If you’ve never seen a Shih Poo, you’re in for a real treat! This mix of a Shih Tzu and a Toy Poodle is one of the cutest little “designer dogs” around, with a delightful face and fluffy little body! Shih Poos also possess a wonderful personality thanks to their Shih Tzu genes and a nearly hypoallergenic coat thanks to the genes from their Poodle parent. What you get is a dog that’s friendly, easy to own, and makes a wonderful companion.
The big question, of course, is how much does a Shih Poo cost to purchase. You must also know how much it costs to own, raise, and care for your new Shih Poo puppy (which might surprise you). The cost to purchase a Shih Poo can range from $50 to $4.500 depending on who you are getting the pup from. The monthly cost of owning a Shih Poo can then range from $200–$1,100.
Below, we have all the details you need to plan financially for adopting a Shih Poo.
Bringing Home a New Shih Poo: One-Time Costs
The initial, one-time cost of purchasing a Shih Poo depends on several factors, including where you adopt it, whether it needs to be spayed or neutered, and several others. Shih Poos aren’t cheap, and some can be more than a little expensive. Knowing the numbers might persuade you to adopt using one of the following scenarios.
To adopt a Shih Poo for free, you’ll need a good bit of luck. For example, you might know someone who owns a Shih Poo that’s just given birth to several pups and kindly gives one of them to you. A Shih Poo owner might be unable to care for their pet and give it to you. Again, however, you’ll need some luck to get one of these expensive dogs for free, but it’s not impossible.
Adopting a Shih Poo from an animal shelter will typically cost $50 to $200, depending on the shelter. The cost covers several things the shelter must do before you can adopt your new puppy, including microchipping, vaccinations, and spaying or neutering. When you consider the cost of adopting from a Shih Poo breeder (below), paying this little to adopt one is incredibly affordable. One caveat, however, is that Shih Poos don’t show up at shelters very often. You’ll need to be patient, check back often, and be a bit lucky, too.
Most people adopt Shih Poos from breeders since they’re designer dogs that are specially bred from toy Poodles and Shih Tzus. However, adoption from a breeder is the most expensive way to get a Shih Poo and usually costs between $2,200 and $4.500. The average cost is about $2,500, but it depends on several factors, like the dog’s size, coat, lineage, color, and more.
When adopting from a breeder, it’s vital to determine who will pay for services like vaccinations and “fixing” your new puppy. Some breeders take care of this, and some don’t. It’s also worth noting that you might need to travel far to get your new Shih Poo puppy, depending on where you live and your breeder’s location. Lastly, remember to do your due diligence and choose a breeder with a sterling reputation for breeding healthy puppies in a kind and compassionate manner.
Initial Setup and Supplies
Not surprisingly, several other costs are involved when adopting a Shih Poo or any other breed of dog. You’ll need everything from food bowls and pee pads to leashes, toys, kibble, a crate, and a bed. The good news is that, since they’re tiny, many items you get for your Shih Poo are small, like their bed, crate, and toys. That will save you money compared to getting these items for a much bigger dog.
List of Shih Poo Care Supplies and Costs
|ID Tag and Collar||$25|
|Ultrasound Cost (Pregnant Shih Poo)||$250–$500|
|Food and Water Bowls||$10–$30|
How Much Does a Shih Poo Cost Per Month?
The monthly cost to own a Shih Poo is less than for some dogs because the breed is so small. The monthly expenses also depend on factors like your Shih Poo’s age, health conditions, and regular grooming. Food is an ongoing cost, of course, as well as new toys and regular veterinary care. Below we’ll break down several of these factors to help you plan.
Shih Poos are relatively healthy dogs that live long lives. Yes, they suffer from a few health issues like all dogs, but far fewer than larger breeds. Allergies, vision problems, and patellar luxation are the most common. Also, accidents happen, and emergency vet visits are sometimes necessary, but you’ll likely spend very little on monthly health care for your Shih Poo, especially when they’re younger.
Shih Poos, as we know, are tiny dogs with tiny appetites to go with their diminutive size. Purchasing even a high-quality kibble, which is recommended, won’t destroy your monthly budget. Food will certainly be an ongoing monthly cost but a relatively minor one, thankfully.
Experts recommend having your Shih Poo groomed once a month, give or take a week. That’s the bad news, but the good news is that, since they’re so small, grooming takes less time and costs less than grooming, for example, a standard Poodle. It should be noted that you’ll need to brush your Shih Poo several times a week.
Medications and Vet Visits
As we mentioned, Shih Poos are a healthy and long-lived breed. If yours is young and healthy, you’ll probably spend close to $0 per month on medications and vet visits. However, as your Shih Poo gets older, the costs for these two items might increase, but not to the point where it breaks your budget.
Pet insurance, while not a requirement for your new dog, can sometimes be a financial lifesaver. If your Shih Poo is injured or in an accident, for example, having pet insurance will cover the expensive vet bills and any medications and surgeries your puppy might need. A comprehensive pet insurance policy costs less than $60 per month in most cases. Plus, you can get it even lower depending on the policy you choose and what it covers.
Although minimal, the monthly maintenance cost to own a Shih Poo needs to be taken into consideration. Replacing toys, for example, or buying more pee pads are parts of the maintenance costs. You’ll also need some cleaning supplies to clean up after your pup’s occasional messes, but the monthly cost is minimal.
Most Shih Poos are moderately active dogs that need between 30 and 60 minutes of daily activity to stay healthy and happy. Taking them to a dog park (small dog side!) might cost a few bucks a month, depending on where you live. Since they’re tiny, you won’t spend a bundle on toys. Also, many dog parks are free to use, and the cost to entertain your Shih Poo will be minimal since it can get exercise in your backyard.
Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Shih Poo
Depending on where you live, the age of your Shih Poo, and how you like to care for them, the average monthly cost ranges from $200 to $1,100 but is usually much closer to the lower side. Shih Poos are tiny dogs and, because of that, need fewer things and less food than larger dogs. Whatever the case with your Shih Poo, budgeting about $600 per month to care for yours is a financially smart idea.
Additional Costs to Factor In
Although the information above is comprehensive, several other costs might arise when you own a Shih Poo.
Owning a Shih Poo on a Budget
If you’re a little bit lucky and financially savvy, owning a Shih Poo on a budget is possible. These tiny dogs don’t need much besides good food, a soft bed, and attention and affection. They’re healthy dogs, so insurance isn’t a big necessity, and they eat like birds because they’re so small. Once you’ve purchased all the supplies, you’ll only need food and the occasional toy for your Shih Poo, so your monthly expenses should be relatively low.
Saving Money on Shih Poo Care
Learning how to groom your Shih Poo yourself is probably one of the best ways to save money on monthly care. While slightly more expensive, giving them high-quality kibble will cut down on future health problems your Shih Poo might face.
Ordering your food online from retailers like Chewy can save a few dollars, and you can get coupons and special offers by submitting your email address to various manufacturers.
The initial purchase cost is likely the biggest you’ll ever have when you adopt a Shih Poo. Because of their small size, the monthly costs to own a Shih Poo are much less than many other breeds, especially food. If you’re lucky enough to adopt a Shih Poo from a shelter or get one free from a friend, your costs will drop significantly.
However you manage to do it, bringing a Shih Poo into your family can be a rewarding, fun, and fantastic experience since they are delightful dogs with big hearts and personalities!
Featured Image Credit: Joshua J. Cotten, Unsplash