Labrador Retriever Characteristics
Life expectancy: 10 – 12 years
Adult weight: 65 – 80 lbs.
Adult height: 21 – 24 in.
Origin – United Kingdom
Labrador Retrievers, or ‘Labs,’ are named after the area in Britain where the breed first originated – Labrador. Labs are one of the most popular dog breeds in the entire world; beloved because of their friendly, active, intelligent, and affectionate natures. While these sweet pups were initially used for sporting and hunting, Labs are now kept as companions more often than not.
Labrador Retrievers as a breed are about two hundred years old now, and while all Labradors are descendants of the British lines, people usually think field-type ones are American and the show-type ones are English. Regardless of the type, Labs have been used as guide dogs, as well as for pointing, flushing, and hunting.
Labs typically make excellent swimmers because of their ability to tolerate colder water temperatures and their muscular and sturdy build. Their double-coated water-resistant coasts are commonly found in three solid colors, black, yellow (typically closer to a creamy white), and chocolate (also called liver).
Here are a few fun facts: Labrador Retrievers helped the army during the Vietnam War. A Lab called ‘Zanjeer’ helped detect arms and ammunition used in the 1993 Mumbai explosions. Following the unfortunate events of 9/11, Jack, an American black Lab, helped with search and rescue operations. No doubt, labs have been among the most popular dogs in the world for the past 3 decades.
What is the price of a Labrador Retriever?
When discussing the price of a Labrador Retriever, we consider the cost of either adopting your puppy or purchasing them from a breeder, as well as the initial cost of the supplies you will need to purchase for your puppy. When calculating the lifetime cost of bringing a Labrador Retriever into your home, the cost of vaccinations, food, healthcare, grooming, as well as optional services such as dog walking and boarding.
Buying: $1000 – $2000
If you choose to purchase your puppy from a private breeder, there are a few things you may want to keep in mind. The cost of your puppy is affected by multiple factors such as their lineage, puppies with champion bloodlines will be more expensive, purpose (show or field), coat color, and age, to name a few. In addition, if your puppy has already received training from the breeder, this will also increase the cost.
On average, a Labrador Retriever puppy will cost you between $1000-$2000 when purchased from a breeder. Show Labrador puppies often range between $1800-$2000. A field pup could cost less, at around $1500. One more note, a Chocolate Lab could come with a higher price tag because the coat color is comparably rarer than that of a black or yellow. The price of a baby black Lab could be around $1000 and an adult will generally cost you less than a puppy.
It can be cheaper to purchase a puppy from a puppy farm, $700-$800, but make sure you research the organization and check the health of the pup before you decide to take it home.
If you are hoping to bring your puppy home for a more affordable price, and are searching more for ‘chocolate lab puppies for under $500’, then rescue shelters could be a great option for you. At a shelter, you could find a Lab to adopt for around $100-$300. This option is a good cost-efficient way to get a Lab, and you can also feel good about giving a dog a new home!
Monthly costs for a Lab dog
Labradors are a large dog breed that need large amounts of food to maintain their very high energy levels. It's a good idea to feed your lab high-quality vet-recommended kibble to give yourself the best chance of meeting their nutritional needs. The average cost for this kind of food can fall between $50-$60, depending on the product you choose. To help with training (and also because you will likely want to spoil your puppy rotten), treats are recommended. This could add about $20 per month to your budget.
If you and your furbaby will be appearing in dog shows, you might spend around $50 per month to keep your dog showready. Otherwise, the general grooming maintenance for a Labrador Retriever is pretty low maintenance and can usually be taken care of at home. Your grooming schedule should look something like; a weekly brushing, and regular toothbrushing, ear cleaning, and nail clipping. The equipment could cost about $50-$60.
Medical Costs: $700-$1200
During the first few years, it is recommended you take your Labrador Retriever to the vet about 3-4 times a year. Depending on where you are located, vet fees can range from $100 to $300 for services like annual wellness exams and blood tests, among other recommended preventive care treatments. If your petfamily ends up needing additional examinations or tests, this could cost you another $300-$400.
Like all breeds, Labrador Retrievers are at risk of developing certain health conditions as they age. Some common conditions for this breed may include osteochondritis dissecans, eye diseases, epilepsy, and bloating. Treatment costs may be around:
Osteochondritis Dissecans - $2000-$3000 per joint
Eye diseases – $1300-$1500
Epilepsy - $500-$1000 per year
One-time costs for a Labrador Retriever
Initial Costs: $400-$500
As you prepare to bring home your puppy, especially if they are your first puppy, there are certain supplies you want to have handy. The first is a comfortable bed for your lab puppy to sleep and play in, in addition to toys, a crate, a carrier, food and water bowls, leashes, collars, and a harness. Depending on the items that you choose for your puppy, the cost of these items can land between $400-$500.
The average cost of microchipping is about $50 but can vary state to state. If you will also need a dog license, this can increase the cost by about $10-$20. Spot Pet Insurance highly recommends every pet parent get their furbaby microchipped because it can help increase the chance of your pet being reunited with you if ever they are lost or stolen.
There are certain core vaccinations that your Labrador Retriever will need. These vaccinations include; distemper, parvovirus, adenovirus type 1, Adenovirus type 2, and rabies. In total, these vaccinations could cost you around $150-$200.
There are also non-core vaccinations that your vet may at times recommend for your puppy. Examples include parainfluenza, Lyme disease, and leptospirosis. These vaccines can cost between $130-$150.
Having a furbaby can be a lot like having an actual baby. You may have to take on additional expenses to keep them entertained, and for a puppy, these additional costs can include; dog walking, training, dog sitting, traveling, and park visits, among other things. It can be helpful to plan for these expenses and keep between $300-$350 aside each year for these expenses.
Lifetime Labrador Retriever Cost
Adding the initial costs of buying or adopting your labrador retriever, the cost of food, grooming, medical expenses, and other recurring and one-time expenses, you can expect the total lifetime cost of owning a Lab to be around $20,000-$22,000. Please keep in mind that this estimate does not include the cost of medical emergencies should your pet ever experience that.
How can Spot Pet Insurance help?
Spot accident & illness pet insurance plans offer a wide variety of coverages, from microchip implantation to surgeries and prescription food and supplements prescribed to treat your pet’s unexpected accidents and illnesses. (Prescription food and supplements used for general health or weight maintenance are not covered). For an extra cost, Spot Dog Insurance plans offer preventive care coverage add-ons to help cover the costs of certain routine vaccinations, annual wellness exams, and other preventive care treatments. You can view the add-on preventive care coverage options. Get in touch with us to know more!
One of the most popular dogs in the world, it's not hard to understand why the Labrador Retriever often demands a premium price. But, have no doubt that these dogs will ensure you feel the worth of every penny spent with their love, loyalty, and they memories they will give you in their lifetime. Anyway, you can worry less about the medical expenses for unexpected accidents and illnesses because Spot accident & illness plans can help cover your eligible vet bills. So go ahead and get your Lab home!
Happy Parenting to you, and Lots of Love to Your Pup!