For a very long time, Labrador Retrievers have topped yearly popularity rankings by the American Kennel Club. With their solid build, beautiful coats, high intelligence, and friendly personalities, it is clear that they have earned that top spot. The best part is that they are not very difficult to come by and are therefore quite affordable.
The price of a Labrador Retriever can vary from $300 to $2,000. People like them because they are obedient and loyal. They are also one of the most popular types of dogs in the USA, so you might be able to find one from a rescue for free or for a very low price. Monthly maintenance costs for a Labrador Retriever usually range from $100 to $200.
In the sections below, we will take a closer look at all the expenses you may have to factor in owning a Labrador Retriever. But first, let’s see what it is about this dog breed that makes it worth investing in.
How Much Does A Lab Cost Per Year?
Buying a Labrador Retriever is relatively cheap considering just how popular these dogs are.
It could cost you $300 to $1,000 if you decide to go with a professional breeder.
However, it is also very easy to find one for much less or even for free through dog adoption. It could be from a rescue shelter or individuals whose doggies just got lab litters.
The best part is that they also happen to be quite easy and affordable to maintain. On average, it costs about $1,060 per year for everything including food, vet visits, training, and other expenses.
Here are some of the reasons why it is so affordable to buy and maintain a Labrador Retriever.
Easy To Find
Labradors are the most popular dogs not only due to their demand but also in terms of registered numbers. The best part is that their popularity is almost uniform all over the country. This makes them very easy to find.
With that level of availability to match the demand, the prices are usually hard to hike making the desirable pooch super affordable.
Easy To Train
Labradors are also quite easy to train.
This contributes greatly both to their popularity and to how little you have to invest in the first year in terms of training costs for the dog.
Finally, their general affordability can be traced back to the fact that it is a relatively low-maintenance dog. This is in terms of everything from health needs to entertainment and training. This makes Labrador Retrievers great first pets or even family pets for homes with children.
Do Labradors Smell?
Labradors actually do smell. They carry a natural musk known as the Labrador stink.
This has a lot to do with both natural processes and grooming mistakes. To better prepare you to deal with the situation, here are some of the main causes of nasty odors in Labradors.
Natural Musk From Skin Oils
All dogs produce oils from their skin to keep the skin and the fur supple and healthy. Labradors produce a very high amount of these oils. They also tend to be tainted with a natural musk that previously helped these hunting dogs keep track of each other when out in packs.
Without proper hygiene including regular cleaning and keeping their beds and blankets clean, odors will inevitably start to form.
Labradors have really big appetites and they tend to eat very fast. Among many other consequences, this habit causes bloating and a lot of flatulence as a result. This could also be another reason why you find the lovable little pooches a little more stinky than you are comfortable with.
Dental problems are a big deal with Labradors. The most common is tartar formation after long term buildup of plaque on their large teeth. This is often the source of bad breath that you will pick up on. It could also lead to complications like gum infections and tooth decay which also cause odors.
Anal Gland Disease
Labradors are not affected by anal gland inflammation more than other breeds but it is still quite significant when it comes to culprits responsible for Labrador stink.
It is often as a result of trauma around the anal opening which results in blockage and inflammation of the anal glands. It could also be spontaneous and unprovoked.
Whatever the case, urgent expressing of the glands will reduce the dog’s discomfort and get rid of the stink.
How To Take Care Of Labrador Retrievers?
One of the most important jobs you have if you get the privilege of raising one of these beauties is to give them a happy and loving home. To help you out, here is all that you need to know before getting a Labrador from what they eat to how to keep them happy. That way, whether it is your first time as a dog owner or just as a Labrador parent then you know where to start with their general care.
Invest In High Quality Dog Food
The best diet for a Labrador is one that is made with high quality ingredients and proportioned to offer a healthy balance of all nutrients. With this definition in mind, we would recommend you subscribe to the Pet Plate meal program.
They offer a variety of customizable diet plans that will ensure that your Labrador gets the healthiest and tastiest meals based on their specific health needs.
Watch Their Food Portions
In addition to ensuring that your Labrador eats the right thing, you have to feed them the right amount. An adult Labrador Retriever should eat about 2½ to 3½ cups of food every day. This is enough to keep with their very high energy demands without putting them at risk of developing issues like obesity.
Include Multivitamin Supplements
Labradors are easy to take care of due to their relatively healthy nature. However, they are not completely disease-free and may suffer a number of issues including bone and joint diseases. Multivitamin supplements make life a lot easier helping them with both specific health issues and general wellbeing by topping up whatever may be missing from their main diet.
Do Labs Bark A Lot? Temperament Of Labrador Retrievers
There is a good reason why Labrador Retrievers have held the top spot for most popular dog breeds for such a long time. A lot of it has to do with their awesome personalities. Here are some of the traits that make them so incredibly special.
Gentle And Even-Tempered
Labradors may be a little intimidating in their size but they are the most gentle souls you will ever encounter. They are not dangerous and are not known to attack their owners or even strangers. However, early socialization is still very necessary to avoid any nasty incidents.
Labradors are very social dogs. Unless they feel threatened, they will not hesitate to approach strangers. They are also very friendly with other pets both larger and smaller than them.
Intelligent And Obedient
Labradors are some of the most intelligent dogs there are. This makes training labs very easy. In fact, you may not have to spend more than $600 to get a young puppy fully trained if you choose to go the professional route.
If you want to save some cash, you could also do the training yourself. Their intelligence and obedience makes it very easy to do this. We recommend you try the Brain Training for Dogs program in this case for a comprehensive guide for DIY dog training.
Labradors are very affectionate dogs and love to cuddle and generally just hang out with their favorite humans. They actually act just like giant lap dogs and it is the most adorable thing for dog owners who want companionship.
While they are affectionate, Labradors are quite independent and can therefore be easily left alone. Just don’t be gone too long because their love for you with time will tramp their independent nature.
Do Labrador Retrievers Shed? Grooming Tips For Labrador Retrievers
Labradors are double coated which is one of their best features when it comes to aesthetics. Unfortunately, it could require more effort or be tedious when it comes to grooming, as Labradors also has a tendency to shed a lot.
Labrador Retrievers also tend to have seasonal peaks during fall and spring where they shed a lot more. Fortunately, it is nothing that regular brushing will not fix.
Here is more on how to manage the shedding and other grooming needs that your doggy will have.
Brush Your Lab’s Coat 3 To 4 Times A Week
It would cost you about $55 to $130 to get your dog professionally groomed.
However, you can easily do most of the work yourself with the right tools and a good grooming schedule. Brushing in particular helps a lot to prevent excessive shedding and matting. 3 to 4 times a week should do the trick when it comes to managing their thick coats.
Wash The Pooch Once Every 6 To 8 Weeks
The Labrador Stink can be very problematic.
Regular baths are the best way to keep it under control. You should aim to have it done once every 6 to 8 weeks. This is enough time to prevent odor formation while still maintaining enough of a protective film to keep the dog’s coat nice and healthy.
Take Care Of Dental Hygiene
Labradors need a lot of help when it comes to keeping their mouths and teeth clean. Hard chew toys help a lot by mechanically cleaning the teeth and discouraging the buildup of plaque. You could also feed the pooch fresh fruits as treats or add dental additives to their water to deal with the bad breath.
What Is The Most Popular Labrador Color? Solid black is the most popular Labrador Retriever color. It also happens to be one of the most common coat types for the breed. Another very popular option is chocolate brown. However, these Labs are not very easy to come by. You could also go for the tan or blonde options which are relatively common.
Are Boy Or Girl Labs Better? Male Labrador Retrievers are the best option for dog owners who want an affectionate and loyal companion. However, as they grow older they tend to be more likely to become stubborn and unruly especially if not neutered. Female Labradors on the other hand are more laid back. However, they tend to be more aggressive especially towards suspicious strangers and other pets.
What Are The Best Qualities Of A Labrador Retriever? When it comes to personality, the best qualities of a Labrador Retriever are their intelligence and even temper. This makes them easy to train and to live with. Physically, their solid build and manageable coats are by far their best qualities. This is because they make the breed very easy to maintain.