The simplest answer is – because they cost so much! This is generally true for all purebred dogs, but I’ll focus on my breed: the Papillon. Papillons cost a lot; I know this because I’ve purchased them myself! They aren’t as costly as some breeds (ie the bulldog), because they free whelp (mostly) and free breed (they are not artificially inseminated).
Papillons tend to have small litters: typically 2-4 puppies. I charge 800-1200 for these puppies. Let me break it down for you…
Dog food – Premium dog food, sold only in pet stores. It varies a bit by the number of puppies, but between the dry food, canned food, goats milk, cottage cheese, pumpkin, first aid food, nutri-cal supplements, and other nutritional expenses, I spend roughly $200-$250 per month on food for dogs and puppies.
Vaccines – 1 to 3, 5-way puppy shots per puppy before they leave here. Bordetella vaccines are given 1-2 times prior to leaving. Then, if the puppy is over 12 weeks old, it will need a vet administered rabies shot.
Wormers – Puppies get worms. They can come from the parents, grounds, or other sources, but they all get them. Adults get wormed every 1-3 months depending on which medication is used. Moms need to be wormed 2 weeks prior to and after giving birth. Puppies must be wormed: Pyrantel at 2, 6, 8, 10 & 12 weeks; Panacur at 4 weeks for 3 days; and Ponazuril at 6 & 8 weeks. Then we have the Advantix II applied monthly to each adult and Revolution to each 8 week old pup.
Vet visits – everyone wants their puppy to be healthy, including me. It’s a wickedly, winding 15.7 miles each way to get to my vet’s office. I won’t go anywhere else (unless it’s an emergency) because they know ME and they know MY dogs. They take care of all my questions, breeding issues, accidents, C-sections, questions, health certificates, inspections, hypoglycemia, questions, worming supplies, teeth cleaning/dental issues, dew claws, questions, spay/neuters, shots and any diet
issues that might come up… did I mention that they answer all my questions? They know exactly who it is when I call- they've teased me, congratulated me and even hugged me when I've cried. Is all that expensive? Of course! I want them to be highly trained and always ready for any and everything I may need them for.
Supplies – Power washers, hoses, shovels, fencing, loads of rock, water, pet-safe ice-melt, vitamins, disinfectant, gloves, shampoo, propane, electricity, rugs/mats, septic treatment, dishes, leashes, registration fees, seminars/training, licensing fees, lights, heaters, beds, insecticides, printer ink, web site maintenance, advertising, etc.
Let’s talk about time… Time to give all those shots, wormers, sit with moms, drive to and from the vet, all the massive paperwork, answering questions on the phone and via emails, taking pictures (no, they don’t stop and smile for the camera), uploading/editing pictures, feeding, shoveling, power washing, mopping, grooming, lawn care, cleaning pens & dishes, disinfecting, giving meds, feeding, and socializing each puppy and adult. When all this time is accounted for, I must get about $3. per hour –(Okay, so now I’m depressed.)
Now, let’s talk about pet stores… Pet stores are not bad, and their people are not bad – However, the reality is that they buy their puppies from a broker and pay roughly half of what they charge you. So their profit is about what I charge. The broker pays $90-$200 (depending on demand at the time) for the puppy from the breeder. The breeder, whom you’ll never know, is surviving on $200 per puppy, so those dogs are eating the cheapest food and seeing the vet for emergencies and puppy checks only.
With all these factors taken into account, you can see that breeding healthy, happy and socialized puppies takes passion and dedication. When you add a lifetime canine companion to your home, you want to invest in their health! When you get a puppy directly from a trustworthy breeder, you know that they feel the same way, and have been giving your new family member the best of care since before he/she was born.
These articles are written by various authors giving helpful advice regarding different areas of your dog's life.