Hey, hoomans! I guess you’ve noticed by now that George and I are HUGE hounds. We think that just means there’s more of us to love. Sometimes, though, there are some surprises that come with owning a big dog. We want to help prepare you for these surprises so you can get right to the part where you just love every pound of your pooch.

Whoa, the Food Costs

Look, it shouldn’t be a surprise that big dogs eat more food. We need the fuel for our energy! Your big dog could eat more than a pound of food per day. That can add up to anywhere between $600 and $2,700 per year, depending on the quality of the food you buy.

Now, we recommend that you aim for the higher quality food for a lot of reasons. First, it’s just healthier for us. These foods should have real meat listed as the very first ingredient—not meal or grains. Chicken, beef, venison, lamb, duck, or salmon are all great choices for your dog’s overall health. Or you can do what our mom does and buy ground beef and liver in bulk and freeze. The grocery stores will give you an additional discount when you buy in bulk.

Keep in mind that your big dog may also develop joint issues somewhere down the line. It’s normal. We have a lot of weight to carry around on these bones. You may need to find foods that provide special nutrients for joint health, which can lead to even higher prices.

I promise we’re worth every penny.

About Those Joint Problems

It’s just a fact of life that big dogs are more likely to develop those joint problems. Some of the most common are degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and knee dysplasia.

You’ll need to watch for some signs as we start getting older. Listen for joints popping and cracking. Check for swelling in the joints or muscles getting smaller. Listen for our whimpering. Maybe we’re getting slower to rise or we start licking the joint area that’s bothering us. All of these things, and maybe more, will let you know we’re starting to experience some issues.

That doesn’t mean we can’t fully enjoy life, even after we develop these problems. Good medication, the right diet, supplements, and some help from you may be all we need to keep enjoying the good life, even if we hurt from time to time.

Make Some Room!

Sorry, hoomans. We just take up more room in the house. You may need to spread furniture out to create some more floor space to keep us from bumping into you or expensive décor. We probably need massive dog beds to keep us from pushing you out of your own bed at night. You’ll need to keep things off the kitchen counters—especially things that could hurt us—because we can reach them!

Hey, you also have to think about your car. Is there even enough room in there to take us to the vet? Wait, what vet? Not the vet. No, no. I meant, is there enough room to take us with you on vacation? Yeah, that’s what I meant. You may need to trade in that compact for an SUV, or at the very least, a larger sedan.

Be sure to restrain us when we’re riding, too. Not only would we be in grave danger in an accident, but we might just cause that accident if we’re allowed to roam freely with our long legs and powerful, swishing tails.

Now, I know this all sounds like a lot of bad stuff, but I promise: We outweigh all the negative. Get it? Big dogs outweigh… Never mind. Just trust me. Big dogs mean big hearts. We’ll love you more than you ever thought possible.

Expect big things!