Pup’s First Year Medical Expenses

Prior to getting our pup, I read up on several articles to prepare us for what’s in-store for us during the first year, especially since our GSD is our very first dog.  I found that the pup’s first year will be plague with routine medical expenses, catching up on vaccinations totaled to a big ticket for us on our first year.  I didn’t know just how much that was until we went thru it ourselves. If you are wondering just how much of your budget to allocate to the dog’s first year of vet visit, you are at the right site.  I will breakdown just how much we had to pay out of pocket for our routine veterinary visits up to the most current.

First up, to buy or not buy pet insurance?  After, doing my own research, I decided not to buy one and just pay out of pocket for everything.  It’s a personal choice.  I still currently do not have pet insurance but I am looking into purchasing one along the road as our GSD is starting to get older.  I currently can not cover thousands of dollars of emergency fees should there be an emergency.  So I am looking at my options. If you have suggestions, I am open to them.

Now for the First Year of Medical Expenses

  • First initial doctor visit: $53.50, included Puppy Exam and a Free Sentinel Puppy Pack. I set this visit to check our pup’s health, so I can bring any issues to the breeder attention should there be any. (This can be optional.)
  • $15 Microchip from Petco, if he ever get lost.
  • Second Vet visit: $91.80, included puppy/vaccination exam, DAP booster, fecal exam and 2 Drontal Plus meds.
  • Deworming meds: $23.15. I was told that nearly all puppies will have worms.
  • Vaccination Visit: $72.42, included wellness exam, DAPv vaccination, 1 year rabies vaccination, medicine and user fee
  • Annual Virginia Beach Animal License: $7 each year for neutered/spayed pets, or $10 for unspayed/unneutered pets. Must have a current rabies vaccination to get one.
  • Fecal Reexamination: $47.99
  • Neutering Procedure: $103 at the SPCA, included 1 dose of Triheart and ecollar plastic cone
  • Heartworm Meds: $45, 6 months supplies of Triheart, available by prescription only

Total first year medical expenses was $458.86 + monthly over the counter (OTC) flea meds*.

Second year of Medical Expenses

This is when we started incurring extra fees.

  • Vaccination visit: $129, included wellness Exam, 3 year rabies vaccination, DHPP vaccination, bordetella vaccination, Idexx Heartworm Test, 6 months supply of Triheart
  • Accident related visit: $119.70, included exams, x-ray, meds. (My GSD landed wrong when he jumped out the car and started limping. After 3 days and no signs of improvement, I went and got it checked.)

Note:  If you intend to leave your pet at a kennel during a vacation, there are required vaccinations.  Bordetella and rabies are two of them.  Check with your chosen kennel to make sure so there will be no surprises during check-ins that will get you turned away.

Total 2nd year medical expenses for us: $248.70 + monthly OTC flea meds*.


Third year of Medical Expenses

  • Accident Related Visit: $212.64, included exam, induce vomiting, fluids, meds, and day hospitalization. (My GSD and his very curious nose found my daughter’s 5 lb Hershey’s Chocolate Bar she got for her birthday. It was on a shelf. Unfortunately, standing up on his hind legs, our GSD got a hold of it.) 
  • Vaccination and Annual Wellness Exam: $153.82, included wellness exam, 6 months supplies of Heartgard Plus, Bordetella/Parainfluenza vaccination, Biohazard fee, and Heartworm Test.

Total medical expense for us on the 3rd year is $366.46 + monthly OTC flea meds*.

Fourth year of medical expenses

  • Ear issue appointment: $226.75, included exam, biohazard fee, cytology, ear cleaning, gkt ointment, 6 months supply of Sentinel heart worm meds, ear flush
  • Follow up on the ear issue: $103.09, includes exam, cytology, and malmetazone meds.
  • Annual Check-Up: $106, included annual exam, heart worm test, bordetella/parainfluenza vaccination and biohazard fee.

Current 4th year medical expenses total: $435.84 + monthly OTC flea meds*.


There is no roundabout when it comes to medical expenses, except for maybe take the utmost care of your fur baby. If it helps, compare prices on Veterinary clinics around your area. Most post their prices online. From experience, SPCA did a wonderful job with neutering our boy. He was up and running the very next day, like nothing happened, except of course he was wearing a cone to stop him form licking his stitches. He hated that part.

The prices mentioned above is an accumulated record from 4 different veterinary clinics. The first clinic was the most expensive of the 4. I wanted to go all out with BBB member and good reviews, which is why I ended up with a pretty expensive clinic.  If I remember correctly, SPCA is the cheapest. SPCA also has a low income salary bracket that comprise of a lower fee for those that qualify. The information is posted online on their website. If you qualify, you may cut the medical costs quite a bit that way.

Please note that medical expenses can differ for each pet. The amount posted above are the medical expenses we paid out of pocket for our GSD and is meant to give as an example. Prices can differ based on individual vet clinics fees.

Read my post about what it’s like to have a GSD in the fam. 

Read my post about must-have dog items too.