Are Shih Tzus Expensive to Maintain? A Comprehensive Cost Analysis for Potential Owners

Contemplating the idea of welcoming a Shih Tzu into your family fold and curious about the financial aspect? Believe me, I’ve spent countless hours scrutinizing every tiny detail before choosing my delightful little furball.

It’s important to recognize that while the initial purchasing or adoption fee might seem intimidating, understanding ongoing lifetime care costs is equally vital. So grab yourself a cup of coffee and let’s unravel if owning these adorable fluffballs can be as high-maintenance financially as they may initially appear!

Key Takeaways

  • Shih Tzus come with both initial and recurring costs, including purchase or adoption fees, microchipping, licensing, grooming tools, food expenses, medical costs, and grooming costs.
  • Additional expenses to consider when owning a Shih Tzu include training costs, pet insurance for unexpected medical expenses, dental care to maintain oral health, and boarding or sitting fees when you’re away from home.
  • Potential owners should carefully consider these financial aspects before deciding to bring a Shih Tzu into their family.

Initial Costs of Owning a Shih Tzu

When considering getting a Shih Tzu, potential owners should be aware of the initial costs involved.

Purchase or adoption fees

Buying a Shih Tzu from a breeder can cost anywhere between $500 for a pet-quality dog to over $2000 for a show-quality puppy. Fees vary based on factors such as lineage, popularity of the breeder, and location.

On the other hand, adopting through rescues or shelters averages around $300 and includes initial veterinary care. This route promotes responsible pet ownership by saving lives and discouraging puppy mills.

One-time expenses (e.g. microchipping, licensing, grooming tools)

Before bringing home your new Shih Tzu, it’s important to consider the initial costs involved. These one-time expenses can include microchipping, licensing, and purchasing grooming tools.

Microchipping is a crucial step in ensuring your pet’s safety as it helps identify them if they ever get lost. Licensing is often required by local authorities and may involve a small fee.

Grooming tools such as brushes, combs, and nail clippers are necessary to keep your Shih Tzu looking their best. While these expenses may seem like added costs upfront, they are essential for the well-being of your furry friend.

Recurring Costs Throughout a Shih Tzu’s Lifetime

Shih Tzus come with recurring costs that potential owners should be aware of. These include food expenses, medical costs, and grooming costs.

Food expenses

Feeding a Shih Tzu is an ongoing expense that potential owners need to consider. They have small appetites, but they require high-quality dog food to stay healthy. A bag of premium dog food can cost around $30 to $50 and typically lasts for a month or more, depending on the size of your Shih Tzu and their dietary needs.

Treats and snacks are an additional cost, ranging from $5 to $20 per month. It’s important to factor in these food expenses when budgeting for a Shih Tzu’s maintenance costs.

Medical costs

Keeping your Shih Tzu healthy and happy requires regular veterinary care, which can add up over time. Annual vaccinations, check-ups, and preventive medications are necessary to ensure that your furry friend stays in good health.

In case of any unexpected illnesses or accidents, you may also need to budget for emergency vet visits or surgeries. It’s important to factor in these medical costs when considering the overall expense of owning a Shih Tzu.

Grooming costs

Grooming is an essential part of maintaining a Shih Tzu’s appearance and overall health. Regular grooming sessions help keep their long, flowing coats clean and tangle-free. However, it’s important to be aware that grooming costs can add up over time.

Professional grooming services for a Shih Tzu typically range from $30 to $100 per session, depending on the location and complexity of the grooming requested. On top of that, you may also need to invest in grooming tools such as brushes, combs, shampoos, conditioners, and clippers.

These supplies can range anywhere from $50 to $200 or more depending on their quality.

Additional Expenses to Consider

In addition to the recurring costs, there are several other expenses that potential Shih Tzu owners should consider. Training costs can vary depending on if you choose to train your dog yourself or hire a professional.

Pet insurance is also something to think about, as it can help cover unexpected medical expenses. Dental care for Shih Tzus is important and may require regular cleanings or even dental surgeries over time.

Lastly, if you plan on traveling or need someone to look after your Shih Tzu while you’re away, boarding or sitting fees should be factored into your budget.

Training costs

Training costs for a Shih Tzu can vary depending on whether you choose to train them yourself or hire a professional. If you decide to enroll your dog in obedience classes, the average cost can range from $50 to $125 per session.

Private training sessions with a professional dog trainer can be more expensive, averaging around $100 to $150 per hour. Keep in mind that these costs are estimates and may vary based on location and the specific training program.

It’s important to budget for training expenses as proper training can help ensure that your Shih Tzu is well-behaved and obedient.

Pet insurance

Purchasing pet insurance is an important consideration for potential owners of Shih Tzus. It provides financial protection in case your furry friend requires unexpected medical care.

Vet visits, vaccinations, and medications can quickly add up over time, but with the right pet insurance plan, you can rest easy knowing that a portion of these expenses will be covered.

By investing in pet insurance, you can ensure that your Shih Tzu receives the necessary care without putting a strain on your budget.

Dental care

Taking care of a Shih Tzu’s dental health is an important aspect of their overall well-being. Regular dental care can help prevent painful and costly dental issues down the road. It is recommended to brush your Shih Tzu’s teeth daily using a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste.

Additionally, providing them with dental chews or treats can help keep their teeth clean and reduce plaque buildup. Regular veterinary check-ups should also include a thorough examination of your Shih Tzu’s oral health to catch any potential problems early on.

By prioritizing their dental care, you can ensure that your Shih Tzu maintains healthy teeth and gums throughout their life.

Caring for your Shih Tzu’s teeth doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. With proper at-home dental care and regular veterinary check-ups, you can maintain your furry friend’s oral health without breaking the bank.

Boarding/sitting fees

Boarding or sitting fees are an important aspect to consider when owning a Shih Tzu. When you go on vacation or need to be away from home for an extended period of time, you’ll need someone to care for your furry friend.

Boarding facilities and pet sitters may charge daily rates which can add up over time. It’s crucial to factor these costs into your budget when considering the overall expenses of owning a Shih Tzu.

Additionally, it’s recommended to do thorough research and find reliable and trustworthy boarding facilities or sitters who will provide proper care and attention while you’re away.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts on the Cost of Owning a Shih Tzu

In conclusion, owning a Shih Tzu can be quite costly. There are initial expenses for adoption or purchase, as well as ongoing costs for food, grooming, and medical care. Additional expenses to consider include training, pet insurance, dental care, and boarding fees.

Potential owners should carefully consider these financial considerations before bringing home a Shih Tzu.


1. Are Shih Tzus expensive to maintain?

Yes, the cost of owning a Shih Tzu includes onetime costs like adoption fees and ongoing expenses such as vet care, grooming, food and supplies which makes it a bit pricey.

2. What are some one-time costs for owning a Shih Tzu?

One time costs for owning a Shih Tzu include the price of puppies from breeders or adoption fees if you choose that route.

3. How much does it typically cost annually to maintain a Shih Tzu?

The average annual cost can vary based on factors like insurance costs, veterinary care needs and grooming expenses but generally speaking it is higher than most breeds.

4. What’s included in the lifetime expenses for owning a Shih Tzu?

Lifetime expenses cover everything from initial purchase or adoption all the way through adult dogs’ final years covering things like food supplies, accessories, regular vet checkups and routine grooming.

5. Is there any way to predict how much maintaining my Shih Tzu will cost me long term?

A comprehensive cost analysis calculator can help give an estimate by taking into account general maintenance expenses like food supply costs along with unique factors such as your specific area’s veterinary rates.