As a Leo’s caretaker, it is your responsibility to provide proper veterinary care. Choosing the correct veterinarian for your Leonberger is an important decision. Ask for recommendations from your breeder, local dog club or rescue group. Keep in mind there are only about 2000 Leonbergers in the US so many very good veterinarians may not have any experience or even heard of the breed. The key is to make sure your veterinarian is willing to learn about the breed and recognizes similarities to Newfoundlands, Great Pyrenees and St. Bernards. It is important for you to have confidence in your veterinarian and to feel comfortable asking questions.
It is also very important to discuss a plan for emergency/after hours care for your Leo. Some veterinary practices have 24/7 services but most do not. However, good veterinarians will have a plan for their patients in emergencies. The time to discuss these plans is before the emergency, during routine visits.
Health care costs:
The health care costs of giant breed dogs, such as Leos are typically much higher than those of smaller breeds. This is simply due to the fact that most medications are dosed based on size and medical supplies such as dressings, ear cleaner, Elizabethan collars, etc. have to be larger and thus are usually more costly. Therefore, you will want to budget carefully for routine needs such as heartworm preventative, flea/tick control and vaccinations and have a solid plan to financially deal with emergencies. It may be advisable to consider pet
insurance. There are many different programs available. Most plans follow a scenario where you pay the bill to the veterinarian and are then reimbursed by the insurance company. Policies range from coverage of routine needs to catastrophic needs.