Golden Retriever Prices in 2024: Purchase Cost, Vet Bills, and More!

royal canin golden retriever puppy food
© otsphoto/

Written by Katelynn Sobus

Updated: September 27, 2023

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Planning for a future pet is so important–especially when it comes to costs! A Golden Retriever is a large breed of dog, so they can be quite expensive to care for.

You will likely spend over $1000 per year on your Golden Retriever. Costs include food, supplies, and vet bills. Food makes up a large portion of your yearly costs, while veterinary care ranges depending on your dog’s health and can make your expenses much higher.

In this article, we’ll go over what you can expect to pay for a Golden Retriever in 2024, from the cost of a puppy to their supplies, food, and vet bills.

There is more to consider than how cute a Golden Retriever puppy is. One must also consider the costs.

How Much Does a Golden Retriever Puppy Cost?

Golden Retriever puppies can cost anywhere from $1000-$5000, with $1,500-$3,000 being the most typical. Rescue or shelter Goldens typically cost under $500.

Be wary of breeders who charge a very cheap or very expensive price for their puppies. Cheap prices typically mean the breeder hasn’t spent a lot on these dogs, which is a red flag that points to a backyard breeder or puppy mill.

High prices can mean the breeder has spent more time, money, and energy on their dogs. For instance, service dogs cost more than puppies bred to be pets.

However, it can also mean that the breeder is only in it for profit. Many will spend as little as possible on the dogs and charge as much as they can to maximize their profits.

Reputable breeders rarely make an income from breeding and are lucky to recoup their costs after health testing, vet visits, daily care, and other expenses.

Golden retriever resting in her dog crate

Golden Retriever puppies can cost anywhere from $1000-$5000, with $1,500-$3,000 being the most typical.

© McCann

Other Factors That Influence the Purchase Price of a Golden Retriever

Other factors that can influence the price of your Golden Retriever puppy include lineage, training, and location.

Dogs with a famous or award-winning lineage may be more expensive than other puppies because they’re more in demand.

If you live somewhere with a high cost of living, breeders will likely charge more for their puppies than they would in another area.

Lastly, all reputable breeders will put time into socializing their puppies and teaching basic manners. But some breeders go above and beyond, keeping the puppies longer to train them well–or even to turn them into service dogs!

These breeders typically charge more because of the time and expertise that goes into this training.

Golden retriever

Dogs with a famous or award-winning lineage may be more expensive than other puppies because they’re more in demand.


Cost of Vaccinations and Other Medical Expenses for Golden Retrievers

Before adopting any pet, you must have a savings account for veterinary expenses! Even if you have pet insurance, it typically won’t cover routine visits. 

In addition, many insurance agencies only reimburse you after your appointment–and most veterinarians require upfront payment for their services.

We’ll go over some common expenses below, but please keep in mind that the price of vet care ranges widely depending on where you live and which clinic you choose. The prices below are average and you may end up paying more or less than the listed cost.

A golden retriever puppy at the vet's office

Before adopting any pet, you must have a savings account for veterinary expenses! Even if you have pet insurance, it typically won’t cover routine visits. 

©In Green/

Puppy vaccines – $25-75 per vaccine

During their first year of life, puppies need more vaccines than adult dogs. These include Bordetella, Canine Influenza, Lyme, Rabies, and DHLPP (a combination vaccine that vaccinates against distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza, and parvo).
You can expect to pay somewhere around $25-$75 per vaccine, depending on your area and the clinic you choose. Some areas have low-cost clinics or programs that charge less or even offer free vaccinations.

Booster vaccines – $25-$75 per vaccine

Many of the vaccines listed above will also require boosters. One example is rabies, which your dog will need two years in a row, then once every three years. Rabies in particular is mandatory according to state law in most of the United States.

Other vaccines may require two initial shots just a couple of months apart, then yearly boosters for the remainder of your Golden Retriever’s life.

Spay or Neuter Surgery – $150-$300

If you decide to spay or neuter your Golden Retriever, it will cost an average of $150-$300. Prices vary depending on the area and the veterinarian. The ASPCA has a list of low-cost spay and neuter programs that can lower your costs exponentially.

Spaying and neutering come with several health and behavioral benefits, including a longer lifespan and a reduced risk of developing certain cancers.

Most veterinarians will recommend waiting until your Golden Retriever is fully grown before spaying or neutering them, as there are some health risks to performing the procedure too early in a dog’s life. It’s important to discuss this with your vet and follow their guidance.

Check-ups – $50-$250 per visit

Your dog should be checked by the veterinarian at least once a year even if they’re healthy. As a dog enters their senior years, they should see the vet once every six months.
The cost of these visits will vary depending on the price of the office visit, which tests are run, and your dog’s overall health.

Parasite Preventative – $100-$500 per year

Parasite prevention medication ensures that your dog doesn’t get parasites like fleas, heartworm, ticks, and mites. The amount you pay depends on your Golden’s age and weight, which medications you choose, and which parasites you decide to cover. It may also depend on your area and which pests your dog is likely to have exposure to.

Although these medications are expensive, they prevent more costly vet bills in the future. For instance, heartworm is expensive to treat and treatment is hard on a dog’s body as well.

Dental Care – $300-$700+ per year

Most veterinarians recommend that a Golden Retriever have a yearly dental cleaning. This typically costs $300-$700, though prices range based on the area, veterinarian, and the dog’s age.

Dental cleanings are typically done under anesthesia, and as your dog gets older, this becomes riskier. Your vet will likely require testing to be done to ensure it’s safe for a senior Golden to go under anesthesia, while this may not be necessary for younger dogs.

Dogs with very clean teeth may be able to skip cleanings for some years, depending on your veterinarian’s advice. On the other hand, if your dog needs teeth pulled or other treatments, you may end up paying considerably more for their dental care.

However, there is less risk of this if you keep up with preventative care, including regular teeth cleanings at the vet and brushing your Golden’s teeth daily.

The cost of a toothbrush and dog toothpaste is fairly cheap. You can find packs of human toothbrushes at the dollar store, and these work just fine for your dog as well. A tube of dog toothpaste can cost as little as $5-$10.

Never use human toothpaste on your dog, as it’s toxic to them!

Sick Vet Visits – Costs range widely

If your Golden shows symptoms of an illness or isn’t acting like themselves, it’s important to get them to the veterinarian. These visits can range drastically in price depending on if there is anything wrong with your pooch, which tests the vet runs, and their diagnosis.

For instance, I brought my dog in for a limp once and it cost less than $200 for an office visit and pain medication. When he had pancreatitis and had to be hospitalized, the bill was around $5000.

Your costs for these visits will also depend on whether you have pet insurance, and what your plan covers.

Common ailments in Golden Retrievers include:

  • Hip dysplasia – $1,500-$7,000 per hip if your dog needs surgery
  • Allergies – $20-100 for medication, $20-$200 for allergy shots (depending on the medication chosen), and $1,000+ for allergy testing. Medications may be needed for life. All of these treatments may not be necessary, so it’s best to consult your vet to see what’s right for your dog.
  • Ear infections – $100-250 to treat a basic infection. The deeper into the ear canal the infection is, and the more it spreads, the harder and more expensive it tends to be to treat.
  • Hypothyroidism – $50-150 for testing and $20-$50 per month for medication.
  • Cataracts – $2,700-4,000 for cataract surgery.
  • Bloat (GDV) – $1,500-$7,500 for emergency veterinary treatment. GDV is deadly in 30% of cases and immediate treatment is vital.
  • Aortic Stenosis (a heart condition) – $5-$30 a month for medications or $3000-$6,000 for surgery. Sometimes treatment is not needed and your dog is closely monitored. Surgery is needed in severe cases.
  • Cancer – cost ranges. Diagnostics for cancer can be several hundred dollars or more, and surgery can be thousands of dollars. The cost of chemotherapy is also in the thousands.
    The treatments your veterinarian recommends will depend on your Golden Retriever’s age, health, and what type of cancer they have.

Purchasing a puppy from a reputable breeder who does health testing can eliminate your odds of encountering some of the above conditions. However, every dog will eventually get sick with something, and it’s important to be prepared for that!

food for golden retrievers

The cost of food for your Golden will depend on the


and type of food you feed.


Cost of Food and Supplies for Golden Retrievers


The cost of food for your Golden will depend on the brand and type of food you feed. Kibble is the cheapest, while canned food, fresh food, and raw diets are more expensive. (Though the FDA and American Veterinary Medical Association currently advise against feeding raw.)

It also depends on whether you buy in bulk and catch the food on sale. I prefer to stock up on my pets’ food when I find sale prices to save money long-term.

On average, you can expect to pay $400+ per year to feed your Golden Retriever quality, veterinarian-recommended food.

After tons of research for my dog, I recommend feeding a food that complies with WSAVA guidelines. These include having a certified nutritionist on staff and researching to ensure the best nutrition possible. WSAVA-compliant brands include Purina Pro Plan, Hills, and Royal Canin, amongst others.

These also seem to be the brands most commonly recommended by veterinarians, which is why I trust them more than some smaller brands on the market.

Other Supplies

Some supplies you can get away with purchasing once, like food and water bowls, while others will need to be replaced regularly as your dog outgrows them, destroys them, or they develop some wear and tear.

Grooming items typically last a dog’s lifetime and include brushes, combs, nail clippers, or a nail dremel. You might also want grooming scissors to trim out any mats that develop in their coat.

A crate for your Golden Retriever will also hold up throughout its lifetime. If you adopt a puppy, most crates come with a divider that can make the crate smaller for a puppy. You can then remove the divider as they age, rather than buying a whole new crate.

Collars, harnesses, and leashes can last a dog’s entire adulthood if they’re high-quality and well-cared for. Realistically, though, you’ll likely need to replace them every few years.

Dog beds can also last, though they don’t always. Again, they might need replacing every few years–or more frequently if your dog chews them up!

Items you’ll be buying throughout your dog’s life include toys, treats, enrichment items like lick mats, and dental care items like dog toothpaste.

Of course, you should also plan for the cuteness of these items. I tend to be pretty minimalist, but one thing I can’t resist is buying new things for my furbabies! This can lead to purchases that aren’t strictly necessary, but that still have costs.

All of these things range in price depending on the brand, quality of the item, and how often you purchase them. For instance, I likely spent under $100 on cheap collars throughout my late dog’s lifetime. But, I probably spent hundreds of dollars on dog toys because I loved to spoil him!

How Much Does It Cost to Insure a Golden Retriever

Golden retriever taking meds or vitamins from owner's hands, one hand holding a weekly pill box

Most pet insurance covers costs when your dog is sick or has an emergency, but doesn’t cover wellness visits.

©Donna Ellen Coleman/

It can cost between $20 and $120 per month to insure your Golden Retriever. The cost depends on the insurance company you choose, your plan and its coverage, and the age of your Golden.

Most pet insurance covers costs when your dog is sick or has an emergency, but doesn’t cover wellness visits. 

They also don’t tend to cover pre-existing conditions–so don’t wait to buy pet insurance until after your pup gets sick, because it’s likely that nothing related to the illness will be covered after that.

While pet insurance is expensive, it can also be life-saving.

Some dog guardians choose to instead put the money they’d spend on pet insurance into a savings account for their dog. However, this does come with its risks.

If your Golden gets sick early in life, you might not have the money saved yet to treat them. Pet insurance would cover these costs more immediately.

There is also the possibility that your Golden gets very sick and requires expensive treatment that even your savings account won’t cover.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to make the best decision for you and your pup. Your veterinarian can also talk to you about pet insurance if you have questions!

How Much Does It Cost to Train a Golden Retriever

why can't dogs talk

Hiring a professional obedience trainer will cost several hundred dollars and

service dog training

costs thousands.

© Blanco

Training a Golden Retriever can cost only your time. Hiring a professional obedience trainer will cost several hundred dollars and service dog training costs thousands.

Costs will vary depending on what you’d like your Golden to learn, whether you take group classes or hire a trainer to work with you one-on-one and whether your dog develops behavioral problems, separation anxiety, or becomes reactive.

Lifetime Costs of a Golden Retriever

golden retriever lying prone

Puppies and seniors tend to be the most expensive due to veterinary costs.


Now that we’ve gone over all of the costs you can expect, you might still wonder: what is the total cost to own a Golden Retriever?

On the low end, you can expect to pay at least $900 a year for your Golden. This is if you don’t pay for pet insurance, only need routine vet care, and your food costs skew toward the low end. It also doesn’t include toys, treats, or any replacement items you may need to buy.

More likely, your Golden will cost more than this. You’re also likely to see a range in costs from year to year.

Puppies and seniors tend to be the most expensive due to veterinary costs, while you might see lower yearly costs during your dog’s young adult years.

Goldens live 10-12 years on average, which means you should expect to spend over $10,000 throughout your dog’s lifetime.

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About the Author

Katelynn Sobus is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on pets including dogs, cats, and exotics. She has been writing about pet care for over five years. Katelynn currently lives in Michigan with her seven senior rescue cats.

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