Veterinary Expenses for Portuguese Water Dogs

How Much Will President Obama Spend on the "First Dog"?

President Barack Obama and Bo Obama

Bo Obama, a six-month-old Portuguese water dog (PWD), became the newest addition to the presidential family over Easter weekend.

This is the Obama’s first family dog; do they know they’ll probably spend upwards of $20,000 on Bo during his lifetime?

According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA), the average annual cost for owning a dog is $2,084, while cat owners pay an average of $1,318. That adds up to a lot of bucks over a 10 to 15 year age span.

Calculate Veterinary Expenses

President Obama and family greet Bo

While the average cost of care includes boarding, pet grooming, food and treats, pet toys, pet bedding, dog training, collars and leashes, more than half of those annual expenses are spent on veterinary treatments.

This tally does not, however, include over-the-counter medications and other supplies.

How much can the Obama family expect to spend on Bo’s veterinary care during his first year? His fifth year? How about when he’s eight years old?

Based on Bo's breed and both his current and projected age, VPI Pet Insurance calculated the average veterinary expenses for which Portuguese water dogs are most commonly treated.*

Common PWD Veterinary Expenses: Year 1

1. Ear Infection $170
2. Allergy Related Skin Problems $180
3. Upset Stomach/Vomiting $310
4. Eye Infection $100
5. Bladder Infection $280
6. Inflamed Intestines/Diarrhea $160
7. Laceration or Bite Wound $300
8. Sprain $180
9. Kennel Cough $150
10. Inflamed Colon/Diarrhea $190

Portuguese water dogs are active dogs who like to be outdoors and play as much as possible.

Generally healthy, these dogs may find themselves being routinely treated for canine ear infections — the No. 1reason dogs visit vets.

The chart to the right outlines other common ailments that Bo Obama may be treated for during his first year of life.

Common PWD Veterinary Expenses: Year 5

1. Allergy Related Skin Problems $190
2. Ear Infection $170
3. Bladder Infection $350
4. Upset Stomach/Vomiting $320
5. Benign Skin Growth $430
6. Injured Muscles/Soft Tissue $260
7. Eye Infection $100
8. Skin Infection $160
9. Thyroid Hormone Deficiency $150
10. Skin Cyst $240

Deemed “middle age” by the time they are five years old, Portuguese water dogs may begin to show signs of their age and the onset of age-related medical conditions, including canine skin-related issues.

When Bo Obama is five years old, he may be treated for some of the medical conditions listed to the right.

Common PWD Veterinary Expenses: Year 8

1. Benign Skin Growth $480
2. Benign Fatty Growth $300
3. Allergy Related Skin Problems $190
4. Upset Stomach/Vomiting $340
5. Bladder Infection $320
6. Thyroid Hormone Deficiency $170
7. Skin Cyst $260
8. Skin Infection $160
9. Laceration or Bite Wound $290
10. Tooth Extraction from Infection $510

When Bo Obama celebrates his eighth birthday, he’ll officially be considered a senior citizen by canine standards.

Geriatric dogs show a significant increase in medical conditions during this phase of life, including the possibility of developing pet cancer.

Portuguese water dogs show an increase in benign canine skin conditions, as shown in the chart to the right.

How Much Will You Spend?

The current economic crisis has many of us watching our budget more closely than before. Our pet expenditures are no exception.

Whether you have a four-legged companion or are thinking of adopting a new pet, you can calculate your pet’s average medical expenses based on his age, breed and species with your veterinarian's guidance.

While your pet—or Bo Obama—may not necessarily develop any of the common conditions listed, you’ll be one step ahead of managing your pet’s cost of care.

Did you like this article? Read more about Portuguese water dogs.

Return to the VPI Pet HealthZone

* Disease/Condition rankings are based on a pet’s breed and age. Cost estimates are for a pet of comparable size and age, treated by a veterinarian in the state of California. The actual cost of care for your pet may vary.

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