The Real Cost of Owning A Labradoodle – Can You Afford It?

Dogs have been friends with humanity for tens of thousands of years. In the early days, the relationship was mutually beneficial. The dogs got a safer life with plenty of scraps to eat in exchange for keeping predators away from our homes.

Today it’s much more of a one-way street. Americans spend more than sixty billion dollars a year on their furry friends without getting any financial return. According to one survey, 98% of dog owners significantly underestimated the lifetime cost of their pet. The majority thought it would be less than $6,500, and twelve percent expected to pay less than $650 for the pet’s entire life. I hope these people know that animals do need food, right?

Are you thinking about adopting a Labradoodle? You might be wondering how much does it cost to own a Labradoodle. In this article, we will take a closer look at the actual lifetime cost of owning a Labradoodle so that you are well equipped to make the right choice for you and your circumstances when you decide to buy or adopt a labradoodle.

So how much does it cost to own a Labradoodle?

The ASPCA estimates that the average lifetime cost is around fifteen thousand for dogs that don’t even include property damage or boarding.

A more extensive study in the UK put the numbers even higher.

That may sound surprising, but it makes sense once you start itemizing.

Initial Investment

The cost of a Labradoodle really will vary depending on where you get your Labradoodle puppy and what type of Labradoodle you get.

A labradoodle from a reputable breeder can cost anywhere from $900 to even $4000 or more. It all depends on the breeder’s reputation and how much socialization they’re doing before the puppy going home, and of course, whether they’re doing some potty-training work with your puppy. That’s why the price varies widely from breeder to breeder for the same type of Labradoodle.

Keep in mind that there are different types of Labradoodles as well, and other varieties will either cost more or less. An F1 generation Labradoodle is bred from a Standard Poodle and a Labrador. It is the most expensive type of Labradoodle you can get. Then there are other generations such as F1B, F2, and so on.

Now that we’ve established that getting the Labradoodle can cost you anywhere from nine hundred to four thousand dollars, keep in mind that this isn’t going to be your only expense. In fact, getting the Labradoodle is just a tiny percentage of what it will cost over its lifetime.

Costs (The First Year)

The first-year cost of pet ownership, which also tends to be the most expensive year, can easily exceed over $1,000. Depending on whether or not you’ve had previous pets, this first year could go up dramatically. It is because of the various one-time expenses that one gets when you first get pet things like crates and collars and leashes for your pup, and the list keeps going on and on.

Upfront Costs

  • Bed/kennel: $100-$200
  • Car restraint: $30 upwards
  • Collar, leash, or harness: $40-$100
  • Desexing: $200-$500 (depending on age, gender, and size)
  • Flea and worming treatments, and heartworm prevention: $120-$300
  • Food: $800 each year (depending on the quality)
  • Grooming: $70-$90 (depending on frequency and size)
  • Microchipping: $60-$80
  • Name tag: $6-20
  • Puppy vaccinations: $170-$250
  • Puppy training: $170 (depending on the breeder)
  • Toys and treats: $50 upwards

*Please note that the figures above are only an indication of what it may cost for you to own a dog.

Ongoing Costs

Take the average owner of a mid-sized Labradoodle; after the initial costs of adoptions, neutering, and purchases like crates and bowls, you can expect outlays for food, medical bills, grooming, toys, and treats that can exceed well over 1500 dollars each year.

That’s just an annual cost. If the dog lives an average of twelve years, that’s a lifetime cost of about eighteen thousand dollars, which doesn’t even include any money for emergency medical visits.

Most people considering a new pet probably don’t think of it as expensive as a new car or a down payment on a house.

Let’s break down the lifetime costs to take care of a Labradoodle.


You might think that you can buy a big bag of dog food from Costco for $40, and it will last you months. But when you look deeper, you’re going to realize that a lot of Costco dog food or just general kibble isn’t very nutritious for your doodle. Once you find this out, you’re going to want to feed them better food which will cost a lot more.

For my two Labradoodles, I spent about $200-$300 a month on food, and they’re both about twenty to twenty-five pounds. So if you’re getting a Standard Labradoodle, you can imagine how much you will be spending on food if you want to buy good quality food.

Depending on your Labradoodle’s size and energy level, the quality of the ingredients, and the pup’s dietary needs, a year’s supply of dog food and treats can cost anywhere from $350-$1000+.


Dog toys are essential for your dog’s mental stimulation and exercise. They will also keep your pup entertained. To stop your puppy from becoming bored and making his or her fun at your expense, pick up a variety of toys. While some of us may indulge, you can probably expect to spend about $25-$100 per year on toys.

Veterinary Care and Medications

Another thing to keep in mind is your initial vet visits to check if your puppy needs any preventative treatments or medications and make sure they’re up to date on their vaccinations.

It may cost between $50 and $300 for an initial check-up, depending on which veterinarian you choose. Here in Denver, it costs about $65 only to see the vet, and it can go up from there when you add other things like shots, spaying, neutering, all of that.

Regular check-ups are essential to keeping your dog healthy. Routine Veterinary Care typically averages about $200-$450 per year for a healthy dog, including annual vaccination, flea, and worming treatments. The lab work can cost an additional $100-$300.


Labradoodles’ coats require regular grooming. Grooming also involves proper trimming and cutting their hair besides bathing, trimming nails, and cleaning their teeth. A good haircut helps your Labradoodle look fantastic and feel its best. To keep your doodle’s coat mats free, you will need to give it a trim or a haircut.

Especially in the summer, when it is boiling, and your dog does a lot of outdoor activities trimming its coat will keep him stay cool, clean, and comfortable.

So, shampoos, haircuts, and mani-pedis are essential to keeping your puppy healthy and happy. You can expect to pay between $45-$75 to have your Labradoodle professionally groomed, depending on what you’re having done. However, some groomers may charge over $100. The complete clip and trim will cost more if you’re having your dog shampooed and brushed.


The next thing you want to keep in mind is to enroll your pup in some puppy class or basic obedience training. It is one that many people skip, but puppy socialization is super important, and the puppy class is going to help you get off on the right foot.

Training is an optional cost. So, I encourage you to admit your puppy to a socialization class or pay for training if you are not going to do it yourself. Puppy socialization classes generally range from $150-$300, but once again, that’ll depend on where you are and what those businesses offer.

Professional training can be worth the cost if you’ve never owned a dog.

Dog walking

If you work a full-time job, you will have to invest in a dog walker. Once again, I can’t give you an exact price on how much this will cost you. I know for me when I was working full time, I had a neighbor who would let out the dogs, and I gave him $5 for a walk, which was super cheap! But in general, if you’re using a professional dog walker, it’ll cost you about $20-$25 for a half an hour walk.

Boarding and Sitters

Beyond food and medical, pet sitting kennel services for those that travel can double or even triple your yearly pet costs. For me, it was costly to look at room and board, especially since I wanted something nice that my dogs were going to enjoy. I didn’t want it to feel like doggie Jail every time I left them.

So, you are looking at spending about $500 a year on dog sitting and boarding.

Emergency and other

No one can predict the future. As a good dog owner, you should do your best to prepare for unexpected life’s surprises. Emergencies, chronic illnesses, disasters, and other unplanned expenses can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year.

The cost of an emergency vet hospital visit can start around $500-$1000 and go well beyond $2000-$5000. Advanced surgery is anywhere from $2000-$5000 or more. You could be looking at paying $200-$500 per day if your sick puppy needs to stay in the ICU.

So, you may also want to put some money aside every month for unexpected vet bills. I like to include this because I recently had to pay a pretty big vet bill of $600 for my dog Waffles to get her tooth extracted. She chipped her tooth, and luckily, I had money put away. But for those who might not know or have money put away would have to wait, and it would end up costing them more.

Saving Tips

You can still be cost-conscious. You can save hundreds of dollars right off the bat by adopting a Labradoodle rather than buying one from a pet store or a breeder. Not only are you helping alleviate the widespread problem of animal homelessness, but shelter dogs tend to have fewer health problems.

Some people purchase pet health insurance to cut down on medical costs, but most plans will not save you money on routine vet bills, just rare procedures like surgery.

My partner and I prefer to keep an emergency fund aside for any unexpected medical costs. That way, we don’t have to choose between treatment and staying out of debt.


None of this is to say that you should feel bad about spending money on your doodle.

Many studies have found a relationship between pet ownership and improved mental and physical well-being. People who own a dog tend to make fewer visits to the doctor and have lower rates of depression. Children who grow up with animals in the house tend to have stronger immune systems making them less susceptible to viruses and allergies. Seniors who care for pets tend to live longer than those who don’t.

Our pets make us happy, and happiness is a good reason to spend money. However, you must be honest with yourself about what kind of lifestyle you want for both you and your family before bringing a puppy into the home. It goes for even things as passive as goldfish. Be very cautious that you’re getting something that you actually can and want to care for over the long run.

If you have a Labradoodle, I would love to hear how much you spend on your dog approximately per year. Please let me know in the comments section below.