Labradoodle cost starts in the low hundred dollars for a rescue dog, and reaches up to $3,000 for a puppy from a breeder with health tested parents.
But their upfront purchase price is only a small fraction of lifetime Labradoodle costs.
Food, toys, veterinary care, grooming, and day care or holiday boarding all add up too.
So let’s take a closer look at what you should expect to pay for Labradoodle puppy care, on top of their initial price.
Of all the many “-oodle” mixes bred today, the Labradoodle was the first, and remains one of the most popular.
This fluffy, outgoing mixed breed tends to be loving, playful, and enthusiastic when it comes to just about everything.
First bred in Australia in an attempt to create a hypoallergenic guide dog, the Labradoodle can now be found in homes across the world. So if you’re thinking about welcoming this popular Labrador cross into your family, you’re not the only one!
But before you jump into researching breeders or looking for Doodles to adopt, it’s important to pause and consider: what does it actually cost to own a Labradoodle?
In this article we’ll take a good look at the financial aspect of Labradoodle ownership, from upfront costs to lifelong care.
The Cost of Owning A Labradoodle
When you’re budgeting for any new dog, you’ll have to think about more than just the purchase price or adoption fee.
This will actually be the smallest price you’ll need to pay over the course of your dog’s lifetime!
From supplies to food and basic healthcare costs, the expenses of owning a dog, especially a large dog like a Labradoodle, can add up fast.
Many estimates put the cost per year of dog ownership in the $1,500 to $2,000 range, or even higher.
The first year of owning your Labradoodle will be the most expensive. This is both due to the initial purchase, as well as the supplies that you’ll use throughout your dog’s life.
The Cost Of Buying A Labradoodle
So, you’ve thought long and hard and decided that a Labradoodle is the right dog for you.
How much exactly is that puppy in the window anyway?
It depends on where you’re looking.
How Much Is A Labradoodle From A Breeder?
Labradoodles from breeders can go for anywhere from about $500 to an impressive $3,000. So, why the dramatic price difference?
Labradoodles are in high demand right now, and their popularity comes with an increased price tag.
And while more expensive doesn’t always translate to a healthier puppy, the truth is that a good breeder spends a great deal of money on their dogs.
In fact, most responsible breeders don’t expect to make any real profit off of dog breeding. Routine and emergency vet care, food, and supplies can add up fast.
Health testing is another important expense that comes with being a responsible breeder.
For Labradoodles, available health tests include OFA hip and elbow screenings, CERF eye exams, OFA Cardiac heart screenings, and von Willebrand Type 1 screenings.
When you’re looking for a Labradoodle breeder, be sure that they’ve done these important health screenings on their breeding stock.
It’s worth mentioning that you can also expect a Labradoodle puppy from a responsible breeder to be well-socialized. This will be extremely helpful when it comes to teaching your new puppy how to interact with the world.
Conversely, an irresponsible or “backyard” breeder may breed only for looks and to capitalize on a trend, not for healthy puppies with sound temperaments. They may not socialize their puppies, and are unlikely to have screened their dogs for any hereditary conditions.
A puppy from a backyard breeder can cost less upfront, but will be more likely to have health and temperament issues later down the line.
How Much is A Labradoodle From A Rescue?
Adopting a rescue Labradoodle costs anywhere from about $50 to $500, depending on the individual organization.
Remember that the adoption fee usually includes some basics, like routine vet care, vaccinations, and microchipping.
And of course, your adoption fee also helps the rescue offset their own costs, and take in more dogs who need homes.
Breed-specific rescues usually will take in dogs of all ages, but you may have to put your name on a waiting list if Labradoodles aren’t common in your area. Especially if you want a puppy.
Adopting an Adult Dog
Adopting an adult Labradoodle is worth considering, however. With an adult dog, there won’t be any surprises as far as how big the dog will get or what sort of personality they’ll develop when fully grown.
Many adult Labradoodles also already know some basic obedience, and won’t need to be taught how to properly behave in your home. So you might save a bit of money on replacing chewed up shoes and furniture!
Unfortunately, some rescue dogs do come with baggage. It’s a good idea to be prepared to pay for training classes, and even one to one behavioral advice, just as you might with a new puppy.
How Much Does A Labradoodle Crate Cost?
Whether you adopt an adult Labradoodle or buy a brand new puppy, crate training can make both of your lives a whole lot easier as your Doodle adjusts to her new life with you.
Ideally, you’ll want to get a crate big enough to use throughout your dog’s lifetime. But you also don’t want the crate to be so big that the puppy feels comfortable eliminating in it. This can make housebreaking more difficult.
One solution for this is to get a larger crate with a divider panel, so you can gradually increase the space you allow your Labradoodle as she grows.
A medium- to large- sized metal crate with a divider panel usually costs between $45 and $100.
How Much Do Labradoodle Toys Cost?
Labradoodles are known for their boisterous nature, and most of them love playing with toys!
But toys aren’t just a fun extra. They are a necessity to prevent your dog from getting bored and destructive. So how much does entertaining a Labradoodle cost?
Puppies especially will need a good variety of toys to keep them busy, from hard rubber chews to plush squeaky toys.
Depending on your dog’s needs, you can expect to spend anywhere from $35 to $200 per year on toys.
How Much Does Labradoodle Food Cost?
Labradoodles can be big dogs, and that means a bigger price tag when it comes to buying food!
According to one study, dog owners spend an average of $435 per year on dog food.
And a growing Labradoodle puppy needs plenty of high quality food to really thrive and grow up healthy.
Our guide to feeding your Labradoodle puppy can help you get an idea of how much food you’ll need to budget for.
Other Labradoodle Expenses
Food, toys, and a crate are far from the only things you’ll need to include in your budget. Some of the other expenses that will come up throughout your Labradoodle’s life include:
- Collar, leash, and harness
- Dog tags
- Dog bed
- Grooming (both professional, and supplies for use at home)
- Veterinary care
- Flea and tick products
- Heartworm preventative
- Dog sitter or boarding kennel fees
You should also take into account the cost of dog training classes near you, and have an emergency fund available for any unexpected vet visits. Pet insurance can be a great help in covering emergency vet fees, so that’s yet another expense to consider!
The bottom line
Owning a dog isn’t cheap, and with its size and grooming requirements, the Labradoodle cost can be more than some other breeds. Be prepared ahead of time to budget for your new Doodle’s needs.
How Much Does Your Labradoodle Cost You?
Do you have a Labradoodle, or are you considering bringing one into your family? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!
References and Resources
- “About Labradoodles,” Australian Labradoodle Club of America, accessed 2019.
- “How Much Does a Dog Cost?”, topdeblogs.com, accessed 2019.
- Oliver, J. A. C., et al, “Survey of ophthalmic abnormalities in the labradoodle in the UK,” The Veterinary Record, January 2012.
- Henderson, S., “Spending on pets: “Tails” from the Consumer Expenditure Survey,” Beyond the Numbers, US Department of Labor Statistics, May 2013.
- Shaughney, M., “The Cost of Puppy’s First Year”. AKC Pet Insurance, December 2018.