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Golfen Retriever in a bed chewing a pillow

How much does a Golden Retriever cost to own in the UK?

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Over the average life of a Labrador or Golden Retriever (12 years) we calculate the total cost will be £20,448.  This includes the puppy checklist items but not the cost of the actual dog/puppy.

This is broken down as to an average monthly cost of owning a Golden Retriever or Labrador in the UK of £142 per month. This includes all reasonable costs your can expect through its life. In addition to this, the puppy checklist items can cost £420. This is on top of the cost of the dog which can be a further £750-£3000.

So adding the £20448 to an average £2000 puppy you end up around £22500 or £156 per month over the the 12 years

Summary table below showing how we calculated this. All based upon our real life experience.  Of course these figures are hugely variable depending on the type of food and you can spend a lot more if you have lots of trips to the vet, use a professional groomer etc but are a pretty accurate guide.

Typical Average Monthly Cost £ (30kg Retriever)

Total Monthly Cost

(or £1704 per year!

Retriever Puppy Checklist - With Costs £

Here is a breakdown of typical items and cost that you will need to be ready for your retriever puppy.

Total Checklist Cost


Cost Of The Puppy Itself

The cost of a retriever puppy varies greatly. For a Labrador retriever you can pay £750 to £2500 in the UK, depending on breeder. Golden Retrievers tend to be more expensive at between £1200 and £3000. 

Don't forget the cost of Spay or to Neuter

If you are getting a new puppy and don’t want a litter of puppies then the cost of sterilisation will be around £200 for a male dog or £350 for a female. Our 12 month old female has just been spayed and we opted for the less invasive keyhole procedure. This is supposed to do less damage and have a faster healing process. This was £550 (as of June 2023) Prices have risen sharply recently, of course we have inflation but I have read that many Vet practices have been bought out by venture capital firms and they are ramping up prices to get a good return. 

Below you can see a graph as of March 2022 for the UK showing how much you can expect your average insurance premium to be per month as your dog gets older. Quite scary once over 10 years old. If you add all this up for the average Golden Retriever lifespan of  12 years you get to about £5856! or £40 per month

Source: Nimblefins.co.uk

Alternatively - Adopt/Rehome

There are so many dogs that need re-homing. Too many people buy a dog and are not able to dedicate the time and effort or have a change in circumstance which means they have to give it up. Please do not make this mistake.

By re-homing a dog you will be making a massive positive impact. It will also save you a lot of money. Typically a re-homed puppy or adult dog will come fully vaccinated and may even be neutered and include a starter pack such as the ones from Battersea. Typical cost £175 or £250 for a puppy.

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