A Saint Bernard costs around $1,000 to $3,000. These are rare gentle giant dog breeds that are popular among dog lovers, hence their prices are so high. They require a large amount of food and grooming, so expect maintenance costs to reach $300 a month.
How Much Does It Cost To Have A Saint Bernard?
Compared to other dogs in the gentle giant niche, St. Bernard doggies are not that expensive with their $800 to $1,500 price range.
However, this is still quite pricey for a dog. Unfortunately, they are also not easy to come by on a bargain or for free through adoption shelters.
The good news is that they are more than worth the price, here are a few of the main perks of owning one of these pooches that you have to look forward to.
Saint Bernards Make For Awesome Family Pets
The St. Bernard breed has become immensely popular over the last decade or so mainly due to how awesome it is as a family pet. The dogs know how to perfectly match the energy in the home, whether you have young, rowdy kids or older, more relaxed ones.
Saint Bernards also get along fairly well with other pets in the home. This makes them the perfect addition to your fur family as well.
Saint Bernards Are Hard To Come By
St. Bernard dogs are quite hard to come by. In fact, the best way to know that you are investing in an actual purebred St. Bernard is to have a genetic test done to ascertain the lineage. This rarity, combined with the demand, is what sometimes makes them so expensive.
Niche Demand In The Giant Dog Breed Category
The large dog’s size and aesthetic are reasons why they are sometimes so pricey. If you are into dogs that look different in any way, this price tag will be well worth it, given St. Bernard’s unique build and appearance.
How Big Does A Saint Bernard Get?
St. Bernards are quite large and can grow up to 120 to 180 lbs in weight or even heavier.
While most dogs in this weight range do not have very long lifespans, St. Bernard defies the odds by living up to 10 years and a bit more in some rare cases. The longevity seen in the breed is largely due to how healthy they generally are.
However, Saint Bernards do have a few health issues that you have to keep an eye out for and plan for in terms of lifetime maintenance costs.
Here are a few of the health issues that St. Bernards have.
Hip And Elbow Dysplasia
This is quite common with large dogs, and St. Bernard is no exception. The condition affects the formation of the joints in the hip and elbow, leading to joint instability and even arthritis later on in life.
As with most other dog breeds, epilepsy in St. Bernards is a hereditary condition. Unfortunately, this is one of the breeds that is worst affected by the condition, which gets progressively worse to handle as the dog gets older.
Bone cancer is easily the most common type of cancer that affects St. Bernard dogs. It mainly affects dogs when they are in their middle to old age and starts as changes in gait. If not dealt with promptly, it could be life-threatening. That is why regular vet checkups are so crucial with St. Bernards.
The Saint Bernard is one of the most affected dog breeds by this disease. Dilated cardiomyopathy causes progressive weakness and failure of the heart, which is eventually what hurts and kills the dog.
St. Bernards were built for very cold weather in the Swiss Alps. They do not do very well in hot and humid conditions. If you notice your St. Bernard panting a lot, they are probably having a hard time regulating the heat, in which case some shade and cold water should do the trick.
How To Take Care Of Saint Bernards?
For most people, taking care of a St. Bernard can be quite intimidating. They are so large you may not even know where to start. What’s awesome is the fact that these dogs are actually pretty low-maintenance. You just need to know what you are doing and come up with a care routine that makes them comfortable and happy. Here is everything you should know before getting a St. Bernard about how to properly take care of one.
Invest In High-Quality Dog Food
The best food to feed a St. Bernard puppy or even an adult is food made with high-quality ingredients and with an appropriate balance of nutrients. Pet Plate is the way to go if you really want this for your doggy as it allows you to also customize their meals based on their specific health and energy needs.
Get The Food Portions Right
In addition to the quality, make sure you get the quantity right to keep up with the large dog’s high energy demands. An adult St. Bernard should eat about 5 to 6 cups of dry kibble a day. For a 3-month-old puppy, on the other hand, wet dog food should make up most of their meals, in which case a ½ to 1½ of a can should do the trick.
Supplement The Main Diet With Micronutrients
While we are still on the diet, you should also supplement their main meals with micronutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutritional compounds that may otherwise be absent or inadequate in the dog’s diet.
Ensure The Pooch Has Enough Outdoor Time
Other than diet, the other very important aspect of care with these doggies is ensuring that they get adequate exercise. They are naturally quite lazy but really love the outdoors. Therefore, incorporate at least one hour every day of exercise which can be as simple as taking a walk to the park.
Is Saint Bernard Dangerous? Temperament Of Saint Bernards
St. Bernard doggies really are as saintly as dogs can get. These misunderstood dogs make for the best companion doggies with how much they absolutely love their human families. Here are some of the most important personality traits that you have to look forward to.
St. Bernard dogs were initially bred for use as rescue dogs in the Swiss Alps and developed very sharp senses and alertness. This may come in handy if you want to keep your pooch as a watchdog. However, St. Bernards are not great guard dogs as they will not do more than barking to alert you in case of intrusion.
These doggies are quite social and really enjoy the attention and affection of their human families. This makes leaving St. Bernards alone a bit difficult. However, if they have the company of other pets or you have enough toys to keep them entertained, you can get a few hours away without upsetting the dog.
Intelligent And Obedient
St. Bernards are very smart and quite easy to train. Due to their large size, they are easier to handle and train when they are much younger. Getting the training done professionally could cost you upwards of $75 per session, not including toys and other training equipment.
You could also save a little money while also getting to bond with the dog by training them yourself. Brain Training for Dogs comes in very handy in this case, offering you special guidance to help you customize a training plan that will work for your dog.
How Often Should I Bathe My Saint Bernard? Grooming Tips For Saint Bernards
While general care and maintenance with Saint Bernards are quite easy, grooming is a bit more tasking in terms of effort and time. This is because Saint Bernards are large fluffy dogs with a lot of grooming needs.
Basic professional grooming will cost you about $65 per session. However, you could easily do it yourself with the right tools and schedule. Here are a few tips that should help make your life easier in addition to the basic dental and nail hygiene for every dog.
Brush Their Fur 3 To 4 Times A Week
St. Bernards shed very heavily. Their beautiful coats are also prone to developing mats. Therefore, it is best to give them a proper brushing at least 3 to 4 times every week if not every day.
Wash Them Frequently Based On Activity Levels
Usually, you can get away with washing your St. Bernard once a month or once every two months. However, if they have skin issues or begin to stink, you can do it every 2 weeks. If you are using shorter intervals, make sure to invest in high-quality shampoos with natural ingredients that do not strip the dog’s fur and skin of much-needed protective oils.
Invest In Doggy Wipes For The Drool
St. Bernards drool a lot. This drool can stick on their mouths and surrounding fur and really make them stink.
Doggy wipes help a lot in this case, allowing you to keep the pooch nice and clean without having to wash them too frequently. Just wipe the pooch’s mouth once a day or so, depending on how much drooling there is.
Is There Such Thing As A Dry Mouth Saint Bernard? There is no such thing as a dry mouth St. Bernard. All of them drool, which is a part of their charm. However, there are others that drool way less than others. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell just how bad the problem is until they are older, so you will just have to find ways to adapt.
Why Do Saint Bernards Carry Whiskey? You may have noticed a lot of pictures of St. Bernards with a tiny whiskey barrel around their necks. Today, this is done as a part of the tradition and for aesthetics. In the past, they carried the spirit as a way to help revive and rejuvenate travelers that they had been sent to rescue in the mountains.
Can A Saint Bernard Kill You? Technically speaking, a St. Bernard can kill you. However, they are not likely to do so, with less than 10 fatalities on record linked to the breed. Of these, a good number were accidental and involve young kids who may have been smothered under the weight of the giant dog.