What does a litter cost to raise?

Here are some typical expenses for a normal, healthy litter of six in an area of the country with moderate veterinary expenses (they can be as much as double this in some areas). This is assuming it isa breed with a few common genetic problems, no whelping complications, and is calculated using a moderately priced stud dog who is within driving distance (some travel expenses to use a dog can exceed $1000). Not factored into this is the average price for a championship title. Cost for a championship title is $2000-$3500 (or Grand Championship title; $20,000-$35,000) in addition to the expenses listed below. Also not factored into this is the price for an Imported dogs Stud fee which can be as much as $5000.

Pre-breeding expenses for mother:

Hip and elbow X-Rays $240.00

Scoring $100.00

2-4 Progesterone tests  -  $130 - $260
Pre-breeding exam  -  $ 40

Breeding expenses:

Stud fee  -  $1300 - $5000

2 trips by car to deliver & pick up bitch  -  $ 75 - $400


Pre-whelping expenses:

Whelping supplies (milk replacer, whelping pads, alcohol wipes, disinfectant, etc)  -  $125

Ultrasound for mother at 4 weeks  -  $ 60

Ultrasound for mother during last week  -  $ 60

1-2 Progesterone tests during last week  -  $ 65- $130



Litter expenses: based on a 6 puppy litter

Dewclaws removed & vet exam for pups  -  $ 60 - $100

1st shots C3 ($35 per pup)  -  $210
Worming (at 2, 4, 6 & 8 weeks)  -  $120

Puppy food & extra for mother during nursing  -  $200

Puppy pack (leash, collar, book, etc) - $25 per puppy  -  $150

Litter registration ($31 per pup)  -  $186

Micro-chipping ($30 per pup)  -  $180

Extra laundry, electricity, paper towels, etc  -  $ 50


TOTAL      $3351.00 -  $7611.00 
 
Not included are the "capital expenditures" whelping box, crates, bottles, pens, puppy scale, thermometer, puppy feeding dishes, heat lamps, heating pads, etc.

Sometimes complications during breeding or whelping can increase the expense of a litter greatly. Artificial insemination, progesterone testing, fertility consultations, Caesarian sections (which can cost between $1000.00 to $2500.00), illness of the bitch or puppies any of these can double or triple the expenses, not to mention the possible loss of puppies or mother. It's a gamble.