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What is the Average Cost of Buying a Labrador – With 17 Examples

When you decide that you are going to buy a dog, the first thing to know is what kind you want to buy and the second thing to know is the cost.  The cost of buying any animal includes things that you need to get on a weekly or monthly basis including food, vet check-ups and more.

What is the average cost of buying a Labrador?  The cost of purchasing a Labrador Retriever puppy can range from $800-$2000 and even from $2500 to $4500 for specially trained Labradors but that is not the only cost that you will entail. You will have to consider food, medical, toys and more when understanding just how costly owning a Labrador is.

If you are considering purchasing a Labrador puppy then you probably have looked up much information on what it is like to have a new puppy, what kind of personality your Labrador will have and what kind of health issues that your Labrador could have later in life.  The question to ask is did you consider how much it will cost to owning a Labrador Retriever?

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What Will My Other Costs Be When Buying a Labrador?

When getting a Labrador puppy, there is an initial cost around $800 dollars or more but it is important to consider other costs that you will entail when purchasing a puppy. Most people have opinions on rather someone should own a puppy or not and this blog will help you to get the inside information on if buying a Labrador puppy is the right decision for you and your family.

What Will I Need to Buy to Have a Labrador Puppy?

Here, we are going to give you 17 examples of what kind of money that you will spend when buying a Labrador puppy:

  1. Picking Out the Labrador Puppy
  2. Dog Collar
  3. Leash
  4. Dog Tag and Licensing
  5. Grooming
  6. Toys
  7. Treats
  8. Food
  9. Dog Crate
  10. Dog Bed and Blankets
  11. Flea and Tick Medication
  12. Vet Care
  13. Puppy Pads
  14. Food Dishes
  15. Inside Fence
  16. House Cleaning Products
  17. Obedience School or Training

Number 1:  Picking Out the Labrador Puppy

If you purchase a Labrador Retriever, you can pay from $500 on the low end all the way up to $4500 for specially trained Labradors.

Most breeders will charge between $500 to $1000 dollars if you are looking for Labradors that might not come with special papers or be AKC Labs. 

If you choose to go with an AKC Labrador or use a reputable breeder, chances are that you can pay from $2000 to $2500.  These special bloodline puppies are bred to be working or show dogs and usually come from great moms and dads that are full blooded Labradors.

If you are looking for a Labrador that is trained for different activities such as hunting or showing, chances are that you could pay from $2500 to $4500 dollars.  Many of these dogs are called “started” dogs because they are already trained, which can take away some of your spending for training, later.

You can purchase Labradors from a rescue center or an adoption center and the price goes down dramatically.  With these Labs, you will probably pay anywhere from $100 to $400 dollars.

You need to make the decision to figure out if you want a purebred dog or not and that can help to decide how much you will spend.  Remember, just like purchasing a vehicle or any other life long commitment, it is important that you pay attention to the Labrador that you are going to get.

We all tend to fall head over hills in love with our pets and so it is important that you purchase a Labrador that is going to be healthy and that does not have any genetic disease.  Purchasing from a reputable breeder can help to save you heartache and money in the future.

Make sure that you have your Labrador health tested and that he or she passed all of their genetic tests before making the actual purchase.  Purchasing a Labrador that has not been health screened can cost you a lot of vet bills and can have you end up with a puppy that has a lot of sicknesses and diseases as he or she gets older. 

Number 2:  Dog Collar

Purchasing a dog collar or a body harness is essential when getting a new Labrador puppy.  This is a training tool and is necessary to make sure that your dog is safe when you go outside for walks or if you have to transport him or her to the vet. 

Purchasing a dog collar or body harness will usually run around $15 to $35 dollars depending on the type, brand and size.  Make sure that you find one that will fit snuggly, but not too tight around your puppy’s neck or waist. If you purchase one that is too big or too small, it can be hard to keep your pet inside of the collar or harness and will not be beneficial.

Number 3:  A Leash

A leash, just like a body harness or a collar is a necessary must when getting a new dog.  Not only can the leash be used to help you to train your Labrador, the leash will be needed when going for walks around the neighborhood or if you have to take your Labrador to the vet or anywhere else.

Leashes come in different sizes and materials.  Some leashes are called leads and are used specifically for training purposes.  Some leashes are used to be able to hook your Labrador up to an area where he or she can run without getting in the road and then some leashes are just used to keep your pet safe and secure for walks or going out.

Leashes can be anywhere from $10 to $35 dollars depending on the material and the length.  Make sure that you get a leash that is strong and secure since your Labrador will be a large dog when it reaches adult age.

Number 4:  Dog Tag and Licensing

A dog tag is important in case your Labrador would get away from you or get out of the house and get lost. Most people can find a dog tag machine even at a local store and so the cost of the dog tag shouldn’t be much more than $10-$12 dollars.

Licensing your puppy is the law in many states and this is important to make sure that you are following all of the codes and standards for your state.  The cost of licensing is not too expensive and should only run around $10 dollars to around $40 dollars depending on what state and what their standards and rules are.

Number 5:  Grooming

Even though your Labrador does not need regular haircuts, he or she will still need things like a bath, their nails done and simple grooming procedures. 

It is important to find a good groomer that has a good personality and is kind to your dog.  You will probably spend around $200-$350 per year for grooming.

Grooming is important to help keep your Labrador from hurting their nails and from getting too dirty.  Remember, your Labrador loves to play outside and will get dirty most of the days that they are allowed to play outside.

Number 6:  Toys

If you want to keep your Labrador happy, you will have to purchase some toys to help keep them entertained and busy.

Toys are also a great thing if you are wanting to train your Labrador for hunting or just train them to sit, fetch, catch and other exciting things that people like to do with their pets. 

Buying chew toys is important because they will help to keep your dog entertained and he or she will hopefully choose to chew on the toys rather than chew on furniture or items that you might not want to be chewed on.

Toys can range in prices from $3 all the way to $35 or more.  Spending $100 to $200 per year should easily cover all the toys that you would need for your Labrador Retriever.

Number 7:  Treats

Treats can be a very important thing for training your puppy and for keeping him and her happy.  Depending on what type of treats that you purchase, they can become pretty costly.

Since you are supposed to follow the 90/10 rule which means that your dog will consume 90% of their calories from food and 10% of their calories from treats, you can go with that number when deciding how much you will spend on treats.

On an average, if you purchase a package of 12 dog treats from the pet store, you will most likely spend around $13 per bag. If your puppy eats 2 treats a day, that will be around four bags a week, so you will spend around $624 a year.  That is if you purchase bagged treats from the pet store. 

You can also go a little cheaper and spend money on fresh fruits and veggies and things like peanut butter for less costly treats that are healthier.

Number 8:  Food

When your Labrador is a puppy, he or she will eat a lot less than when your Labrador reaches and adolescent or adult dog. 

When you decide to calculate the cost that it is to feed your Labrador, you have to take in consideration their age and how much they eat each day.  Most Labradors that are grown will eat around 3-4 cups of food per day.  It costs around $35-$40 dollars to purchase a bag of dogfood that is a 30-pound bag. 

A 30-pound bag of dog food should last around a month or a little longer and so you need to make plans to spend around $30 dollars or so for a month and this will equal to $360 a year on dog food.

Even if you decide to raw feed your Labrador, food will still be costly for meats and other raw foods that you will have to purchase to complete this diet.  With the raw food diet, you would have to purchase meat, vegetables and fruits that you can give to your pet raw and the cost of the meat could far exceed the cost of purchasing bagged dog food.

Not all dog food is the same and it is important to make sure that you are spending money on dog food that will give your Labrador a complete diet.  Be sure to read the ingredients and even if you have to spend a little bit more, get a bag of dog food that is healthy and safe for your Labrador Retriever.  This will help him and her to grow strong and to be healthy for their whole life.

Number 9:  Dog Crate

The puppy crate will be needed before you even get a puppy.  It is very important to make sure that you get a crate that is large enough to fit your Labrador when he or she becomes grown.  Remember that it is important to put up dividers at first while your puppy is small but as they grow, you can remove the dividers to give them room.

If you are going to only purchase one crate for the whole life that your dog lives, it is important to make sure that you get a crate that is going to last and that is strong.

When purchasing the crate, make sure that you find one that is easy to clean up and one that will hold your puppy and all of its belongings when he or she sleeps.  It is important to put a bed, blanket, some toys and maybe even some snacks in the crate, so make sure there is room for all of it.

Most large, wire crates that are of good quality will run between $100 to $150 dollars.  The great thing about this is that it is a one time buy and it is money that you will not have to put out of pocket later, unless something goes really wrong. 

Number 10:  Dog Bed and Blankets

A dog bed is another important thing to get for your puppy.  You do not need to spend a lot on this, just something comfortable to go inside of the crate to give the puppy a little more comfort when he or she sleeps. 

Most dog beds can be purchased for under $50 dollars and that is for a good quality, large dog bed.  If you are purchasing one to put in the crate, make sure that it covers the whole floor so that your Labrador does not step in and hurt his or her feet on the metal bars of the crate. 

Remember to make sure that you watch what the dog bed is made out of and make sure that you do not purchase anything that is harmful or unsafe for your Labrador. 

If you decide that you do not want to purchase a dog bed, you can look around your house or go to the store and purchase a large pillow that would fit in your Labradors crate.  This can also help to create a comfortable sleeping environment for your Labrador. 


Blankets are another thing that are needed but that is not necessary to spend a lot of money on.  Purchase a blanket that is comfortable and soft for your puppy.  This will help them to feel safe and secure while they sleep.

A blanket can also help to take away the anxiety from your puppy and so it is important that when you buy them a blanket that you make sure that the blanket is going to belong just to the puppy.  This will let the puppy know that the blanket is theirs and that they have their own personal items.

A blanket shouldn’t run more than $25 for a good size, comfortable blanket.

Number 11: Flea and Tick Medication

Even if your Labrador is an indoor dog, he or she will be going outside even if just to romp around and play. Tick and fleas can be very dangerous and can cause your Labrador to get disease or sickness.

It is very important that you purchase medication to make sure that your Labrador does not end up getting bit by a tick or get fleas that will cost even more to get removed from your home.

Most flea and tick medication will run around $100-$200 dollars per year.  This medication is very important for your Labradors health and can make sure that your Lab is healthy and strong all year around.

Number 12:  Vet Care

Vet care is going to be the next most expensive thing besides the actual purchase of your Labrador.  It is around $150-$175 a year just for check-ups and for vaccines.  This does not include health issues that might need to be treated.

Labradors are usually healthy but there are some diseases that your Labrador can be prone to get such as hip dysplasia, eye diseases, stomach problems and liver problems.  Allergies are another problem that many Labrador dogs face.

If you have to pay out of pocket for stomach issues, you can face anywhere from $2,500 to $5500 for stomach problems and medication.

If your Labrador gets liver problems, it can cost up to $5500 just to treat these problems.

Hip Dysplasia and other dysplasia’s can be very costly, costing more than $7500.

Eye diseases can cost over $2,000 if surgery is needed or can cost for eye drops and ointment.

Allergies and other medication can run close to $25 dollars a month per prescription that is needed.

Do not forget that you might choose to have your Labrador spayed or neutered.  If you choose to do this then you will most likely play between $100 to $350 dollars for this after blood work and the operation, sometimes requiring an overnight stay.

As you can see, vet bills can add up quickly and can be very costly.  It is important to remember that Labrador Retrievers are known to be prone to many different diseases and if your Labrador gets any of the diseases, the bills can be very costly.

Number 13:  Puppy Pads

Puppy pads are essential to potty training your Labrador and giving them the knowledge of where to go to the bathroom in your house.  The puppy pads will help your puppy to learn where the bathroom is and where it is not.

You will have to change your puppy pads often so that they do not get too wet or stinky, making your puppy refuse to use the pads.  The pads run around $25 for a package of around 60 pads.  You will probably need to purchase these for about 3-5 months so the total cost shouldn’t be more than $125.

Number 14:  Food Dishes

When your puppy makes their home at your home, it is very important to make sure that you have the proper items for them to feel safe, secure and to feel like your home is there home. 

Even though you can use your own bowls, it is nice for your Labrador to have his or her very own feeding bowl and eating bowl. 

These dishes can run different prices depending on what you are looking for.  If you are looking for a self-watering and self-feeding dish, you are probably looking to spend around $35-$40 for each of these dishes.  You can also just buy a simple bowl which would run you between $8-$12 each.

The expense of food dishes can be a small expense if you choose to go cheaper with a cheaper and less fancy bowl.

Number 15:  Inside Fence/Dividers

An inside fence is a good thing to have when you first bring your puppy home. This fence can help you to be able to get your puppy house trained by not allowing them to be in certain parts of the house until after they are completely potty trained.

The divider will help to keep your puppy contained and you will put the puppy pads in the area so that your puppy will know where to go to the bathroom and will not be free to roam and use the bathroom other places.

You can use a puppy fence that you can find for around $30 dollars, or you can get a baby gate to keep your puppy in one room.  A baby gate should not run more than $30 dollars either.

Number 16:  House Cleaning Products

Besides your regular cleaning products, you will need extra things when you bring home your Labrador puppy such as:

  • Paper Towels
  • Carpet Cleaner
  • Furniture Spray (So They Don’t Chew)
  • Floor Cleaner (For Accidents)

Purchasing supplies that you need are a big part of having a puppy of any kind.  You can plan to spend around $25 every couple months for cleaning supplies to help keep your dog’s messes under control.

Number 17:  Obedience School or Training

Puppy training is important so that you can teach your Labrador how to act and how to form habits that are good for both you and your Labrador.  It is important at this age to train them because they are easier to train when they are puppies as opposed to full grown dogs.

You do not necessarily have to go out and pay someone to train your puppy and you can take the initiative on your own to do the training, but the problem is, most people do not have the patience or the time to train their own puppy, so many people seek outside help with this.

You can choose to get a private trainer or you can send your puppy to obedience school or obedience training.  Either way, you will most likely have to spend around $150 to $300 to find someone that is good with dogs and can train your puppy.

There are other programs that are even more expensive than those and they are much more detailed in their training.  These programs can cost up to $1000 or more to be a part of.


The above guide just shows the major things that you will most likely need when buying a Labrador Retriever, but there might always be other added additions for your Lab. 

With the above guide, it shows that you can possibly spend up to $12,000 in a year, not to mention purchasing the puppy and then all of the added stuff that you might need to buy.

Remember that when purchasing a Labrador puppy that not only will it cost you money, it will also cost you extra time and extra energy. It is important to make sure that you are really invested when purchasing a Labrador and that you are willing to put in the extra money and the extra time to make sure that your Labrador is happy and has a great home!