Regarding companion animals, few are as delightful as the Shih Tzu. They’re small, charming, and have a sweet disposition that makes them an excellent fit for various homes. However, it’s essential to consider the cost of a Shih Tzu before taking the plunge. So how much does a Shih Tzu cost?
In addition, you should know that besides the initial cost of purchasing a Shih Tzu, caring for them can be even more expensive. Knowing how much a Shih Tzu will cost upfront and ongoing is vital for any prospective pet parent. In this article, we’ll discuss the cost of a Shih Tzu, what’s included, and how to budget appropriately for their care.
How Much Does a Shih Tzu Cost?
We have surveyed Shih Tzus’ prices in the United States and ended up noting the average initial prices for buying a puppy as follows:
So, on a rough average, Shih Tzus are between $500 and $2400. The reasonable prices can go up and down significantly, depending on several factors: where to buy the Shih Tzu, available AKC Registry, and the pet’s physical characteristics, which we will share later.
Why Are Shih Tzu Prices So High?
The average prices above are not the most expensive for pets, yet they are also in no way cheap. Such an expense is due to the demands and the supplies on the market.
1. On the demand side: People love Shih Tzu
Shih Tzus are usually loved for their small sizes and charming personalities.
Being in the toy group, these pets are usually 8-11 inches high and 9-16 pounds, which is perfect for those living in modern apartments or those with children. In addition to an affordable small size, they are also gorgeous with luxuriant, long, and straight hair.
Regarding personalities, Shih Tzus are prized for being affectionate, loyal, and down to cuddle all the time. The dogs tend to get on well with people of all ages and other household pets. They almost all want to be near humans, either sitting on your laps or running around you as much as possible.
Who doesn’t want to own such sweet and lovey-dovey dogs?
2. On the supply side: The lack of well-bred Shih Tzus
The history of Shih Tzus was back to the 7th century and in Chinese royalty families. However, almost all native stocks were wiped out by the Communist takeover, and nowadays, Shih Tzus are bred.
So the breeding process affects the final prices. Shih Tzus from healthy parents and with rare color genetics are significantly expensive. Meanwhile, careless breeding causes the puppies to suffer from poor health conditions and short lifespans.
What Factors Affect The Shih Tzu Prices?
Get into the details of Shih Tzu prices. Source: Unsplash
1. Where do you plan to buy a Shih Tzu?
You can usually adopt or purchase a Shih Tzu from three places: local classifieds, rescue centers, or well-known AKC breeders.
Local classifieds ads
Common classifieds to find a pet include Craiglist, Facebook, or eBay. You can see ads for young Shih Tzus from $250 to even less.
However, you should be cautious. Too cheap deals might result in a very sick puppy from unhealthy parents or without veterinary care.
You can also visit nearby rescue centers that keep many Shih Tzus.
Advantageously, you can find a vet-checked dog for under $350 since people at the rescues always vaccinate their animals, deworm, and microchip them beforehand. Some even give free vet-care vouchers.
In drawbacks, abandoned Shih Tzus can be mixed-bred or have health problems. They are not always puppies, as well.
The most expensive Shih Tzus are found at reputable AKC breeders at around $1200 and up to $6000. The prices usually cover the fees for shots, microchipping, and deworming. Yet, you have to pay extra for neutering surgery or spaying.
The breeders can provide clear information about the parents or even grandparents of the puppies to ensure their quality breeding. Plus, there are usually Shih Tzus in rare patterns and colors to your preference.
2. Availability of AKC Registry
A reliable breeder in the United States should register their Shih Tzus under The American Kennel Club (AKC) – a purebred dog registry. This indicates that the dogs have good bloodlines and health.
Due to the high fee for the registry, the AKC-marked Shih Tzus cost you more.
3. Characteristics of Shih Tzus
Supposing Shih Tzus come from the same place and with an available AKC registry, their prices can also vary, depending on some factors:
There are championship lines for show purposes, which are pricier than the pet-quality lines. They look more beautiful in rare colors and in excellent health.
Most prefer puppies over adult dogs because they can see the pets grow and form a more solid relationship with them. Thus, puppies are usually more expensive.
You can see above that AKC-registered female puppies are $2400; meanwhile, AKC-registered male puppies are only $2200. This is due to the future reproduction of the female ones.
Smaller models like imperial Shih Tzus or teacup Shih Tzus require stricter veterinary care during the breeding process and delivery. What’s more, owners like tiny dogs as their lappets.
Thus, you are ready to shell out more cash.
You will love taking care of and decorating Shih Tzus’ hair. It is even more exciting if the hair has unique hues such as solid black, blue, silver, or liver.
Additional Costs for Raising a Shih Tzu
While buying or adopting a Shih Tzu is expensive, raising and caring for them requires a significant financial investment. Here is a summary of annual costs you should know:
1. Frequent veterinary care
The small Shih Tzus are usually vulnerable to health problems such as patellar luxation, entropion, dental disease, renal dysplasia, etc. Even when you buy healthy Shih Tzus from reputable breeders, bringing your dogs to vets for routine checkups is still recommended.
In addition, you should also apply preventative care, including annual vaccines, flea and tick preventatives, wormers, and heartworm preventatives.
Shih Tzus are small and do not eat much. While puppies prefer diets with protein and calories to support their growth, older dogs need simple food to digest.
You should feed these dogs two or three meals every day with treats and snacks sometimes. However, you must never overfeed Shih Tzus since they are prone to obesity, which may lead to serious health consequences.
3. Crate, bed, blankets
Shih Tzus like accompanying you all the time and might sleep with you.
Yet still, we recommend having a separate and comfortable crate, bed, and blanket where they can spend their free time. They cost around 50 US dollars per year.
You can also spend extra on a leash and collar to secure the Shih Tzus. However, the dogs are usually stressed when you are busy and cannot play with them. Hence, you can buy toys and keep them occupied instead.
Because Shih Tzus are a long-haired breed, they love routine brushing and baths – usually two or three times weekly in the summer and one or two times during cold months. Interestingly enough, grooming is also an excellent chance to form a closer bond with your pets and allows checking their physical conditions.
If you groom Shih Tzus at home, you need about 30 US dollars for grooming supplies. Nonetheless, professional groomers can also help, but they cost more.
6. Walking services
Though this breed enjoys indoors, you still need to walk them outside occasionally.
If you do not have time, consider hiring sitting or walking services. It costs between 100 and 500 US dollars annually.
7. Training and Socialization classes
Some parents even take their babies to training classes where their Shih Tzus are taught a well-mannered mutt and become more friendly with people and other pets.
How Can I Get Cheap Shih Tzu Puppies?
We have tips to save extra pennies if you find the above costs beyond your budget.
Adopting instead of shopping
We mean going to rescue centers to adopt a Shih Tzu rather than buying from classifieds or breeders.
That way, you can expect cheap dogs with good vet care so that you do not need to pay for microchipping, vaccinations, or spay/neuter surgery.
Buying pet insurance
Paying for insurance adds a little to the initial cost, but it is a wise choice for emergency treatment and illness later. This protects you from expensive medical bills, considering that Shin Tzus can get sick quickly.
Register a wellness plan
Similar to insurance, the wellness plan saves long-term costs. The plan usually includes professional grooming or routine pet care.
Brush your pets daily
Dental diseases are commonly found in Shih Tzus, which result in discomfort and other health problems. Daily brushing is simple but very effective in reducing these small pets’ risks of dental diseases.
1. Is a Shih Tzu a good house dog?
Yes, a Shih Tzu can be a great house dog! These little puppies are known for being very loyal, loving, and affectionate. They also get along really well with children and other pets. Plus, they are very easy to train and have a low-shedding coat, which makes them ideal pets for people with allergies.
Shih Tzus are also excellent watchdogs; they are alert and bark when strangers come around. However, they don’t tend to bark excessively, which makes them an excellent choice for those who don’t want a noisy pet in the house.
When it comes to exercise, Shih Tzus don’t need much. A daily walk around the block should be enough to keep them happy and healthy. They are also content just lounging around the house all day.
2. How long do Shih Tzus live?
Shih Tzus usually live between 10-15 years. It’s important to note that their lifespan can vary quite a bit depending on the individual dog. Factors such as diet, exercise, health, and genetics can all affect how long your Shih Tzu will live.
For example, if your Shih Tzu is fed a nutritionally balanced diet, gets regular exercise and checkups from the vet, and is generally healthy. They may live longer than the average lifespan of 10-15 years. Additionally, if your Shih Tzu has a genetic predisposition to certain illnesses or diseases, their lifespan may be shorter than average.
It’s also important to note that the life expectancy of a Shih Tzu can be affected by environmental conditions such as extreme temperatures or allergens. It’s essential to keep your dog warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather, as well as to remove any potential allergens from their living environment.
3. What is the cheapest dog?
The cost of a dog will depend on your budget and lifestyle. First, you’ll need to look at the cost of purchasing a dog. Depending on the breed, size, and other factors, the cost of buying a puppy can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. Additionally, you’ll have to factor in food and other supplies, vet visits, and other ongoing care costs.
In addition, some breeds tend to be cheaper than others. For example, smaller breeds like Chihuahuas and Toy Poodles usually require less food and ongoing care costs, making them good choices if you’re looking for an affordable pup.
Other cost-effective options include rescuing dogs or adopting from a shelter. These dogs may not be as young as puppies, but they still make wonderful companions and often come with all their medical needs taken care of. Plus, you’ll be helping out a pup in need!
“How much is a Shih Tzu price?” Our article certainly answers your question! It takes you $350 at least to get a dog at the rescue center and $1200 for additional services and care. Thus, plan your budget!