Although it’s not quite from the moment they’re born, dogs are susceptible to a range of dangerous and fatal viruses shortly after birth. Like humans, female dogs provide passive immunity, or maternal immunity, to their puppies as protection against viruses even while they’re in utero. Most of the protective antibodies are passed on to puppies through their mother’s milk, but this only supports your dog’s immune system until they’re 12 weeks old. This is why it’s essential to schedule a series of vaccinations against diseases like Bordetella, canine distemper, parvovirus, leptospirosis, rabies, Lyme disease, and influenza for your puppy.
And, as a responsible pet owner, you must ensure their vaccinations are up to date annually. Just like us, dogs should complete a yearly visit with their vet who will conduct a physical exam to check in on the animal’s health, recommend maintenance like dental cleaning, and administer vaccinations that have lapsed. While the sum of a complete vaccination series can average $200, treatment of any of these diseases can cost thousands.
Where you live can impact exactly which vaccinations are recommended and how much those cost. For dogs living in a metro area like any of the 25 included on this national list, their level of exposure to various diseases through boarding, dog parks, or dog walking services is greater than those living in more suburban or rural settings. For example, a vaccination against Bordetella—a highly contagious virus that causes kennel cough—is often required for dog services in cities.
Conversely, dogs that are more likely to pick up ticks, like those living near or frequently visiting wooded areas, are at a higher risk of contracting Lyme disease. Therefore, the Lyme disease vaccine should be a priority for these dogs, but not necessarily for those living in city centers where fleas, heartworm disease, and intestinal parasites are often a larger concern than ticks. It’s important to consult with your dog’s veterinarian about which vaccines are required or recommended based on your location and lifestyle.
ManyPets used data from Banfield Pet Hospital’s price estimator tool to break down the cost of vaccinating a dog in your city. The average cost mentioned refers to the average among the 25 most populous cities.
Columbus by the numbers
– Average vaccination cost: $32.01 ($1.34 less expensive than average)
— Bordetella: $29.18
— Distemper Parvo DAPP: $34.11
— H3N2 and H3N8 influenza: $46.19
— Leptospirosis: $20.88
— Lyme disease: $37.47
— Rabies: $24.24
A study conducted by the University of California, Davis (published in 2014) found that dogs who contracted leptospirosis, which attacks the kidneys and liver, were hospitalized for an average of 11 days and racked up a treatment bill of more than $5,000. Treatment of parvovirus can cost up to $2,500. The fatality rate for dogs acquiring parvovirus who are unvaccinated, improperly vaccinated, or have lapsed vaccination is 90% when untreated. And without a rabies vaccination, dogs are susceptible to a viral disease that has no cure, can’t be treated with medication, and virtually always fatal.
Operating a business in a metro area is often more expensive than operating that same business in a rural area due to higher overhead costs. Veterinary practices and even vaccination clinics are no exception to this rule of real estate. These overhead costs are typically absorbed by you, the pet owner, who pays the bills for services like vaccination administration. Even within metro regions, costs can vary.
Keep reading below to see which of the 25 most populous cities have the most and least expensive dog vaccination costs.
Cities with the most expensive dog vaccination costs
#1. San Francisco, California: $38.91 average vaccination cost ($5.56 more expensive than average)
#2. San Jose, California: $37.06 average vaccination cost ($3.71 more expensive than average)
#3. San Diego, California: $36.16 average vaccination cost ($2.81 more expensive than average)
Cities with the least expensive dog vaccination costs
#1. El Paso, Texas: $30.87 average vaccination cost ($2.48 less expensive than average)
#2. Nashville, Tennessee: $31.24 average vaccination cost ($2.11 less expensive than average)
#3. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: $31.24 average vaccination cost ($2.11 less expensive than average)
This story originally appeared on ManyPets and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.