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Labrador Retriever: The Real Cost Of Raising A Dog


What is the real cost of raising a dog, such as Labrador Retriever? The question is likely to perplex your thoughts when you are considering having one of these popular and playful pets at your home.

Sometimes love and compassion are not enough to raise a pet. Labradors are big dogs and have their own need for diet, healthcare, and vaccinations. Getting one of these dogs means you have to buy food, pay bills for vaccinations, deworming, and heartworm prevention, procure supplies, toys, food bowls, and crates, spend on traveling, and should be financially prepared for any emergency has an accident. So, it is natural for a prospective owner to plan his pet care regime and ponder over the real cost of raising a dog.

The Real Cost Of Raising A Dog

Cost Of Raising A Dog: Most Common Expenses

  • Food: You may have to spend extra when you prefer to buy commercial dog food for your Labrador. Depending on which brand and what type of food you select, it may add to your cost of raising a dog. While cheap ones may not have all the required nutrients, an expensive brand of dog food may not be an assurance of quality. You must check each and every ingredient and source of the food to ensure your pet has the best one and has the required nutritional intake. Home-cooked food may be a better alternative when you are concerned about your budget.
  • Healthcare: Right from vaccination to regular health checkups, you have to spend to keep your dog hale and hearty. You Labrador may need inoculation as soon as it two-month old. He receives at least three shots – each with multiple vaccines – until he turns one-year old. There may also booster shots every year. Apart from this, there is the need to deworm your dog. You may also be prepared to have your dog treated for various health disorders throughout his lifetime.
  • Essential Supplies: You may need to buy toys, dog bowls, leash, collar, and other essential pet supplies. Electronic chip is an option to ensure the security of your dog, though not necessary.
  • Optional Needs: If you are not able to house train your dog, you may have to hire a training expert for a few weeks. Similarly, unless you have time, you may have to enroll your dog in socialization classes. Travel expenses are also there when your pet is traveling with you.
  • Emergency Fund:  You must maintain an emergency fund to treat your dog in case of sudden illness.

The Research on Cost of Raising A Dog

Recently, two veterinary students from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine updated statistics of the costs involved in raising a dog. Kelly Giffear and Brittany Scott projected the annual cost of raising small, medium, large and giant breeds.

The students research the average cost of raising dogs in the first year and came up with the following figures:

  • Small dog breeds – $2674,
  • Medium dog breeds – $2889,
  • Large dog breeds -$3239,
  • Giant dog breeds – $3536.
  • Average first year cost across all sizes – $3085.

Dog owners are also estimated to spend:

  • $432 per year on supplies,
  • $435 per year on food,
  • $389 per year on preventative medications,
  • $650 per year on veterinary costs – including laboratory work.

The expense for one serious illness per year was included in the figures.

According to the students, the average lifetime cost of caring for a dog is $23,410.

This amount doesn’t include training classes like CGC classes, obedience, and agility training.

No matter how much you spend on your dog, keeping your dog healthy and happy is money well spent.

See the infographics Giffear and Scott made below.

The Real Cost Of Raising A Dog (1)

The Real Cost Of Raising A Dog (2)

Is The Cost Worth Spending?

Having a pet offers multiple benefits, and when you have a Labrador as your family pet, you indeed have an advantage. These pets not only add a benevolent symbolism to your family values, but also contribute to your healthy lifestyle in many ways. With its funny and playful nature, the Lab is a good therapy dog. Those with hypertension, obesity, and disability are likely to be benefitted from the intelligence of these dogs. Being a large dog, the Lab is also a protector of your family. Its pet and child-friendly attitude is a plus.

As far as the cost of raising a dog of the size of a Labrador is considered, you can cut down unnecessary expenses if on a tight budget. You can replace commercial dog food with homemade food. With adequate precaution and awareness of health hazards, you can prevent vet bills from becoming a burden. A healthy pet means you don’t have to visit your vet too frequently.