Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular dogs to own in the United States. They are gentle, friendly, affectionate, intelligent, and loyal companions that make a fun addition to any family. They get along well with children and other pets and are easy to train. Golden retrievers serve as guide dogs and even search and rescue dogs due to their devotion and hard-working nature, and they are outgoing and eager to please their humans.
With all these amazing characteristics, many people are in the market to buy one. But do you have any idea what the expense of owning a Golden Retriever will be? If not, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve gathered some useful information for the potential future Golden Retriever owner so that you have an idea of how much owning a Golden Retriever costs.
Bringing Home a New Golden Retriever: One-Time Costs
To fully prepare your home for your new Golden Retriever, you will have many one-time costs. For starters, you’ll have the fee of purchasing the dog, whether it comes from a breeder or shelter. Next, you will need to provide a dog bed and possibly a crate during the house training process. Your Golden will need food and water bowls, a leash and harness, and possibly a microchip (some owners do this, some do not). You may also want to spay or neuter the dog if you have no plans of breeding.
Golden Retrievers are not cheap, and the only way you’ll get one for free is if someone needs to rehome the dog for whatever reason. Another way is if you have a generous relative who breeds them and gives you one for your birthday. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the odds of finding a Golden Retriever for free are slim to none.
Adopting a Golden Retriever through a rescue is the less expensive route. The prices vary from rescue to rescue, but the average or ballpark figure is anywhere from $200–$500. Adopting a Golden is an excellent way to acquire one, and most of the time, the dog has already had its shots, been examined by a veterinarian, and possibly even spayed or neutered. We already know how wonderful these dogs are, and they all deserve a loving home.
As you can see, buying a Golden Retriever from a breeder is going to cost you much more than buying from a rescue or shelter. Speaking of which, finding a reputable breeder is extremely important in avoiding potential health problems down the road. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to meet the pup’s parents. Meeting the parents will give you an idea of what your pup’s temperament might be as it ages.
One benefit of buying from a breeder is that you have the knowledge of your pup’s lineage, meaning you’ll know the bloodline and ancestors of your Golden Retriever.
Initial Setup and Supplies
Your Golden Retriever will need a high-quality dog food, food and water bowls, a bed, and a few toys. Some people need crates during training, but this is not needed if you’re home often or simply do not prefer to use one. These dogs are fairly easy to train, and a crate may not be necessary.
List of Golden Retriever Care Supplies and Costs
|ID Tag and Collar||$5–$15|
|Nail Clipper (optional)||$22|
|Food and Water Bowls||$22|
How Much Does a Golden Retriever Cost Per Month?
You should feed your Golden Retriever high-quality dog food. Premium dog food is a little pricey, but the quality ingredients are worth the price to keep your pup healthy, which will cut down on vet bills in the long run. A large bag of quality dog food should last you roughly a month.
Your monthly price will vary if you have a puppy, especially if your puppy still needs all of its shots and exams. Otherwise, you’re looking at roughly just your dog’s food and any toys you want to provide per month.
For Golden Retriever puppies, rounds of shots are in order to keep your pup healthy and avoid developing diseases. Core vaccines are vital and include shots for parvo, hepatitis, distemper, parainfluenza, and leptospirosis. Rabies vaccines are also necessary. Core vaccines are administered in three series at 6, 12, and 16 weeks old. After that, your pup will need its yearly shots, but rabies and distemper shots can be administered every 3 years.
Your Golden Retriever puppy will start out eating roughly 1½ cups of food daily. As your pup grows, the intake will rise and usually peaks at 3½ to 4 cups per day. Premium dog food is best, but it costs more. Still, feeding high-quality food with real meat as the first ingredient is important to ensure your pup is getting a quality protein source. Avoid food with cheap fillers and artificial ingredients, such as by-products and soy.
When it comes to grooming, Golden Retrievers are pretty low-maintenance. They do shed, especially in the spring and fall, but you can brush them once or twice a week to help keep the shedding down. Getting into a teeth-brushing routine is vital in keeping periodontal disease at bay.
Try to brush your pup’s teeth at least three times a week and ideally once daily if your pup doesn’t put up too much of a fight. Trim the nails as needed, and bathe them when necessary. Some people opt for a professional groomer to handle all of these things at once, which can run around $60.
Medications and Vet Visits
Healthy Golden Retrievers only need monthly flea and tick medication along with heartworm medication. Vet exams cost roughly $50 per visit (depending on your location), and that can run more if treatment is needed. Some people skip the flea and tick medication, but doing so may result in a flea infestation in your home and misery for your Golden Retriever. Lyme disease is also a possibility from a tick bite, which could result in serious health issues for your Golden.
Golden Retrievers are at a higher risk for genetic conditions, such as cataracts, heart problems, and hip dysplasia, so purchasing pet insurance is a good idea and can save you money down the road. All pet insurances vary in price, and they all have their own protocols.
Pricing is usually determined by the breed, age, and where you live. To give you an idea, coverage for a 3-year-old male Golden will run $39 per month with a $500 deductible and an 80% reimbursement rate. Most plans allow you to customize your deductible and reimbursement rates, which alter the price.
Golden Retrievers have low environmental maintenance because they do not require much. For example, you don’t need to purchase litter boxes, tanks, heat lamps, or anything else of the kind. You may need to wash your pup’s bedding here and there, but that’s really about it.
Golden Retrievers are happy-go-lucky dogs that don’t need much in the way of entertainment. An old tennis ball comes in handy for playtime, but your pup will be happy with toys you buy, too. Some people opt for subscription services like BarkBox. BarkBox sends a box of two toys, two bags of treats, and a chew toy for a monthly cost. You can subscribe for a full year and receive a box each month for $23, or you can do one month at a time, but that option costs more. The box will be a different theme each time, and your Golden will love the surprise each and every time.
Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Golden Retriever
As we’ve mentioned, you will probably need to buy food once a month. Heartworm medication needs to be administered monthly, along with flea and tick medication. If you want a professional groomer, that will add to your monthly cost. Buying pet insurance is another possible factor that will increase your monthly cost.
Additional Costs to Factor In
Unfortunately, you can’t always take your Golden Retriever with you on vacations, which means accommodations will be in order. Accidents can happen, such as your pup swallowing something or hurting a limb during playtime. Puppies can be destructive and chew things that are not allowed, such as a baseboard or your favorite pair of shoes. Some people opt for a professional trainer for these situations, and that’s not free.
For those that don’t work from home, a pet sitter may be a good idea to keep your pup from getting bored, and the pet sitter can let your pup out to potty. In a nutshell, you should be prepared for anything.
Owning a Golden Retriever on a Budget
By far, the most expensive part of getting a Golden Retriever is the initial purchase of the dog. Buying from a breeder is the most expensive option, so if you’re on a budget, you will fare better to look for one from a rescue. The cost is significantly lower, and odds are the pup will already have all of its shots and exams, which are usually included in the adoption fee.
The dog food will be the most expensive for monthly costs, as you should feed a high-quality food to keep your Golden happy and healthy. Goldens are not picky when it comes to playtime, and you can use old t-shirts for a game of tuggy, or throw a tennis ball for your Golden to retrieve, which they love.
Saving Money on Golden Retriever Care
Your best bet is to feed high-quality food to avoid potential health problems. This type of food costs more, but it’s worth the price and will save you money in the long run. Not to mention, your Golden will be healthy and happy. Brush the teeth at least three times a week, and don’t overfeed with treats, as overfeeding can lead to obesity.
There’s no doubt that Golden Retrievers make excellent pets, and owning one doesn’t cost a paw and a leg. The initial purchase price will be the most you spend at once unless your Golden gets sick, but that’s true for any dog. Spending a little extra on premium dog food goes a long way in overall health, and keeping up with monthly medications will avoid potential health problems.
We think it’s safe to say that you’re looking at roughly $100–$200 monthly for your Golden Retriever, as long as other factors don’t come into play, such as pet sitter costs, boarding costs, etc.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our article, and we especially hope it helps you get an idea of how much owning a Golden Retriever will cost. Goldens are amazing dogs and are simply a joy, and we wish you luck in your search.
Featured Image Credit: Rala3030, Shutterstock