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How Much Does A Labrador Cost? Guide When Buying A Labrador Retriever

By
 Ashly 
on 
May 16, 2021

There are many things to consider before taking on the responsibility of a Labrador dog. Price is just one of them.

And the cost of a Labrador Retriever is more complicated than just the purchase price of a Labrador puppy at $800 to $1200.

You also need to consider the impact of a Lab on your home and life. And the cost of food and medical care for your new friend

You are right to take this decision seriously because there’s a price to pay for life with a Labrador – and it isn’t just the money!

In this article, we are going to be looking at the pros and cons of owning a Lab. And you’ll find more information to help you in links throughout this article.

What makes them so expensive

If you are thinking of bringing a Lab puppy home, you probably feel rather bombarded with information.

You may be wondering how much it costs to keep a Labrador happy and healthy, and what price you’ll need to pay to buy a puppy.

Buying a Labrador is not just a question of the purchase price of a Lab puppy, though of course, that is important.

There are other costs involved, both financial, emotional, and in terms of time and effort. So we need to look at those too.

You may be wondering whether you will have the time for a dog and if you have space and energy for a large and lively breed?

Nearly everyone has an opinion on whether or not you should ‘take the plunge’.

The reality is, you are also going to need to fork out a chunk of your wages each week on keeping your pooch happy and healthy.

Obviously, you will have taken the cost of a good brand of puppy food into consideration.

It is a good idea to budget for veterinary insurance too.  Modern veterinary treatment has simply gone ‘off the radar’.   Not because it is unreasonably priced, but simply because it is now so advanced.

You can fix a lot of problems these days.  No longer is ‘put to sleep’  the option of choice for most serious ailments.  We can do open heart surgery,  mend complex fractures,  treat cancer with radiotherapy or chemotherapy.

Pretty much anything you can treat in a human,  you can now treat in a dog.  And the catch? It costs.

If you don’t have access to substantial savings, one way to avoid the burden of huge vet fees is to make sure your dog is insured.   Veterinary insurance will most likely set you back at least a week’s wages or so, each year.

The more comprehensive your insurance package the more it will cost. Watch out for very cheap deals, as they may not provide continuing cover for long term ailments.

You will also need to vaccinate your dog against common canine illness, and this will probably need to be done each year too. Especially if you are wanting to occasionally leave them in boarding kennels when you go away, as they require up to date vaccination certificates.

There will be a few other one-off costs such as a puppy crate and puppy play pen for your home for when your dog is young,  another for your car if you have one.

Then there are bowls, bedding, collar, leash etc. But you may be able to borrow a crate or get one second hand.

If you like to holiday abroad or anywhere that the dog can’t come,  unless you have helpful relatives, you will also need to think about the cost of putting him in boarding kennels for a week or two each year.

The purchase price of your Labrador is not the main consideration when it comes to his cost. You will need to be confident that you will be able to cover all of the above, for at least the next ten years.

Food Costs When Owning a Labrador Retriever

You can expect to pay between $325 to $750 annually to feed your labrador retriever. In other words, you can expect to pay between $27 and $62.50 per month. You can choose to feed in a variety of ways. 

Best Food For Our Labrador

Some choose to feed a raw food diet. It should contain 50 percent animal protein, 30 percent complex carbohydrates and 20 percent fruit and vegetables. You may need to think, however, about the extra space you need to feed a raw food diet

As pet owners, we want only the best for our beloved Labrador and we want to ensure its wellbeing. In addition, many of us love a tasty treat for our beloved Labrador and we strive to find the best product for our dog. Often we are faced with a dilemma as to what is the best food to feed our Labrador.

If you opt for kibbles, then your dry dog food needs to match the age of the lab. While some dog foods may appear to be inexpensive, check the label to make sure they are not filled with carbohydrates. If the food is high in carbs, then you may have to feed more. The first ingredient on the nutrition label should be a meal. Think about the texture of the food as food that is harder to chew helps avoid dental problems in adult lab dogs. 

Another option is to feed canned dog food. This option can be expensive. If you choose to go this route, look for a wet dog food that is high in nutrition and low in water content. After all, you are paying to ship water across the country or further. 

Semi-moist dog foods are usually shaped as bacon strips, pork chops or some other meat. They often have very little nutritional value. Give them only as treats on occasion. 

How Much Does A Dog Toy Cost?

You want your dog to have as many toys as they want. But unless you’re rolling in cash, you don’t have an unlimited toy budget—so you need to find toys at a great price.

But what, exactly, is a great price? What should you be paying to keep your dog entertained? How much does it cost for a dog toy?

Let’s start by answering this question: “How much does it cost for a dog toy?” Well, the answer is—it depends.

Not all dog toys are created equal. You can definitely find some toys in the dollar bin at your local pet store, but there are also toys with price tags that may make you cringe a bit.

So, how much should you pay? You don’t want to spend a fortune on your dog’s toys, but you also don’t want to get him the cheapest one in the store. Typically, toys that are remarkably inexpensive have a low price tag for a reason—either they’re poorly made, are made from subpar (or even dangerous) materials, or they’re not fun or safe for your pup.

Super expensive toys , on the other hand, don’t necessarily justify their higher price tag. The key is to find a happy medium. You want to find dog toys that are well-made; are manufactured from durable, safe materials; and will keep your dog happy and entertained for hours at a time—all with at a reasonable price.

Dog Training Cost

The average cost of dog training is $30 to $80 per class with most spending about $50 per hour.

Getting a dog trained to learn good habits or get rid of his bad ones can take a while. Some prefer to send the dog away for a few weeks to do intensive training, while others prefer to do weekly lessons in a group setting.

Either way, know from the get-go exactly what your end goals are for your dog’s behavior and obedience training. No matter which path you take, all dogs must be vaccinated before training begins, and everything taught by the dog trainer needs to be repeated at home.

Dog Obedience Training Cost

Private dog obedience schools will cost between $45 to $120 per session, or $1 to $2 per minute for each 45- to 60-minute class. The cost of private dog training depends on the size, age, and breed of dog; the location of the dog training sessions; and the level of habit adjustment needed. Evaluations are given before training starts, sometimes for an additional cost of $75

The goal of private dog obedience training can go far beyond basic commands like sit or lie down. A good trainer will observe the dog’s interactions with each member of the family and train him or her to respect them all. Private training can also help with jumping up, separation anxiety, barking, chewing, digging, socialization with other dogs and people, and biting.

Dog Boot Camp Cost

Also known as board and train or kennel and train programs, doggy boot day camp can cost $45–$75 per day or your dog will stay at the dog-training facility for a few weeks for prices from $500–$1,250 per week. While dog boot camp costs more, your dog will get customized training based wholly on his disobedience issues, which could take longer to fix in group classes.

Petco Dog Training Cost

Petco dog training costs $109 for a 6-week program that teaches the basics such as sit, down, stay, leave it, and heel. Petco regularly offers specials on their classes where you can find deals for around $80.

Petsmart Dog Training Cost

Petsmart dog training costs $120 for a 6-week program or $105 with a coupon. Petsmart offers three stages of classes: puppy, intermediate and advanced. Puppy teaches the basic commands such as sit, down, come, shake, stay, and loose leash walking. Intermediate is all of the basic commands but with the D's which are duration, distraction, and distance. This class helps you control your dog from a distance no matter the distractions going on around you.

Service Dog Training Cost

Service dog training costs $120 per hour on average, and in some cases, the recipient gets the dog for free from a nonprofit. Service dogs are taught to support people with anxiety and psychiatric issues, bring objects to a person, recognize low blood sugar, protect people’s heads during an epileptic seizure, and give emotional support during a PTSD episode.

Getting a dog trained to learn good habits or get rid of his bad ones can take a while. Some prefer to send the dog away for a few weeks to do intensive training, while others prefer to do weekly lessons in a group setting.

Either way, know from the get-go exactly what your end goals are for your dog’s behavior and obedience training. No matter which path you take, all dogs must be vaccinated before training begins, and everything taught by the dog trainer needs to be repeated at home.

Factors affecting the price of puppies and why prices vary for the same breed.

Purebred or mixed - Usually, mixed-breeds are sold at a lower price than purebred dogs.

Bloodline and breeder’s reputation - If the parents are purebred show quality dogs from a reputable breeder, the price will be substantially higher. These breeders also tend to invest more money than others to take care of their breeding dogs and puppies.

Registration papers/pedigree - Some breeders are members of kennel clubs, the most famous being the American Kennel Club (AKC). They can also have their breeding dogs and puppies registered which would also add to their fees.

Health screenings and medical expenses - Serious breeders will have their breeding dogs and/or puppies evaluated/tested for different medical conditions. Moreover, some will take their puppies to the vet for an exam, deworming, vaccines, and/or microchip implantation prior to selling them. This drives the price higher but also reduces the risk to get an unhealthy dog.

Training and socialization - Some breeders sell their dogs after they are trained and socialized. It will increase the puppy’s price but generate savings as you most probably won’t have to invest in more training and also gives a better chance to get a well-behaved dog.

Breed popularity in the buyer’s location - Local supply and demand will have an impact on puppy prices. For example, small dogs tend to be more popular in metropolitan areas where people live in smaller spaces. Some breeds are more in demand in colder climates, others where hunting is popular, etc. It is worth looking for prices in different locations, but it is risky to buy a dog without having seen it before or at least have met with the breeder and visited the kennel.

Age - As most people want to get their puppy as young as possible, prices tend to be lower when the dog gets older. For example, on average a 6-month-old pup is likely to be less expensive than an 8-week-old one.

Coat color and markings - Coat color trends can change quickly. For any breed, some colors are more popular than others, sometimes temporarily. When the interest for a specific coat color grows, puppies get more expensive as an increase in demand leads to a higher market price. Also, for purebred dogs, only specific colors and color combinations are accepted by kennel clubs. Finally, puppies with rare colors can be very expensive as well.

For example, we have analyzed puppy ads from the American Kennel Club website to illustrate the price difference between the three main colors: yellow (70 ads reviewed), black (59 ads examined), and chocolate (42 ads examined). These dogs tend to be on the most expensive side as they are registered purebreds.

yellow Labrador Retriever puppy from an AKC registered breeder is likely to cost between $700 and $2,500 ($1,500 on average), a black Labrador between $600 and $2,250 ($1,200 on average), and a chocolate one between $750 and $2,000 ($1,250 on average).

“You know, a dog can snap you out of any kind of bad mood that you’re in faster than you can think of.” Jill Abramson

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Ashly

Hey yaa! Im Ashly and I love pets. Growing up in a house with 2 dogs, a cat, a parrot and many furry rodents; it was natural for me to have a profound affection for them. I created GenerallyPets.com to create useful guides and articles on looking after your furry friends. The advice given on this site is our views and expertise, please consult a VET prior to testing anything. Hope my site helps you :)

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