Want to know how much golden retrievers cost?
Getting a golden retriever is like having a kid.
Sure, they’re not exactly cheap, but the love and joy they bring to the table are more than worth it.
To be honest, I underestimated how much it would actually cost to own a golden.
But on the flip side, I also way underestimated how much I would love my golden.
So you could say that golden retrievers are priceless…
But they still do cost money.
This article is a comprehensive breakdown of how much golden retrievers actually cost, including the price of the actual golden retriever, plus everything else you’ll need for them on a yearly basis.
To make it easy for you, this post is broken into three categories:
- How much golden retrievers cost (both buying from a breeder and adopting one)
- First-year costs for golden retriever puppies
- Yearly costs for adult golden retrievers
Warning: there is math in this article (but I’ve done all the work for you).
Golden Retriever Price
Purebred golden retrievers typically cost between $500 to $3,000.
Like many things in life, when it comes to buying a golden retriever puppy, you get what you pay for.
Breeders that charge on the higher end for puppies will likely have high health and behavior standards when choosing which dogs to breed.
Plus, they’ll likely be very meticulous in how they raise them before they’re adopted out, making sure to appropriately train and socialize them.
I had a friend who purchased a golden retriever puppy from a neighbor for $500.
I met the dog when he was around five years old and I thought for sure he was at least 10.
He had elbow issues so he walked with a limp, and he had skin issues, so he was always itching and wasn’t pleasant to pet.
By the time he was five, that money they saved on buying a cheap puppy was all wasted at the vet trying to cure the dog’s health issues.
So if you want a puppy that you’re going to be able to love for a long time, it’s worth spending a little more upfront.
Now that being said, I also know of golden retrievers who came from the most reputable breeders that had health or behavior issues.
Getting a golden retriever from a reputable breeder is stacking the odds in your favor of bringing home a wonderful puppy, it’s not a guarantee.
Which leads us to our next point…
How Much Is It To Adopt A Golden Retriever?
Adopting a golden retriever costs significantly less than purchasing one from a breeder.
It’s usually just $200-500, compared to a couple thousand.
And if you do decide to go this route, you’re doing an amazing thing.
All goldens deserved to be loved and if you treat them right, odds are that you’ll end up with an amazing dog.
I mean, they’re still golden retrievers!
Check out this article to find golden retriever rescues in your area.
Another consideration when it comes to adopting a golden retriever is that if you adopt an adult golden, you’ll save a ton of money on various things only puppy owners have to pay for.
First-Year Costs For Golden Retriever Puppies
When your golden retriever is a puppy, here are the major things you’ll have to spend on them:
- New puppy items (crate, leash, collar, food and water bowls, etc)
- Puppy toys
- Frequent vet visits and vaccinations
- Spaying or neutering your puppy
- Puppy training and socialization class
Below is a breakdown of how much each of these costs.
New Puppy Items
So what all do you need to be prepared for a golden retriever puppy?
You can see our full checklist of everything you need and why here, but here’s a quick breakdown:
Puppy toys (click here to learn about the best toys for golden retriever puppies):
Puppy training supplies
Housing and confinement
Puppy grooming tools:
Miscellaneous puppy items:
- Car harness (car crate is another option): $35.99
- Pee cleaner: $19.97
- Poop bags: $9.99
- Food storage container: $29.98
- Pet cot: $27.19
In total, all of these items add up to $467.53
This covers pretty much everything you need, and even some stuff you don’t need, but will make your life much easier.
Puppy Toys & Treats
Puppy toys and treats are mentioned in the new puppy items above, but your puppy will probably go through these pretty quickly, so you’ll need more than just a few toys and a bag of treats in this first year.
Remember, the four types of toys are chew toys, dental toys, interactive toys, and plush toys.
Interactive toys are meant to be used when you’re playing with your puppy, so they’ll likely last a long time, but dental toys, chew toys, and plush toys will need to be replaced often.
You’ll probably get at least two to three toys each month, and go through one bag of treats a month, so you’ll probably spend about $20-30/month, or $240-360/year, on toys and treats.
Puppy Vet Visits
Vet bills will vary greatly depending on where you live, but between vaccinations, frequent checkups, and the occasional sickness, expect to spend about $500-1,000 in the first year.
When you first bring home your new puppy, you’ll see your vet about every two to four weeks for checkups and vaccinations, but after that, you’ll see them much less frequently.
Another thing to keep in mind is that puppies, like kids, get sick a lot more frequently than adults do.
This is because their immune systems are still developing (and they haven’t learned to not eat poop yet).
In the first few months of bringing home my puppy, he had a few stomach bugs, an eye infection, and a retained puppy tooth, so we got to know our vet really well.
But since he’s grown up a bit, he’s been a lot more healthy.
Spaying Or Neutering Your Puppy
You’ll definitely want to spay or neuter your puppy.
Sometimes people will think they might want to hold off on doing this in case they want to breed their dog, but breeding is best left to the professionals.
Talk to your vet about the best time to spay or neuter your puppy, but you can also check out the golden retriever puppy timeline for an estimate of when that will be.
Depending on where you live and who you go to for the procedure, spaying or neutering costs about $50-300.
Puppy Training & Socialization Class
One of the best ways to set you and your puppy up for success is to get them in a training and socialization class.
Most puppy training and socialization classes go for about $100.
Puppies are always growing, so their food needs are constantly changing.
See the calculation in the next section for how much money you’ll spend on your adult golden retriever’s food, but let’s just assume your puppy eats a little less than your adult golden, so you’ll spend about $60/month on food for your golden retriever puppy.
First-Year Total Costs
Here’s an estimate of how much you’ll spend on your new puppy in their first year:
- New puppy items: $467.53
- Puppy toys and treats: $240-360
- Vet visits: $500-1,000
- Spay/Neuter: $50-300
- Puppy training and socialization class: $100
- Puppy food: $720
Estimated total costs in the first year: $2,077.53 – $2,947.53
Yearly Costs For Adult Golden Retrievers
When your golden retriever is an adult, here are the major things you’ll be spending money on:
- Toys & treats
- Vet bills
How Much Will I Pay For Food For My Golden?
Golden retrievers are large dogs (up to ~75 lbs), so they eat a lot of food.
There are tons of options to feed your golden retriever, but I feed my golden Royal Canin’s Adult Golden Retriever food (which was recommended to me by several vets).
It’s $65.69 for a 30 lb bag, and he eats about five cups (~1.25 pounds) per day.
That means it takes him about 24 days to go through one bag, which means he goes through 1.25 bags per month, which means that we spend about $82.11 on food for him each month, or $984/year.
Note: food is definitely one thing you don’t want to go cheap on.
Like choosing a good breeder, choosing a good food will help you avoid vet bills later on in life.
Which brings us to the next point…
How Much Will I Pay In Vet Bills?
Yearly vet bills will vary greatly.
Is your golden perfectly healthy, or are they experiencing health issues?
Do they need to get their teeth cleaned?
Do they need to get any lab work done?
It’s tough to estimate yearly vet costs, but assuming nothing major is wrong, expect to spend anywhere between $300-1,000 per year on vet bills.
- Sub-aortic stenosis (SAS)
- Eye disorders
- Elbow dysplasia
- Mast cell tumors
- Canine hip dysplasia (CHD)
- Skin problems
In order to try to prevent these health issues from happening, you can do these three things:
- Choose a high-quality food
- Choose a reputable breeder
- Keep your golden’s weight under control
Toys & Treats
Adult dog toys are usually more expensive than puppy toys because they’re bigger.
The price difference can range, but for this example let’s say they’re 50% more expensive.
Assuming you get a bag of treats and a few toys each month, you’ll probably be spending about $20-40/month on toys and treats, or $240-480/year.
Adult Golden Retriever Yearly Costs
Here’s an estimate of how much you’ll spend on your adult golden retriever each year:
- Food: $984
- Vet bills: $300-1,000
- Toys & treats: $240-480
Estimated total yearly costs for your adult golden retriever: $1,506 – $2,464
There are many things to include in the total cost of getting a golden retriever, but here are rough estimates of what to expect:
- Purebred golden retrievers from a breeder range from $500-3,000
- Adopting a golden retriever will range from $200-500
- Expect to spend about $2,077.53 – $2,947.53 in the first year
- Expect to spend about $1,506 – $2,464 in their adult years
It is important to keep in mind that the above numbers are just estimates and don’t include things like boarding, daycare, dog walkers, emergencies, additional training, insurance, and grooming.
But remember, they’re America’s 3rd most popular breed (according to the AKC) and for good reason.
When you bring a golden into your home, you’re bringing home a best friend, endless joy and happiness, and lots of kisses and cuddles.
Like I said in the intro, I was surprised at how much golden retrievers cost, but I was also surprised at how much joy and happiness they bring.
Have any questions about how much golden retrievers cost?
Let us know in the comments below!
And if you liked this article, check out our Complete Guide To Raising A Golden Retriever Puppy.