If you are planning on buying a Labrador pup, you should probably learn more about the overall cost of buying and raising one. Labrador (or Lab for short) is a loving, affectionate, loyal, protective, and highly popular breed in the USA. Owning one can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying decisions you will ever make.
However, keeping this dog breed is definitely not cheap. Raising a Labrador Retriever can cost a lot of money. So, before you set out to buy your Labrador puppy, here are some things you should take into consideration before finalizing your decision.
- Labrador Puppy Price
- Cost of Basic Equipment and Supplies
- Dog Training Costs
- Medical Costs for Labrador
- And more
This guide will help you get an insight into all of these costs so you can plan financially for your pet. In case you are in a hurry, here is a quick summary of what to expect when it comes to setting a budget for your Labrador:
A new Labrador puppy can cost anywhere between $800 and $3000. Some show-quality pups could even cost over $5000!
The first-year cost of raising a Labrador is nearly $3500 but after the first year, the annual price of raising a Lab could come to $1600 to $2000 per year. Since Labradors live for an average of 10-12 years, expect to pay anywhere between $16,000 and $24,000 over your pet’s lifetime.
Labrador Puppy Price: How much does a Labrador Dog Cost?
The price of a regular Labrador can lie anywhere between $800-$3000. There are a lot of factors that go into determining the overall cost of your Lab pup. These include the Labrador variant, genetics, gender, breeder reputation, and a lot more. These factors can sometimes even bring the cost of a Labrador puppy well over $5000!
Generally, English Labradors are sold for a slightly higher price than the American variant ($800-$4000) since they have a better genetic build to take part in competitions and dog shows.
Puppies born from parents that were previous contest winners can be sold for prices in the range of $5000-$9000, depending on the number of contests won.
If you are buying from a reputed breeder who is registered with the AKC (American Kennel Club), you can expect your Labrador puppy price to be over $1000 easily, since these Labrador Retriever breeders guarantee that the puppies were raised in a healthy environment and are free from diseases.
You can always choose to adopt a Labrador from a shelter for a price of $300-$500. Keep in mind that you might have to pay for other costs like vaccinations, deworming, and neutering. Some shelter Labs may not be very friendly towards humans due to past trauma, which is why they may require special dog training. This can also add to the overall cost of your Labrador.
Labrador Dog- Price of Equipment and Supplies
There are several supplies that you need to invest in for your Labrador. These are listed below:
- Leashes: cost between the range of $10-$20
- Collars: $10-$20 for a non-electronic one. Collars with inbuilt trackers go for above $30.
- Body belt: This is a better alternative to collars but can cost between $20-$30 for a large or medium-sized dog like a Labrador.
Food and Water bowls
Bowls for large dogs can cost you somewhere in the range of $15-$25. Slow feeders are slightly more expensive and can cost between $20-$30.
Toys are optional but recommended for keeping your Labrador healthy and active. These are of different types
- Chew Toys: A chew toy will cost you between $10-$15.
- Balls: Durable balls to play fetch with will cost you between $10-$25.
- Dental Chews: (for cleaning your Labrador’s teeth) $10-$50 apiece.
A crate is optional but recommended for giving your pet a safe place to sleep and rest. It will also aid in potty training your Labrador puppy. Crates built for large breeds like Labs could cost between $100-$500 depending on the quality.
This is also optional but recommended if you don’t want dog hair all over your bed sheets. A bed for a Labrador generally lies between $60-$120 depending on the features it provides (memory foam, orthopedic, etc.).
Labrador Dog Training Costs
It’s important to train your Labrador while it is young. Otherwise, it can get very tough to handle them once they get too big. Dog training costs can vary from state to state, so the following costs are average ranges:
- Most training packages cost $30-$80 per class or $50 per hour.
- Group training sessions are slightly cheaper ($30-$50) while private lessons cost around $50-$120 per class.
- Obedience training costs $40-$75 per day.
- Boot camp training will cost you $500-$1300 per week.
- Service dog draining costs $120 per hour.
You can always save money by training your puppy at home using free online videos, guides, or books. Keep in mind this will be very time-consuming and will require the utmost patience.
Labrador Medical Expenses
On average, a Labrador puppy’s yearly medical expenses amount to anywhere between $1000-$1200 (mainly on vaccinations, spaying/neutering, and regular checkups), while a Labrador adult dog’s vet bills can sometimes amount to more than $2000 per year.
Here is the estimated breakdown of the medical costs for dogs per year:
- Routine Check-ups: $40-$50
- Spaying or neutering: $100-$600
- Vaccinations: $80-$90 annually
- Blood tests: $80-$350
- Dental Cleaning: $100-$500
- X-ray procedures: $200-$300
- Preventive and Protective medication: $300-$400
- Accident, injury, or severe disease costs: anywhere between $900-$5000
Labradors are susceptible to many diseases like joint issues, obesity, and heart disease which can be prevented by feeding them right. Make sure your puppy doesn’t overeat and gets enough exercise daily.
Dog Food Costs for Labradors
Maintaining a proper diet for Labradors is absolutely essential since they are susceptible to obesity. Labradors have a voracious appetite which is why they require a protein-rich diet to satiate them.
The average food costs per month for a Labrador are approximately $50-$75 a month or $600-$900 a year. Canned or wet food might cost you even more – $80-$150 a month. Dog treats (optional but good for training and ensuring proper dental hygiene) could cost you $10-$15 per bag.
If your pet needs a special diet or vet-prescribed food, then be prepared to spend almost $100 to $200 a month on it.
Other Costs of Owning a Labrador
When you own a dog, you need to also think of other things like travel, pet boarding, etc.
The average cost of boarding a dog in a dog hostel across the USA is between $18 and $60 a night. If you travel twice a year for 10 days total, expect to pay an average of $400 per year on pet boarding alone. If you travel with your dog, then airfare can cost almost $250 for a round trip depending on the distance involved.
In 2022, the average cost of walking a dog charged by most dog walkers was $22.50 for a short walk of 30 minutes. If you enlist a dog walker for 5 days a week, then you could spend almost $400 on dog walking services per month.
This can vary from state to state so always check your state laws regarding pet deposits for rental units. Most landlords charge between $200-$500 depending on the size of the property.
Labradors are fairly easy to groom at home but if you choose to go in for professional grooming, expect to spend almost $40-$75 per session. This cost is based on the city you live in as well as your pet’s age, size, and the services you need.
Summary: Labrador Dog Price
As you can see, the costs of Labrador dog ownership vary hugely and it can be difficult to estimate exactly how much Labrador Retrievers can cost. In general, you can expect to pay between $800 and $3000 for a Labrador puppy, although show-quality Labrador puppies could even cost even more.
The first-year cost of raising a Labrador can be $3500 but after the first year, the annual cost of raising it comes down to $1600 to $2000 per year. Since Labradors live for an average of 10-12 years, expect to pay between $16,000 and $24,000 over your pet’s lifetime.