Are you someone who is impressed by the lion’s mane but terrified of their demeanor? Indeed, you are not alone. If you ever wished to pet a lion but haven’t until now, we have just the right breed for you to experience the same effects minus the risks. A Shit Tzu (pronounced Sheet-Zoo) is a toy breed in Tibet, believed to be bred by noble monks.
The dog derives its name from the famous legend about the Buddha. It is believed that Buddha traveled with a dog who transformed into a ferocious lion in times of stress to keep the trouble away. The Shih Tzu, meaning little lion, best fits the description of such a dog.
Whether true or not, this toy breed has all of the lions in them along with extra scoops of affection for its human family. So If you are a prospective Shih Tzu parent, stick with us to find out all the costs related to accommodating this tiny, affectionate, and adorable puppy into your home.
How Much Does The Shih Tzu Cost in India?
Back when the pandemic hit, more and more Indians wanted a pet. This led to the boom of the pet industry amidst all the chaos. During those times, exotic breed fever was catching up, and Shih Tzus were among the most popular breed by which Indians were fascinated. Fortunately, this popularity didn’t lead to a sky-high purchase price. As, despite the exotic origins of the breed, countless Indian breeders started breeding this cute little dog. Today the average cost of Shih Tzu falls within the range of INR 25,000-40,000.
Factors that Influence the Buying Price of Shih Tzu in India
Shih Tzu Age: Buying a Puppy vs. an Old Dog
There are high chances you found a commonplace question about this breed, “How to calm my Shih Tzu puppy?” and the many variations while researching. This points to the hyperactive nature of a Shih Tzu pup. These small dogs come with big, bold, and stubborn personalities and are bound to keep you on your toes.
Paying close attention to training a Shih Tzu pup is crucial for raising a well-rounded dog, as puppies can be quite a handful. However, the efforts are rewarding once a well-raised pup begins to settle. Due to the cuteness and wishes of growing old with the dog, the younger puppies aged 8-12 weeks sell for more.
In contrast, the older Shih Tzus, with the hyperactivity behind them, are more settled and calm. An older dog has well-developed habits, which may be both good and bad. For this reason, the older dogs sell for less.
Adopting a Shih Tzu vs. Buying
For many enthusiastic pet parents, adoption is the way to go. It is undoubtedly a noble act to save an unwanted dog’s life by giving him another chance. It is also an economical option. Getting your Shih Tzu from a reputable shelter ensures your adorable pup’s good health and balanced behavior, as most well-known shelters screen their dogs for health and behavior problems.
However, the long waiting periods of rescue shelters deter potential pet parents. This is where buying a puppy becomes an appealing choice. So for people looking to purchase their Shih Tzu, it is vital to do thorough research about the breed and the breeder before shelling out your hard-earned cash.
Fun Fact: In the 17th century, the Dalai Lama gifted Shih Tzus to the Chinese rulers. The breed gained immense popularity in the Chinese courts, so much so that the Shih Tzus lived in a palace specifically built for them at one point in china.
Since Shih Tzus’ demand has been increasing by the day, several breeders have pounced on this opportunity to raise and sell Shih Tzus. This has created a grave problem for the buyer. Unethical breeders are running a profitable business with good sales tactics. Consequently, many pet parents come home with a Shih Tzu with severe health and alarming behavior problems. To ensure your dog is ethically bred, it is necessary to look for the breeder’s registration with the State Animal Welfare Board. Below are some places where you can get a Shih Tzu:
Buying a Shih Tzu from Puppy Mills (Please don’t go with this option)
Puppy mills are factory farms that mass produce dogs with the sole purpose of gaining profit. The dogs from such mills live in unsanitary habitats, with little to no medical care and barely enough nutrition to keep them alive. The dogs in the puppy mill are overbred to produce illegal amounts of litter.
It is easy to spot a puppy mill dog by their meager prices. You can expect these pups to have poor health and bad temperament. Do not be fooled into one of these deals, as saving on the purchase price may lead you to overspend on training and medical expenses for the dog.
Buying a Shih Tzu from Pet Shops
In this fast-paced world we face every day, we have become used to wanting something that looks glamorous and getting it without further inspection. While this may be the go-to choice for everything today, buying a Shih Tzu due to its glamorous looks is risky, with the odds stacked against you.
Pet stores source their dogs from puppy mills and keep them groomed to be picked up quickly. You can never be sure what you’re taking home when buying from a pet shop. As we know, puppy mill dogs are riddled with health issues and behavior problems.
Buying a Shih Tzu from Middleman or Brokers
A knowledgeable broker can get you in touch with several breeders to get the Shih Tzu of your wishes. They can do all the legwork and document verification for you. Today, most pet sales are driven by brokers. Though reliable, this option is also the most expensive way to get your Shih Tzu home, as brokers charge a 20%-30% commission on each sale.
Buying a Shih Tzu from Reputable Breeders
For reputable breeders, dog breeding isn’t their only source of livelihood, as breeding responsibly yields next to no profit. In an ethical breeder, you’re likely to find a devoted dog lover. These breeders care about the health and happiness of their dogs and want the best home for them. Expect to be hit by an array of questions as the breeder tries to determine whether you are the right fit for their pup.
An ethical breeder charges more for their Shih Tzu, but the prices aren’t extreme for a healthy pup with a guarantee of good behavior.
Questions to ask from a Breeder
Due to the high amount of shady breeders and unethical practices, it is crucial to take everything a breeder says with a pinch of salt. Therefore, we curated a list of questions you should ask a breeder before finalizing the deal:
- Do you have a license?
- How long have you been breeding Shih Tzus?
- Is this the right breed for me?
- How old are the puppies?
- Can I meet the puppy’s mother?
- Where do you raise the puppies?
- What vaccines and preventative treatments have been administered to the puppy?
- Can I see the pedigree?
- Can I return the puppy if I change my mind?
- How can I contact you after picking up the puppy?
Fun Fact: Research says the Shih Tzu is more closely related to the wolf than many fierce-looking breeds.
The gender debate has been going on forever and isn’t showing any signs of halting. As a consequence, we have projected this onto everything in our sight. This breed also suffers from our bias, which is reflected in the price of male Shih Tzus. The males of this breed fetch INR 2,000-3,000 more than the females.
You can expect a male Shih Tzu to be more attention-seeking, outgoing, and easy to please. All the traits that make them less independent and inattentive during training. In contrast to females who are strong-willed but stubborn. Both are companion dogs and make adorable family pets. However, we advocate choosing the Shih Tzu that best fits your needs.
Shih Tzus are a toy breed. They are pint-sized (literally) pups when you get them at 8-12 weeks. And they grow to be no taller than 8-11 inches. The weight of these magnificent creatures at the onset of adulthood is supposed to be 8 kg at most. A standard Shih Tzu within the given range doesn’t differ in price. However, if you wish to purchase a miniature/teacup Shih Tzu, the price for those can be higher.
Mix Breed or Purebred
Due to this breed’s petite size, it is nearly impossible to distinguish between a mixed breed Shih Tzu and a purebred one. For this reason, some unprincipled breeders sell crossbred Shih Tzus while claiming a rich and profoundly rooted ancestry. We recommend checking out the breed standards for Shih Tzus to avoid falling for such ploys. Typically, a mixed Shih Tzu would sell for less than a purebred one. If you see a breeder selling an adorable Shih Tzu below the average price, there are high chances of the pup being a mixed breed.
Over the years, dog shows have become commonplace, with a rapidly increasing number of pet parents desiring to show off their dogs in a dog show. Hence, purchasing pups from the winner bloodline of these shows tends to be on the high-end spectrum. A puppy with prizewinner parents may cost you several thousand more than a normal purebred Shih Tzu.
Coat Colours and Markings
Shih Tzus long and luscious hair is their pride and identity. They are hypoallergenic, meaning they do not shed, making them excellent apartment pets. Although, if their hair is allowed to grow longer, it may get stuck on furniture and clothing.
However, if Shih Tzus luscious silky coats aren’t good enough for you, let us tell you they come in all rainbow colors. On top of that, all the colors of the Shih Tzu are recognized by the UKC and KCI.
Some standard colors include black, blue, white, brindle, red, and silver-gray. However, depending on the ongoing trend, the prices of the Shih Tzus vary. Also, rare colors like solid white, cream, and gold are expensive.
The price of Shih Tzu varies due to high demand. You will likely pay more for this dog breed in large metro cities than in rural areas.
Certification and Warranties
The breeding or selling of dogs registered with the Kennel Club of India (KCI) is mandatory in India. The KCI registered pups sell for more too. However, verification of all the documents, including any vaccinations administered to the dog, is essential. Falsification of KCI papers and vaccination certificates isn’t out of the ordinary.
Fun Fact: Smokey, the oldest living Shih Tzu from Florida, lived for 23 years.
Yearly Maintenance Cost of Owning A Shih Tzu
As a responsible pet parent, it is essential to be aware of all the factors related to the ownership of this charming toy breed. This comprehensive guide covered everything from the financial, physical, and emotional requirements of owning a Shih Tzu. A yearly financial estimate of owning a Shih Tzu racks up to INR 65,000. Let’s go over each aspect in detail.
Dog Food Factor
Apart from being an absolute bundle of mischief, Shih Tzus are also picky eaters. Among Shih Tzu pet parents, the stories of their tiny pooches turning up their noses at every food (almost every other food) that displeases them are a hot gossip topic.
Owing to the small size of this fussy eater, keeping the dog happy and healthy won’t require you to break the bank. The average estimated cost of your Shih Tzu’s food is expected to be INR 2,500-3,500 per month.
Home Food vs. Purchased food
The nutritional needs of all dog breeds are different. So when feeding homemade food, it is essential to remember the general rule of thumb: high protein content doesn’t hurt anyone. That said, we do not recommend feeding your dog uncooked meat.
In comparison, homemade food is more economical than commercial dog food. However, to achieve the full potential of your Shih Tzu, we recommend a combination of homemade and commercial food. Commercial dog food is breed specific and tailored to provide just the proper nutrients your dog needs.
Portion Size and Daily Frequency
The food your Shih Tzu needs daily is influenced by various factors like age, activity level, and size. Typically, an average Shih Tzu requires 1-1.5 cups of kibbles per day, portioned into two meals. Below is a general chart to give you an idea. However, we recommend talking to your vet about this.
|.9-1.8||¼ - ⅓||3-4|
|2.3-3.6||⅓ - ¾||3-4|
|4-5||¾ - 1||2-3|
|6-7||1 - 1 ¼||2-3|
|8-9||1 ⅓ - 1 ½||2|
|10-11||1 ½ - 1 ¾||2|
Shih Tzus have a reasonable life expectancy ranging from 10-18 years. Although typically healthy, a purebred Shih Tzu is prone to certain hereditary conditions. The common diseases include progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), retinal detachment, dental problems, BOAS – brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome, spinal problems, and hip dysplasia.
Regular vet visits are crucial to ensure your Shih Tzu’s good health. The yearly cost of medical expenses for your tiny companion may be INR 4,000.
All non-native breeds require certain shots of vaccine that equip them to face any infection they may encounter in India. 4-5 core vaccines are administered to your dog throughout its life. We urge you to stay on top of Shih Tzu’s vaccination schedule. In India, a yearly vaccine may cost INR 1,500 – 4,000. The table below gives a general reference.
|Puppy Age||Core Vaccines||Non-Core Vaccines||Worms|
|6-8 Weeks||Distemper||Bordetella, Parainfluenza, Measles|
|10-12 Weeks||Distemper, Hepatitis,|
Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease
|Begin Heartworm prevention medication monthly or bi-monthly|
|14-16 Weeks||Distemper, Hepatitis,|
Rabies (required by law)
|Parainfluenza, Coronavirus, Lyme disease, Leptospirosis||Begin/continue Heartworm prevention medication monthly or bi-monthly|
|Adult (renewed every 1-3 years)||Distemper, Hepatitis,|
|Parainfluenza, Coronavirus, Leptotspirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease||Continue Heartworm prevention medication monthly or bi-monthly|
Neutering or Spaying Surgery Cost
Breeding dogs require time, energy, knowledge about dog behavior, the breed, health concerns, and much more. In short, responsibly breeding dogs isn’t practicable for everyone and should be left to people with the expertise to manage this herculean feat successfully.
The Neutering/Spaying procedure is desirable for every pet parent. The added benefit of this procedure is the boost of health your puppy receives. This procedure is a one-time cost and should be performed by expert vets. It can cost you INR 4,000-6,000 in rural areas. In large cities, the cost of neutering your pup is around INR 12,000.
Your dog is susceptible to contracting worms from various mediums, including but not limited to; food, water, and soil. It is essential for the dog’s health to regularly get deworming procedures undertaken. It is best to chat with your vet about the schedule and dosage of the deworming tablets, as it is subject to change with the dog’s changing age and weight. Deworming is inexpensive and costs up to INR 100 for each tablet.
Preventive medications cost
Shih Tzu is a very active dog breed and loves to play. However, they are at a disadvantage due to their small size. It makes them susceptible to unintentional injuries during playtime. Therefore we recommend keeping a stock of antiseptic spray, cotton, and band-aids handy. The estimated amount for these essentials is INR 500.
Additionally, your dog likely gets infested with fleas and ticks. We advise you to invest in fleas and ticks power to keep your moody dog cheerful. Ear drops are another vital medication for your dog, as Shih Tzus are prone to getting ear infections due to their long locks of hair. Fleas, ticks powder, and ear drops are a setback of another INR 500.
Housing and Confinement Cost
A crate for your Shih Tzu should be a comfortable place where he is happy to go and happy to be. The recommended crate size for this toy breed is 22 inches. Remember, the crate should fit the adult Shih Tzu and his bed. We recommend getting a crate that comes with dividers to adjust the size. Your Shih Tzu should just have enough room to wiggle around comfortably.
When it comes to the charming and elegant Shih Tzu, there are many accessories you can shop for. However, only a few are a must.
Collar Vs. Harness
Shih Tzus are Brachycephalic animals. In layman’s terms, they have high chances of their trachea collapsing due to pressure on their neck. Walking your Shih Tzu with a collar on its neck is not recommended. The consistent pressure may lead to life-long breathing difficulties and may even cause spinal damage in some cases.
A harness is better suited and supports the dog adequately. It also gives you a better grip while walking your dog. A harness with a chest plate may cost you INR 500-1,000.
Due to their unique size, choosing a too big toy will cause your Shih Tzu to lose interest. In comparison, a toy too small may be a health hazard. Finding the right size with precise stimulation levels is essential, as Shih Tzus are easily bored.
Chew toys, interactive toys, and brain games are good choices for Shih Tzus. Retrieval toys do not prove to be good, as Shih Tzus are companion dogs and have no interest in working for you. Do not assume your pup’s preferences. It is likely that what one Shih Tzu loves, the other despises. A monthly cost of toys may add up to INR 250- 500.
Shih Tzus are the divas of the dog breeds. Their glorious long hair requires upkeeping to be healthy and silky. Generally, grooming can be done at home, but for this breed, a mix of both professional and home grooming is essential. A grooming kit with all the essential tools will cost you upwards of INR 1,000.
Some pet parents desire different hairstyles and special nail care for their pups. For all these requirements, a professional grooming service would be the best. This can cost you upwards of INR 1,000 per session.
Shih Tzus are pretty lazy, and being a toy breed, they can get away with it. A minimal 15-30 minutes of exercise is good enough for a Shih Tzu. For this reason, we do not advise hiring a dog walker for this breed. If you do, the monthly charges of a dog walker vary from INR 2,500 to 5,000.
Training and Socialising Class Cost
This tiny dog breed is difficult to housebreak. Shih Tzus’ stubbornness gets in the way of their intelligence more often than not. They have a biting and chewing streak. The cocky pups may even steal your shoes early on in training. In addition to that, this breed tends to bark at strangers. These factors make training and early socialization crucial for your cheeky pup. A training and socialization class may cost up to INR 5,000-7,000 per month.
Treats make up 10%-30% of a dog’s daily food intake. Therefore, maintaining a good health standard for the treats is crucial for your puppy. We recommend choosing treats that are natural all the way, with zero additives. Homemade goodies like paneer, meat, and veggies also make excellent treats. Depending on how much you want to spend, the monthly cost of treats adds up to INR 500-1,000.
In India, thievery is common for small exotic dogs. Therefore, insurance that covers theft liability becomes a necessity. Insurance that covers health concerns and theft liability can cost you anywhere between INR 3,000-6,000 yearly.
Taking your Shih Tzu in a car or train is best. Indian Railways provide a separate coach for pets and are an inexpensive option.
In contrast, traveling by air is rather expensive. Your dog can travel in the cabin or cargo. They require valid health and rabies certificate. Domestic travel can cost you anywhere between INR 10,000-20,000. Internation travel is a setback of INR 2,00,000-3,00,000. However, this figure is a general estimate, and the prices can vary depending on weight, airline, and travel distance.
Dogs are individuals and need the care and attention we all crave. Leaving them alone for prolonged periods may affect the dog’s psyche, leading to behavior problems. This is where daycare facilities come in. If you are away often, a daycare can offer you several services, including a kennel area, play area, and food. Depending on where you live, a daycare may cost INR 500-2,000 daily.
Before breeding, exhibition, or selling dogs, the pups need to be registered with the INKC. This organization is responsible for maintaining the dog’s pedigree in India. The registration cost is one-time and varies for a member and a non-member. You can expect to pay INR 800-1,000 for registration. If you want your dog to be microchipped, that will be an additional cost of INR 1,000.
Food containers, pee and poop cleaner, food and water dish, etc., are additional costs of INR 2,500-4,000.
Hidden and Related Costs of Shih Tzu Puppy Ownership
With the finance factor out, let’s discuss the physical and emotional efforts a Shih Tzu demands. Shih Tzus are intelligent, and they know it. They were bred to be companion dogs and are not interested in anything but snuggling into your lap. To become a successful Shih Tzu pet parent, you’ll have to look within yourself for patience and endurance. The cocky pups do not take it easy on you. That said, the efforts are rewarding once the dog has had its training. Among all the traits mentioned, affection and charm are the most dominant.
Fun Fact: In the movie ‘The Secret Life of Pets 2’, a Shih Tzu named daisy plays one of the main characters.
Important Things to Consider Before Buying A Shih Tzu
As responsible dog lovers, we need to be aware of the breed’s hard-to-digest behaviors before rushing to bring them home. So here are some Shih Tzu facts that’ll help you determine if you can truly take up the challenge of raising a happy and healthy dog.
- Shih Tzus are stubborn. This makes training difficult and painstaking. Despite having a professional dog trainer, you may need to be extremely patient with your pup as he learns to avoid destructive behaviors and develop new ones.
- This breed is difficult to housebreak. Potty training and getting them to listen to you may take a while and a lot of mishaps.
- Caring for Shih Tzus luscious long hair can be extensive and expensive. If you do not have the time to groom your Shih Tzu daily, this breed may not be suitable for you. The glorious Shih Tzu coats are their pride.
- Due to the breed’s small size, playing with young children may put them at risk for unintentional injuries.
- Being a toy breed, their nutritional needs are particular and should not be taken lightly. They are also fussy eaters and moody dogs; pleasing your Shih Tzu is a task.
Benefits Of Bringing A Shih Tzu Puppy At Home
The charm of this elegant breed is hard to resist. Shih Tzu’s parents can hardly get enough boasting about their notorious dog. Let’s find out what the fuss is all about.
- Shih Tzus were bred to be lap dogs, and companionship is the sole purpose of their lives. They are incredibly loving, affectionate, and fun to be around.
- Shih Tzu is a toy breed, and due to this, they make excellent apartment pets.
- The size of the Shih Tzu doesn’t require much exercise and outdoor activity. Making them perfect for someone who can’t be active each day.
- Shih Tzu is hypoallergenic, making them light shedders. Some pet parents claim that their Shih Tzu doesn’t shed at all.
- Despite its small size, this breed is sturdy. They do not invite much trouble and are happy to follow you around the house.
Are Shih Tzus good for first-time dog owners?
Yes. Shih Tzus’ outgoing nature, small size, and minimal shedding make them great pets for inexperienced owners.
Do Shih Tzus bark a lot?
Yes. Shih Tzus are expressive and vocal. They tend to convey their feeling to their owners through barks and howls.
Can Shih Tzus tolerate heat?
Not a lot. Shih Tzus have dense coats, and it is better to keep them indoors in very high temperatures.
How is a Shih Tzu with other pets?
Shih Tzus won’t have any problems with other pets if trained well. Their outgoing nature is very welcoming.
Are Shih Tzus smelly dogs?
No. Shih Tzus are pretty clean and do not have a doggy odor.
Summing it Up
Shih Tzus are diva dogs. Due to their friendly nature, they catch attention everywhere they go. So if you are a first-time dog owner living in an apartment looking for an affectionate canine that features in all the apartment gossip, the Shih Tzu may just be the breed for you. These gorgeous-looking toy-like dogs love pleasing their owners and cuddling in their laps all day long. Owning a Shih Tzu is a rewarding experience, and when done right, it is a quick way of becoming everyone’s favorite.
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