How Much Does a Great Dane Cost (+ Per Year Ownership Costs)?

how much great danes cost

The following article about Great Dane costs was contributed by one of our Canadian readers who owns this particular breed.

Great Danes are famous for their imposing size, but in all reality are one of the gentlest breeds that you will ever encounter. They have a docile nature and bumbling personality, making them a great family dog

However, their sheer bulk can scare off many potential owners, particularly when you begin to think about how much a Great Dane will cost each year. Here’s a very quick answer about how much you can expect to pay out in annual ownership costs, followed by a more in-depth analysis.

How much does a Great Dane cost? Great Danes can cost between $1,500 to $4,500 (£1,200 to £3,500) to buy. The annual costs of ownership each year can then amount to around $2,200 (£1,750) each year in vet bills, food, grooming, and keeping them healthy and happy. 

How much is costs to buy and keep a Great Dane

Truth be told, I didn’t consider the cost of a Great Dane, beyond the initial purchase price, when we first got one. I know this might sound ridiculous; however, our family has always had large Mastiff type dogs, so it was assumed that maintenance expenses would be about the same.

That wasn’t the case, Great Danes cost a lot of money!

To give you a better grasp of the costs involved with owning a Great Dane, I have highlighted below some of the expenses to consider based on what we spend each year.

Great Danes cost a lot of money to buy and then keep healthy. (Image via

The cost of buying a Great Dane

Initial cost of buying a Great Dane puppy: $1500 to $4,500 (£1,200 to £3,500)

The purchase price for a Great Dane can be anywhere from $1,500 to $4,500 (£1,200 to £3,500). Factors that can affect the purchase price include the reputation of the breeder, whether it is a show-quality puppy, the dog’s gender, colouring and age.

Due to supply and demand, the more sought-after colours such as merle or harlequin tend to be more expensive.  Be incredibly wary of adopting a white Great Dane as not only is this not a recognized breed colour by the UK Kennel Club, but these dogs also are prone to genetic health issues.

Please do extensive research and ensure that you are getting a Great Dane puppy from a reputable breeder. This may mean that you need to be put on a waiting list for an upcoming litter but your new bouncing, bumbling fur-baby will be worth the wait.

It will also mean that your Great Dane costs more, but it’s worth it for the peace of mind.

Never, ever, purchase a dog of any breed from a place which looks like a puppy mill or from a puppy broker. Clues to avoid these places of ill-repute would be selling of multiple dog breeds, not being able to see the facilities, or the puppy parents or siblings.

If you would prefer to adopt than shop, then consider getting in touch with Daneline. They have an ever-present need for finding foster homes and fur-ever homes for Great Danes who would otherwise be put into shelters.

If you are an experienced dog owner but have never had a Great Dane before, and feel that this is the breed for you, then it may be possible to start by fostering one and seeing if the breed is a good fit for your household.

By fostering you can see exactly how much a Great Dane costs you in food and on-going care for a shorter period of time before you buy.

The costs of things your Great Dane will need

Initial cost – $380 (£300) then annual costs – $51 (£40)

Before you bring your Great Dane home, you’ll need to get the usual supplies that any dog would need – just expect to supersize them all.

A dog collar, lead, water and food bowls, toys, bed and crate, should all be considered essential and standard. Items people often don’t think about though would be something like a raised food and water bowl (view on Amazon) as they are better for the height of Great Danes and will aid their digestion.

Our Great Dane loved her chew toys, and I loved the fact that they were worth the money since they saved our furniture being shredded.

To put things in perspective though, our Great Dane managed to strip the outer layer of a reinforced fabric covered Kong toy in 24 hours that our Schnauzer has had for eight years.  It’s teething on a whole new level!

We had to buy very durable dog chew toys, like these ones on Amazon.

I am a big promoter of crate training any dog breed, but even more so with a Great Dane.  The simple truth is that not everyone is going to understand how much of a big softie they are, so if your dog is comfortable being in their crate, then it will make your life a lot easier.

Although most Great Danes are excellent with children, and our son is often caught spooning on the dog bed, we have friends with two-year-olds that don’t enjoy being whacked in the face by a dog’s whip-like tail.

If properly trained, a dog’s crate is like their own place of refuge where they will want to chill.  A large dog bed (view on Amazon) is also a winning investment to save cleaning your couches and rugs.

How much it costs to board a Great Dane in kennels

Depending on needs – $44+ (£35+) per day

Boarding your Great Dane can be a bit of a mission because of their size and this can also make boarding expensive, costing more in some cases.  As such, you might want to consider a pet sitting service if you go away.

In this case, your dog can stay with a pet sitter in their house, which allows for more love and attention. The pet sitter will also stick to your dog’s regular exercise and feeding routine.

Prices vary depending on the breed of dog and where you are located.  Initial registration is about $50, and then daily boarding starts from $44 plus collection and delivery fees if required.

How much it costs to groom a Great Dane

Initial cost – ($32) (£25)

Great Danes require very little grooming, so on this front, this breed is very cheap to maintain. They should be brushed at least once a week, which will help with shedding and will keep their coat in good condition.

I love this Kong rubber brush on Amazon. It’s super easy to use and works like a dream for short-haired dogs with regards to brushing and shampooing.

You will also need to trim your Great Dane’s nails about once a month on average with either canine nail clippers or a nail grinder and make sure that their ears are free of debris.

All in all, pretty straightforward.

How much it costs to feed a Great Dane each year

Annual – about $1,800 (£1,400)

It is essential to feed your Great Dane a high-quality puppy food that is specially formulated for a large or giant breed. Since this dog can appear to grow before your very eyes, you will want to watch the amount of protein they ingest and the amount of exercise that they do, when they are puppies.

If they gain weight too fast, then this can exacerbate conditions relating to their musculoskeletal system.

Your Great Dane will never say no to a treat, and these offer excellent incentives during puppy training and throughout their life.  Since their head is designed to be at the perfect countertop level, a Great Dane will quickly train their owners to keep food hidden away in the kitchen.

Trust me, when you let your guard down, your Great Dane will be quick to swipe the remainder of the pot roast and slink away with stealth-like skill.

Handy Hint: Read this guide which explains how much Great Danes are likely to eat each year which will bring the costs more into focus for you.

As a Great Dane is especially prone to bloat, it is best to split their food into three separate meals. By adulthood, you can expect this dog to eat about six cups of dry kibble per day; however, there is some variance in this as male dogs tend to be bigger and therefore need to eat a bit more.

As a rough rule of thumb, you should just see their last rib – if you can see any more then they need a bit more food and if you can’t see this last rib, then they need a bit less.

How much in vet bills Great Danes can cost

Annual Plan – $400 (£312) plus as needed

An initial course of puppy vaccinations is about $88; however, many veterinary practices offer a puppy pack which includes items such as the first course of vaccinations, three months’ worth of flea and worm treatment, and microchipping.

I spoke to Dr Carla Puime Costoya from Bristol Emersons Green Vets 4 Pets, and she recommends their Best Start in Life plan as it includes the above, as well as a store discount voucher and discount on future neutering needs.

Annual vaccinations are in the range of $60 though again, you may find it best to opt for a yearly payment plan such as the Complete Care Health Plan offered by Vets 4 Pets.

The once-off bill for spaying your Great Dane will be in the range of $400 while castration will be around $260.

There are several pet insurance options on the market so you might want to consider this into your expense of owning a Great Dane to avoid any surprises later on.

So, we’ve worked out that after the initial outlay of buying a Great Dane and purchasing supplies, it costs around $2,200 per year to keep a Great Dane.

A small price to pay for a whole lot of love.

The hidden costs of keeping a Great Dane

There’s something I wanted to add as some final thoughts, and what I consider to be hidden costs relating to keeping Great Danes.

This breed takes up a lot of physical space simply due to their size. Yet, believe it or not, a Great Dane is known to be suited for apartment life since they have a relatively low exercise requirement.

At least, this is what the ‘experts’ say.

In reality, I can easily see a mature Great Dane being content lounging in an apartment because much of the day they prefer to sleep and chillax.

However, a Great Dane puppy, up to about eighteen months of age, is just like a bull in a china shop.  They are oblivious to the destruction that their tail can leave in their wake (and why my husband now covers the family jewels when the dog passes by).

A fenced yard is always great for a dog, but if you are comfortable to take them to a dog park at least twice a day for a brisk half-hour walk, then this would suffice.

Just as I doubt you would buy a new home to accommodate a Great Dane, nor do I think you would go out of your way to buy a new car, but hey, maybe your budget stretches a little more than mine.

If you intend to take your Great Dane out for a car ride, which includes ever taking them to the vet, then you’ll need something big enough for them to get into which will likely be a hatchback SUV or similar.


Our family has a harlequin Great Dane, that is covered in black and white splodges like a Jersey cow and has the additional quirk of one blue, and one dark brown, eye.

Oreo, as she is aptly named, would scare off anyone from our home and we do notice that the pace of passing pedestrians is noticeably increased when they get to our yard.

However, she is most likely to bowl them over and force them to give her pats and affection.

The bottom line is; our Great Dane costs a lot of money to keep, and in truth far more than we would ever expect!

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Marc Aaron

I write about the things we've learned about owning dogs, the adventures we have, and any advice and tips we've picked up along the way.

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