Originally Posted by SleeplessMommy
Large pure bred dogs appear to have much higher medical costs. A family member adopted a golden retriever after he was surrendered by owner at about 12 mo due to hip displaysia - a $3000 operation required. The golden rescue took care of the operation and he is doing just fine now. We would like to adopt a large dog sometime, but it is very sad to know the lifespan is about 12 years on average for a golden.
Actually, it's the opposite. Or rather, if you purchase a dog from an ethical breeder who does genetic and hip testing ... in every generation, for many generations back - you're not going to have any problems with your dog. You will pay a lot of money for the dog, but your medical costs will be low.
On the other hand, if you adopt a purebred dog or get one from an unethical breeder - it will cost less upfront, but in the long run the medical bills have the potential to be huge. Hip displaysia is so common among large dogs - I see it in the GSD rescue all the time.
I purchased my dog from a breeder - and there have been no health issues, and I doubt there will be. He's not going to get any genetic issues, and short of having an accident will have no hip issues. But, my dog's pedigree can be traced MANY generations back, lol. He's got a bigger family tree than I do.
I always tell people who are adopting from the GSD rescue where I volunteer - you have to have enough money for your dog's health - which can be anywhere from $1000 a year to $5000. As the dogs from rescue - it's a big question mark in terms of future potential problems. Not that I'm saying don't rescue - I'm a BIG fan of rescue. I'm just saying have enough money for the dog.
Re: kids and dogs ... if I had enough money or resources for medical bills for my kid OR for my dog - obviously, my kid would win out. So, in that sense, the "human family" is my first priority. But, if there wasn't a situation like that, where I had to choose - yea, I'd totally sell everything to pay for my dog. I just can't get that unconditional love and acceptance, and relative ease of care (after the first 2 years of training) from just anyone. Even human love comes with conditions - whereas my dog will love me regardless whether I'm a serial killer or not. Not saying I'm psycho ... just saying my dog loves me either way.