Hundreds Of Hours,
Thousands Of Dollars,
Dozens Of Vet Visits,
Half The Sleep &
Twice The Worry
Even as a small breeder of English Bulldog puppies, we invest on the average of over 400 hours in direct, hands-on care for each and every litter of puppies we raise. This number covers the basic cleaning, care and feeding (round-the-clock), which if all goes well, is about every 2-3 hours for the first two weeks.
This does not include the hours of excessive laundry, necessary medical treatments, much needed playtime and trips to the vet for health checks.
Another 14 hours are spent at the vet, and driving back and forth, for visits before, during and after the pregnancy. And then there is the special trip and additional hours (and hundreds of dollars) to perform the necessary c-section delivery of the puppies.
We drive over 120 miles, round trip, for each and every visit to the vet once the babies are born, averaging 360 miles for each litter.
This all after the initial 10+ hours (and hundreds of dollars more) spent pre-pregnancy for the planning and preparation for the puppies. Multiple health screenings of the parents are needed prior to breeding, numerous tests and exams are required during the pregnancy; and then the post-op visit for mom a week or two after the babies arrive.
Again, this is all after the initial cost of adopting, raising and caring for the parents…and that’s assuming you own your own stud like we do. If not, add a minimum of another $1500 for a stud fee for a quality stud, or more, depending on color, pedigree, etc.
Once The Puppies Arrive
DNA testing is required if you are breeding for color, adding another $100 per puppy.
The basic, necessary medical treatments, like vaccinations, de-worming, etc.; as well as microchips and needed health screenings, will average an additional $150.
Then each puppy needs registration papers, puppy packs with their harnesses and leash, porters for their ride home, and food and treats for their first few weeks with their new family, totaling well over $100 for each baby.
Then there is the initial equipment costs, to even get started, for the incubator, special beds, puppy playpens (in various sizes) and special containment systems for outside house training and playtime.
And these are just the most obvious and basic expenses when raising English Bulldogs. There are countless hours of worry, especially if one of the babies is sick, several hours of lost sleep every night for the first two weeks (from getting up every few hours to feed the puppies) and so much more that I haven’t even taken into account.
I’m not pointing all of this out to try to justify the cost of adopting an English Bulldog puppy, most people researching the breed are already well aware of the fact that it costs thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours for each litter of puppies. What I am trying to do is actually put it into perspective with figures that are easier to understand.
And although none of us are profiting much with what we do, we are generously rewarded for our investment of our time, money and emotions when raising these babies. Like when they open their eyes and see the world for the first time, or when they begin to try to stand on their wobbly little legs, the excitement they get when they taste real food for the very first time and all the other great memories we share with them before they go on to live with their new families.
It’s pretty obvious that few of us are doing it for the money…since there usually isn’t much left after the bills have been paid. If I would ever take the time to sit down and add the expenses compared to the adoption fees, I bet I’d be making less than 10 cents an hour! But I know I’ll never take the time to that, since it doesn’t really matter much to me.
What is important to me is that our babies find the best homes possible, where they will be loved and cared for like a Bulldog should be. It’s not about the investment of time or money that was made, it’s about the special bond that if formed with our babies that make finding each of them the very best home possible the most important job I have.