How much does a Vizsla (or any dog) cost?

***If you don’t care about my dog that’s fine. But you MUST scroll down to the bottom of this post and respond to my question about a dress that is breaking the internet. This debate could very well destroy my marriage.***

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As many of you probably know, we got our dog Nova, about a year and a half ago. Nova is a Hungarian Vizlsa (Vee-Shluh) and pretty much the best dog in the whole world. She came from a breeder out of Montana, and we picked her out (from her seven siblings) when she was six weeks old (we didn’t bring her home until she was 8 weeks however).

If you are like 99% of people out there who don’t know what a Vizsla is, allow me to inform you:

  • Vizslas self-clean. Like a cat.
  • They are an odor free dog. No dog smell.
  • They produce no natural body oil, so no greasy hands after petting.
  • They are completely brown (eyes, nose, paws, belly, toenails).
  • They are a “pointing” dog, bread to hunt birds.
  • They have insane stamina and are considered extremely high energy.
  • Their average adult weight is between 45lbs and 60lbs.
  • They are extremely trainable (goes with the hunting breed).
  • Rub em down with a dry towel weekly and they are clean as a whistle. They only need to be bathed once a quarter.
  • They cost between $1,000 and $1,800 as a pup.
  • They are super sensitive. You yell, they cower in fear.
  • They are known as the Velcro Vizsla because they attach to you like glue.

We paid $1,000 for Nova and couldn’t be more in love with her.

We will never own any other breed. And I’m not just saying that to be dramatic. We’re totally convinced Vizslas are the best kept doggy secret.

How much does a dog cost after the purchase? 

Being new puppy parents, Girl Ninja and I had a lot of learning to do and Nova had a lot of vet appointments to attend.

As soon as you get your pup you should schedule a vet visit. The vet will check the overall health of the dog and probably give them some shots. This will happen every couple months for the first year of their life. Kind of like a baby, puppies have a weak immune system.

Our vet charges $50 for each visit, plus the cost of any medications/supplements/etc provided.

Thankfully, Nova has only been to the vet for routine appointments. We had her spayed at about 6 months old which cost us $437. That was definitely the most painful of the vet bills, but they took good care of her.

With all the shots and vaccinations young dogs require, we’ve spent a total of $950 on veterinary visits (this includes the $437 spay) over the course of her life.

Since we did not have a dog before getting Nova, we had a handful of purchases to make prior to getting her. A leash, collar, kennel, dog bed, some toys, doggy shampoo, dog food, etc.

We buy her a good quality, grain-free, dog food called Taste of The Wild off Amazon. It is the only food she’s ever been fed outside of the occasional treat, and she seems to do great with it. It’s a little pricey at $45 a bag, but it’s a heck of a lot better than that Purina crap. A 30lb bag lasts us about 6 weeks.

Nova’s costs break down as follows:

– Purchase price: $1,000

– Flight to get her from Montana to Seattle: $250

– Vet bills, including spay: $950

– Food, toys, supplies: $500

– Total cost in first 16 months of life: $2,700. 

If you are thinking about getting a puppy, your costs will likely be pretty close to ours. We don’t spoil her rotten by any means, but when it comes to her health we make sure she’s provided for. If you’re not willing to buy a quality dog food, or make all your vet appointments, I’m not sure you should get a dog.

Similarly, if you don’t have $1,500 to spend for all of these things, I’m not sure you should get a dog.

Things should taper off a good bit from this point forward, and I expect her annual cost to us to run about $500/year between shots, vaccines, and dog food.

We love her to death and she’s seriously been the sweetest dog to Baby Ninja. He tugs on her big floppy ears. Rolls around on the ground with her. And has even taken a dog toy right out of her mouth. She totally gets that he is fragile and when she is around him she treads very carefully.

We were a little concerned that her energy might be an issue and that she would bulldoze him, but that’s not how it is at all. While there is no denying she is a fireball with endless energy, she knows that outside is the place to get that energy out. When she’s indoors she is pretty much just following us around or sleeping.

She’s the best.

And now is the time where I get to show her off to you…

First time meeting her…

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Her first time meeting Baby Ninja…

 

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Looking like they expect me to entertain them…

 

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She stood like this for five minutes…no joke…

 

 

 

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Getting out her energy…


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I’m going to explode from all the cuteness…

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She loves to do tricks…

 

But hates her doggy conditioner…

 

 

p.s. People that think I’m terrible for buying a dog from a breeder instead of a shelter; save your breath. I don’t really feel like I need to justify why I wanted a dog from a breeder. Much like I don’t feel a need to justify my love of meat to vegetarians. To each their own.

 

 

MANDATORY READER RESPONSE.

This dress is causing a tizzy all over the Internet. When you look at it do you see a white and gold dress, or a black and blue one? I see the former, Girl Ninja sees the latter. It blows my mind.

 

46 thoughts on “How much does a Vizsla (or any dog) cost?

  1. I love dogs. Your dog is too cute!

    As for the dress, I can’t believe it made the news. I see white and gold, my husband sees black and blue.

  2. The creator is talking that it is a social cognitive experiment. Thsee who see blue and black, have recently or are currently feeling sad about something or is depressed while the white-gold people are happy. Whatever, the picture was taken in shadow of flourescent lighting. The white will have a blue tinge and the gold look more brown. Or, it was taken simply in shadow with sunlight behind it, giving the same effect. I know it is white because of playing with shadows when I paint. Other than that — glad its a slow news day 🙂

    Ninja, get pet insurance. No, really — get pet insurance. Dog eats a needle, staple (don’t laugh, mine has done both) that is several hundred dollars without surgery. The same dog has had to have several fatty tumors removed due to pain, and is getting ready to undergo chemo after having his thyroid glands removed due to cancer. He is nine and has a normal life expectancy of 14. I could not pass up on this and lose him sooner. The ijit after the surgery seems to have gained several years in payfulness and energy – he is a Jack Russel – gaining more energy??!!! OMG!!!

    Thyroid surgery – 2700, Chemo 400-420 per session (at five sessions more painful, etc) This has not been an inexpensive dog. If I had known about pet insurance earlier, I would have gotten it. Now, not sure I can with lifetime meds for him.

    So, really — look at pet insurance – talk to your vet about it.

    • I second the pet insurance comment!! We have Trupanion and find it very reasonable…it’s only a matter of time until it will be used.

    • Just remember that pet insurance doesn’t always cover everything (just like human insurance). I had a friend whose dog insurance refused to pay for ACL surgery, which ended up being like $3000.

      Regardless of whether or not you have insurance, a pet owner should be committed to paying for needs like these. Our 8-year-old pit mix has had progressively worsening bowel issues, and we’ve spent loads of money on vet visits, meds, and food ($113 for each 25-lb bag of venison and potato), trying to figure out what’s wrong with her. Apparently she has IBS, and will be on medication for the rest of her life. But she is a family member, and I will pay for whatever makes her better.

      • I’ve read a lot of stories about pet insurance and that it is basically like buying an extended warranty. They promise a lot, but when it comes time to pay up they always find some clause that excludes coverage.

        Pet insurance companies in general aren’t in business to help pets, they are in business to make money and the only way they do that is by stacking the deck in their favor. Essentially making sure that their payouts are less than they take in.

        That said, having the funds on hand to take care of your pup is a must.

        • If you have a friend that is a vet (vs your own vet who may be trying to sell something) talk to them to get a feel for the different kinds. My best friend is a vet who swears by insurance as long as it’s the right one as some companies do cheap out. I went with the same one she uses which has now paid out for a broken leg and a bowel issue – saved her thousands so far and her dog’s only 5!

  3. To start off I’m really glad you’re back to posting regularly – you write a blog that I very much enjoy.

    Gold and white for me although apparently there’s some scientific thing going around that it’s blue and orange?

    I have a golden doodle bought from a breeder and we are very happy with our decision. She has been with us for three years now and she has seen two babies come into our family and treats them both as gently as anyone could wish. It was the temperament testing (and matching) that the breeder did that sold us as we wanted to ensure as best as we could that our puppy would be able to handle a growing family. Your pictures remind me very much of my own!

  4. What does it mean if I saw white/gold the first time. Then clicked to go to the article and its blue/black. I “saw” both sides and now can only see blue/back. Are you sure its not something in the code that switches it? I’m so confused now..

  5. I cannot believe #TheDress has taken over the internet. This may very well be the end of things. Sorry Ninja, I see black and blue.!!

    This was a good post for people that have not had dogs and do not understand the total cost. It’s so easy to get swept away by the cuteness (that first picture with her, hello!!!), but they are expensive.
    We own a Pug, which has just been the most amazing experience for our family. She will be 10 in April, and has had a fairly healthy life, although we did get hit with a $1000 medical bill earlier this year because of a variety of ailments that struck her all at once.
    I would easily own a pug again, although I also would like a more athletic dog that I could run with when they are not a puppy any longer.

  6. I really had no idea why this dress was causing such a disturbance. I had seen it several times in my news feed on Facebook, so this morning I just happened to ask my husband what he thought. He said blue and black. I was shocked. I’ve only seen it as white and gold. Now I’m really confused, LOL.

  7. Last night I saw black and blue. When I saw it on your blog, I saw white and gold, then scrolled up and back down several times and it kept changing back and forth. Right now I see black and blue. Eye tricks I think!

  8. Last night my daughter sent me a picture of the dress and it looked black and blue to me on my phone, today on my computer your picture looks white and gold! Weird lol

        • Not at all go back through the comments and click on the link that Larry shared. It explains what is going on. It’s not even an optical illusion. Some people see it as blue and black, some as white and gold, and some it changes intermittently on. I’ve only seen white and gold and it pisses me off. Haha.

          • I’m perplexed. It has changed colors six times! I’m more than fascinated by this, which means I’m obsessively researching this phenomenon. Btw, the real color of the dress is blue and black so your wife is correct.

  9. Hi Ninja! Love your blog and am glad to see your post are more frequent as of late. Although, I have to say I think your numbers are very skewed. I would like to compare and also offer some advice to people who think that 2,700 is as outrageous as I do myself. I know you mentioned that you don’t want to rescue and thats fine, but rescuing a dog will save you a lot of money. I rescued my dog at 10 months old( although its the same price for a young puppy) and it cost me $100 dollars. This covered her shots she needed, her spay surgery, and a micro chip. I also adopted her from a local shelter so there were no transportation costs. So, what cost you just about 1700 dollars cost me 1/17 of it. Outside of having a normal vet which also charges us $50+ dollars a vist I take her to local shelter clinic for her yearly shots and it only cost’s $40. Here our her expenses over the last 3 years that i’ve had her.

    $100- Adoption fee
    $150- Start up cost’s (crate, bowls, leashes, collars etc)
    $360- Dog food for 3 years (I buy a big 40 pound bag from Costco for $26 and it last three months. Costco’s dog is manufactured by Diamond pet foods very good dog food brand for a good price.)
    $300- Dog treats over 3 years
    $900-Vet bills over 3 years(this includes annual shot and check-ups. Also includes an expensive bladder infection with the bill around $500.)
    $375- advanced training classes
    $90- Bedding(We buy her a new bed every year also from Costco. Costs $29)

    Total = $2,275
    Dogs Love = Priceless

    Okay sorry had to throw that cheesy last line in there. What I’m trying to show is that having a dog doesn’t need to be that expensive. My expenses for three years do not even reach what yours are for half that. Get creative. You don’t need to coupon clip to save big money.

    Also, I don’t recommend vet insurance. I put away $50 bucks a month(a normal pet insurance premium amount) into a savings account. That way if we need it, its there. If we never use it, it’s still our money and not some insurance companies.

    Thanks Ninja!!

    • You and I agree 100% on everything.

      I was highlighting the cost of getting a puppy. A dog from the shelter (over a year old) will for sure cost significantly less than my $2,700 number.

      My Vizsla cost me $1,000. Your dog cost you $100. And someone who buys a golden retriever pup will spend $2,500+.

      The cost of the pup, and transportation will vary a great deal. But the initial vet appointments, dog food, supplies, etc for any kind of dog should be fairly close the $1,500 number I threw out there.

      That’s why I said this…

      “If you are thinking about getting a puppy, your costs will likely be pretty close to ours. We don’t spoil her rotten by any means, but when it comes to her health we make sure she’s provided for. If you’re not willing to buy a quality dog food, or make all your vet appointments, I’m not sure you should get a dog. Similarly, if you don’t have $1,500 to spend for all of these things, I’m not sure you should get a dog.”

      I was hoping that made it clear that I was referring to a puppy, and even more specifically to the medical and supply side of getting a puppy (hence why I put $1,500 and not $2,700 like I spent).

  10. Dogs get more expensive when they reach their golden years. My mixed breed dog’s vet bills were over $2,500 last year and I am sure it could be that much this year.

    He blew out his knee trying to get a cat in our yard and that means ongoing medication bills and he has some personal male dog issues that require regular visits to the vet.

  11. Hello,

    Long time reader, first time responder. The first picture of your dog reminded me- I recently took my dog to the vet for a normal checkup. He found she had a cracked tooth, most likely (according to him) from really hard treats like antlers or other bones. Rawhide is fine, but the harder stuff is potentially damaging.

    Just an FYI to you and your readers.

  12. Nova is adorable!!!! Love Vizslas!!! We have a greyhound and they share many of the same characteristics: clean, odor free, no shedding, very sensitive (we can’t yell at all, which is a good thing 🙂 ), 60 lbs, and just generally very good dogs. Sure we could save more money if we didn’t have our Frugal Hound, but I wouldn’t trade her for the world.

    A note on food–we used to feed Frugal Hound Taste Of The Wild (bought from Amazon) as well until we discovered that Costco carries a cheaper, generic version with the exact same ingredients. It’s called Nature’s Domain (we get the salmon & sweet potato flavor) and it seems to be the exact same stuff. Frugal Hound loves it!

  13. Thanks for the information. I was mostly trying to estimate how much future dog was going to cost in regular expenses like food. (Our breeder recommends/requires a choice from a few grain free foods.) Approximately 40 pounds per 3 months is a reasonable ballpark.

    Before I seriously considered getting a dog myself, I had no idea why people would do anything other than rescue. I thought my friends who paid $$$ for a dog were nuts. It turns out, there are a lot of reasons why people choose so. Pet stores and puppy mills are obviously not an option, but rescue isn’t the only choice that makes sense and is kind to animals. I think it is worth explaining (sometimes) why I went with a breeder.

    (I can finally see the dress in both colors!!)

  14. The first time I saw a Vizsla and a Weimarainer I fell in love with both breeds. I don’t know if they are related but they could be. I like the easy maintenance aspect of a pet. If I were to get a dog, I would go with Weimaraner first, then vizsla second and both would be males. Breeding them might be a good side hustle as well.

  15. The first few dozen times I looked at the dress, I saw white/gold but after looking at it on the computer screen with a bright background, I can only see black/blue. Stupid colors!

    Pets are pricey but they’re also part of our family. I wouldn’t trade it any other way (unless, I absolutely couldn’t afford it.)

  16. It’s white and gold. It’s always been white and gold. It always will be white and gold. Mrs. Vie says the exact opposite though…..

    And baby ninja sleeping on dog ninja is absolutely priceless!

  17. I saw white and gold, but apparently people who saw it in person verified that it’s blue and black.

    I just love that someone actually got a tattoo. I’m sure he won’t regret *that* in a couple of years.

  18. I could not imagine my life with out a dog.

    After all they are man’s best friend.

    But yes, make sure you can afford to take care of a dog, and most of all make sure you can afford to spend time with your dog. It is not fair to get a dog and not pay attention to it…in my opinion.

  19. That dress changes color even as I’m looking at it! It starts out white/gold and as I scroll down, changes to blue/black. You have a gorgeous dog there Ninja. She is lovely.

  20. I natively see it as white and gold, but with enough concentration I can almost get it to blue and black (it is very hard as I have to change my cognitive bias). Just shows you how important white balance is and good lighting.

  21. So I’ve never seen anything else but white and gold…until I quickly scrolled from the bottom to the top yesterday. When I saw blue and black, I naturally assumed that you had posted a picture with a filter applied to make it look that way. Of course, it immediately turned back into white and gold and now I’m obsessively trying to make it look black and blue again to no avail.

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