How Much Does a Shih Tzu Cost? (2024 Updated)

Shih Tzu price how much does a Shih Tzu cost

Understanding the cost of owning a Shih Tzu is crucial before bringing this adorable and very popular breed into your home. From the initial purchase or adoption to upkeep, the expenses can vary significantly.

In the following sections, we will explore these costs in detail, from the price of a Shih Tzu puppy from a breeder to the adoption fees from a shelter. We will also cover the costs of food, grooming, healthcare, and other needs.

By the end of this article, you will have a comprehensive understanding of the expenses associated with owning a Shih Tzu, making you more comfortable in bringing this very popular breed home.

How Much Does a Shih Tzu Puppy Cost?

How much does a Shih Tzu puppy cost

The price of a Shih Tzu puppy from a reputable breeder typically ranges from $1,000 to $3,000, depending on the color, gender, age, breeder’s reputation, puppy lineage, and location. However, Shih Tzu puppies from high-quality lineages could cost more than $3,500.

Tracing its roots back to ancient China, the Shih Tzu breed has undergone various changes in appearance while still maintaining its noble charm. This rich history and distinguished background reflect its price.

However, in your quest for a Shih Tzu puppy, you might stumble upon one with an unusually low price tag. Beware of these offers, as they may be linked to puppy mills.

Puppy mills are notorious for the mass production of dogs with no regard for ethical breeding standards. 

If you buy from such sources, you may own a puppy with potential health and behavioral issues, resulting in increased veterinary expenses. Always prioritize the well-being of the Shih Tzu pup over cost.

How Much Does It Cost to Adopt a Shih Tzu From a Shelter?

Adopting a Shih Tzu from a shelter is typically less costly than from a breeder. Fees vary, but they’re often within the $50 to $500 range, depending on the shelter and the dog’s condition.

The fee often covers initial veterinary care, such as vaccinations, deworming, and spay/neuter procedures. Sometimes, it includes microchipping. 

By choosing to adopt, you not only save money but also provide a loving home for a Shih Tzu in need and give it another chance to live a better life.

First-Time Expenses of Shih Tzu Ownership

First time expenses of Shih Tzu ownership

For new Shih Tzu owners, aside from purchasing the dog itself, it’s crucial to anticipate the first-time expenses related to its overall health, well-being, and comfort.

Here’s a rundown of the initial costs associated with owning a Shih Tzu puppy:

  • Food and Treats: As with any dog, food and treats are a significant maintenance expense. Quality dog food to maintain your Shih Tzu’s ideal weight typically costs between $30 and $80.
  • Bowls: You’ll need sturdy food and water bowls for your Shih Tzu for it to be comfortable during its meal time. Stainless steel or ceramic options are durable and easy to clean. Budget approximately $10 to $30 for these.
  • Toys: Shih Tzus are playful and intelligent dogs. Toys are essential for keeping them mentally stimulated and happy. Allocate $20 to $30 for a good set of chewable toys.
  • Beds: After a day of socializing and play, your Shih Tzu will appreciate a comfortable bed. Expect to spend anywhere from $30 to $200, depending on the quality of the bed.
  • Collars and Leashes: For $15 to $50, you can secure a collar and leash set, which helps keep your dog safe and aids in identification. You can also use this for leash-training your dog.
  • Crates and Carriers: A reliable crate or carrier is crucial to keep your Shih Tzu safe and comfortable during travel. Durable options range from $30 to $200 and should last as your puppy grows into adulthood.
  • Grooming Essentials: Shih Tzus require regular grooming. A home grooming kit, including a brush, comb, tooth brushing kit, clippers, and dog shampoo, will set you back $50 to $150.
  • Initial Vet Visits: Plan for initial vet visits to ensure your Shih Tzu puppy continues to be healthy. As Shih Tzus can be prone to specific health problems, anticipate spending around $100 to $500 for regular check-ups and health tests.
  • Initial Vaccine Shots: Protecting your Shih Tzu puppy from common diseases with initial vaccinations is crucial. Vaccinations generally cost between $50 and $300.
  • Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications: To keep your dog free from worms, fleas, ticks, and mites, preventive medications are necessary. These will cost around $40 to $300.
  • Neutering or Spaying: If you’re not planning to breed your Shih Tzu, consider the health benefits of spaying or neutering. These procedures typically cost between $50 and $500.
  • Microchipping: If your Shih Tzu isn’t already microchipped, you can get this done for about $40 to $60.
  • Dog License: Most states in North America require a dog license. This can aid in retrieval if your dog gets lost. Expect to pay $10 to $20 for a dog license.
  • Other Essentials: Sanitizers, odor neutralizers, poop bags, scoopers, and training pads are all necessary for maintaining a clean and sanitary environment. Budget $20 to $50 for these hygiene materials.

The table below is an easy reference to the discussion on the initial expenses of owning Shih Tzus:

Type of ExpenseCost
Food and Treats$30 – $80
Bowls$10 – $30
Toys$20 – $30
Beds$30 – $200
Collars and Leashes$15 – $50
Crates and Carriers$30 – $200
Grooming Essentials$50 – $150
Initial Vet Visits$100 – $500
Initial Vaccine Shots$50 – $300
Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications$40 – $300
Neutering or Spaying$50 – $500
Microchipping$40 – $60
Dog License$10 – $20
Other Essentials$20 – $50
Total Initial Cost$495 – $2,470

A handy tip for potential Shih Tzu owners is to seek out reputable breeders who include many of these initial items as complimentary with the puppy’s purchase. This approach can significantly cut down your upfront expenses.

Annual Cost of Owning a Shih Tzu 

Annual cost of owning a Shih Tzu

Having familiarized yourself with the initial expenses of owning a Shih Tzu, it’s equally important to know its associated annual costs. This will help you manage your expenditures wisely in the long run.

The upcoming table outlines the average yearly costs associated with Shih Tzu ownership, providing a clear financial picture of what to expect.

Type of ExpenseYearly Estimate
Food and Treats$240 – $800
Routine Veterinary Care$200 – $600
Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications$150 – $400
Vaccinations$100 – $250
Grooming Essentials$100 – $300
Leashes and Collars$20 – $40
Beds and Crates$100 – $400
Toys$25 – $100
Pet Insurance$500 – $600
Other Essentials$30 – $50
Yearly Total$1,465 – $3,540
Average Monthly Cost$122 – $295

Despite appearing somewhat intimidating initially, these cost ranges are actually quite reasonable. Broken down into monthly expenses, the affordability of owning a Shih Tzu becomes more evident.

As both a breeder and a pet owner of Shih Tzus for more than seven years, I can say that the breed is relatively cheap to maintain compared to other smaller breeds. 

Their small size and generally healthy disposition are very easy to manage financially. Grooming and styling its long hair is also something that can be done at home without having to spend a dime. 

Other Potential Expenses to Consider

As you go through your daily routine of taking care of your Shih Tzu, you may encounter unexpected situations where you may need to spend outside of what you budgeted for.

Hence, when owning a Shih Tzu, it’s essential to consider potential expenses beyond the basics. These can include:

  • Professional Training Classes: While Shih Tzus are known for their friendly demeanor and eagerness to please, professional training might be required, especially for behavioral issues. This could cost anywhere from $30 to $50 per group class or up to $100 per hour for private lessons.
  • Travel Expenses: If you frequently travel, you may need to budget for pet sitters or kennels. This could range from $20 to $50 per day. Additionally, if you bring your Shih Tzu with you, you may need to pay for pet fees at hotels or airlines.
  • Medical Emergencies: Unexpected health issues can arise, which can be quite costly. Surgery for common Shih Tzu health issues like eye problems or hip dysplasia could easily cost several thousand dollars. These may reach as much as $1,000 to $5,000.
  • Special Dietary Needs: Some Shih Tzus may have specific dietary requirements due to allergies or other health issues, which could increase the usual cost of food.
  • Professional Grooming Services: Shih Tzus, known for their lush coats, frequently require grooming to keep them looking their best. Depending on your locale and the services included, professional grooming can range between $30 and $60 per visit.

Remember, every Shih Tzu is unique, and costs can vary depending on individual needs and circumstances. However, so long as you have a budget set aside for any possible situation, you don’t have to worry much.

Best Places to Find Shih Tzu Puppies for Sale and Adoption

Places to find Shih Tzu puppies for sale

Now that you’ve grasped the financial aspects of Shih Tzu ownership, the next phase involves identifying reliable sources to adopt or purchase healthy, high-quality puppies.

Regardless of the source, remember to research the breeder’s background and the puppy itself. There’s an ideal Shih Tzu puppy out there for every prospective pet owner, tailored to fit your lifestyle and preferences.

Here are some trusted sources for finding reputable Shih Tzu breeders:

  • AKC Marketplace – This platform features Shih Tzu puppies exclusively from breeders registered with the American Kennel Club. Hence, you are ensured that all the puppies advertised on the site adhere to breed standards and come out of ethical breeding practices.
  • American Shih Tzu Club (ASTC) Breeder Referral List – ASTC is the parent club for Shih Tzus in the United States recognized by the AKC. Breeders in this list primarily strive to uphold the breed’s standards and heritage.
  • Good Dog – This online advertising platform sets high standards for breeders, prioritizing puppy health and behavior. All puppies posted on the site come with extensive information about the puppy and its breeder, aiding your decision-making process.

Alternatively, adopting through animal shelters and rescue organizations is another excellent avenue. Adoption is typically cheaper than buying from a breeder, making it a more affordable choice if you’re on a budget.

Below are some reputable rescue organizations specializing in Shih Tzus:

  • Shih Tzu Rescue, Inc. – This non-profit, foster-based organization specializes in the rescue, rehabilitation, and rehoming of Shih Tzus and other small breeds. Visit their website to learn more about their ongoing rescue efforts, adoption process, and how you can support their mission.
  • Shih Tzus & Furbabies – This rescue is dedicated to rescuing Shih Tzus and other small purebred and mixed-breed dogs. Its goal is to place these dogs in safe, loving, and permanent homes after being rescued and fully vetted. It believes that all dogs deserve the best life possible irrespective of pedigree. 
  • Ohio Fuzzy Pawz Shih Tzu Rescue – This non-profit organization is composed of volunteers committed to saving and providing necessary medical and behavioral care for Shih Tzus that have been surrendered, abandoned, or found as strays. Its adoption fees range between $200 and $500.

Adopting a Shih Tzu not only saves you money but also provides a deserving dog with a loving home.

Money-Saving Tips for Shih Tzu Owners

Owning a Shih Tzu can be a rewarding experience, but the costs can add up. Here are some tips to help you save money while providing the best care for your furry friend:

  • Do your research: Before bringing a Shih Tzu into your home, thoroughly research the breed’s needs. This will help you avoid unnecessary expenses and make informed decisions about their care and maintenance.
  • Go for adoption: Adopting a Shih Tzu from a rescue organization is often cheaper than buying from a breeder. Plus, you’re giving a dog in need a loving home.
  • Regular vet check-ups: Regular visits to the vet can help catch health issues early, saving you from costly treatments in the future.
  • Buy dog essentials in bulk: Buy pet supplies like food, treats, and grooming products in bulk to take advantage of discounts. Some pet stores even provide freebies or additional volumes when buying large quantities of items.
  • Groom your Shih Tzu at Home: Shih Tzus require regular grooming and hairstyling, but salon visits can be expensive. Learning how to groom your Shih Tzu at home will help you save on these costs.

Here is a guide you can follow on how to groom your own Shih Tzu at home:

PetGroooming - Shih Tzu Grooming from start to finish #91

Remember, the goal is not to skimp on your Shih Tzu’s well-being but to make smart, informed decisions that benefit both your wallet and your pet’s health and happiness.

Frequently Asked Questions

Two Shih Tzu puppies celebrate birthday

What Type of Shih Tzu Is More Expensive?

Purebred Shih Tzus, particularly those with pedigree certificates, tend to be more expensive than mixed breeds. This is due to their traceable lineage often involving show dogs or champions. 

Additionally, Shih Tzus with rare coat colors like pure black or blue usually command higher prices. 

Conversely, ‘Imperial’ or ‘Teacup’ Shih Tzus, bred for their small size, can also be pricier. However, these types can be prone to health issues, emphasizing the importance of finding reputable breeders.

What Are Rare Shih Tzu Colors?

Shih Tzus are known for their varied and vibrant coat colors. Among these, pure black and blue are considered the rarest. A Shih Tzu with a completely black coat without any other marking is exceptionally rare.

On the other hand, the blue color in Shih Tzus is not the typical blue but more of a steel grey shade. This color is also unusual and highly sought-after, making blue Shih Tzus a rarity and often pricier.

Is Black Shih Tzu Expensive?

Black Shih Tzus, particularly those with a pure black coat without any other color markings, are considered quite rare. This scarcity often makes them more expensive than other color variations. 

The demand for these unique pups can drive up the price, depending on the breeder and the pedigree of the puppy.

Final Thoughts

Understanding the cost of owning a Shih Tzu is an essential step in becoming a responsible pet parent. 

From purchasing or adopting the puppy to maintaining their health and happiness, these expenses form an integral part of your journey with your furry friend.

While these costs may seem daunting at first, remember that the joy and companionship a Shih Tzu brings far outweigh the financial aspects. With proper budgeting and awareness, you can ensure a happy and healthy pet.

We would love to hear your thoughts, experiences, or questions on the cost of owning a Shih Tzu — so feel free to leave a comment below!

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