How Much Does A Shih Tzu Cost?

This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links, at no cost to you.

How Much Does A Shih Tzu Cost 729x486Shih Tzus are known for being clinging small dogs who want to be lap dogs. They can also be little cuddle bugs.

A Mandarin Chinese name ‘Shih Tzu’ approximately translates to ‘little lion.’ They will want to become the king of the jungle, and your home!

Since the Tang era, Shih Tzu dogs were a part of Chinese society, functioning as both friends and watchdogs for their owners, warning them to intruders in the vicinity.

They are a cheerful and energetic species that can easily receive adequate exercise even in tiny quarters.

Their physical requirements are similar to those of most the other dogs, but if this small youngster is begging for your care, you may as well indulge him!

This isn’t a case of “buyer beware!” If you’re on a budget, bear in mind that these puppies aren’t prohibitively costly to purchase or maintain.

It’s tough to estimate the cost of a Shih Tzu. If you’re looking for one, you’ll need to consider several factors, including the price of the dog or puppy, veterinarian bills, training, food, and supplies, among others.

One-Time Costs: Shih Tzu

You will have a greater chance of acquiring a well-bred Shih Tzu if you research a respected American Kennel Club-approved breeder.

The cost will be higher up-front. That investment will provide a healthy shih tzu and hopefully reduce extra costs and the annual cost over the life of your family pet.

Shih Tzu Breeders

A responsible breeder for Shih Tzus are tough to find. The puppy should also be healthy, have papers, and have been appropriately nurtured.

Breeders are divided into two categories. The American Breed Standard, which has very high breeder criteria, and the Continental Breed Standard.

The latter requires only two spectators to sign paperwork attesting to the puppy’s purebred status.

There are more Shih Tzu breeders in the South of the United States. They are less expensive because there is a greater supply. A Shih Tzu may cost up to $3,000 in other national regions.

Shih Tzu puppies purchased from a breeder will cost you around $750-$3000.

Shih Tzu Adoption

Adopting a Shih Tzu would provide a lower price. However, be aware that, while the term “adoption” may appear to be humanitarian, many persons offering puppies for “adoption” claim as breeders but are running puppy mills.

This suggests they’re breeding them for number rather than quality, and the puppies could be living in less-than-ideal circumstances.

You could fall in love with one of these adorable puppies, but don’t be shocked if he develops health problems later on as a result of poor breeding.

Instead look for a Shih Tzu rescue that can provide information on how they acquired the dog.

The average price to adopt a Shih Tzu will cost around $150-$300.

Free Shih Tzus

Another good option for potential dog owners are the humane society, an ad listings, or any route where someone is looking for a home for a puppy.

Many puppies may be missed because their backgrounds are unknown or undesirable to those looking for purebreds and all the perks that come with them.

Shih Tzu Setup & Supplies

To properly care for a Shih Tzu, you’ll need a few items. Even though they are essential for a puppy, most of them are appropriate for a Shih Tzu of any age.

As a Shih Tzu gets older, they’re needs may change. An ID badge & collar, brush, bed, toys (yeah, they are required), carrier. A proper water and food bowl is also a good idea.

Your Shih Tzu will benefit from a bowl that’s the right size to avoid obstacles to eating, such as banging the rim or a bowl that’s too deep to grasp the last morsel of food.

Many individuals will choose to spay/neuter their dog and microchip it. The setup and supplies of a Shih Tzu will cost around $143-$400.

Monthly Costs: Shih Tzu

Some factors might influence the monthly cost for your Shih Tzu. The most expensive items are health and medical care.

However, if you get your puppy from an AKC-certified breeder, you will likely save money in the long term, especially as you monitor his health as he grows older.

A Shih Tzu will cost you $165-$345 per month.

Shih Tzu Dog Food Costs

When it comes to food, it’s important to think about the brand you’ll buy. Short-term and long-term health may be adversely affected by poor-quality food items.

Puppies should be introduced to a new brand of food gradually after settling into their new home by being provided the food they are accustomed to (should you not agree with what he is currently consuming).

You should avoid foods that contain chemicals since they may cause dry skin, itchy skin, and hair loss.

This is entirely dependent on how much food your dog consumes.

Puppies require anything from 1 to 3 cups of food every day. A 30-pound bag, which costs around $60, holds around 120 servings of food. This implies you’ll have to restock once each four months if they only consume 1 cup each day (they may eat more at times).

Dog foods will cost $20-$60 per month.

Shih Tzu Grooming Costs

As a rule, Shih Tzus demand a great deal of attention. Dog groomers recommend bringing your dog to a groomer 4 – 7 times a year.

The yearly cost should be about $300 if you pay $40 to $60 every visit. The dog’s health and well-being will be improved by taking it to a professional groomer.

This includes a wash and shampoo, hair removal, brushing and style, nail clipping, teeth brushing, and eye & ear cleaning for dogs groomed professionally.

Variables, including dog height, hair condition, health, age, behavior, and the services ordered, influence the cost of dog grooming.

A DIY cleaning kit is an option. On average, they can be purchased online or at a shop for $75, and they come with everything you need to care for your Shih Tzu at home!

The grooming of Shih Tzu will cost you around $40-$60.

Entertainment/Toy Costs: Shih Tzu

Alexa Diaz, Ph.D., based on her expertise as a Puppy trainer & animal behaviorist, believes that personalized instruction for Shih Tzu is rarely essential.

However, she would suggest a few group sessions to help them socialize with other dogs and people outside of the house and address their inclination to bark.

Studying a dog training manual ahead of time is a terrific approach to preparing excitedly to accept a dog into the home.

You may learn more about dog behavior and the best methods to connect with dogs by looking for good affordable ones online.

Shih Tzus enjoy running about and playing with their toys. It’s critical to keep kids occupied, particularly if they spend most of their time at home.

A subscription to a toy box might be a terrific way to keep him occupied!

Another option is to give your dog more training, which may be interesting. Taking your canine to a park is also quite inexpensive, but you must factor in time and travel.

The entertainment and toys will cost you between $25-$80 per month.

Shih Tzu Veterinary Care Costs

As long as your Shih Tzu has been in excellent health, you won’t need to spend more than a few dollars on food and grooming. Things do, however, crop up unexpectedly.

The amount below is a preliminary estimate of how much that it would cost you for check ups at the veterinarian. This statistic also includes the average cost of the first vaccines, around $80.

Adult dogs need to see the vet at least once a year. This ranges from $125 to $265, depending on the services supplied by your facility.

Vaccines, a heartworm test, and bloodwork are often included in this service.

Leslie Brooks, a veterinarian, suggests administering heartworm and flea preventative drugs, which typically cost between $55 and $70 per year.

A fecal investigation may also be necessary for pets who are often socialized with other pets or have an unsatisfactory stool quality, adding $40-$50 to the total cost of the vaccinations.

A visit to a Veterinarian will cost you around $50-$265.

Potential Additional Costs: Shih Tzu

The expense of hiring a pet sitter or dog walker is one factor you may not have considered yet. Suppose you’re going on vacation over the summer.

In that case, there’s almost certainly an adolescent in the neighborhood who would welcome the opportunity to earn some money—feeding, walking, and letting out the dog for $30 every day while you are away is a reasonable price.

Then there’s the potential for harm caused by your puppy, which is an unknown factor. It all relies on what he can obliterate!

Remember to include behavioral and obedience training! All of this may add up. It’s generally reasonable to anticipate needing to add at least $75 each month to account for the unknowns.

Pet Insurance Costs: Shih Tzu

According to the American Pet Health Insurance Association’s most recent State of the Industry Report, the average insurance cost for both accident and sickness coverage is $565 per year, while accident-only plans cost $190.

This is very significant since it may save you a great deal of money over the long term. Some insurance companies also offer comprehensive health coverage, although substantially more expensive.

As previously said, some medical disorders might be costly to treat. Although purebred dogs are more prone to suffer genetic ailments, mixed purebred puppies are equally susceptible to illnesses such as cancer & heart disease.

This will cover your dog’s accidental injuries & emergencies. Bite wounds, damaged ligaments, poisoning, and ingesting foreign objects are all examples.

Certain medical expenditures related to allergy, cancer, infections, and other conditions are also covered by pet insurance.

The pet insurance will cost you around $30-$45.

How to Save Money Owning: Shih Tzu

If you acquire your puppy from a reputable breeder who will devote time and effort to ensure the breed’s lineage is reinforced, you may save a lot of money on recurring fees.

In this breed, purer genetics typically means fewer health issues in the long run. Another thing to keep in mind is that providing your dog with high-quality food will pay off.

A consistent, balanced, & organic diet will avoid various health conditions, particularly in breeds like Shih Tzus, who are more susceptible to digestive disorders.

It’s easy to get caught up with buying toys, snacks, and activities if you prefer to pamper your pup as an excellent dog parent. If you’re on a tight budget, this can be an issue.

Use restraint and consider what your dog genuinely requires. Do toys already surround him? Check. What about food and water? Check. Groomed? Bingo. It’s not necessary to go overboard.

The Bottom Line: Cost to Own a Shih Tzu Summary

If you’re searching for a Shih Tzu, you should keep in mind the benefits and the needs that come with owning a small size dog. Make sure you do your due diligence.

If you purchase a new puppy from a reputable breeder, you may be able to save hundreds of dollars in ongoing costs and medical expenses over the course of your dog’s life.

  • Shih Tzu puppy price $750-$3000
  • Adoption Cost $150-$300
  • Setup & Supplies $143-$400
  • Monthly Costs $165-$300
  • Dog Food Cost $20-$60
  • Grooming Cost $40-$60
  • Entertainment Cost $25-$80
  • Veterinarian Cost $50-$265
  • Pet Insurance $30-$45

Mixed Breeds Similar to Shih Tzu


 Recommended Products for Your Shih Tzu

Best Puppy Food for Shih Tzus

Here are our Shih Tzu puppy food reviews.

1. Instinct Puppy Grain Free Natural Dry Dog Food

Instinct Puppy Grain Free Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food

The Instinct Puppy Grain Free Natural Dry Dog Food is a high-protein kibble perfect for Shih Tzus in their formative years. It is made with calcium and phosphorus for bone and teeth strength, and natural DHA for brain and eye development.

  • Limited component diet with single animal protein source
  • Dried natural cage free chicken
  • Fiber blends promotes healthy digestion
View on Amazon



Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy Dry Dog Food, All (1)

The NUTRO WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS Puppy Dry Dog Food is a nutrient-dense food ideal for puppy Shih Tzus.  This dog food is made with calcium to build strong bones and joints, which is important for an active dog like a Shih Tzu.

  • Essential antioxidants for a healthy immune system
  • Omega 3 fatty acids to support development
  • Available with chicken or lamb as main component
View on Amazon


3. Royal Canin Size Nutrition Mini Puppy Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Mini Puppy (1)

The Royal Canin Size Nutrition Mini Puppy Dry Dog Food is a great deal on a high quality dog food for puppy Shih Tzus. The small kibble size is designed for puppies during their intense growth period. It will help to boost a Shih Tzus immune system with a blend of anti-oxidants and vitamins.

  • Meets the high energy needs of a puppy
  • Highly digestible proteins and prebiotics promote healthy digestion
  • Perfect for Shih Tzus up to 10 months old
View on Amazon


4. Natural Balance Mixture L.I.D Dry Dog Food

Natural Balance L.i.d. Limited Ingredient Diets Small Breed Bites Dry Dog Food

The Natural Balance Mixture L.I.D Dry Dog Food is a good value, varied food for puppies. It provides a range of nutrition that a Shih Tzu puppies need. Smaller kibble is used to support smaller teeth and easy digestion.

  • Grain free formula
  • Made from real, natural components
  • Includes prebiotics and omega
View on Amazon


5. NUTRO ULTRA Puppy Dry Dog Food

Nutro Ultra Puppy Dry Dog Food

The NUTRO ULTRA Puppy Dry Dog Food is a highly nutritional food for Shih Tzu puppies. This dog food contains a trio of proteins and is tailored to meet the nutritional needs of growing puppies. It also promotes brain growth development.

  • Contains chicken, lamb and salmon
  • Contains 15 super foods
  • Specially formulated for puppies
View on Amazon


Puppy Food for Shih Tzu Buyer’s Guide

Purchasing the right puppy food for a Shih Tzu is an absolutely essential choice for a dog owner. The price of around $20 is well worth the cost when you consider the benefits healthy food can have on the development of a dog in its formative months. This is especially true with Shih Tzus as they are active dogs and so need good quality nutrients to help their muscles to repair and grow. Therefore it is vital to fuel them with high quality nutrition.

Our buying guide reviews the best dog food for Shih Tzu puppies on the market so you can choose the right food for your puppy. The following are attributes commonly found when looking at dog food for Shih Tzus which will help you to choose the best food for your dog.


Diets vary for Shih Tzu depending on whether they are fully developed yet. Adults can handle whole meats and more nutrient dense food, whereas puppy Shih Tzus will need smaller food as their teeth may not be able to break down larger chunks. Antioxidants are especially important for puppies as they help to develop their immune system and fight off viruses.

Proteins & Carbohydrates

Shih Tzu will thrive when eating a diet rich in animal proteins and some carbohydrates. This is due to their high speed output, and their energetic instincts, which burns off a lot of energy throughout a day. With all of this physical work, it is vital that they get proteins to repair and strengthen their muscles while they rest. Meat based protein is great for Shih Tzu puppies.


The more easily digestible the dog food is for a Shih Tzu puppy, the easier it will be for it to absorb the vital nutrients from the food.

Vitamins & Fatty Acids

The level of importance of vitamins in a Shih Tzu puppy’s diet shouldn’t be overlooked. Vitamin E and Omega-6 fatty acids will help their coat growth. Vitamins are also vital to help the immune system to develop in a puppy Shih Tzu. A mixture of fatty acids and vitamins will make for a happy, healthy and thriving dog.