow you to visit any vet of your choice. It should also provide a discount for every additional pet. Good plans can also give you 100% of reimbursement including exam fees. Look for a company that has an easy claim process for fast claim approval. Ideally, the plan should pay the vet directly instead of you paying first and getting back the money later.
Here are four of the best pet insurance companies with their features and approximate monthly costs:
|Name of the company||Features||Cost|
|Pumpkin||90% cash-back on covered bills, no add-on fees, no breed restrictions||Preventative care plans start from $18.95 per month|
|ManyPets||Vet-approved, award-winning, no hidden fees, cancel anytime||Starting $20/month|
|Spot||70-90% reimbursement on most bills, 10% multi-pet discounts||Basic wellness plans start at $10/month|
|Prudent Pet||Quick reimbursement, online claims, 30-day money back||$21.93 to insure a two-year-old dog with 70% coverage, a $2,500 annual limit, and a $500 deductible|
Additional Costs of Owning a Great Dane
In addition to the food and veterinary costs, you might also have to factor in the additional costs of dog ownership as below:
Travel/pet boarding/pet sitting costs
If you travel frequently for business or pleasure, then it is best to board your dog at a pet hostel. These tend to charge between $50 and $75 per night. Alternatively, you could hire a pet sitter to watch your buddy. Depending on the tasks they perform (walking, feeding, watering the plants, etc.), these services can cost between $40 and $100 per hour. Some might charge you a daily amount.
Great Danes need regular exercise as they are prone to weight gain. You could walk your pet twice a day or hire a dog walker. For large dog breeds, most dog walkers charge between $40 and $60 per 30-minute walk.
In addition to vaccinating and deworming your dog, followed by neutering it, you may want to consider microchipping it. This is not compulsory but it is beneficial in the event your dog is lost. Most vets charge $45 for this painless procedure.
Key Takeaways – How Much Does a Great Dane Cost?
If you’re still familiarizing yourself with this giant breed, it is a good idea to consider how much the potential cost of owning it is. Here is a quick recap:
The initial cost of Great Dane ownership starts with the puppy’s price. This is, on average, about $1000 although some breeders even charge $3000. Adopting a Dane is slightly cheaper.
You’d also want to invest in some basic supplies like bowls, a bed, a collar, and a leash, grooming supplies, and toys. These basics can cost $100 to $300. The first-year costs also include training, medical, and food costs. Expect to pay almost $5000-$7000 if you add these all up.
On a monthly basis, your major expense will be on your dog’s food. You could spend between $100 and $300 per month on food alone. You also need to factor in flea/tick prevention, deworming, other medical costs, and pet insurance costs – if you choose to buy one. Expect to spend almost $500-$700 per month in all these, in most months.
Most Great Dane owners spend $3000 to $5000 per year on their dog’s food, medical costs, etc. This will vary based on the city and your style of dog parenting.
Danes have a short lifespan of about 7 years but if your pet gets sick, then the costs can quickly add up. Most Dane owners spend a total of $15,000 to $20,000 on this giant dog breed.
We hope this guide and cost breakup helps you plan financially for your pet.