Last Updated on April 19, 2023
Akitas are large, fluffy dogs known for their undying loyalty and regal natures.
These dogs were once the guardians and protectors of Japanese royalty, and today they are still beloved for their intelligence, devotion, and commanding presence.
Despite being large guard dogs, they are also known as gentle giants who will stand by their masters to the end.
But how much does it cost to own the loyal Akita? And just how much should you expect to budget throughout your Akita’s life?
In this article, we will answer these questions and more as we unpack if the Akita is the right canine companion for you.
- 1 How Much Does an Akita Cost?
- 2 How Much Does an Akita Cost from a Breeder?
- 3 Adoption Fee for a Rescue Akita
- 4 Factors Affecting the Price of an Akita Puppy
- 5 Initial and Long-term Costs of Pet Ownership
- 6 What are the Additional Costs that Come with Owning this Breed?
- 7 Conclusion: Should You Buy an Akita Dog?
How Much Does an Akita Cost?
An Akita puppy from a registered breeder will cost between $600 and $1900. The average price of an Akita under six months old is $1000.
Some Akita puppies, especially those from award-winning lineages, can be as much as $4,500.
Should you buy a puppy or an older dog?
If you are looking for a dog on a budget, you might consider getting an older Akita dog rather than a puppy.
You will need to take proper care to ask the necessary questions about the older dog you are considering.
Akitas are prone to developing aggression, and this is particularly true of older dogs that weren’t adequately trained and socialized as a puppy.
You will want to find out as much information as possible about the Akita’s personality and history at a rescue center before you bring it home.
How Much Does an Akita Cost from a Breeder?
Buying an Akita puppy from a breeder is the best way to ensure that you get a healthy puppy from a good bloodline.
However, this is the most expensive way to get an Akita, with most breeders selling their dogs for upwards of $1000.
Some breeders whose puppies come from champion bloodlines may charge around $4000 for each puppy.
How to find a reputable breeder and avoid puppy mills?
While you may be tempted to buy an Akita puppy advertised for cheap, it is best to avoid anyone advertising dogs at a price that seems too good to be accurate as they are likely a puppy mill.
While these places may sell their dogs for a low price, they are generally not registered and haven’t done the necessary health screenings on their dogs.
These dogs could be riddled with health and behavioral problems that will set you back a significant amount later down the line.
The Akita Club of America has a section on their website listing reputable breeders to help you find the perfect puppy. Here are just three to assist you in your search:
- SunDevil Akitas, Arizona
- Do-ha Akitas, Colorado
- Titan Akitas, Georgia
Adoption Fee for a Rescue Akita
If you want to save money and give an unwanted dog a new chance at life, you might consider rescuing or adopting a dog rather than getting one from a breeder.
Adoption fees for dogs usually sit between $75 and $400, with the price depending on the shelter, location, and the dog’s age.
To find an Akita looking for a new home, we suggest first trying an Akita breed-specific rescue organization. Here are a few that you can try:
- Akita Club of America Rescue, countrywide
- Big East Akita Rescue, New Jersey
- The Akita Rescue Society of Florida, Florida
Factors Affecting the Price of an Akita Puppy
Various factors influence precisely how much you will pay for an Akita puppy. These include your dog’s lineage, pedigree, location, color, breeder, etc.
Puppies priced upwards of $2000 or $3000 typically have a champion lineage. Alternatively, their parents are special dogs from a specific strain.
Pure Japanese strains will fetch the most, while dogs from Russian strains will be cheaper but not as affordable as American strains, which are the best price because most Akita Inus are from these strains.
2. Bloodline and breeder’s reputation
If your Akita’s parent dogs are from show lines or award-winning genetics, then the price of your puppy is likely to be more than the average dog.
Reputable breeders with a good reputation can also often charge more than other breeders as their puppies are in high demand.
These breeders also often invest more time and energy into their dogs.
3. Registration papers/pedigree
It goes without saying that mix-breed Akita Inus should be cheaper than their purebred counterparts. That said, not every purebred Akita is registered with a kennel club.
Purebred dogs registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) or similar will be more expensive than those that do not have the necessary papers.
4. Health screenings and medical expenses
Most reputable breeders will have their dogs medically evaluated to prescreen them for common diseases.
These breeders will also take their dogs to the vet for their initial vaccines, deworming, and vet checks before you get to take your puppy home.
While these health screenings are likely to be added to the cost of buying your puppy, they can save you a significant amount of money later down the line.
Most pet owners want a puppy as young as possible.
Thus, Akita dogs under six months old are the most expensive, and dogs that are 8-weeks-old will likely be even pricier than puppies of four months.
Male Akita dogs tend to cost between $100 and $200 more than females.
They are generally bigger and stronger, and people looking for Akita Inus generally like them because of their large, muscular physiques.
7. Coat color and markings
The exact coat color of your Akita will affect its price, but coat color trends can change quickly.
The breed standard set out by the American Kennel Club states that the coat color of these dogs can be any color, including brindle, white, and pinto.
Typically gray, white, and brown Akita pups are the most expensive.
Initial and Long-term Costs of Pet Ownership
When you first bring your Akita home, you’ll need to buy some initial supplies.
These supplies include an ID tag and collar, bed, cage, nail clippers, brush, toys and food, and water bowls.
In addition to these supplies, you will also need to factor in the fee for microchipping your dog, spaying or neutering, and his first vet visits.
As the Akita is a large dog, these supplies and health necessities will let you spend between $250 and $950, averaging $500.
You should also consider if you can afford the things your dog will need during his lifetime, in addition to the initial price of buying an Akita puppy.
Food, veterinary care, training, grooming, etc., are some examples.
1. Vet Bills
You can expect to pay up to $50 a month on veterinary visits for your dog. Alternatively, an annual vet visit for your dog is likely to range between $125 and $265.
This annual vet visit should include an overall wellness check for your pooch, his annual vaccines, any necessary blood work, and deworming.
Your dog will also need to take regular flea and tick preventive medication and medication to prevent heartworm, and these can be around $20 a month.
Unfortunately, emergencies can also happen, and you will want to keep a bit of money aside for these eventualities. An emergency trip to the vet can be as much as $300.
If you want to save money on some of these health expenses, you can consider taking your dog to a pet clinic or shelter for regular visits, as these will be more affordable.
Common health issues and estimated costs to treat them
Akita puppies should be evaluated for hip dysplasia, and autoimmune thyroiditis and receive regular eye examinations throughout their lifetime.
There are also some common diseases associated with the Akita breed.
Should your dog experience any of these health problems, you could be looking at $350 to $800 to treat hypothyroidism, $150 to $3,500 to fix a Cranial Cruciate Ligament Rupture, and $1,500 to $3,000 to combat Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus.
Akita dogs also sometimes contact autoimmune skin disorders, ranging $500 to $2,500 to treat in medication paired with a strict diet of expensive prescription food.
2. Dog Food and Treats
Catering for your Akita’s nutritional needs will be between $20 and $40 a month, split between $20 to $35 on premium kibble and $5 on dog treats.
If your Akita needs a special prescription diet, his food could scale upwards of $100 a month.
Akita Inus are large dogs that weigh between 70 and 120 pounds (31.7 and 54.4 kg), and so they eat a considerable amount.
A fully grown Akita can consume about 400 pounds (181 kg) of food each year.
3. Dog Grooming Services
Akita pups need to be professionally groomed every couple of months.
Taking your dog to the parlor will set you back between $60 and $80 a visit, and this includes washing, brushing, cutting, and styling your pup and brushing his teeth, cleaning his eyes, and trimming his nails.
You can decide to save some of these expenses by learning how to groom your Akita at home yourself.
To do this, you will need to invest in a professional grooming kit which can be bought online or from your local pet store and will usually be between $30 and $300.
4. Pet Insurance Fees
An emergency fund and pet insurance will help you cover any unexpected expenses for keeping your dog healthy.
Pet insurance may range between $20 and $50 a month depending on the amount of coverage offered, the start and end ages of the coverage, and any excess amounts payable.
5. Environmental Maintenance
An Akita is a large dog that can have a pretty significant impact on the world around them.
You may need to purchase a vacuum and a pet odor spray to keep your home looking and smelling good. For this, you can budget around $20 a month.
If your Akita loves chewing, keeping your home in top shape could cost even more.
6. Entertainment Toys
Akita Inus are incredibly intelligent dogs that need plenty of mental and physical stimulation.
Bored Akita pups tend to chew and bark, so you will want to keep your dog entertained with some exciting pet toys.
These dogs will love things like puppy puzzles and participating in dog sports and agility challenges.
Toys for your dog start at around $20 each while classes will be about $200 a month for weekly sessions.
7. Pet Supplies
Supplies for your new puppy can set you back between $245 and $925.
These essential supplies would include food and water bowls, a dog collar and leash, an ID tag, a dog bed or crate, a poop scooper, poop bags, a first-aid kit, etc.
What are the Additional Costs that Come with Owning this Breed?
Aside from the above monthly expenses, you will need to invest a fair amount of time and money in training your Akita.
These dogs are not well suited to first-time owners and need a firm master willing to dedicate funds and time to socialization and obedience training.
You can expect to pay around $60 per class.
If you plan on traveling a lot, you will also need to factor in the fees for boarding your dog, putting your dog in a kennel, or getting a dog sitter, which is around $50 a day.
Average Monthly Cost
An Akita will cost between $30 and $100 a month.
However, this could fluctuate slightly depending on your specific pet’s grooming needs, if your dog has any health problems or needs a prescription diet, and if you work or travel away from home and need regular doggie daycare, walking, or kenneling services.
You should budget around $1955 on your Akita for each year after the first year, which is more expensive.
The first year of dog ownership is, without a doubt, the most expensive. You will likely spend around $4415 on your new pup in this first year alone.
If you want to keep these costs down, you may consider asking your friends and family members for donations of unused puppy carriers, crates, bowls, and beds that they no longer use.
You could also attempt to look for these items on second-hand sites.
Owning an Akita is not just about the initial purchase price of buying a puppy.
Sure, you will need to budget for the once-off expenses of purchasing your dog and getting him is necessary supplies, but during his life, you will also need to pay for all the things we mentioned above, such as health care, food, training, and more.
The average life expectancy of an Akita is 14 years, so you need to make sure you are ready to keep paying for your dog for a long time to come.
The average lifetime expenses of Akita ownership will add up to about $26,000.
Conclusion: Should You Buy an Akita Dog?
When it comes to buying an Akita puppy, several factors need to be considered.
Purchasing a dog may let you spend up to $1000, but the amount you spend on food, grooming, toys, and supplies throughout its lifetime will be substantially more significant.
If you are thinking about getting an Akita, you will need to consider all the expenses involved to determine whether you can afford it and if you can benefit from it.
Have you ever owned an Akita? If you would like to share more information about your furry friend, please comment below.
Janine is an experienced content writer and travel journalist based in Cape, Town, South Africa.
Raised by a bundle of botanists, researchers, and biologists, she is passionate about things related to the animal kingdom, including, our furry friends. However, as a terrible allergy sufferer, she is limited in her pet selection and so has grown up surrounded by curly-haired Poodles.