How much does a shih tzu cost?

The price for a shih tzu puppy can range from $500-$1600, with the average being $850.

The cost will vary according to the reputation of the breeder, the pedigree of the puppy, the popularity of the breed,  screenings, and vaccinations.

An older puppy will typically cost less than one that’s 8 weeks old.

However, when considering whether to buy a Shih Tzu puppy, it’s essential to take into account the ongoing costs of ownership. To help you decide, here are some costs you’ll need to budget for:

  Average Cost

1st Year

Average Cost Subsequent Years Comments
Supplies and equipment $345 $140 Beds, crate, bowls, leashes, grooming equipment, car safety barriers, etc. 
Medical expenses $590 $465 Routine expenses only including vaccinations, etc. 
Spay/Neuter $175 Optional but recommended 
Training $175 5 x 1-hour obedience classes 
Health insurance $565 $565 Accident-only option is cheaper at $190


Food $85 $95 Good-quality dry food.


Treats $150 $150 Assuming daily treats


Grooming $600 $600 10 visits per year

Other likely costs include dog walking ($20 per walk), boarding ($45-$85 per day), microchipping ($40), licensing ($15 per year), and more.

To summarize, the running cost of a shih tzu in the first year will average around $2570, and in other years the cost will be around $1,180.

As the typical life expectancy of a shih tzu is around 13 years, the lifelong cost of ownership could easily be in the range of $16,730.

These figures exclude optional costs such as boarding kennels, dog-walking service, pet-sitting, and non-routine veterinary expenses.