How Much Does a Golden Retriever Cost?

Did you know that canines have a Guinness World Record too?

The title for the most tennis balls stuffed in mouth by a dog is held by Augie. Augie was an 8-year-old golden retriever that has set the record in 2003 for having 5 tennis balls in its mouth at the same time. Well, it definitely takes a lot of skills for a dog to do that!

Golden retrievers were trained to retrieve a waterfowl during hunting or shooting games without damage, hence the name ‘retriever’. As for the name ‘golden’, well it’s pretty obvious. Their coats vary from light golden to dark golden.

Cute retriever dog

The Price of a Golden Retriever

The cost of a golden retriever varies depending on where you acquired it. You can have a golden retriever for as low as $500 if you buy from a pet shelter. But prices may go as high as $3,500 to $4,000 if you decide to buy from a pet breeder instead.

Online shops such as offer several golden retrievers ranging from $500 to $1,700. The prices vary depending on different factors such as age and gender.

One-Time Expenses for Having a Golden Retriever

Besides the actual cost of the canine pet, several budget items you need to spend on upfront for keeping it are the following:

  • Licensing Fees

In most states, dog owners are required to have their pets licensed. They have different prices but on the average, the fee is around $50.

In Pennsylvania, all dogs that are three months and older must be licensed on the first day of each year. A dog owner who fails to comply will be fined a maximum of $300 excluding the court costs. The cost for an annual license is $8.50 while the cost for a lifetime license is $51.50.

In other states, license fees vary depending on factors such as microchipping. If your golden retriever has a microchip, then you just have to pay a one-time fee for a license.  In some areas, if you’re a multiple dog owner, then you’ll have a lower licensing fee.

  • Housing Costs

Golden retrievers can easily adapt to either indoor or outdoor living. Most of the time, golden retrievers are kept outside. If that’s the case, there should be a fence in your backyard to prevent them from roaming in your neighborhood.

If you’re going to buy a crate for your dog, you have to consider its size. Golden retrievers are large-sized animals. The average height ranges from 21.5 to 24 inches while the average weight is approximately between 55 and 75 pounds.

The recommended size for a crate is 42”. You can look for a dog crate in online stores. The price for a large dog crate starts at $45.

For golden pups, you may consider buying a dog bed. You can purchase one for as low as $10.

  • Training

Training your golden retrievers is essential in making them well-behaved just like any other types of dogs. Since they tend to have somewhat strong personality and considering their size when they turn to adulthood, training them at a very young age saves you from going through the troubles of having disobedient and unruly pet especially in the presence of other people.

Their breed is known to be highly intelligent making them easy to train. That’s why they are a popular choice to star in movies and television shows, with the most recent—A Dog’s Purpose.

Dog trainers typically charge $20 per hour but could go up depending on the size and temperament of your pet. Other dog training classes charge $150 on the average for a series of sessions.

What are Included?

Pet shops often offer dog beds or crates when you purchase a dog from them. They even offer food enough to feed your dog for a few days.

Most often than not, your dog had already received its first few shots of vaccines so you don’t have to worry about that in the meantime. Just be sure to have a record of your dog’s vaccination schedule so you’ll know when will be the next.

Recurring Cost of Owning a Golden Retriever

  • Food Costs

Before you purchase a food for your pet, you have to first know their food requirements.

Majority of a dog’s diet should consist of protein. You may want to consider feeding your dog with some chicken meat or fish meat.

As for the carbohydrates, do not look for a dog food with corn or soy as the main ingredient. If you want your dog to get quality carbs, you can get them from barley or brown rice.

Also, if you want to have a shiny coat for your golden, you must look for a dog food that has fatty acids.

Golden pups need to have a natural, limited ingredient diet since they are more prone to food allergies. Stay away from food that contains grains, gluten or wheat. A high-quality 12-lb bag of dog food will cost around $36 and will last for two months.

If you have an adult golden retriever, a 30-lb bag will cost around $60. If it is not that active, the food will last around 1 ½ months. Otherwise, the food will last a month.

Remember that your pet’s life expectancy is around 13 years and up. That said, you should be wise in choosing its brand of food.

Aside from the dog food, of course, your pet will need to have bowls for feeding and drinking. The price of bowls varies depending on the size and material. Their average price is around $10 to $17.

  • Hygiene and Grooming Costs

Golden retrievers tend to have long coats. These coats tend to shed which generally occurs once a year.

That said, they need to be brushed at least once a week using a comb. During major sheds, brushing needs to be done daily. The kind of combs for this purpose can be purchased with prices starting at $5.

Prior to brushing your pet’s coat, you have to bathe it first to help in loosening its furs. You can purchase a shampoo for as low as $15.

Your pet also needs to have regular ear cleaning as well. You can buy an ear cleaner solution for as low as $4.99. Make sure to choose an ear cleaner with aloe vera to loosen ear wax and antiseptic formula to reduce the risk of infection.

Your dog’s nails should also be cleaned and trimmed. You can do this at least once a month.  Dog nail trimmers are available online at an average cost of $6.

If you don’t have time to do maintain the cleanliness of your dog, you can always bring them to pet shops which offer grooming services. You can avail of a grooming service for as low as $29.

  • Health Costs

Dogs are just like humans when it comes to being prone to common diseases. That’s why dogs must undergo annual immunization to boost their immunity. Annual immunization typically cost around $70.

As mentioned earlier, pet shops are responsible for the first few shots of the vaccine. Upon purchase, you’re the one responsible to continue the next sets of the vaccine. Vaccine costs are between $20 and $40.

Your pet should also undergo annual worm testing. You wouldn’t want your dog to have parasites in its system. So, consider having them checked and expect to pay around $50 to $200.

Aside from that, golden retrievers are known to have certain diseases that are common to their breed.

As a puppy, goldens can be very curious and really clumsy. If they are kept indoors, they might roam in every part of your house. What’s worse is when they stumble upon your toddler’s room and accidentally swallow a small toy.

Swallowing a small toy or any other foreign objects may interfere with your pet’s digestion. So make sure you’ll take all measures to prevent that from happening. Also, the cost to remove the foreign object from your pet may cost about $800 depending on the vet.

Puppies are also prone to hip and elbow dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is common and caused by genetics. That’s why breeders often spay or neuter animals known to have this medical problem to reduce the likelihood of passing it to the next generation.

The surgery cost for hip and elbow dysplasia is very expensive. It can cost around $3000 to $5000. So make sure to purchase your pet from a breeder who is certified by Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).

Another thing as a puppy, you can have it undergo neutering (for females) which costs around150 to $200.  While for males, spaying costs around $200 to $300. These procedures can lengthen your pet’s life by reducing the chance of getting cancer.

Female goldens are prone to mammary cancer. Male goldens are more likely to develop prostate cancer. And the cost for cancer treatment ranges from $1,000 to $12,000.

Adult goldens can also be afflicted with epilepsy which is passed through genes. Anti-seizure medications can cost you $20 to $100 a month.

Another illness is hypothyroidism. This is easily treatable with a medication that costs around $50/month. Heart conditions such as sub-aortic stenosis and cardiomyopathy are treated with medications that cost around $500.

Some sellers offer pet insurance. This is ideal for golden pups since they’re young and might be prone to getting sick. You may want to avail this upon purchasing your dog.

Overall, your annual visit to a veterinarian would be estimated at $350.

  • Toys and Accessories

You may want to buy toys and treats for your pet. There is no need for you to go for expensive toys unless you want to spoil them. Maybe $14 per month would be enough to purchase toy and treats for your pet.

Aside from the toys, you may also consider buying accessories such as collar or leash. Golden retrievers are easily distracted so sometimes, you need to buy a leash for them. The price for that is usually $15.

Determinants of Golden Retriever’s Price

  • Age

Of course, the younger the golden, the cheaper the price. But the catch, the cost of keeping it would be more expensive since most of the responsibilities and expenses will be passed on to you from the breeder. These includes the vaccinations that you need to continue depending on what the breeders were able to give your pet while it’s still under their care.

  • Sources

Adopting a pet from golden retriever rescue organizations, the cost would be cheaper as compared to buying directly from pet shops or breeders. However, you’ll have to pass certain requirements before you can have one.

Animal shelters also offer affordable prices for as low as $300 up to $400. They are actually a good place to start since they conduct a thorough medical examination to ensure that you’ll get a healthy pet.

If you’re going to purchase from a breeder, expect to pay a higher price. That’s because the breeding process for golden retrievers is a bit meticulous and expensive.

  • Breed

On average, the golden retriever price is $700. Some quality breeds may have a $1,000 to $3,500 price range depending on their quality. Golden retrievers trained to be hunters are usually sold at $1,000.

Golden retrievers are not just good for search and rescue but also for therapy. They are considered the third most popular dog breed in the United States for 3 consecutive years since 2015. No wonder past Presidents Ford and Reagan had them as pets.

Golden Retriever Buyer’s Guide

Have you already made up your mind?

If you’re planning on having a loyal, friendly and intelligent golden retriever, you can purchase one from pet shops or even adopt one. Of course, a responsible owner should take into account the health and shelter of his or her pet. And with that, you have to know the costs involved in doing that.

Make sure to purchase from breeders who are registered members of a reputable club such as American Kennel Club.Watch out for those breeders who advertise ‘rare’ breeds of golden retrievers with a different coat color. They often charge higher prices when in fact these different coat color breeds are not really rare.

Before you get yourself a golden retriever, decide on whether you’re going to get a puppy or an adult. If you’re going to get a puppy, you need to have extra patience in taking care of them.

Golden retrievers get easily sad if they’re alone for long periods of time. If you’re going to work for long hours, make sure you’ll have someone to take care of your pet.

Also, you must be willing to take your dog for a walk at least 1 hour a day.

Lastly, reflect on yourself and reassess your decision. Evaluate your ability to take care of a dog. If you think you won’t be able to give proper care to your dog, then maybe you’re not yet ready.

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