The Labrador Retriever is a common and popular breed. They are known for their short coat and friendly demeanor. They are relatively bigger in size in comparison to other dog breeds, and they make a great family dog and companion. When you are looking to buy a new puppy or adopt one, there can be many questions in terms of costs. Adopting a Labrador can cost $400–$800 and buying one from a reputable breeder will likely cost around $800–$5,000.
Things like how much it is to buy a purebred compared to adopting one, or how much it costs to buy all the essentials a puppy needs in its first years of life.
This article will explore all the costs involved in buying and raising a Labrador Retriever.
Bringing Home a New Labrador Retriever: One-Time Costs
The overall one-time costs involved in bringing home a new Labrador Retriever puppy can vary. Of course, there are costs involved in adoption or purchasing a puppy from a breeder. This can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars depending on where you buy them and whether they need a check-up or regular vet visits.
The only case where you may get the chance to adopt a dog without costs involved is if you adopt an adult dog (over 1-year-old) from a shelter, or if you have a family friend that may have bred labs. It’s not common for this to occur, however, because even adoptions cost money.
Adopting a puppy differs from purchasing a dog from a breeder because they are usually run by volunteers or located within pet stores. They will usually take in surrendered pets or strays, provide all their shots and health check-ups, and then charge potential owners to cover those basic essential fees.
Breeders can sometimes be family-run businesses or an individual who has their female and male dogs who breed puppies of specific breeds. These puppies are bred with the intention to sell them for profit. Breeders usually ask for more money because they are offering pure-bred puppies. Reputable breeders are more expensive compared to puppy mills because they invest time and money into breeding healthy, high-quality puppies. Avoid purchasing a puppy from a puppy mill at all costs, no matter how healthy or inexpensive the dogs are.
Initial Setup and Supplies
The initial setup and cost for supplies of a Labrador retriever puppy can cost upwards of $1,000 or more. There are many things that dogs need immediately like food and water dishes, dog food, a collar, a leash, a bed and/or crate, dog tags or identification tags, dog toys, and the list goes on. You will also have to consider supplies for basic first aid.
List of Labrador Retriever Care Supplies and Costs
|Nail Clipper (optional)||$15|
|Puppy Training Pads||$25|
|Food and Water Bowls||$20|
How Much Does a Labrador Retriever Cost Per Month?
- $50–$100 per month
The costs involved monthly for a Labrador Retriever can range from $30 to $100. This is based on the costs of dog food, which can vary depending on the size of your dog as they get bigger, and the type of dog food you choose to feed them. There are also costs involved like grooming, pet insurance, training, and more.
- $100–$600 per month
The overall health care costs for Labrador Retrievers can be upwards of $600. This is based on several factors like food, how many times you choose to groom them, the pet insurance you choose, and more. The range in costs is so vast because there are layers to the quality of these different things depending on your lifestyle and finances.
- $20–$100 per month
Dog food can vary because of a few factors. There are several different brands of dog food ranging from popular and generic options to premium quality options or alternatives like freeze-dried, raw, and more.
- $40–$80 per month
Grooming is an added cost to owning a Labrador Retriever as it involves trimming nails and regular brushing. You might be lucky and have a knack for trimming your dog’s nails yourself, then you would only need to buy good quality trimmers and a good quality brush.
Medications and Vet Visits
- $50–$100 per month
Medications and vet visits are dependent on what your dog needs, their age, their breed, and other factors. Labrador Retrievers don’t necessarily have a high number of reported medical issues, especially when they’re young. Medications wouldn’t be a factor early on unless they have a medical condition. Yearly vet visits can range in costs depending on your vet and whether you have pet insurance.
- $30–$80 per month
Pet insurance is a great option for a new pet owner to cover expenses that may arise due to vet visits, accidents, or illness. Insurance in general covers the same basic needs such as accidents, undiagnosed or new illnesses, and unforeseen medications. There are add-ons to pet insurance like cancer care, x-rays, wellness treatments, and more. The price increases based on what package you choose.
- $20–$50 per month
Monthly replacement costs for dogs would most likely be getting new toys, buying treats, dog grooming tools like brushes and nail clippers, and maybe a new bed or two. Usually, these costs are only factored in when an old item is destroyed, lost, or needs upgrading. Or you might be a pet owner who likes including your pup in the holidays, so they get a new toy for Christmas!
- $10–$40 per month
In terms of entertainment for a dog, there are a few different things that might need replacing on a monthly basis. This can be anything from buying them a new toy, replenishing their treat stash, or replacing the bed they destroyed. For example, there are subscription boxes for dogs that send you monthly deliveries of different toys and treats that can range from $30–$65 depending on what you (and your dog) like.
Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Labrador Retriever
- $600–$800 per month
The total monthly cost of owning a lab when you consider all the factors would be at least a few hundred dollars. It can be dependent on how often you replace toys and food, if they have required medications and vet visits, or if you get pet insurance. Many times, there are factors that pop up over time. You might notice your lab needs more regular nail trimming or they really enjoy ripping toys apart that need consistent replacing.
Of course, replenishing dog food will occur at least a couple of times every month which can add up. This can be on the higher end if your pup has monthly medications.
Additional Costs to Factor In
There are additional costs that you might not think of when you are looking to get a Labrador Retriever puppy. For example, if you plan on taking regular vacations and don’t plan to bring your dog, you will need to hire a pet sitter which can range from $20/hour all the way up to $200 for a week. If you prefer to fly with your dog, it’s very expensive to bring animals on a plane.
The costs can include your dog getting sick can be expensive depending on the severity of the illness. If your dog swallows a toy or eats something that makes them sick, they might need emergency care. You should also factor things in like an increased need for training in your dog, as it can be an additional regular cost.
Owning a Labrador Retriever on a Budget
There are certain things you can do to keep costs at a minimum when you own a Labrador Retriever. For example, when you are looking to purchase pet insurance, go for the basic plan rather than adding on unnecessary coverage. You can buy long-lasting toys that are meant to stand up to dog chewing and try spoiling them a little less than you might want to. In terms of dog food, you might be inclined to reach for the fancy food, but sometimes the generic brands work just as well! There are different cost cuts you can take without compromising the care of your furry friend.
Saving Money on Labrador Retriever Care
When it comes to lab care, having pet insurance in place right away can be very beneficial to saving money on any possible accidents or illnesses your dog may encounter. Pet insurance is meant to cover part of the expenses that can come up when your dog gets sick and needs additional care or medications. Make sure you research high-quality toys, beds, and food that is great for dog owners on a budget.
When it comes to owning a Labrador Retriever there are many factors to consider in terms of one-time and average monthly costs. When you first get your puppy, you will need the basics like puppy dog food, a crate, a doggy bed, some toys, and some basic first aid essentials nearby. Remember there are regular grooming costs like nail clipping, a good dog wash, and more.
Think about keeping yourself covered with pet insurance, plus if you’d ever be in a situation where you need a pet sitter or a dog walker. Little things will add up over time that need to be carefully considered.
Featured Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock