18+ Monthly Expenses of Owning a Golden Retriever

Written by Dr. Marcelle Landestoy, DVM

Golden retriever puppy

Golden retrievers are friendly, lovable, and energetic medium-sized dogs.

They make wonderful family pets, but is it expensive to own one?

It’s somewhat expensive to own a Golden Retriever. An adult Golden Retriever’s monthly costs are about $140 if you groom and walk them yourself. For a puppy, the monthly costs are around $165, while a senior dog will cost you about $130 a month.

In this article, I’ll discuss the expenses involved in owning a Golden Retriever so that you can make an informed decision before adopting one.

Food and Supplements

Golden Retrievers are medium-sized dogs with plenty of energy. 

They love eating and are not fussy eaters. You’ll want to feed your Golden Retriever a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and protein. 

Omega-3 and Omega-6 supplements can help prevent inflammation, reduce coat shedding, and give them a glossy coat.

They can sometimes develop allergies to some foods, including wheat, soy, or corn.

Allergies typically manifest as skin problems, so you should always observe your Golden Retriever closely after introducing a new food type.


The amount of food you feed your Golden Retriever pup depends on their weight and age.

As your puppy grows, you’ll need to feed them more, with the daily requirement ranging from 1-3 cups (128-384 grams) of kibble per day, split over three meals.

If you feed your Golden Retriever puppy a high-quality food type, they won’t typically require a food supplement.

ItemRangeAverage Monthly Cost
Dry kibble for puppies$32 to $50$41


Adult Golden Retrievers should eat 3 cups (384 grams) of dry kibble per day, split over three meals.

The dry food helps keep their teeth plaque-free, but you should consider adding 1 tbsp (14.3 grams) of wet food with each meal.

The extra moisture helps prevent gastric dilation, bloat, and volvulus

Since Golden Retrievers have large chests, they are prone to this condition which happens when there’s a build-up of gases in the stomach.

This can cause it to twist painfully, preventing the gases from escaping and cutting off the stomach’s blood circulation.

This is always a medical emergency, but you can help prevent it by feeding your Golden Retriever two to three times a day.

Not exercising your dog close to mealtimes or elevated feeding bowls can help.

The addition of wet food makes feeding an adult Golden Retriever more expensive than feeding a puppy.

ItemRangeAverage Monthly Cost
Dry kibble for adult dogs$30 to $51$41
Wet food$11 to $17$14
Omega supplement$9 to $12$10


As your Golden Retriever ages, they’ll become less physically active and require fewer calories. 

A senior large breed dog food addresses their nutritional requirements as they age and contains fewer calories than regular adult dog food.

Older Goldens also make fewer antioxidants, so incorporating more antioxidants into the diet is vital.

A good quality senior dog food will contain plenty of antioxidants for your aging dog but giving your Golden Retriever an antioxidant supplement could help.

ItemRangeAverage Monthly Cost
Dry kibble for senior dogs$25 to $50$33
Wet food$11 to $17$14
Antioxidant supplement$6 to $25$16
Omega supplement$9 to $12$10

Grooming and Hygiene

Regularly grooming and bathing your Golden Retriever is essential as their fur can quickly become matted and dirty with their thick double coats.

Golden Retrievers are also very active, making them prone to getting mud, small twigs, and other items embedded in their fur.

I’ll discuss the various aspects of Golden Retriever grooming and hygiene below.


Depending on how much time your Golden Retriever spends outdoors and how dirty their fur typically gets, you can bathe them from every week to once every six weeks.

You can bathe your Golden Retriever at home or use a grooming service.

Bathing your Golden Retriever at home can be time-consuming and challenging as you need to rinse the fur before washing it and ensure that it dries thoroughly.

Using a grooming service is more expensive but can be more convenient as groomers use the most effective technique for drying the fur, the most challenging part.

Many groomers also include extras, such as nail clipping and ear cleaning.

ItemRangeAverage Monthly Cost
Dog groomer (monthly)$30 to $90$60
Dog Shampoo (per wash)$2 to $7$4.50
Conditioning product$2.5 to $8$5
Shampoo brush$10 to $15$13
Total$60 or $22.50

Nail Trimming

Since they are an active breed, Golden Retrievers often wear down their nails naturally when walking on hard surfaces.

However, it’s worth checking them regularly to ensure that they’re not too long.

Nails that are too long risk being accidentally torn off and can make it more difficult for your Golden Retriever to walk or run.

If you don’t feel comfortable clipping your fur baby’s nails, you could take them to a groomer or ask your vet to help at your dog’s annual visit.

Nail clipping is often included if your dog already has a grooming appointment.

If you want to clip your dog’s nails yourself, you’ll need a decent-quality pair of nail clippers.

Many dog nail clippers come with nail files to help you care for any rough ends.

ItemRangeAverage Monthly Cost
Nail clippers$8 to $24$0.13 (monthly cost based on a Golden Retriever’s average lifespan of ten years)
Nail clipping at the dog groomer or vet$5 to $20$12.50
Total$12.50 or $0.13

Hair Care and Trimming

Golden Retrievers have thick coats and require daily brushing to keep their coats unmatted and healthy.

They don’t need regular haircuts, but if the fur around their ears, neck, tail, or feet becomes irritatingly long for your fur baby, you can gently cut it back.

If your Golden Retriever needs a fur trim, gently cut the long fur in the affected areas with a pair of scissors.

A dog groomer can help trim their fur, but it may be more cost-effective to have your fur baby washed simultaneously.

ItemRangeAverage Monthly Cost
Fur scissors (one time cost)$10 to $40$0.20 (monthly cost based on a Golden Retriever’s average lifespan of ten years)
Fur trim at the dog groomer$5 to $20$12.50
Total$0.20 or $12.50

Dental Care

Golden Retrievers are more vulnerable to plaque build-up.

Still, you can mitigate this by feeding them dry food, brushing their teeth, or giving them dental chews.

Your grooming service can also brush your fur baby’s teeth.

Still, your vet may need to remove the plaque under a general anesthetic if the build-up is severe.

ItemRangeAverage Monthly Cost
Dental chews$22 to $35$28.50
Dog toothbrush$13 to $25$19
Teeth brushing by the dog grooming service$5 to $20$12.50
Total$12.50 or $19 or $28.50

Special Care

Golden Retrievers love water. If you let them off the leash, they’ll actively seek out a water body in which they can splash around and swim.

You may need to keep a dry towel in the car or at home to help dry out your Golden Retriever’s fur after a water escapade.

ItemRangeAverage Monthly Cost
Absorbent bath towel$10 to $15$0.10 (monthly cost based on a Golden Retriever’s average lifespan of ten years)

Veterinary Care

Like all dogs, Golden Retrievers should see their vet annually for a health check-up.

They are prone to the following conditions:

  • Ichthyosis: This is a hereditary skin condition resulting in dandruff and susceptibility to skin infections.
  • Joint problems: Golden Retrievers often develop joint problems in the hips or elbows. A typical joint problem is hip dysplasia, which presents as malformation, inflammation, increased wear and tear, and osteoarthritis.
  • Cancer: Golden Retrievers are more at risk of developing Hemangiosarcoma (blood cell cancer) and lymphosarcoma (white blood cell cancer).
  • Heart problems: Golden Retrievers can sometimes develop heart problems, including subaortic stenosis and narrowing of the aorta. Regular veterinary check-ups are essential as they can detect heart conditions early.
  • Obesity: Golden retrievers will never say no to a snack or more food and can quickly develop obesity if you’re not careful.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy: This is a common condition in Golden Retrievers and typically occurs from the age of six.

Check-ups and Vaccines

I’ll discuss how often a Golden Retriever needs to see the vet at the various life stages below. 


Your Golden Retriever puppy should receive a series of vaccinations, heartworm prevention, and be spayed or neutered.

ItemRangeAverage Monthly Cost
Rabies vaccine$15 to $20$1.45
Heartworm prevention$24 to $132$6.5
Routine vaccinations for puppies$100 to $350 (Parvovirus, hepatitis, and parainfluenza)$18.75
Spaying or neutering$35 to $500$268*
Distemper vaccination$40 to $60$50
Vet check-up$45 to $55$4.16
  • One time procedure


Adult Golden Retrievers require an annual physical examination plus a Rabies vaccination.

ItemRangeAverage Monthly Cost
Annual veterinary check-up$45 to $55$4.16
Rabies vaccine$15 to $20$1.45


Your senior Golden Retriever should see the vet twice a year to detect any geriatric conditions early.

Item RangeAverage Monthly Cost
Twice yearly veterinary check-up$90 to $110$8.33
Rabies vaccine$15 to $20$1.46


Having an insurance policy for your Golden Retriever is an excellent idea.

It will cover treatment for accidents and any diseases your fur baby develops.

They are vulnerable to developing several health conditions. Their curious personalities can land them at the vet if they swallow something they shouldn’t.

Many insurance policies will cover your dog for pre-existing conditions and reimburse you between 70% and 90% of your vet bills.

It’s worth reading the policy carefully, as those offering low premiums often have high deductibles.

ItemRangeAverage Monthly Cost
Insurance for an adult Golden Retriever$5 to $13$8

Pet Supplies

Golden Retrievers aren’t high-maintenance dogs, but there are a few essential items they’ll need for a happy and healthy life.


As fun-loving, curious, and playful dogs, Golden Retrievers are most content when playing with their pet parents or exploring a new toy.

This can be an expensive chew toy or a stick from your backyard. It doesn’t matter, as your Golden Retriever won’t mind.

Here are some essential items for any Golden Retriever:

ItemRangeAverage Monthly Cost
Chew Toys$1 to $25$13
Bed$15 to $110$1*
Feeding Dishes$15 to $27$0.18**
Collar$6 to $20$0.22*
ID tag$4 to $10$0.06**
Lead$13 to $24$0.30**

* Based on a lifespan of ten years and one replacement

** Monthly cost based on a lifespan of ten years


Some Golden Retriever parents like to provide a water fountain for their fur babies to encourage them to drink more water and prevent constipation.

Others feel that their fur babies feel more secure when sleeping in a crate.

ItemRangeAverage Monthly Cost
Water fountain$53 to $66$0.50*
Crate$100 to $220$1.33*

*Monthly cost based on a lifespan of ten years

Additional Costs

Below are the additional costs involved in owning a Golden Retriever:

Dog Walker

Golden Retrievers thrive on activity, and if you don’t have time to take your fur baby out on a walk each day, a dog walker can provide them with the exercise they need.

Here’s what a dog walker costs:

ItemRangeAverage Monthly Cost
Dog walking$20 to $30 per session$500 (based on weekdays only)

Daycare or Dog Sitting

As people-loving and gentle dogs, Golden Retrievers don’t like to be left alone and can develop separation anxiety.

If you leave your home for several hours each day, you might consider a doggy daycare or pay someone to play with them.

ItemRangeAverage Monthly Cost
Daycare or dog sitting services$20 to $40 per day$600 (based on weekdays only)

Dog Hotel

When going away on vacation, your Golden Retriever will likely feel lonely, even if you have someone coming in, feeding them, and spending time with them each day.

This is what a dog hotel will cost you:

ItemRangeAverage Monthly Cost
Dog hotel accommodation$30 to $50 per night$1200


Golden Retrievers love obedience training and, as intelligent dogs, will learn new concepts and tricks quickly.

Here’s what training will cost you:

ItemRangeAverage Monthly Cost
Dog training$20 to $120 per session$280 (based on a weekly session)


A microchip contains your contact details if your Golden Retriever goes missing. Your vet can insert one between your fur baby’s shoulder blades.

This is what getting a microchip will cost:

ItemRangeAverage Monthly Cost
Microchip insertion$25 to $60$43

Monthly Budget of Owning a This Breed

Owning a Golden Retriever is incredibly rewarding, but you need to have a monthly budget to ensure that you can afford everything.

Below is a helpful table outlining all the expenses involved in being a Golden Retriever fur parent:

ItemRangeAverage Monthly Cost
Puppy food$32 to $50$41
Adult dog food$30 to $51$41
Senior dog food$25 to $50$33
Wet food$11 to $17$14
Omega supplement$9 to $12$10
Antioxidant supplement$6 to $25$16
Dog grooming services$30 to $90$60
Grooming supplies$14.50 to $30$22.50
Nail trimming at the dog groomer$5 to $20$12.50
Nail clippers$8 to $24$0.13
Fur scissors$10 to $40$0.20
Fur trim at the dog groomer$5 to $20$12.50
Dental chews$22 to $35$28.50
Dog toothbrush$13 to $25$19
Teeth brushing by the dog grooming service$5 to $20$12.50
Absorbent bath towel$10 to $15$0.10
Rabies vaccine$15 to $20$1.45
Heartworm prevention$24 to $132$6.50
Routine vaccinations for puppies$100 to $350 (Parvovirus, hepatitis, and parainfluenza)$18.75
Spaying or neutering$35 to $500$22.33
Distemper vaccination$40 to $60$4.16
Annual vet check-up for puppies and adult dogs$45 to $55$4.2
Twice yearly veterinary check-up for senior dogs$90 to $110$8.33
Insurance for an adult Golden Retriever$5 to $13$8
Necessary pet supplies (such as beds or feeding bowls)$1.23
Optional items (crate and water fountain)$1.83
Dog walking$20 to $30 per session$500
Daycare or dog sitting services$20 to $40 per day$600
Dog hotel accommodation$30 to $50 per night$1200
Dog training$20 to $120 per session$280 (based on a weekly session)
Microchip insertion$25 to $60$3.50
Total monthly cost for adult dogs based on home grooming, and excluding dog walking, training or accommodation.$140
Total monthly cost for puppies based on home grooming, excluding dog walking, training, or accommodation.$165
Total monthly cost for senior dogs based on home grooming, excluding dog walking, training, or accommodation.$138


  • Canine Arthritis: How much Omega 3 fatty acids should I give my dog?
  • ACVS: Gastric Dilation-Volvulus
  • Veterinarians: What You Need To Know About Antioxidants For Dogs
  • The Spruce Pets: Progressive Retinal Atrophy in Dogs
  • Animal Friends: How much does a Golden Retriever cost?

Read my post on THE MOST COMMON AILMENTS OF GOLDENS so you can plan in case your pup is affected by any of these.

Veterinary Hospital Director at UCE
Dr. Marcelle is a general veterinarian with a Small Animal Medicine Specialty | Director of the UCE School of Veterinary Medicine | Certified by the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society

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