Dog Shih Tzu Price – What to Expect




The loyal and loving Shih Tzu is a perfect lapdog for singles, families with kids, and even senior citizens. This little dog measures about 9-10 inches at the shoulders and weighs between 9-16 lb. With a lifespan of 15-18 years, it will honor its owners with loyalty and companionship for years to come.

Are you looking to buy or adopt this adorable dog? Want to know how to budget for a Shih Tzu? Then read on, we have all the numbers for you.

Shih Tzu Dog Price – How Much Does a Shih Tzu Dog Cost?

Breeders charge between $500 and $2500 for Shih Tzu puppies. The national average Shih Tzu puppy price is $800, but purebred show-quality Shih Tzu puppies could cost you nearly $8000, depending on their bloodline or lineage.

If you are wondering whether Shih Tzu dogs are expensive to keep, then the answer is yes. 

This high-maintenance dog breed could require you to set aside a budget of almost $165 to $350 a month. The first-year cost of Shih Tzu ownership comes to approximately $2750 and after the first year, you can expect to pay almost $1180 per year for your pet. Since the Shih Tzu’s lifespan is almost 10-18 years, expect to spend between $12,000 and $22,000 on this cute dog.

Shih Tzu Puppy – Initial Costs

Shih Tzu Puppy Price

Every Shih Tzu breeder will price his/her Shih Tzus differently but, in general, the more you pay, the better quality puppy you can expect.

As mentioned earlier, the cost of a Shih Tzu puppy could range from $500 to $2500 with the national average being $800. You can always save money by considering Shih Tzu adoption. Rescue homes won’t charge more than $300 -$500 for adult Shih Tzus. You might also get a calm, quiet dog that is already de-sexed, dewormed, vaccinated, and even house-trained.

Price of Basic Equipment

Among the initial costs of Shih Tzu ownership, you need to consider the cost of basic supplies. These are very important to make your Shih Tzu more comfortable in its first few days in your home:

  • Crate – Crate training and potty training should go hand in hand. A basic crate (wire or plastic) can cost between $35 and $200.
  • Liners/beds – Small dog beds for Shih Tzus can range from $30 to $300 depending on the style, type, and quality.
  • Anti-skid/tip-resistant sturdy food and water bowls – You can choose from food-grade plastic bowls, stainless steel, or ceramic bowls. Expect to pay between $20 and $45 for the same.
  • Grooming tools – This is a breed that needs regular grooming. You will need a set of brushes, hair and nail clippers, shampoos, etc. The basic dog grooming set can cost between $30 and $75.
  • Leash, collar, harness, ID tags – These should not cost more than $20-$40.

Shih Tzu Dog Training Cost

There are different types and modes of dog training and they all cost differently. To help you get an estimate of how much you could spend on training your Shih Tzu, consider the following key points:

  • The national average dog training cost is $30 to $50 per class
  • The cost of private training can range from $100 to $120 per session
  • Boot camp dog training can cost between $500 and $1250 per week.
  • Service dog training can cost $120 per session. 

These prices will vary based on the type of training and your location. You can always choose to train your dog at home using online tips, dog training books, or free training videos. This will cost between $0 and $30.

Shih Tzu Dog Medical Expenses

Vet bills or medical expenses for your Shih Tzu will vary based on the city you live in, the veterinary practice, and also the services provided. To help you get an idea here are some estimates:

  • Routine vet check-up – $50 to $250
  • Vaccinations – $15 to $35 per shot
  • Spay/neuter – $100 to $500
  • Bloodwork – $75 to $200
  • Flea-tick prevention is $50 for three month supply
  • Deworming – $50-$150 depending on the type of parasite
  • Heartworm medication/testing – $35 to $75 for testing and $400 to $1000 for treating.
  • Allergy testing – $150 to $300
  • Dental cleaning – up to $400
  • Emergency (without surgery) – $2000 to $3500
  • Emergency (needing surgery) – $3000-$5000

Shih Tzus are prone to dental issues, collapsed trachea, joint and skin issues, elongated palate, and stenotic nares. These can cost thousands of dollars to treat.

Pet insurance can cover some or all of these costs. Expect to spend between $25 and $55 a month on pet insurance to cover most of your Shih Tzu medical expenses.

Dog Food Price for Shih Tzu Dogs

It can typically cost between $20 and $65 to feed your small dog each month. This price depends on the type of food you feed, your dog’s age, and also its activity levels. Here are some price estimates for you to budget:

  • A bag of dry dog food or kibble costs an average of $49.50 (for all dog breed sizes and formulations). The cheapest dog food costs $5 per bag while the most expensive dog food bag is around $120.
  • Treats are estimated between $10 and $50 a month
  • Veterinary diets, special therapeutic diets, or prescription dog food for Shih Tzus with allergies can cost more than $100 a month.

It is estimated that Shih Tzu owners spend anywhere between $250 and $700 a year on dog food and treats.

Other Costs of Owning a Shih Tzu


Shih Tzus need extensive grooming including trips to a professional groomer to maintain that gorgeous coat. If you can learn how to groom a Shih Tzu at home, you could save money. Trips to the professional groomer can cost between $35 to $200 per visit depending on the groomer, your city, and the services provided.

Trave Care/Kennel Boarding

If you vacation or travel for work, you’d need to board your Shih Tzu at a pet hostel. Most charge between $30 and $50 a night. Factor in an additional expense of $700 per year on pet boarding alone (if you are away for two weeks). You can always save money by finding a friend who can take care of your fur baby.

Dog Walker

Many dog owners spend nearly $3000 a year on dog walking alone! After all, dog walkers charge between $10-$30 per short walk. If you hire a dog walker 5 times a week averaging $10 per walk, you’d spend almost $250 a week on dog walking services alone.

Summary – How Much is Dog Shih Tzu Price?

As can be seen, keeping a Shih Tzu can be quite expensive. You’d spend between $500 and $2500 on a purebred Shih Tzu puppy from a reputed breeder or choose to adopt an adult dog for around $500. 

The first-year cost of owning this lovely dog can come to $2750. The annual expenses of Shih Tzu ownership are almost $1180 per year and that is the lower estimate. These costs can increase to almost $5000 if there are unexpected or unforeseen vet costs. 

Over your Shih Tzu’s lifetime (15-18 years), expect to spend between $18,000 and $22,000 on this cute dog breed.

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