How Much Do Golden Retrievers Cost? (Initial Price & Yearly Costs)

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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.

The price for Golden Retrievers is about $1,000 – $3,000 for a puppy and about $200- $500 to rescue a Golden Retriever. They’ll cost about $2,000 – $3,000 in the first year, then about $2,000 per year after that. This includes vet bills, food, toys, treats, groomer, and more.

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 your dog, plus everything else you’ll need for them on a yearly basis.

To make it easy for you, it’s broken into three categories:

  1. How much golden retrievers cost (both buying from a breeder and adopting one)
  2. First-year costs for golden retriever puppies
  3. 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

how much do golden retriever puppies cost

Purebred golden retriever puppies typically cost between $500 to $3,000.

In a study we did recently, we asked 600 golden retriever owners how much they spent on their dogs.

Here’s what they said:

golden retriever puppy price

$0 – $999: 29.2%

$1,000 – $1,999: 38.3%

$2,000 – $2,999: 24.4%

$3,000 – $3,999: 5.7%

Over $4,000: 2.5%

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.

On the flip side, if you buy a golden from an irresponsible breeder who doesn’t know what they’re doing or is just in it for the money, you could be risking potential health and behavior issues.

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?

how much does it cost 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

price of golden retriever

When your golden retriever is a puppy, here are the major things you’ll have to spend on them:

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 all the supplies you need for a golden retriever puppy here, but here’s a quick breakdown:

Puppy Basics

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:

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

types of dog toys

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.

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

retained puppy teeth

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.

With proper training and socialization in the beginning, you can prevent many behavioral issues that adult golden retriever owners struggle with.

Most puppy training and socialization classes go for about $100.

Puppy Food

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: $492.29
  • 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: $2,102.29 – $2,972.29

Yearly Costs For Adult Golden Retrievers

golden retriever price

When your golden retriever is an adult, here are the major things you’ll be spending money on:

  • Food
  • Toys & treats
  • Vet bills

How Much Will I Pay For Food For My Golden?

Golden retrievers are large dogs, 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 about $80 (at the time of this writing) 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 $100 on food for him each month, or $1,200/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.

Here are some common golden retriever health issues, according to PetMD:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Sub-aortic stenosis (SAS)
  • Eye disorders
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Mast cell tumors
  • Seizures
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Lymphoma
  • Canine hip dysplasia (CHD)
  • Hemangiosarcoma
  • Skin problems

In order to try to prevent these health issues from happening, you can do these three things:

  1. Choose a high-quality food
  2. Choose a reputable breeder
  3. Keep your golden’s weight under control

Toys & Treats

golden retriever yearly cost

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: $1,200
  • Vet bills: $300-1,000
  • Toys & treats: $240-480

Estimated total yearly costs for your adult golden retriever: $1,740 – $2,680


price of golden retriever

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 $2,102.29 – $2,972.29 in the first year
  • Expect to spend about $1,740 – $2,680 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.

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9 thoughts on “How Much Do Golden Retrievers Cost? (Initial Price & Yearly Costs)”

  1. I like how you weigh the underestimated cost to the unexpected, priceless joy Oliver brought into your life. Brings back memories of my own when I got my first pup.

    What I really want to respond to here is to those who wants to get a pup (especially for the first time) and has the “price-first” mentality.

    Choosing a good breeder is very important, as it is made plenty clear in this article.

    Speaking from personal experience, a few years back my wife and I set out looking for a wire fox terrier or a lakeland terrier, it was tough, these are rare terrier breeds where we come from.

    We then stumbled across a breeder who has a lakeland terrier to offer, and was on and on about how he came from show champion parents, yada yada yada…

    Point is, its selling price was a steal for its breed. But something about this breeder just didn’t feel right. Long story short, we decided not to go ahead, and waited another year until we finally found our current wire fox terrier from a breeder we’ve vetted and are comfortable with.

    Years later as we got more familiarized with the terrier community, we found out that the initial breeder who offered the lakeland terrier turned out to be an irresponsible breeder and several shops have reflected health issues on puppies that came from him.

    He was basically making a run for his money on his dams and having them breed non-stop til an old age, which is how he spreads out his cost and was able to sell he pups at a lower than market value price.

    The offsprings as a result tend to have poor dental conditions, weak bones, smaller in sizes, etc.

    Our breeder was the opposite. She only breed each dam no more than twice a year, and retire them after 2-3 years and keep them as her own house pets, or give away to adoptors she knows.

    Hence her price was higher, but not unreasonable.

    So take your time verifying breeders and make sure they have a good track record of good practices.

    As for getting a rescue dog, please, do not treat this as an alternative to spending less for a dog. If you want to get a rescue dog, be very certain that this decision is coming from your heart and love for dogs. NOT because it’s cheaper in price.


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