If you have decided to become a proud owner of a puppy, you must be facing the dilemma – should I get a cheaper puppy with no pedigree or is it a better idea to invest more money on a pedigree puppy bought from a reliable and responsible breeder? The real question is, however, how much does it cost for a kennel to have puppies? Another crucial moment is why the price of a pedigree puppy is a lot higher than the one of a puppy without pedigree.
All of these questions urged me to write the current article, which includes tables for the costs related to raise puppies both with and without pedigree.
Well, here are some things to consider before making this important decision:
- Whether you are paying for a puppy with or without pedigree, the initial price you pay for the puppy is actually only the 1st “payment” you make. After you buy the puppy, you have to be prepared for all the costs that come along with them during their whole life (irrespective of whether they do or don’t have pedigree) – regular vet checks, vaccines, quality food, possible injuries’ treatment, grooming, etc.
- Are you looking for a pet or a show winner? In both cases, a reliable breeder will have the right puppy for you, but, in the second case, you will have no chances if the puppy has no pedigree. Of course, a litter may produce only 1 champion, many champions, or no champions at all. You will have to carefully check the puppy’s predecessors at least 4 generations back. If they are all fine representatives of the breed, your chances of buying a champion puppy are very good.
- What are you actually looking for when purchasing a puppy from a certain breed – is it only the color of their fur or the shape of their eyes? If you are looking for some distinctive characteristics of the breed like temperament, abilities, size, posture, etc., then the right decision is to go for a pedigree puppy from a reliable breeder. Unfortunately, you cannot be guaranteed these things if you go for a puppy without pedigree.
Here are some of the requirements that each breeder has to cover (related to breeding pedigree puppies):
- The mother and father should be absolutely healthy and free of any hereditary illnesses.
- They should both have an x-ray and a vet’s conclusion stating the dogs do not suffer from a hip dysplasia and/or eye illnesses.
- Only dogs, whose owners are a part of a kennel club, can be bred (in order to be a part of the club, you have to pay an annual fee).
- During pregnancy, the female dog owner is obliged to assure the best conditions for the pregnant dog.
- Between the puppies’ 45th and 56th day an authorized representative of the club has to visit the litter and evaluate each puppy (all transport costs are covered by the litter owner).
- All puppies should be vaccinated and free of parasites at the age of 45 days.
- Each female dog owner who wants to use their dog for breeding should have a registered name, subject to a certain fee.
- A pedigree is issued only if the puppy has a microchip.
- Each pedigree is subject to a certain fee.
If only one of the rules gets broken, then bred puppies would have NO pedigree!
Table 1: Costs before puppies are born
Before the puppies are born Costs: A puppy with pedigree A puppy without pedigree Annual fee for an official kennel club 15 € – Registering as a breeder and registering a name as per FCI 40 € – Eye illnesses examination (mother) 45 € – Eye illnesses examination (father) 45 € – Hip dysplasia examination (mother) 60 € – Hip dysplasia examination (father) 60 € – Participation in two exterior shows (mother) 35 € – Participation in two exterior shows (father) 35 € – Total costs (before actual pregnancy): 335 € 0 €
Even before planning a litter, the breeder should find a male and female dog with pedigree of the respective breed, which they have no family ties. Then, the breeder has to make sure that the dogs undergo hip dysplasia and ophthalmic (eye) examinations. Each dog has to take part in at least two exterior exhibitions. In case one of the dogs has champion titles or has been a part of other exhibitions, the related expenses are not included in overall costs calculations. If the prospective parents do not receive the necessary grades from the mandatory exhibitions (“Excellent” for the male dog; “Very good” for the female), the puppies would not have pedigree. All in all, even before mating takes place, the kennel owner has to pay the estimated amount of €335, only to make sure that puppies from the future litter will have documents, proving their origin and pedigree relations.
But on the other hand, the owners of puppies without pedigree do not make any expenses, because all they need to do is find two dogs (a male and a female) of the same breed, and two months later they will have a non-pedigree litter. Of course, such owner cannot be sure if there’s incest between the parents, or if the puppies already carry any hereditary disease. The only thing they can do is hope for their puppies to be healthy and would cover the breed standards.
Table 2: Expenses for three months after birth.
Up to 3 months after the puppies are born Costs: A puppy with pedigree A puppy without pedigree First vacine 15,00 € 15,00 € Second vaccine 12,50 € 12,50 € Third vaccine 15,00 € 15,00 € Food 22,50 € 22,50 € Removal of inner parasites 5,00 € – Removal of outer parasites 5,00 € – Issuing of a pedigree 7,50 € – A microchip 15,00 € – Total costs up to 3 months after puppies’ birth: 97,50 € 65,00 €
When the puppies are born, they need to be taken care of. If we assume that first, they will stay with their mother for 3 months after being born and we assume that they will be vaccinated properly, the expenses will be around €65 euro per puppy without pedigree (only if the puppy was fed with good quality food and it actually has all the vaccines). But for a puppy with pedigree they would raise up to €98 (per puppy) due to the necessary costs of parasite treatments, planting a tracking microchip and issuing a pedigree certificate. Therefore, if the puppies get adopted within the first three months the breeding kennel would have lower expenses in raising them.
Table 3: Overall expenses
Number of puppies from a litter Cost per puppy from a litter Total cost for a litter A puppy with pedigree A puppy without pedigree A puppy with pedigree A puppy without pedigree 1 432,50 € 65,00 € 432,50 € 65,00 € 2 265,00 € 65,00 € 530,00 € 130,00 € 3 209,17 € 65,00 € 627,50 € 195,00 € 4 181,25 € 65,00 € 725,00 € 260,00 € 5 164,50 € 65,00 € 822,50 € 325,00 € 6 153,33 € 65,00 € 920,00 € 390,00 € 7 145,36 € 65,00 € 1 017,50 € 455,00 € 8 139,38 € 65,00 € 1 115,00 € 520,00 € 9 134,72 € 65,00 € 1 212,50 € 585,00 €
Finally, if we have a litter of three puppies with pedigree, we’ll have to pay around €628 or around €209 per puppy. While a litter with no pedigree would costs is €195 in total, or €65 per puppy. However, those costs do not include 24-hour care of the breeding kennel provides to the puppies, vet appointments, toys, food supplements, etc. Additionally, calculations such as eaten slippers, damaged furniture or cleaning costs, we do not take into account. The exact cost of raising a littler could only tell those, who have had puppies and have looked after them up to the moment when they have hand them to their new owners.
A dog is nothing like a car, which in case of damage can be fixed, sold or changed for another one. Puppies are a huge responsibility, and choosing a pet is an extremely important decision, which has to be made with the necessary attention. Choose wisely your future family member because you may not be offered a second chance.
 This information is taken from “Breeding Regulation of BULGARIAN NATIONAL SAMOYED CLUB” 2014.
 Those calculations are based on personal research and experience for the Samoyed breed and include only fees paid to vets, clubs, kennels, etc. Transportation, documentation and other accompanying expenses are not included. The cost for different breeds and breeders might vary in different countries.
The article was first published on 03.09.2014 in the website of Samoyed Kennel Thracian Glory.