...Quality Companions...

Why Are Puppies So Expensive?

Quality has never been cheap and buying a quality puppy is no different! The price that you pay for a healthy, happy, well-bred puppy is minimal compared to the cost of raising and owning one that's unhealthy, ill-bred and sickly. "The bitterness of a poor-quality dog will linger long after the sweetness of a cheap price is forgotten."

Expect to pay for a quality puppy! Truly dedicated breeders spend a great deal of time and expense on their bitches, sires, and puppies. This should be rewarded not haggled over. Breeders provide a service just like any other working person. You, as an employee, expect to be paid for your service to the company you work for (you probably dont believe you make enough for your work). Breeders are no different. For some, raising dogs is a hobby and for others, it is part of their income.

The average breeder spends numerous hours per month caring for their dogs and pups. These hours cannot be scheduled around other obligations; other obligations must be scheduled around the puppies. The small size of Yorkie puppies make them extremely susceptible to hypoglycemia and death during the first few months of life if they are not cared for properly. So, having a litter of puppies pretty much takes a considerable chunk of time and independence from your life.

The cost involved in raising healthy pups.
When I decided to start raising Yorkies and Shih-Tzu's, doing it RIGHT was, and still is, my number one priority. There are countless expenses involved in raising healthy quality pups, and even though it seems to some individuals that breeders are "making a killing" and "getting rich", this is simply NOT the case. When done "right", daily, weekly, monthly and occasional expenses add-up to a LOT. When you purchase a dog through a reputable breeder, you have to remember that the breeder has already spent a good amount of money on regular veterinary care, pre-breeding health checks for both parents, prenatal care, shots, wormings, food, and all the other things that the breeder takes care of long before you ever get to bring your puppy home--these things cost a lot of money, and is reflected in the price of the puppy.

Here is just a general list of expenses reputable breeders encounter.

  • Routine veterinary care for their adult dogs. Check the price of a veterinary office visit and you will see how MUCH this alone can cost.
  • Feeding a good quality professional food. Think about it...this adds up quickly when feeding 8+ adults.
  • Maintaining a healthy, clean environment. This includes numerous cleaning supplies, trash bags, washing detergent (my washer runs daily for beds, blankets, towels, washable potty pads, etc.).
  • Parasite control. This includes intestinal, as well as external fleas and ticks. Compare the price of those medicines that control such parasites and you will find they are NOT cheap. Multiply the cost for one dog times 8+ and you will discover it is rather costly.
  • Vaccines and health check-ups. All of my adults go for a health check at least once a year, and always when/if they are not feeling well.
  • Bathing and grooming supplies. This includes dental cleaning as well.
  • Beds and bedding, toys, bowls, etc.
  • Comfortable, temperature controlled environment. Toy breeds cannot be kept outside like larger breeds, they need special care, so a separate temperature controlled environment has to be maintained (heat in the winter and a/c in the summer). This includes additional cost on any and all regular household expense.
  • Registration and litter registration. Check the cost on the AKC website and see what it cost just to register a litter of puppies.

A good breeders job is endless! It is 7 days a week, and often 24 hours a day. If a female is about to have pups, she has to be monitored. A puppy can easily die in birthing if someone is not there to help when there is a problem. A female can easily die in birth, if someone is not there and she needs a c-section. C-sections are not uncommon in Yorkshire Terriers and the costs go up to thousands of dollars.

Raising Yorkies and Shih-Tzu's is like running a daycare, but you never get to go home. The costs of raising puppies is phenomenal when you raise and care for them properly. A good breeder does not make thousands of dollars and is certainly not getting rich.

I know at this point you're wondering...."If raising puppies is so expensive and you don't make much money doing it, then WHY do you do it?" Well, just like any other good breeder, I do it because I LOVE IT! I work harder than I've ever worked my entire life, yet I love my job as a breeder! It is both rewarding and fulfilling and makes me a happier person. I am proud of what I do and couldn't imagine doing anything else. I am a true animal lover! My dogs make me smile a LOT and I think I make them smile too!