In the 1990s, there was a great explosion of purposeful crossbreeding between two purebred dog breeds. This helped people get the traits they desired in their dogs with the focus being on the smaller size, higher adorability factor, and of course – minimum shedding.
One such crossbreed that combines the unique and cute characteristics of two very sweet purebred dogs is the Shih-Poo.
The Shih-Poo is a popular hybrid having a toy or standard Poodle and a tiny and cute Shih Tzu as parents. Since it combines the hypoallergenic and superior intelligence of a Poodle with the sweet and loving nature of a Shih Tzu, the resultant Shih-Poo dog is easy to train, extremely smart, and sheds minimally as well. This is why it is in great demand as a companion dog breed all around the world.
Naturally, the higher the demand, the greater the price. If you are wondering how much does a Shih-Poo cost, then this guide is for you.
In it, we will cover everything you need to know about a Shih Poo’s buying and raising costs. We will give you the exact cost estimates for a Shih Poo’s monthly food requirements, training costs, basic supplies, vet or medical costs, and also the costs of raising this adorable dog over a month, a year, and throughout its lifetime.
Just in case you’re in a hurry, here is a quick summary:
Shih-Poo Puppy Price
The Shih Poo has many great qualities that make it a much-in-demand dog breed. It is smart, adorable, and fairly easy to train. It is also low-shedding, and, when bred properly, has very few inherited diseases.
The Shih Poo is also considered one of the best companion dogs today. In the United States, this playful designer dog is considered as one of the best house pets for families with kids. Being low-shedding dogs, they are especially suitable for people with allergies.
All these factors have caused the price of a Shih Poo to sky-rocket in the past few years. In 2016, this cute designer dog cost about $700. Once the pandemic hit, the demand for designer dogs shot up and more and more people wanted companion dogs for combatting their loneliness. Resultantly, the price of Shih Poos went up by nearly $300. Today, you can expect to pay an average price of $1500 for a cute Shih poo puppy.
According to the data found on Puppy Finder, here is a table showing the minimum and maximum prices for these designer hybrid dogs.
|How much does a Shih-Poo puppy cost on average?|
|Price bracket||$500 to $2500|
Factors Affecting a Shih-Poo’s Price
Smaller Shi Poos are in greater demand and tend to cost more. However, predicting the exact height and weight of hybrid puppies like Shih Poos is very difficult. Even if the breeder gives you the weight of the Poodle and the Shih Tzu used for breeding, you can never exactly know how big your Shih Poo will get. Genetic factors come into play here as you even have to account for the dog’s grandparent’s height and weight.
The white Shih Poo is a rare color pattern and you will find that breeders usually charge higher for these puppies. Other colors available in the breed are black, white, brown, brindle, with variations and markings.
Ethical Shih poo breeders will always provide health records of the Poodle and Shih Tzu parents. This way, you can be assured that your puppy hasn’t inherited any diseases from them. Costs of puppies having these records tend to be higher since the breeders naturally want to recover them. Also, good breeders will deworm and vaccinate your potential pet. They won’t release your puppy until it is 8 weeks old. This too could factor into the final cost. If you are getting your Shih Poo flown in from another state, you will also have to pay for shipping and crate.
Where to Buy Shih-Poo From?
Here is a quick table to show you the best places to buy your Shih-Poo from
|Seller||What to expect||Price|
|Craig’s list||The Animal Legal Defense Fund is trying to shut down Craigslist puppy selling. Avoid buying from this site as listers often try to re-home sick or inbred Shih Poos. Also, they may not be Shih Poos -rather Shih Tzus being sold as Shih poos.||$1200|
|PuppyFinder USA listed breeders||This is a reliable site to find all Shih Poo breeders, and some of them even guarantee to replace the pup should yours pass away due to a health issue within a year. They list the breeder’s website and phone numbers too.||Starting from $500 min and $2500 max.|
|Animal shelters/rescue organizations||Best place to adopt a Shih poo. Some like the Asheville Humane Society seek to adopt Shih poos seized from cruelty from puppy mills and unethical breeders.||Adoption fee is about $200|
|Puppy mills||Please avoid buying from puppy mills. Always check if a Shih Poo breeder keeps multiple breeds – this probably means they are puppy mills looking for profits.||From $1000|
|Pet shops||Best to avoid. These dogs are from mills and backyard breeders. They are kept in very poor conditions and can have health and temperament issues||From $1000 depending on the area, coat color, etc.|
Shih-Poo Supplies Cost
Here are the basic supplies your little pet will need:
Shih poos are energetic dogs, so do invest in some basic toys to keep your pet occupied. We recommend a mix of teething/chew toys, rope toys, balls, frisbees, etc. Expect to spend about $25 to $50 USD on toys.
Playpens or puppy exercise panels will keep your tiny dog secure in one area. You can add in toys to keep your buddy occupied. Once your pet is older, you will naturally want to take it out on walks too. Small and portable dog playpens cost around $35.
Puppy pads/pad holder
This tiny dog has a small bladder. So, expect it to go pee-pee several times a day. In case you cannot take it outdoors, train it to go on puppy pads. These are absorbent and reduce stains ad odors. Expect to pay $20 for a pack of 100 pads.
Carry your little Shih poo in style in a cute travel bag – to the vet’s or its obedience school. Look for padded and comfortable bags or crates so your pet can even sleep in it. Average cost – around $15.
Low-blood sugar syrup/ High-calorie paste
Shih Poos are prone to hypoglycemia. So, keep a high-calorie paste handy. 8-oz. tube of this paste costs about $15.
Shampoo/conditioner and other grooming supplies
Invest in a wire bristle brush. Also, your Shih poo will need a shampoo and conditioner. Select a mild one with natural ingredients. This should cost about $20-30.
Here are some other basic supplies for a Shih Poo along with approximate costs.
|Food and water bowls||$10.00|
|First aid kit||$20.00|
|Dog waste bags||$10.00|
|Extras||Absorbent house-training pads||$20.00|
|Brush or comb||$10.00|
|Car dog seat belt||$10.00|
Shih-Poo Training Cost
On average, according to Home Guide, you can expect to pay between $30 and $50 for group training lessons and between $45 and $120 for private training lessons. This cost can vary from city to city.
The average hourly price for a dog training session is $50. You can also choose to enroll your Shih poo in dog obedience training school which can cost about $200 to $600 per week. Some trainers also have boarding facilities which can cost slightly more.
There is also something called boot camp training which is costlier – around $500 to $1250 per week.
If the above costs sound out of budget for you, you can opt to train your little pet at home. There is plenty of material available online – YouTube dog training videos are free of cost.
Shih Poos also make good therapy dogs or service dogs. They are cute and cuddly and their presence can help alleviate anxiety in patients. You can sign up your pet for service or therapy dog training. Depending on your city, this can cost around $120 per session.
Different Types of Dog Training Options and Costs
|Group training (cost per class)||$30.00 to $50 per class|
|Private obedience school (cost per session)||$45.00 to $120|
|Dog boot camp (cost per day)||$45.00 (weekly about $500 to $1250)|
|Minimum online training program price||$99.00|
|Minimum puppy basic training cost (total)||$500.00|
|Maximum puppy basic training cost with boarding (total)||$2000.00|
|Service dog training||$120 per hour|
Shih-Poo Food Costs
A Shih Poo weighs between 8 and 18 lb. However, as mentioned earlier, this is not standard since its weight and height will depend on its genetics. Poodles and Shih Tzus can vary between toy, standard, and miniature, so your Shih Poo puppy’s height and weight at adulthood is not easy to predict.
Speak to your breeder about the average height and weight of their litters. This is important to assess your dog’s calorie needs. You can also consult your vet and get insights about the right calorie intake for your pet. These factors will factor in deciding the type of food for your Shih Poo and also the monthly food costs.
Dietary needs of Shih-Poo puppy and adult
Shih-Poos need protein-rich foods and you must feed your pet every few hours. Remember: they are prone to hypoglycemia which means that their blood sugar levels can drop dangerously.
A 10-lb. Shih Poo pup needs to eat 3-4 small meals every day. An adult Shih-Poo of around 15 lb. also needs 2 to 3 small meals with dog treats in between. This is important to maintain their blood sugar levels. As mentioned earlier, keep a nutritional paste or syrup handy in case your pet appears lethargic or confused.
- Feed your Shih poo high-quality dog food 3 times a day.
- Start with 1/4th cup of dry food brand recommended by your breeder.
- Adjust the amount if your dog does not finish all the food in each meal.
- Check your pup’s weight and consult your vet from time to time.
There are approximately 18 cups of dry dog food in a 4.5 lb. bag. Your Shih Poo needs to eat 3/4th to 1 ½ cups of food per day. In a month, this will amount to 30 cups. So, you need at least 9-10 lb. of dry dog food per month.
If you choose to feed wet or canned food, then feed your Shih Poo one 10 oz. can per 10 lb. of body weight daily. Canned food is generally more expensive and high-quality ones cost around $6.54/lb. Pack of 12 cans each containing 5-oz. of wet food costs around $30.
If you feed freeze-dried food, you’ll need to feed 2 to 3 cups of it daily to a 12-month-old Shih Poo weighing about 15-lb. This is equal to 16 nuggets of food for a 15-lb. Shih Poo. One bag of 14 oz. of high-quality freeze-dried food contains approximately 50 nuggets.
|Item||Monthly quantity of food for a 10-15 lb. Shih poo||Cost per month|
|Premium dry food||10 lb.||$30|
|Premium wet food||15 lb.||$122|
|Freeze-dried food||10 lb.||$200|
|Frozen food||18 lb.||$175|
|Raw food||10 lb.||$120|
Shih-Poo Dog Food Comparison
Shih Poos need high-quality dog food. Vets recommend feeding these dogs dry kibble as the breed is prone to dental issues. Your vet can recommend the right food for your dog’s exact needs. You must also choose your pet’s food based on its age, overall health, and activity levels.
These days, you can also get specially formulated dry dog food for small breeds. However, it is still important to evaluate your pet’s health from time to time. This is due to the fact that these small dogs quickly gain weight if overfed. Even 1-2% of extra weight can lead to joint issues and other health problems in this small breed dog.
The kind of food you choose to feed your Shih poo will decide its quantity. Wet food contains more moisture and generally, you need to feed more of it compared to dry food. The quantity of dry dog food will also vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.
The following table shows which dry dog food brands are ideal for Shih Poos along with their benefits and an approximate price per pound.
|Brand||Benefits||Price per LB|
|Hill’s Science Diet Small Dog Breed||Highly digestible, contains Omega essential fatty acids, vitamin E, and protein for muscle mass maintenance||$3.78/lb.|
|Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Adult Beef & Rice Small Bites Dry Dog Food
|Natural ingredients contains glucosamine for joints||$1.50/lb.|
|Cesar Small Breed Dry Dog Food||Contains real beef as the first ingredient, great texture that a picky Shih Poo will love– tender meaty chunks with dry kibble||$0.98/lb.|
|Hill’s Science Diet Small and Mini Breeds with Sensitive Stomach||Great for digestion due to prebiotic fiber, balanced nutrition for small and mini dogs, made in the USA with natural ingredients||$4.37/lb.|
Shih-Poo Medical Costs
Medical or vet bills are one of the most expensive aspects of owning a dog. Thankfully, a Shih Poo from a reputed breeder will have a few health issues. According to a report in Simple Dollar, the average vet visit for small dogs can run between $50 and $400.
Like all small dog breeds, the Shih Poo is prone to dental issues. Annual dental care can also cost between $100 and $400 depending on your pet’s teeth.
If you choose to feed your pet vitamins, then expect to pay around $100/year on high-quality supplements. Your pet will also need flea and tick prevention on a monthly basis. This combined with heartworm preventive treatment and routine deworming can cost around $20-$50 per month.
In the first year, your little puppy will need several vaccinations to protect it from deadly diseases. This includes vaccines against various canine influenza strains, parvovirus, distemper, hepatitis, etc. Your vet will also recommend boosters at the appropriate age. A good breeder will cover some of these shots – depending upon the age you bring your pup home. The total cost of vaccination can run between $75 and $100 depending on your location.
It is recommended that you neuter your male Shih poo between 6 to 11 months of age. Similarly, a new study recommends spaying a female Shih poo before 6 months to prevent many cancers.
The following table shows you the age to vaccinate your pet along with its approximate costs.
|Age of Shih-Poo puppy||Core vaccination/ preventive treatment||Non-core vaccination||Cost**|
|6-8 weeks||Parvo, distemper, adenovirus (hepatitis)||Distemper vaccine alone costs (first year) $20-$30. The total cost of vaccination is between $75 and $100|
|10-12 weeks||Parvo, distemper, adenovirus (hepatitis) rabies and leptospirosis||Distemper + measles combo and Giardia||Rabies vaccine in the first year $15 to $25
Distemper – $20 to $30- total between $75 and $100
|12-16 weeks||Parvo, distemper, adenovirus (hepatitis), leptospirosis||total between $75 and $100|
|26-52 weeks||Boosters for the above, rabies||Lyme if present in your region||total between $75 and $100. Lyme disease vaccine costs between $20-$40|
|Every 6 months||Bordetella, parainfluenza||$20-$50|
|Every 3 years||Rabies||Influenza||$20-$50|
|Every 2 weeks until 12 weeks, then monthly until 6 months||Deworming||Annual cost – $80-$200|
|Monthly after 12 weeks||Flea and tick prevention||Annual cost $40-$200|
** These are approximate costs – the actual costs will vary from vet to vet and city to city.
The following table shows the approximate vet costs for different medical procedures.
Routine costs vet visits
|Name of test||Cost**|
|Routine checkup||$50 and $250|
|Spaying or neutering||$160-$200|
|Physical exam||$45 – $55|
** These are approximate costs – the actual costs will vary from vet to vet and city to city.
The following table shows the approximate costs for emergency vet procedures.
Emergency vet visit costs
|Name of test||Cost**|
|X-ray||Up to $200|
|USG||Up to $500|
|Emergency surgery||Up to $5000|
** These are approximate costs – the actual costs will vary from vet to vet and city to city.
Shih-Poo Inherited Diseases
If you buy your Shih Poo from a reputed breeder, then you can ask for the test records conducted on the parents. While this will not guarantee that your Shih Poo will be 100% healthy, it can, to a great extent, prevent many inherited conditions. A good breeder will also be forthcoming about health issues, if any, in their lines.
Here are some of the common diseases seen in Shih poos
Hip or elbow dysplasia
This painful condition leads to decreased activity, difficulty in walking or jumping, bunny hopping-like gait. The cost of surgery for THR or total hip replacement for treating hip dysplasia is about $3500.
A Shih poo might inherit this either from its Poodle or Shih Tzu parent. Symptoms include pain in the knee joint while walking, change in gait, etc. There are genetic tests (OFA) available to ensure that the dog does not develop patellar luxation. Rehab therapy for this condition can cost $40 to $100 per session and surgery can cost up to $1000.
Shih Poos could also develop cataracts in old age. The cost for diagnosis and treatment can run up to $1000. Other eye problems commonly seen in the breed are Entropion, PRA or progressive retinal atrophy, and glaucoma. Early diagnosis and treatment is important to prevent permanent blindness.
Pet Insurance for Shih-Poo
Many pet parents choose to insure their Shih Poo to help cover costs incurred on routine and emergency medical bills. Some plans cover your pet from the tip of its nose to the end of its tail. This can include:
- Exam and consultation fees
- Cancer treatment
- Hospitalization costs
- Diagnostic tests
- ER & Specialty care
- Prosthetic limbs
- Dental treatment up to a certain amount
- Complementary therapy coverage
- Prescription medication.
Your pet will have to undergo a complete medical exam before it can be eligible for the insurance. This is because insurance companies do not cover pre-existing medical issues. Always shop around before settling for a pet insurance plan. Plans vary greatly and you certainly do not want any gaps in coverage.
Some insurance companies also have a 24×7 helpline to help address common issues. Many even lower the deductible each year when you don’t make a claim. These attractive incentives can help you save quite a bit of money.
Like a child, your Shih Poo will find a way to get dirty too. You can bathe it at home with a natural, gentle shampoo or opt for professional grooming. Full-service grooming includes shampoo, trim, blow dry, ear cleaning, teeth cleaning, and nail trimming. Some groomers also express your pet’s anal glands. Full-service grooming for a small Shih poo can cost about $50-$100 per session based on your location. Flea or medicated baths cost about $20 extra. You can also get individual services like just a haircut, nail trim, etc.
License and microchipping cost
The cost of licensing and registration can also vary from city to city. On average, this is between $10 to $20. It is costlier to license/register a dog that hasn’t been fixed. To get your Shih Poo microchipped, you will need to spend around $50 – it includes the cost of the chip and vet’s service fees.
In 2020, dog walkers charged about $10 to $20 for 30-minute sessions of dog walking. This price has increased slightly in 2021 and the average cost is estimated to be $25 for 30-minute walks in most cities of the USA. To find out the exact dog walking rates in your city, check out this link.
Pet sitting/dog boarding
The amount you pay a pet sitter for watching your Shih Poo will depend on the kind of sitter you hire. The National average of dog sitter fees was around $19-$25 for a 30-minute visit. Professionally trained dog sitter’s services also include picking up mail, watering plants, cleaning and replenishing the pet’s water and food bowls, etc. These extra tasks can sometimes drive the costs higher.
If you choose to travel with your Shih Poo, expect to pay around $100-$125 for a one-way trip for in-cabin travel. You will also want to invest in an air carrier for your pet. This can cost about $30.
What kind of home do Shih-Poos need?
The good thing about buying or adopting a Shih Poo is that it makes a great pet for small spaces. You can easily keep this dog in an apartment. If you have a larger home with a yard, then have it fenced so your pet won’t run away or get stolen. The average cost of fencing a home is about $1600 depending on the size of your yard.
Shi-Poo Cost 2021 – Key Takeaways
According to ASPCA, the cost of owning a small dog such as the Shih Poo in the first year is estimated to be around $2600. This includes the cost of buying or adopting your Shih poo, cost of spaying/neutering, food, and dog-treats costs, medical costs (vaccinations, flea, deworming costs), toys, licensing, microchipping, basic grooming supplies, dog bed, etc. This number will vary based on your style of parenting. You can reduce this cost considerably by walking your dog yourself and taking your pet with you on vacations instead of hiring a pet sitter.
After the first year, the costs of Shih poo ownership could drop to about $1800 per year – mainly spent on food, treats, grooming, dog training, travel, dog walking, and other basic costs. You will also spend on regular deworming and flea and tick prevention treatments. Don’t forget to factor in insurance and emergency medical costs too. You might also spend on toys and other miscellaneous supplies.
The monthly cost of raising a Shih poo is around $150. This will mostly be the costs you incur on high-quality dog food and treats, some basic grooming, and flea and tick prevention. You might also spend on routine preventive vet checks.
The life expectancy of this hardy dog is around 16 years. So, expect to pay around $15,000 to $20,000 over its lifetime. Some dogs could develop diseases in their old age and hospitalization or surgery costs can go up by $1000 per year. Again, these are just estimates. You can always choose to buy pet insurance to reduce these emergency costs.
We hope this Shih Poo cost guide helps you budget for your pet.