Whether you’re just about to become a pet parent for the first time ever and have your mind set on getting a Labrador puppy, or you’re already a pet owner and are looking to add to the pet family, knowing the cost of a Labrador puppy is one of the first questions that comes to mind during your research phase.
While there most certainly are a whole host of other factors you should also consider when looking at whether a Labrador is the right breed for you, the topic of this article is going to be solely dedicated to the monetary price and costs associated with owning a Lab – so read on if this is something you’re looking to learn more about!
How Much Does A Labrador Cost? (Puppies & Dogs Price)
When buying a Labrador puppy from a breeder, you can expect to be asked to pay anywhere between 800$ to 1200$ for one in general.
Of course, different factors come into play and may dictate a less or higher price tag for a Labrador puppy, but this range seems to be the general one that most Labrador owners have paid for their puppies before.
This price range is for buying Labrador puppies that have been bred with ethical practices and quality standards in mind.
You can, of course, find Labrador puppies for a significantly cheaper price, but the guarantees for ethical breeding practices and a healthy dog when they grow up aren’t there.
Depending on where exactly you’re located in the world and the reputation of the breeder you’re dealing with at the time, a Labrador puppy can sometimes even set you back 1500$ to 2000$.
On the other hand, if you’re adopting a Labrador rescue and not actually paying a breeder for one, the cost is going to be a negligible one and you’ll be a hero for saving an innocent life from euthanasia down the line.
What Are The Costs Associated With Labradors?
After you pay the front end value price for the puppy itself, there will be a whole host of other costs associated with your Labrador throughout their lifetime as well.
We all obviously wish that the only money we have to spend on our dogs is that we pay for them when we buy them as puppies, but reality just isn’t so!
As your Lab puppy grows and matures into old age, there are many expenses you’ll have to incur throughout that journey.
The following list is a breakdown of estimated figures for some of the most common costs you’ll have to incur if you plan on giving your Labrador puppy the best health and care you can after you’ve already purchased one from a breeder.
(Note: Feel free to take the following list, add up the costs and multiply them by the average lifespan of a Labrador that we’ve written all about in this article. This way, you’ll get a general feel for the average amount of money you’ll be spending on your Labrador throughout their entire lifetime).
– Licencing: You should get a proper licence for your Labrador puppy as soon as possible, which will cost you anywhere from 10$ to 30$.
– Spaying & Neutering: If you choose to spay and neuter your Lab, you can expect to pay between 100$ to 300$ for this, depending on where you are in the world and where you choose to get this operation done to your Lab.
– Vaccinations: One of the first things you’ll want to do when you get a Labrador puppy is having them properly vaccinated. Vaccinations will cost you between 50$ to 200$ a year on average, but always talk to your veterinarian about this so they tell you everything you need to know about it.
– Flea & Tick Medication: Staying on top of your Labrador’s flea and tick medication and ensuring they properly get it on schedule is going to cost you around 120$ to 150$ a year.
– Proper Training: Training your Labrador when they’re still a young and growing puppy is essential, both for the formation of proper habits very early on in life and because of the fact that puppies are much easier to train when they’re still at this age.
Now of course, you can train your Lab on your own if you know how to properly do that, have the required time to do so and are willing to put in the necessary effort to get proper results.
But, not all Lab owners meet these three requirements, which is why a lot of them choose to hire a professional dog trainer to train their Labradors instead.
If you choose to do that, you can expect to spend around 200$ to 300$ to have your Lab properly trained.
Of course, more sophisticated and more impressive training programs may cost you even more, setting you back anywhere from 600$ to 2000$ or more, but you don’t have to go to those lengths from the very start.
– Dog Food: When looking for the best food for either your Labrador puppy or adult dog, the estimated figure for high quality dog food formulas that meet their nutritional needs on a yearly basis is anything around 300$ to 800$ a year per one Lab.
– Dog Treats: You shouldn’t outright spoil your Lab with treats, simply because that’s not at all healthy for them and you definitely don’t want a spoiled dog with no discipline.
Taking a moderate approach to feeding them dog treats, you’re probably looking at spending 50$ to 100$ a year on Labrador treats, possibly even a bit more if you plan to use these treats extensively as part of your training process.
– Toys: A Labrador is a fairly active dog that likes to keep itself occupied and entertained throughout the day, which is why giving them access to all the toys they need to keep themselves happy should be an essential item on your to-do list.
On average, you’ll be looking to spend anywhere between a 50$ to a 100$ on Labrador dog toys on a yearly basis, possibly even less if you take advantage of sales/promotions and get some good quality, “indestructible” dog toys that take a fairly long time to fall apart and warrant a replacement.
– Labrador Bed: Seeing that Labs are fairly large sized dogs, a proper Labrador dog bed will cost you around a 100$.
This is one that’s both durable (won’t require you to get a replacement every two months), and one that’s comfortable enough for your Lab to sleep in without giving you too many problems.
Expect to pay a little bit more for a chew proof dog bed if your Labrador is a heavy chewer and they’ve managed to chew their way to destroying a bed you got them before.
– Veterinarian Bills: The cost of veterinary bills you’ll have to pay to properly take care of your Labrador cannot be predicted and there is no average cost range for that, because of the fact that different Labradors experience different levels health problems throughout their life.
Labs that experience minor health difficulties will see their owners pay fewer veterinary bills than Labs that experience major health difficulties that require much more complicated treatment.
This is the major reason why we always advise people looking to buy puppies to only do business with reputable breeders who are able to provide their customers with the necessary papers and documents that prove their Lab puppies are in good health, and that the chances of them developing health problems later on in life due to hereditary factors are minimal.
All other factors remaining constant and assuming your Lab doesn’t experience anything too serious, annual veterinary bills should cost you between 60$ to 100$ a year for regular checkups.
– Grooming Bills: If you’d like to delegate grooming tasks to a professional groomer and save up on your time and effort, you’re probably looking at spending 250$ to 350$ a year for these grooming tasks.
Large Breed Labradors VS Small Breed Labrador Cost
A quick note should be made about significant differences in many of the costs we’ve noted above.
Before buying a Labrador puppy, ask your breeder whether they’re a large breed Lab or a small breed Lab.
You’re obviously free to do either depending on which you prefer and there’s nothing wrong with either option, but you should know that small breed Labradors often mean less costs for you throughout their lifetimes than large breed Labradors do.
A Quick Note About The Cost Of Time
One issue we did not include in the list of costs above, quite simply because no one other than yourself can measure its monetary value, is the cost of time. When adopting or buying a Labrador puppy, you have to know beforehand that this breed is going to require you commit a large chunk of your time to it.
If you’ve got a full time job and/or other responsibilities to meet in life, this is obviously going to mean you have to take available time into consideration more than individuals that may be retired (for example) and have the whole day to themselves.