With their personality often compared to that of a cat, the Chow Chow is a proud, independent dog breed. Originally from China, these sturdy, double-coated dogs quickly gained international popularity. Chow Chows can be a loyal companion for the right owner, although having one takes patience, consistency, and the ability to do a few things on your pups’ terms.
Chow Chow’s can be suspicious of strangers, which makes them very protective of their owner. Even though they don’t make great cuddle buddies, this breed is still an excellent choice if you want to add a furry member to your family. If you live in an apartment, you need to keep in mind that a Chow Chow needs plenty of exercise.
Being such a crowd favorite, it’s no surprise that a Chow Chow can cost about $3200 on average. Depending on where you purchase one, the price range for Chow Chows stretches from $500 – $8000, with purebred Chow Chows puppies fetching the highest price.
Chow Chow Price by Location
1. Rescue Centers
- Average Cost: $250 – $350
Even though Chow Chows are purebred, they often find themselves in rescue centers. Whether they’ve been given up or abandoned, puppies and pregnant females are often left when owners can’t care for them any longer or have difficulties selling them.
Rescue centers look after these pups while trying to rehome them. If you plan to purchase a Chow Chow from a rescue center, there are some things you can look out for as a precautionary measure. A good rehoming rescue center will give all their dogs a full vet check. They’ll also do behavioral assessments to ensure that the right home is found and begin with training where possible. If you’re a novice Chow Chow owner, ongoing support will be offered to you and even an option to give the dog you chose back if your circumstances change drastically.
Buying a dog from a rescue center might leave you waiting a little longer compared to other options, but don’t let this discourage you! The price of Chow Chows from rescue centers are from $250 – $350, which helps in funding the operation of rescue centers.
2. Local Buy-Sell Groups
- Average Cost: $500 – $2000
Many home-based sellers and even certified breeders turn to buy-sell groups on social media and other platforms to sell Chow Chow pups from their litters. Since these people usually sell their dogs offline first, many puppies advertised for sale on a group like this will be the litter’s last.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the weakest pup! Scouting groups like these for a Chow Chow is a good choice since you might find a purebred Chow Chows puppy at a much lower price than usual. When making use of a local buy-sell group, be sure to check the rules in place regarding the sale of animals and be on the lookout for tricksters. The average price for Chow Chows puppies in local buy-sell groups is around $500 – $2,000.
When you spot a Chow Chow for sale, do as much research as you can about the seller before contacting them. Before purchasing a puppy, ask to meet the parents and whether necessary health tests have been performed on them before breeding. Ask the seller about their experience as a breeder and whether they socialize their puppies before selling them. Reputable sellers won’t let you take a puppy home until they’re 8 – 12 weeks old, which is also a good sign to look out for to ensure that the seller isn’t just in it for the money.
- Average Cost: $3500
Many vets team up with breeders and sell purebred puppies from their places of business. Buying a Chow Chow from a veterinarian is an excellent route to take since the chances of running into risks are low. Some vets also take in rescue puppies when community members find an abandoned one. They often try to rehome the puppy themselves rather than send it to a rescue home.
When purchasing a Chow Chow puppy from a vet who works with a breeder, you’re guaranteed to have access to a full health history of the parents, and the pup will be up to date with all its health checks and vaccinations. Vets will also be able to give you the best guidance on how to care for your Chow Chow, and most are happy to assist with any follow-up questions you have once you run into trouble at home. If buying from vets, Chow Chow puppies will cost around $3500.
If your local vet doesn’t sell puppies, it’s still worth it to give them a call to find information on the best places to purchase a Chow Chow from in your area.
Ongoing Costs of Owning a Chow Chow
- Average Cost: $200 – $800
Chow Chows are a big breed, and being able to reach an average weight of 60 lbs, they don’t skimp when it comes to mealtimes. It’s recommended that they are given at least 2 cups of high-quality dog-food daily, divided into two meals. How much your Chow Chow eats will depend on several factors, including its age and metabolism. The food for your Chow Chow will cost you around $200 – $800 annually depending on your choice of dog food.
Because they need regular exercise, they also need enough food to fuel their bodies. Purchasing a higher quality dog food will increase the nourishment your dog receives and have a direct impact on its overall health.
If you like spoiling your Chow Chow with treats and snacks, you should remember to keep an eye on its weight. Having snacks on hand help with obedience training, but be sure to not overdo it.
- Average Cost: $100
When you plan to buy a dog, it’s best to account for expenses towards its safety in your budget. Many states require dog owners to purchase a license that allows for easier identification and location tracking in the rare event that your dog gets out or emergencies.
Deciding to microchip your Chow Chow is also wise. Doing this won’t only put them on a medical and emergency database. It can also be used alongside other features such as electronic dog doors that allow them to move freely in and out of your house without compromising your household safety.
Another item that should be budgeted for is a first aid kit and basic training on applying first aid to your dog. Although the chances of needing this are relatively low, there might come a time when it’s essential.
3. Exercise & Training
- Average Cost: $100 – $1000 depending on your budget
Chow Chow’s need plenty of exercise to keep them in shape and stimulate their minds. Since they’re considered a one-person breed, stimulating them enough is vital. If your Chow Chow has a lack of proper stimulation, it might act out by becoming aggressive.
Teaching them basic obedience, socialization, and positive leadership skills can be a challenge, and outside help might be needed. Besides taking them to classes, there are also some accessories you can purchase and activities you can do with them to stimulate them at home.
You’ll also need to take your Chow Chow for regular walks or hire the help of a dog walker. Even when you’re walking your dog yourself, there are still some expenses you should think of, such as a collar and leash and poop bags. If you decide to hire a dog walker, it will cost you around $10 – $20 per hour for them to take your Chow Chow for a walk.
When raised in a family setting with children, Chow Chows can do well with them, but they prefer older children who won’t display abusive behavior. They get along with other animals when trained and especially when introduced to them as puppies. A Chow Chow should be considered the last addition to your family if you plan to have kids or other pets in the future. Despite this, Chow Chows are an excellent, low maintenance breed with little health and behavioral issues.
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