The Cost of Breeding a Litter of Puppies

Necessary for the health of the mother and her litter, a trip to the veterinarian for the following:

Health check., worming, and fresh shots for mom , brucellosis test: $180.00
Stud service fee: $1000 – $1500 (give or take depending on breeder) 

After breeding:

Top quality food  for mom: $36.00
Whelping pen: $125

At birth:

Vet check and cleanout shot: $65.00  
Tails and dew claws: $180.00

As puppies grow:

Misc. expenses (trash bags, extra heat, papers, paper towels heating pads): $130.00
Vet visit 6 weeks for 1st shots and worming (distemper measles and parvo ): $250.00
Vet visit 8 weeks for 2nd shots and worming (DHPP): $250.00
Vet visit 10 weeks for 3rd shots (Parvo): $175.00
Vet visit 12 weeks for 4th shot (DHPP): $250.00
Advertising for min 4 weeks (1 week per pup ): $356.00
Puppy food: $61.00
Exercise Pen: $90.00
Toys: $32.00
Breeders license and unaltered fee: $200.00 (LA City)$280 (LA County)
Litter registration: $33.00 (AKC),  $20.00 (UKC)
Micro chip required with breeders license: $320.00

Cost for 4 (Wire or Silky Terrier) pups without problems: $3687 to $4187 ($921.76 to $1046.75 each pup)

The above price is the cost to a pet breeder who has no experience in breeding dogs and must depend on professional help. They are breeding their dog, reputably and responsibly. A experience breeder will cut the cost by about 25%.  The Veterinarian prices are average but can be higher or lower depending on the area you live in or Veterinarian. These are California prices. There is no expense  for your time, a rider on your homes owners policy to cover a one time business activity, any emergency or genetic screening  This also reflects the 1st litter additional litters will not need a new whelping box and exercise pen. This also represents top quality breeders with great concern for their puppies breeding legally ethically and morally. 


You have to be present when your female is in labor and you are out one or two days worth of wages. Include your lost wages in the price of your puppies.

If you are going to sell your puppies check with your homeowners insurance to see if you are covered if a person is injured or heaven forbid bitten while looking at you puppies, Most homeowners will not pay the claim as you are conducting a commercial activity.  Add fee for additional commercial insurance to the puppy’s selling price. 

If your puppies don’t sell in four ads, you must continue advertising at $84 per week (cheap ads do not work just eat up valuable selling time). Puppies are going to need additional shots at about $50 each per set. What if they don’t ever sell? You must license the puppies at 4 months. If you have more than three dogs you are in violation of most city dog limit laws. Are you now going to turn them into the pound, give them away, put them to sleep, or keep them and hope you have understanding neighbors when you have extra dogs?


C-Section: $600 – $2400
Mastitis eclampsia pymetria: $150 – $500
Supplement for puppies if mother dies or cannot nurse: $5.00 per day and up
All pups get Parvo: $1200 up per puppy

Oh one more expense often overlooked the IRS WILL WANT PART OF YOUR SELLING PRICE.

What it all boils down to, do not breed unless you are totally committed to the care and well being of your dog and her puppies. You should have at least $4000 in you bank account and should have a backup plan if the puppies do not sell, which if you have a good size litter or professional competition the odds are that they won’t all sell. 

If you are breeding to show your children the miracle of life they will probably see death also. Many pups are born stillborn, some are deformed, and most litters will have at least one fading puppy. The mother may also die.

If you are breeding to get a companion for your dog. I am sure she would much rather have you just buy one for her. Once she is bred she will have a 40% chance of breast cancer before she is 10 yrs of age. She is also at risk for pymetria, and uterine and cervical cancer

If you are breeding to get your money back from the purchase of your dog  I would suggest that you take the $4000 and  go to Vegas and play the slot machines. Your odds are probably just as good and you would have much more fun.