Help!! Should I get a shih tzu?

I am on a fixed income and would like some idea of what it would cost to raise this doggie. For instance, food, shots, grooming (how often)shots and how often and what ever else the dog would need. I am worried that I would have trouble potty training the pup so would it be better to get an older dog or would that have a whole new set of problems. Also, what health issues is a shih tzu prone to? Would it be better to get a male or female and why. I will not be breeding this pup. Thank you so much for any help.

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Sep 05, 2011
You soooo should
by: Stacey

Wow, you are in for a treat. Best breed you could choose. I am not sure I can answer all your questions, but I will tell you my experience. I also have little, to no money, but I wanted this little pup so bad. I got my shih tzu Roxie (roo roo) when she was 11 wks. I wanted her to have the best of everything, but how do you afford that? I took her to the "shot clinic" that Petsupermarket holds once a month for her shots. Was 40 something dollars, then again when she was old enough for her rabies shot, $10.00. Then again for her annuals, about $50 (including another rabies). Never again on the annuals, she got a huge cyst from the injection, was scary. So this year she just got the rabies shot, and was fine (she is just 2 yrs. old) She is not around other dogs and is strictly inside, so I do not want to pump her with all the other vaccines, that's just me, I am anti-vets, unless I can't help it. For instance, I got a kitten, they said they wanted to do a Leukemia test on her, "oh she really should have it" they said. I said "why, what if it turned out she had Leukemia". They said, "oh well then she would have to be put down". I told them that is crazy, I have a happy, full of life little kitten. How about let's wait and she if she gets sick, then I'll let you know. They just said ok....lol...So, it is the pointless stuff they try to do that keeps me away. Ok, back to the subject...lol..Since day one Roxie has been on all natural food (Wellness brand). Yes, it is more expensive, but this is just a little tummy you are filling, it won't break you. They say that the natural food will make their breath sweet and no tear staining, and less health problems....all true...I have a white dog that has never had a bit of staining. I know it's the food. She is super healthy. As far as grooming goes, that is pricey. Every six weeks I was spending 55.00 to get her groomed. I do it myself now. And to get her fixed, I took her to the spay/neuter clinic in my town. Wonderful people. Cost me $60.00. I called all different vets around town to price it and they were up to $400.00 or higher. They break it down and charge for every little thing. Crazy. You can ask your local shelter where you can get it done cheap and safe. They want you to get it done so they are helpful. I am getting my kitten spayed and rabies shot for just ten dollars at the end of this month. That is through a cat organization that helps people out. You buy a voucher off them for ten dollars. Go to the vet of your choice, and they bill the cat organization. Great huh? So there is help out there. Again with my kitten stories...lol....sorry. So, I do hope you get a puppy (not adult) so you can bond with her. They are pure love. But I do have to warn you, you WILL be followed everywhere....lol

Sep 22, 2011
getting a pet or not?
by: Angel Fernando

Getting a pet, for instance, a shih tzu is a wonderful thing. I had worries too before I got my pup, Bolt.

About your income, it's good to hear that it's stable. You need to spend some every now and then for the vaccines and other necessities. I'm not quite sure if the gender of the pet matters because you won't be breeding it as you said.

For the shots schedule, try to find a trustworthy vet. He/She will tell you about your pet's shot sched. About the grooming, you can see if your pet really needs it. If the hair is covering his eyes, or the hair on his paws needs to be trimmed. The potty training, though you want to get an adult, your environment will be different from where he/she grew up. Health problems? I think it's more of the respiratory issues. Also, avoid giving your pet food that is poisonous to them like chocolate, onions, garlic and so on...

Have fun owning one!


Sep 27, 2011
Should you get a shih tzu?
by: Laura

"I am on a fixed income and would like some idea of what it would cost to raise this doggie. For instance, food, shots, grooming (how often)shots and how often and what ever else the dog would need."

Well, puppies require 3 sets of shots plus a rabies at 6 months. You may be able to get shots at a humane society or a 'discount clinic' as well. Professional grooming can be $35 - $60 every 6 weeks or so. But maintenance grooming needs to be done by you in between - wash face every day, clip the nails weekly, clean the ears, keep sanitary areas clean, etc. Food should be a good quality kibble, canned, Raw, or home cooked. Mine eats about 1 cup a day so a bag lasts for quite a while.

"I am worried that I would have trouble potty training the pup so would it be better to get an older dog or would that have a whole new set of problems."

An adult dog will likely be housetrained already, so just a little reinforcement on that in a new environment. Puppies need to go out frequently to understand the concept. So if you're willing to put in the time and clean up puppy messes then a puppy would be ok.

"Also, what health issues is a shih tzu prone to? Would it be better to get a male or female and why. I will not be breeding this pup. Thank you so much for any help."

Eye problems, ear infections, respiratory problems, patellar luxation, just to name a few. Male vs. female is personal preference. I have one of each :) You should have a little money set aside for emergencies or unexpected vet bills.

Hope that helps you make a decision.

Sep 27, 2011
Should you get a shih tzu?
by: Laura

Puppies need 3 sets of shots plus a rabies, then boosters annually. You may be able to get shots at a local humane society or a local charitable "low-cost" event.

Grooming should be done professionally every 4-8 weeks and can cost anywhere from $35 - $60, depending on where you go. You will need to do maintenance care yourself between groomings - nails, teeth, keep sanitary areas clean, etc.
Food should be a high-quality food, either kibble, canned, homecooked, or raw; which ever you prefer. Shih tzu are toy breeds and don't eat much, so a bag will last a while.

Puppy potty training can be a task, so you should be prepared to take puppy outside regularly several times a day, and maybe at night for a while. If you adopt an adult they should already be housetrained - especially if they come from a rescue.

Male or Female is a personal preference. I have one of each.
Hope that helps.

Sep 13, 2014
Felix was the best dog!
by: Anonymous

I had a shihtzu for 15 yrs. But there is a lot of care when they get old, Felix went blind, his eyes got puss in them in later yrs which you have to clean out, which is not easy, then they start to pee everywhere, poop everywhere, like seniors do, they develop cyst everywhere, they start having seizures, they run into walls, you wash their butts everyday, they are like old people in the end, and it kills you to put them down, because they are your baby!

Its very depressing, but they are very special dogs. I loved my Felix!!! He was in pain the last yr.

The pee goes bad, the poop goes bad! Then they don't eat!

Mari

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