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How Much Does a Golden Retriever Cost? 2023 Price Guide

Ed Malaker

By Ed Malaker

Golden Retriever standing on the ground

According to the American Kennel Club, the Golden Retriever is the third most popular dog in the United States. It’s an attractive, medium-sized dog with a friendly personality. It’s also intelligent and can be useful as a guide dog and for search and rescue missions. If you would like to get one of these for your home but are unsure about the expenses you will incur, you have come to the right place.

Keep reading while we look at the cost of a new puppy and the recurring charges you can expect in order to give you a good idea of what you are signing up for when bringing one of these furballs home.

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How Much is a Golden Retriever: One-Time Costs

There are several one-time costs associated with your new Golden Retriever. Unfortunately, many of them are quite high, like the initial cost of your dog. Breeding rights will increase the initial purchase price, and there is a price difference between a “show dog” and a pet-quality dog. If you don’t purchase breeding rights, you will usually need to get the dog spayed or neutered to fulfill your contract obligations.

Many people might also want to get a microchip for their dog so it will be easier to locate if it gets lost, and you may also require a metal crate with a bed for your dog to sleep in at night, though many people opt for a simple bed. You will also need food and water bowls. Most people use a simple dish for the water, but we recommend a fountain that will help keep the water fresh and filtered. The water movement will also encourage your pet to drink more, which could prevent dehydration and constipation.

golden retriever in the shore
Image Credit: Lars_Nissen, Pixabay

Free Golden Retriever

Unfortunately, there are not too many things for free when it comes to owning a pet. In fact, prices seem to be higher when it’s for a pet. However, being that Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular dogs in America, it’s not unreasonable to believe that you might run across someone that needs to rehome a Golden Retriever for one reason or another, like moving into an apartment that won’t allow pets. Dog treats and toys also make a great gift, so you can expect to save quite a few dollars on these supplies during the holidays.

Golden Retriever Adoption

  • $50–$300

Adopting your Golden Retriever at a local animal shelter is likely the most economical way to purchase your new pet. The purchase price can be as low as $50 and rarely exceeds $300. Aside from the low upfront cost, many of these dogs have received at least some of their shots. You may even get extra lucky and find a dog already fixed, saving you from paying that additional cost and taking a dog from the shelter is saving its life and opening up resources for other dogs in need.

Golden Retriever Breeder

  • $500–$4,000

Purchasing your Golden Retriever from a breeder will be much more expensive than an animal shelter. However, you will get a younger dog with paperwork that tells you more about its lineage so you can have a better idea about what the dog will be like when it gets older. Breeders will often allow you to meet your puppy’s parents to see what temperament they have and will go over the dog’s health history with you.

If you are looking to breed your Golden Retriever, you will likely need to purchase breeding rights or sign a contract stating you will get the dog spayed or neutered. You will also pay more for a show-quality dog than you will for pet quality.

Golden Retriever Cost: Initial Setup and Supplies

  • $50–$200

One of the best things about dogs over some other pets is that they require very little setup and supplies to get going. You will need a water bowl and a food dish, and probably a few toys, but very little else. If you want your dog to stay in a crate at night or when you go to work, you will want to get them used to it immediately.

Otherwise, many people place a towel, blanket, or dog bed in a low-traffic area of the home for them to sleep. That being said, your dog has no problem sleeping on the floor by your feet and will do it often no matter what setup you have.

Golden Retriever
Image Credit: Olena Brodetska, Shutterstock

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List of Golden Retriever Care Supplies and Costs

ID Tag and Collar $5–$15
Spay/Neuter $45–$175
X-Ray Cost $75–$300
Ultrasound Cost $300–$500
Microchip $25–$35
Teeth Cleaning $100–$300
Bed/Tank/Cage $30–$100
Nail Clipper (optional) $7–$20
Brush (optional) $5–$30
Toys $10–$30
Food and Water Bowls $5–$20

How Much Does a Golden Retriever Cost Per Month?

  • $100–$200 per month

You can expect to pay between $100 and $200 per month for your Golden Retriever. It will be on the higher side when the dog is still small because it will need more frequent visits to the vet, shots, and you will likely have a stronger drive to purchase your new puppy lots of toys. As the dog gets older, vet visits will drop off dramatically, and it will have plenty of toys, so you will only need to purchase food and treats, bringing the cost down considerably.

golden retriever
Image Credit: Lunja, Shutterstock

Golden Retriever Health Care

  • $10–$50 per month

You will need to purchase a string of vaccinations for rabies, parvo, and distemper shots when your dog is a puppy and will need to continue rabies and distemper every 3 years. Some shots are highly recommended but still optional, while the rabies shot is a legal requirement in the United States. You will also need to purchase a monthly flea and tick medication like Frontline to keep your dog free of parasites, especially if it spends a lot of time outside.

Food for Golden Retrievers

  • $30–$50 per month

Your Golden Retriever will be a larger-sized dog that will likely eat about 30 pounds of dry kibble each month at the cost of $30 to $50. It’s important to get high-quality dog food with real meat as the first ingredient to ensure your dog is getting the proper nutrients and doesn’t become overweight. Foods with corn listed as the first ingredient will be less expensive, but they are primarily empty calories that will cause your dog to gain weight and feel hungry again more quickly.

Golden Retriever Grooming

  • $5–$20 per month

Golden Retrievers are fluffy dogs that can shed quite a bit, especially during the spring and fall. You can keep up with your pet using inexpensive brushes and combs to keep the coat looking nice and reduce shedding. A thorough brushing every few days should be enough. We also recommend brushing the teeth of your Golden Retriever as often as possible with a pet-safe toothpaste to help slow the progression of dental disease, and you may need to trim the nails on occasion if you hear them clicking on the floor.

A professional groomer can help you keep the dog looking nice and is usually not that expensive.

Golden Retriever Medications and Vet Visits

  • $10–$50 per month

Prescribed medications can get quite expensive. Most Golden Retrievers will only need their monthly dose of flea and tick medication that will also help protect them from heartworm. Some people try to avoid this medication, but the cost of eliminating a flea infestation and Lyme disease medication can be much more expensive.

smiling golden retriever
Image Credit: Weinholdphotography, Pixabay

Pet Insurance for Golden Retrievers

  • $10–$30 per month

You can expect to pay between $10 and $30 for pet insurance for your Golden Retriever, depending on how early you get it. The insurance will be cheaper when the dog is still a puppy, so that’s the best time to get it. Many people don’t see the importance of pet insurance, but if your dog gets into an accident or comes down with a serious illness, the out-of-pocket expenses can be prohibitive and prevent your dog from getting the treatment it needs. When you need it, you will be glad you have it.

Golden Retriever Environment Maintenance

  • $0–$20 per month

As we mentioned earlier, dogs need very little care in terms of habitat when compared to other animals. There is no need for litter boxes, aquariums, heat lamps, humidity concerns, etc. Your dog will be happy by your side in any weather. Monthly washing of the bed liner and any towels it uses frequently is all that is required.

Entertainment for Golden Retrievers

  • $5–$50 per month

Your Golden Retriever is very easy to care for and will have a great time with a broken tree branch or even an old basketball or tennis ball. You won’t need to spend much money on toys, but some people like to purchase a monthly subscription to get fresh toys in the mail. Products like the Bark Box can be a great way to keep your dog entertained at a relatively low cost.

male golden retriever
Image Credit: Helena Lopes, Unsplash

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Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Golden Retriever

  • $100–$200 per month

Most people will stay closer to $100 in monthly costs, with the largest expense being food. If you opt not to get insurance and keep your dog indoors, so it doesn’t require flea and tick medications, your monthly cost will likely be below $100 each month.

Additional Costs to Factor In

If you like to travel, you might incur some additional costs because many hotels won’t allow pets, so you may need to pay additional costs to keep your pet in the room with you. Storing the dog in a kennel can cost between $20 and $80 per night. If you need to fly, some airlines charge up to $1,000 to transport your pet, so it’s best to call ahead and inquire about rates.

Owning a Golden Retriever On a Budget

The most expensive part of owning a Golden Retriever is purchasing the puppy at a cost that can reach as much as $4,000. However, there is a high likelihood you can find one at a local animal shelter for significantly less. Purchasing food when it’s on sale and using natural toys, like branches and blocks of wood, will also help reduce your monthly costs.

Saving Money on Golden Retriever Care

The best way to reduce your healthcare costs when owning a Golden Retriever is to pay close attention to the recommended portion size on your food package. You should also avoid giving too many treats, or your dog will become overweight, which can lead to several health problems that will increase your costs.

Image Credit: hwanas99, Pixabay

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Conclusion: Cost of a Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever makes a fantastic pet, and despite its larger size, it isn’t overly expensive once you get past the initial purchase price. Monthly expenses can be quite low compared to other pets that require you to maintain habitat temperatures and humidity. You will find that a Golden Retriever costs up to $4,000, but it will usually be quite a bit lower than that, and an additional $100 to $200 per month to keep it healthy.

Featured Image Credit: Melanie Mai, Pixabay

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