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Shih Tzu Price Guide 2023: Cost, Vet Bills & More!

by Tea Cup shih Tzu

Are you wondering how much a Shih Tzu puppy costs? Well, let me tell you, it’s not as straightforward as it seems. The price of a Shih Tzu can vary significantly depending on various factors. Before diving into your search for the perfect furry companion, it’s crucial to consider these factors. Quality plays a vital role in determining the price of a Shih Tzu, but how do you know if you’re getting what you pay for? So buckle up and get ready to navigate through the world of Shih Tzus with confidence!

Shih Tzu Price Range in 2023

The price range for a Shih Tzu puppy in 2023 can vary depending on several factors. Understanding these factors is crucial when considering purchasing a Shih Tzu, as it can help you make an informed decision and ensure that you find a reputable breeder or pet store that offers fair pricing.

Average Price Range for a Shih Tzu Puppy

In 2023, the average price range for a Shih Tzu puppy typically falls between $800 and $1,500. However, it’s important to note that this range can be influenced by various factors.

Factors Affecting Price Variations

Several factors contribute to the variations in the price range of Shih Tzus. These include:

  1. Pedigree: Shih Tzus with exceptional bloodlines and pedigrees tend to have higher prices due to their desirable traits and potential show quality.
  2. Health Clearances: Breeders who invest in health clearances for their breeding dogs may charge more for their puppies since they prioritize producing healthy offspring.
  3. Demand: If there is high demand for Shih Tzus in your area or during specific seasons, prices may increase accordingly.
  4. Breeder Reputation: Reputable breeders who have invested time and effort into breeding quality Shih Tzus may charge higher prices compared to less established breeders or pet stores.

Comparison of Prices: Reputable Breeders vs Pet Stores

When considering where to purchase your Shih Tzu puppy, it’s essential to compare prices between reputable breeders and pet stores. While both options have their pros and cons, reputable breeders often provide better care, health guarantees, and socialization opportunities for their puppies. Consequently, their prices might be slightly higher than those at pet stores.

Reputable Breeders:

  • Generally offer puppies within the average price range of $800 to $1,500.
  • Often provide health guarantees and detailed records of vaccinations and deworming.
  • Prioritize the well-being and socialization of their puppies.

Pet Stores:

  • Prices can vary, but they often fall within a similar range as reputable breeders.
  • May not always provide detailed information about the puppy’s lineage or health history.
  • Puppies may come from commercial breeding facilities rather than dedicated breeders.

The Impact of Location on Shih Tzu Costs

Location plays a significant role in determining the cost of purchasing a Shih Tzu. In areas where there is high demand for this breed, prices tend to be higher. Factors such as shipping costs or travel expenses if you purchase from a breeder located far away can also impact the overall cost.

It’s important to consider that while price is an essential factor when buying a Shih Tzu, it should not be the sole consideration. Ensuring that you find a reputable breeder or pet store that prioritizes the health and well-being of their puppies is equally crucial. By understanding the average price range, factors affecting pricing variations, and comparing options between reputable breeders and pet stores, you can make an informed decision when bringing home your new Shih Tzu companion in 2023.

Initial Costs for Owning a Shih Tzu

Owning a Shih Tzu can bring immense joy and companionship to your life. However, it’s important to consider the initial costs associated with welcoming this adorable breed into your home. From essential items to additional expenses, there are several factors to keep in mind when budgeting for a new furry friend.

Essential Items to Consider

When calculating the initial costs of owning a Shih Tzu, it’s crucial to take into account the essential items required for their well-being. These include food, bedding, toys, and grooming supplies.

  1. Food: Shih Tzus have specific dietary needs that should be met with high-quality dog food. On average, expect to spend around $30-$50 per month on dog food.
  2. Bedding: Providing a comfortable bed or crate for your Shih Tzu is essential. Prices can range from $20 for a basic bed to $100 for a more luxurious option.
  3. Toys: Keeping your furry friend entertained is important for their mental stimulation and overall happiness. Budget around $20-$30 initially for toys such as chew toys, interactive puzzles, and plush toys.
  4. Grooming Supplies: Regular grooming is necessary for maintaining your Shih Tzu’s coat health and hygiene. This includes brushes, combs, shampoos, conditioners, and nail clippers which can cost approximately $50-$100.

Additional Expenses

In addition to the essential items mentioned above, there are other expenses you should consider when bringing home a Shih Tzu.

  1. Microchipping: Ensuring your pet’s safety is paramount. Microchipping provides identification in case they get lost or separated from you. The cost typically ranges from $25-$50.
  2. Vaccinations: Keeping your Shih Tzu up-to-date on vaccinations is crucial for their health. Expect to spend around $50-$100 annually on vaccines.
  3. Spaying/Neutering: It’s recommended to spay or neuter your Shih Tzu unless you plan to breed them responsibly. The cost can vary depending on your location and veterinary clinic, ranging from $100-$300.

Budgeting Tips

Managing the initial costs of owning a Shih Tzu effectively requires careful budgeting. Here are some tips to help you along the way:

  1. Research and Compare Prices: Take the time to research different brands and prices for essential items like food, bedding, toys, and grooming supplies. Look for deals or discounts that can help save money.
  2. Consider Secondhand Options: Don’t hesitate to explore secondhand stores or online platforms where you might find gently used items at a fraction of the cost.
  3. Plan Ahead for Veterinary Expenses: In addition to vaccinations and spaying/neutering costs, it’s important to be prepared for unexpected veterinary expenses such as illness or injury. Consider setting aside a small amount each month for potential emergencies.
  4. Explore DIY Grooming: While professional grooming is necessary at times, you can save money by learning how to groom your Shih Tzu at home with proper guidance and tools.

Finding Shih Tzu Puppies for Sale or Adoption

Looking to bring a furry bundle of joy into your home? Shih Tzu puppies are undeniably adorable and make wonderful companions. However, finding the perfect Shih Tzu puppy requires some research and consideration.

Researching Reputable Breeders or Rescue Organizations

There are various avenues you can explore. One option is purchasing from a reputable breeder who follows ethical practices. Start by researching breeders in your area or online platforms that connect potential buyers with responsible breeders. Look for breeders who prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs, provide proper care, and conduct necessary health screenings.

Another alternative is adopting a Shih Tzu from a rescue organization. Many rescue groups specialize in specific breeds, including Shih Tzus. These organizations rescue abandoned or surrendered dogs, providing them with temporary shelter until they find forever homes. Adopting from a rescue not only gives you the opportunity to provide a loving home to a deserving dog but also supports the noble cause of animal welfare.

Considering Adult or Senior Shih Tzus

While many people prefer getting a puppy, adopting an adult or senior Shih Tzu can be equally rewarding. Adult dogs often come already trained and may require less time and effort compared to raising a puppy from scratch. Moreover, by adopting an older dog, you are giving them a second chance at happiness.

Adult or senior Shih Tzus can offer just as much love and companionship as their younger counterparts. They tend to have established personalities, making it easier for you to determine if their temperament aligns with your lifestyle. Adopting an adult dog helps reduce the burden on rescue organizations, allowing them to save more dogs in need.

Tips for Avoiding Scams or Irresponsible Sellers

Unfortunately, the world of buying and adopting pets is not without its risks. To ensure a safe and legitimate transaction, it is essential to be cautious and mindful of potential scams or irresponsible sellers. Here are some tips to help you avoid falling victim to such situations:

  1. Research extensively: Thoroughly investigate any breeder or rescue organization you consider working with. Look for online reviews, check their reputation on social media platforms, and ask for references from previous customers.
  2. Visit in person: Whenever possible, visit the breeder’s facility or the rescue organization to see firsthand how they operate and care for their animals.
  3. Ask questions: Don’t hesitate to inquire about health records, vaccination history, genetic testing, and any other relevant information regarding the Shih Tzu puppy.
  4. Trust your instincts: If something feels off or too good to be true, it probably is. Listen to your gut feelings and walk away if necessary.

By following these precautions and being diligent in your search for a Shih Tzu puppy, you can minimize the chances of encountering scams or purchasing from irresponsible sellers.

Health Care and Vet Expenses for Shih Tzus

Taking care of your beloved Shih Tzu goes beyond providing them with love, food, and shelter. Just like any other dog breed, these adorable little furballs require regular health check-ups and vaccinations to ensure their overall well-being.

Regular health check-ups are essential for keeping your furry friend in tip-top shape. These visits allow the vet to monitor your Shih Tzu’s health, catch any potential issues early on, and provide necessary treatments or preventive measures. By investing in routine check-ups, you can prevent minor problems from escalating into major health concerns that could lead to hefty vet bills down the line.

Shih Tzus are known for their unique physical characteristics, such as their flat faces and large eyes. While these features make them undeniably cute, they also make them prone to certain health issues. Conditions like brachycephalic airway syndrome, dental problems, eye infections, and allergies are commonly associated with this breed. Dealing with these specific ailments may require additional veterinary expenses.

To mitigate unexpected medical costs over time, pet insurance coverage can be a lifesaver. By having a comprehensive insurance plan for your Shih Tzu, you can protect yourself from exorbitant vet bills that may arise due to accidents or unforeseen illnesses. Pet insurance provides peace of mind knowing that you won’t have to compromise on quality healthcare for your furry companion when faced with financial constraints.

Finding affordable veterinary care without compromising quality is crucial for many pet owners. Here are some tips to help you navigate this challenge:

  1. Research local veterinary clinics: Look for clinics that offer competitive pricing without compromising on the level of care provided.
  2. Seek recommendations: Ask fellow Shih Tzu owners or local pet communities for recommendations on affordable yet reliable veterinarians in your area.
  3. Consider preventive care packages: Some clinics offer discounted packages that include routine vaccinations, check-ups, and other preventive treatments.
  4. Look for low-cost clinics or programs: Many communities have low-cost clinics or programs that provide veterinary services at a reduced rate for pet owners in need.
  5. Take advantage of discounts and promotions: Keep an eye out for special offers, discounts, or promotional events that can help reduce the cost of veterinary care.

Types of Shih Tzu Breeds and Coat Colors

Shih Tzus are a popular choice for many dog lovers due to their adorable appearance and friendly nature.There are several types or varieties, each with its own distinct characteristics.

Different types/varieties of Shih Tzu breeds and their distinct characteristics

  1. Standard Shih Tzu: This is the most common type of Shih Tzu breed. They have a sturdy build with a compact body and a luxurious double coat. Standard Shih Tzus are known for their playful and affectionate nature, making them great companions for families.
  2. Imperial Shih Tzu: These are smaller in size compared to the standard breed. Imperial Shih Tzus typically weigh less than 9 pounds when fully grown. They have a similar appearance to the standard breed but come in a variety of colors and patterns.
  3. Teacup Shih Tzu: Teacup Shih Tzus are even smaller than Imperial ones, weighing around 5 pounds or less. Due to their tiny size, they require extra care and attention. Teacup Shih Tzus often have delicate health issues, so potential owners should be prepared for additional veterinary expenses.

Overview of the various coat colors and patterns found in Shih Tzus

Shih Tzus come in a wide range of coat colors and patterns that add to their charm:

  • Solid colors: These include black, white, gold, silver, red, brindle, liver, blue, chocolate, and cream.
  • Bi-colors: Common combinations include black and white or brown and white.
  • Tri-colors: These consist of three main colors such as black, white, and brown.
  • Parti-colored: Parti-colored Shih Tzus have patches or spots on a predominantly white coat.

How breed type and coat color can affect the price of a Shih Tzu

The price of a Shih Tzu can vary depending on its breed type and coat color. Generally, rare or unique colors such as blue or liver tend to be more expensive than common colors like black or gold. Similarly, Imperial and Teacup Shih Tzus often have higher price tags compared to standard-sized ones due to their smaller size and increased demand.

Breeders also consider other factors such as lineage, health certifications, and show potential when determining the price of a Shih Tzu puppy. It’s important to note that while price may be an indicator of quality, it doesn’t guarantee a healthier or better pet. Responsible buyers should prioritize finding reputable breeders who prioritize the well-being of their dogs.

Understanding the demand for specific breed types or coat colors

The demand for specific breed types or coat colors in Shih Tzus can fluctuate over time. Trends in popular culture, celebrity influence, and social media exposure often drive these shifts. For example, if a particular celebrity is seen with a Shih Tzu sporting an unusual coat color, it can lead to an increased demand for similar-looking puppies.

It’s crucial for potential owners not to solely focus on aesthetics but also consider the temperament and care requirements of different breeds. Owning any dog requires commitment and responsible ownership regardless of their appearance or cost.

Monthly Costs for Owning a Shih Tzu

Owning a Shih Tzu can bring immense joy and companionship to your life, but it’s important to be aware of the monthly costs associated with caring for this adorable breed. From food and grooming to training and toys, there are several expenses you need to consider when budgeting for your furry friend.

Food, Grooming, Toys, and Treats

It’s crucial to provide them with high-quality dog food that meets their nutritional needs. On average, a bag of premium dog food designed specifically for small breeds can cost around $30 per month. However, prices may vary depending on the brand and quality you choose.

Grooming is another essential aspect of caring for a Shih Tzu. Their long and luxurious coat requires regular maintenance to keep it healthy and tangle-free. Professional grooming sessions every 4-6 weeks can cost approximately $40-$60 per visit. If you prefer grooming your pup at home, investing in grooming tools such as brushes, combs, and scissors will incur an initial cost but save money in the long run.

Toys and treats are not just luxuries; they play a vital role in keeping your Shih Tzu mentally stimulated and entertained. Budgeting around $20 per month for toys and treats is reasonable. However, keep in mind that some toys may need replacing more frequently if your pup is an enthusiastic chewer!

Regular Grooming Costs

Shih Tzus have hair that grows continuously rather than shedding like other breeds. This means their coats require extra attention to prevent matting and tangling. Regular brushing at least three times a week is essential to maintain their beautiful locks between grooming sessions.

In addition to brushing, their eyes need daily cleaning due to their prominent position on the face. You’ll need specialized wipes or a gentle eye solution to keep their eyes clean and free from tear stains. These products typically cost around $10 per month.

Professional Training and Doggy Daycare Services

While Shih Tzus are generally intelligent and eager to please, investing in professional training can be beneficial for both you and your pup. Basic obedience classes or private lessons can help address behavior issues and ensure your Shih Tzu becomes a well-behaved member of the family. Prices for training sessions can range from $50-$100 per hour, depending on the trainer’s expertise.

If you have a busy schedule or need occasional assistance with caring for your Shih Tzu, doggy daycare services are worth considering. These facilities provide socialization opportunities and supervised playtime for your furry friend while you’re away. Monthly costs for doggy daycare vary depending on location but typically range between $200-$400.

Tips on Budgeting Effectively

Managing monthly expenses requires careful planning and budgeting. Here are some tips to help you stay on top of your Shih Tzu’s finances:

  1. Create a dedicated pet budget: Set aside a specific amount each month for your Shih Tzu’s expenses.
  2. Compare prices: Research different brands and suppliers to find the best deals on food, grooming products, toys, and treats.
  3. Prioritize essential needs: Focus on providing the necessary care items first before splurging on non-essential accessories.


In 2023, understanding the price of a Shih Tzu is essential before bringing one into your home. The price range for Shih Tzus can vary depending on various factors such as breed, coat color, and location. It’s important to consider both the initial costs and monthly expenses associated with owning a Shih Tzu to ensure you are financially prepared for this commitment.

It’s recommended to do thorough research and choose reputable breeders or shelters. This will help ensure that you are getting a healthy and well-cared-for puppy.

Health care and vet expenses should also be taken into account when budgeting for a Shih Tzu. Regular check-ups, vaccinations, grooming, and potential medical treatments can add up over time. It’s crucial to provide proper healthcare for your furry friend’s well-being.

There are different types of Shih Tzu breeds with varying coat colors available in the market. Understanding these variations can help you find the perfect companion that suits your preferences.

To maintain a happy and healthy Shih Tzu, monthly costs should be considered as well. These may include food, grooming supplies, toys, training classes if needed, and other miscellaneous expenses.

In conclusion, knowing the price range of a Shih Tzu in 2023 is just the beginning. By considering all aspects of ownership – from initial costs to monthly expenses – you can make an informed decision about bringing a Shih Tzu into your life. Remember to always prioritize the health and well-being of your furry friend.


How much does a Shih Tzu typically cost?

The price of a Shih Tzu can vary greatly depending on factors such as breed quality, pedigree lineage, geographical location, and breeder reputation. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere between $500 to $2000 for a Shih Tzu puppy.

Are there any additional costs besides the initial price?

Yes, there are additional costs associated with owning a Shih Tzu. These include regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, grooming expenses, food and supplies, and potential medical treatments. It’s important to budget for these ongoing expenses.

Where can I find Shih Tzu puppies for sale or adoption?

You can find Shih Tzu puppies for sale or adoption from reputable breeders, local shelters, rescue organizations, or online platforms dedicated to pet adoptions. It’s crucial to do thorough research and choose a reliable source when looking for a new furry companion.

What are the different types of Shih Tzu breeds?

The Shih Tzu breed comes in various types such as standard-sized Shih Tzus and Imperial Shih Tzus. There are different coat colors available including gold, black, white, brindle, and more. Each type and color has its own unique characteristics.

How much should I budget monthly for owning a Shih Tzu?

On average, you should budget around $50 to $100 per month for owning a Shih Tzu. This includes expenses such as food, grooming supplies, toys, training classes if needed, and routine vet care. However, actual costs may vary depending on individual needs and preferences.

Remember that these FAQs are intended to provide general information only. It’s always recommended to consult with professionals or experts in the field before making any decisions regarding pet ownership or purchasing a specific breed like the Shih Tzu.

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