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How Much Does a Shiba Inu Cost? (2021 Price Guide)

Shiba Inus are unique and instantly recognizable. However, they are also much different from other breeds of dog common in the USA. Therefore, it is very important to understand what you’re getting into before you decide to adopt one.

In general, you can expect to pay about $1,400 to $2,200 for a pet-quality puppy in the United States. If you’re in Asia, then you can expect to pay less, simply because these dogs are more common there. Puppies with champion bloodlines will cost closer to $2,000 to $3,500. You should also consider necessary transportation costs, which may be necessary for some areas.

Of course, you also have to consider all the costs associated with getting a puppy. During the first year, you can expect to spend about $3,500 on all your puppy’s needs—not including the actual price tag of the puppy. Every year after that, you’ll be spending about $1,000 on your dog’s upkeep, assuming they remain healthy and don’t need any extensive vet care.

In this article, we’ll help you figure out how to budget appropriately for this breed.

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Bringing Home a New Shiba Inu: One-Time Costs

Overall, you can expect to spend about $1,400 to $2,200 on a puppy from a qualified breeder. It is important to purchase from a reputable breeder and avoid puppy mills. Not only will this leave you with a higher-quality puppy, but you also won’t be funding animal cruelty.

Besides this, you can expect to spend another $345 on dog supplies. This will include things like a dog bed and a dog crate.

Shiba Inu female dog in the room
Image Credit: Sergiy Palamarchuk, Shutterstock

Free

It is very rare to find these dogs for free, and you should be very cautious if one is being advertised. If a dog is free, that likely means that very much money hasn’t been put into them. Sometimes, accidental puppies are offered for free, but these puppies usually don’t receive the proper health testing. You may not spend any for the dog upfront, but you will end up paying for them later due to the higher vet bills.

Adoption

  • $50-$300

These dogs are commonly available for adoption, though you will likely need to go through a breed-specific rescue. Usually, these dogs are adults. Puppies are not usually turned over to rescues. If they are, they are typically the result of accidental litters, which usually are mixed breeds.

The cost of these dogs mostly goes towards the vet costs the dog required while at the shelter. This is usually more for puppies, as they require vaccinations and similar preventative care.

Usually, dogs at shelters and rescues have an unknown past. However, they are taken care of well once they are at the rescue. If they have any health problems, you usually will know before adopting them. This isn’t always true with free dogs, who may have underlying health problems.

Breeder

  • $1,400-$2,200

Purchasing a puppy from a breeder is often expensive. But you are getting a lot for your money. Usually, breeders run health tests on their dogs to prevent genetic health conditions from being passed onto the puppies. They also give their puppies the appropriate vet care, which usually includes vaccinations and their first vet exams.

Many puppies also come with the appropriate socialization and training, so they adapt better to their new home. You may have to pay less for training, as the puppies may already have some basic training.

Initial Setup and Supplies

  • $235-$395

You’ll likely need to purchase these supplies before you even bring your puppy home. Most of these things dogs cannot live without, even for a little while. For instance, you can’t bring a puppy home without any toys or appropriate things for the dog to chew on. You may be able to get away without dog shampoo for a few days, but you’ll be missing it when your dog rolls in the mud.

shiba inu on a harness walking in the forest
Image Credit: Thorsten Schulze, Pixabay

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List of Shiba Inu Care Supplies and Costs

Food and Water Bowls $20
Dog Collars $10
Leash (x2) $40
ID Tag $5 – $15
Dog Bed $30–$60
Dog Crate $40 – $80
Urine Odor Removal Spray $10
Toys $30 – $50
Brush (x2) $15 – $45
Shampoo $10 – $20
Toothbrushing Supplies $10 – $15
Toenail Clippers $15 – $30

How Much Does a Shiba Inu Cost Per Month?

  • $67-$603 per month

The Shiba Inu lands in the middle of the pack when it comes to monthly costs. They aren’t overly large, so they won’t require lots of food. They are fairly healthy, so you shouldn’t anticipate too many unplanned trips to the vet. You’ll probably need to purchase things like shampoo and toys and a typical rate for these pups.

In general, you have a lot of control over what your dog’s maintenance cost is. If you need a dog walker or take your dog to the vet more often, then you’ll probably be stuck with a higher upkeep cost. However, if you do most of your dog’s maintenance yourself, you’ll likely spend far less.

Shiba Inu runs through the snow
Image Credit: Petr Magera, Unsplash

Health Care

  • $52-$173 per month

Your dog’s health care is going to be where the majority of your costs are, simply because the costs ramp up quickly in this category.

You’ll need to pay for things like flea prevention and any medications they might require. Dogs with underlying conditions will cost far more than those without any underlying problems.

Much of your costs will be concentrated in this category.

Food

  • $12-$18 per month

These dogs are medium-sized, so they likely won’t cost as much to feed as you might imagine. Even if you purchase high-quality dog food, you’re looking at around $15 a month.

Puppies will be cheaper to feed because they are smaller and eat less. As your dog gains weight, it will become more expensive to feed. Prepare accordingly.

Grooming

  • $0-$25 per month

While the Shiba Inu does benefit from some professional grooming, it is also possible to completely take care of their grooming needs at home. It largely depends on how much work you’re willing to do. Some owners simply find it easier to do minimum grooming at home and take their dog to the groomer a few times a year.

Others would prefer to do all the grooming at home and eliminate the cost of a professional groomer. It simply depends on your preferences.

Based on the care these dogs need, you’re looking at $35 to $50 per session. They will not need to visit the groomer every month, so this cost will be spread out over a few months. How often you take them has a large effect on the price.

Medications and Vet Visits

  • $25-$70 per month

A good portion of your dog’s monthly costs will go towards their vet bills. Puppies will be more expensive than adults, as they require more preventative care. You can expect to take your puppy to the vet at least three times. During these visits, they will receive an exam, basic vaccinations, and parasite prevention. If the breeder has already taken care of the first exam, then your costs will be much less.

Adults only need one preventative visit a year. However, more will go into this visit. Parasite prevention will also cost a bit more due to their larger size. Overall, you can expect adults to be a bit less expensive than puppies—but not by much. The average owner likely spends about $40 on these dogs each month, though much of this cost is concentrated in a few vet visits.

Pet Insurance

  • $15-$60 per month

We highly recommend getting pet insurance for this breed. While they are typically quite healthy, they are prone to a few health problems that can be very costly to treat. For instance, hip dysplasia can cost thousands of dollars for surgery.

There are many different forms of pet insurance. The cheapest options cover accidents only, which would include your dog breaking their leg or any other physical injury. However, these do not cover illnesses. If you want illnesses covered (which we recommend), you’ll likely have to pay a bit more.

Your geographical area has a lot to do with the cost of your dog’s insurance, as does your canine’s age. It tends to get more expensive as they get older.

Environmental Maintenance

  • $0-$400 per month

Shiba Inus need a moderate amount of exercise. Most dog owners will be able to take care of this themselves. However, if you are gone for much of the day, then you may need to invest in a regular dog walker. These costs can add up very quickly, so we highly recommend planning on walking your dog as much as possible.

Most dog walkers charge anywhere from $15 to $25 per walk. This doesn’t sound like a lot. But, if you require a dog walker 5 days a week, you’re looking at $60 to $100 a week. Because Shiba Inus do not often get along well with other dogs, they may need private walks. This will cost extra and can raise your costs substantially.

Dog Walker $0 – $400 per month

Entertainment

  • $15-$30 per month

These dogs are decently active, and most like to play with toys. As with most pets, you will need to continuously purchase them toys throughout the year. Some will get broken; others will get lost. Sometimes, it will simply make sense to shake things up a bit.

Typically, you can expect to purchase your dog one or two high-quality toys a month. These need to be durable, as a Shiba Inu can easily destroy a soft, stuffed toy in a matter of minutes. Durable toys are generally more expensive, but they will save you money in the long run.

If you’re purchasing the correct toys, you can expect to spend about $15 to $30 a month. If your dog seems to be going through toys faster, you likely need to upgrade to larger and more durable toys. Look for options made out of firehose and similar materials. These are often quite expensive, but they won’t tear up quite as fast.

As your dog gets older, you may find that you need to spend less on toys. They’ll likely stop playing quite as rough when they reach their senior years, which leads to their toys being destroyed less often. At the same time, you can expect puppies to play a lot more than adults. However, they usually don’t destroy toys quite as fast and require smaller toys, which lowers your overall costs.

shiba inu playing a rope toy
Image Credit: Kobi Kadosh, Unsplash

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Total Monthly Cost of a Shiba Inu

  • $67-$603 per month

For a healthy, moderately active dog, you can expect to pay about $100 a month. These dogs will require only basic vet care and may not visit the groomer at all. It’s when your dog develops a chronic health problem or requires extra services that your prices start going up.

For instance, if you are too busy to take your dog on daily walks, you will need to hire a dog walker. This extra cost could increase your total by as much as $400 a month. If you need to take your dog to the groomer regularly, you can also expect to pay more.

Senior dogs and puppies will likely cost more than adult dogs simply because they need more care. Puppies require more vaccinations, and seniors will often need extra tests at the vet. Puppies, in particular, can be very expensive. Therefore, we recommend budgeting on the higher end of things.

Additional Costs to Factor In

We didn’t include all possible costs in the budget above. Some are simply difficult to predict, occurring with some dogs and not with others. For instance, health problems can be very expensive, especially if you don’t have pet insurance. However, you can’t exactly budget for them. No one knows when your dog may have an emergency health problem.

Going on vacation will also raise your costs since you’ll need to board your dog or get a pet sitter. Some dogs may damage your furniture or home, so you may want to budget for these potential repairs as well.

Shiba Inus, in particular, may need special behavioral training, especially if they are not appropriately socialized as puppies.

Having a Shiba Inu on a Budget

While you may end up needing to pay hundreds for your dog’s upkeep, most of the higher costs are under your control. Dog walkers are going to be the biggest issue that may raise your dog’s overall cost, as they can get quite expensive. If you eliminate dog walking, you can save quite a bit of money.

The same can be said for professional groomers. If you take care of your dog’s grooming at home, you won’t have to worry about paying for a professional.

Overall, it is possible to own these dogs on a budget as long as you’re willing to put in the work.

shiba inu standing outdoor
Image Credit: Jae Lee, Unsplash

Saving Money on Shiba Inu Care

On top of putting in a little elbow grease, you can also do a few other things to ensure that your dog doesn’t cost you tons of extra money. Buy your food in bulk. These dogs will eat them before it goes bad, and the few dollars you save will add up.

Consider buying toys on sale. You can often find last season’s toys on sale for cheap. These are perfectly fine for your dog—they may simply be playing with Christmas tree-shaped toys in July.

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Conclusion

The Shiba Inu is a moderately expensive dog. They aren’t as expensive as some other breeds, but you will find tons that are cheaper to purchase and care for. We cannot recommend them for those looking for a budget dog, but most homeowners likely won’t have trouble budgeting appropriately for these dogs. They are very special animals and can be a very worthy investment for those who love Shibas.

You can expect to spend about $1,400 to $2,200 on a puppy from a breeder. Often, these puppies will include some vet costs and socialization, so they may lower your other costs for the year. Keep this in mind when budgeting.

Supplies for your dog will cost around $300—most of these need to be purchased before you bring your pet home. Monthly costs will be around $65 – $600, with most owners spending on the lower end of this price range. If you don’t take your dog to the groomer or hire a dog walker, you can expect to spend about $100 a month.

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Featured Image Credit: Petra Göschel, Pixabay