Let’s talk about numbers.
The annual cost of owning a Shiba Inu can be estimated at about $1,525 to $8,525 per year - PER SHIBA.
The wide range in costs is attributed to contributing factors such as your lifestyle, region you live in, and your Shiba’s individual needs.
If you work a typical 40-hour a week job and have absolutely no one to watch your Shiba while you’re at work - you should allocate dog daycare and dog walking into your annual budget.
And it’s not cheap.
However, leaving your Shiba home all alone for extended periods while you’re at work is simply not fair to the dog. If that’s the case, it’s best to wait to get a Shiba Inu.
Doggy daycare alone can add roughly $5,000 to the yearly cost.
Other dog care costs such as walking, grooming, and training can all rack up the numbers as well.
You’ll save a lot of money if your lifestyle enables you to perform these tasks yourself. Plus, your Shiba will likely prefer being handled by you versus a stranger.
Puppy from reputable, ethical breeder
Veterinarian exams, initial vaccinations, microchip, medications, microchip
Puppy supplies (listed in detail below)
Spay / Neuter
Initial Expense Total,
Veterinary Care / Medications
Pet Care Services
Costs of Owning A Shiba Inu
Due to ever increasing popularity, the price to purchase a responsibly / well-bred Shiba Inu is already high to begin with.
There’s just not enough serious Shiba Inu breeders to keep up with the demand which invariably leads most unknowing families to purchase Shiba Inu puppies from backyard breeders or puppy mills.
So even though the initial cost of the puppy mill / byb breeder puppy is lower than average - most parents of puppy mill Shiba Inus pay much more in the long run due to increased medical care and costs.
From hip dysplasia to glaucoma to seizures - puppy mill puppies have substantially higher incidences of these serious diseases.
Additionally, puppy mill puppies have been the cause of antibiotic resistant outbreaks in humans.
And the costs to treat these diseases will likely surpass the amount you “saved” by purchasing a puppy mill Shiba instead of a responsibly bred Shiba Inu.
The other initial costs of owning a Shiba Inu varies depending if you get a puppy or adult.
Puppies need a bit more supplies such as puppy pads, teething toys.
They’ll also need to get their vaccines, microchip, and medications.
Here's a list:
- Shiba Inu puppy from reputable breeder
- Vet exams, vaccinations, medications
- Dog crate
- Dog bed
- Dog X-pen
- Dog collars / leashes / harness
- Puppy Toys / Interactive learning games
- Puppy Vaccinations
- Puppy pads, poop bags, poop rake / bin
- Licensing / Microchip
- Dog bowls
- Bath supplies (shampoo, etc)
- Grooming (brushes, nail clippers, grinder)
- Camera monitoring (optional, but highly recommended - Blink cameras are affordable and easy to set up)
By far, dog food will take the biggest chunk out of your yearly dog budget - unless your dog has medical issues with high vet bills (more on that later).
Quality nutrition can go a long way in ensuring your Shiba lives a healthy and happy life.
If you’ve followed our blog for a while you’ll know that we advocate to feed as “fresh as possible - whenever possible”.
It’s a motto that we truly believe in and support.
With that said, higher quality food costs more money and takes more time.
But the investment in not only your Shibas health - but their overall happiness - more than makes up for the additional costs.
By feeding your Shiba Inu the freshest and healthiest food possible, your Shiba Inu has a better chance in staying healthier than compared to ill-fed Shibas.
And of course a healthier dog can mean less veterinary bills.
The annual cost of food expenditure can vary depending on what you decide to feed.
We’ll provide you with some rough estimates on feeding a single adult Shiba Inu for a year going from lowest cost / least preferred to highest cost / most preferred options.
This is assuming that the Shiba Inu is an adult, 25 pounds, and has an average activity.
You can do rough adjustments if you have smaller / larger Shibas Inus and or very high activity dogs.
Annual Food Costs For "Average" Quality Kibble
If you were - and we truly hope you don’t - feed your Shiba Inu ONLY dry kibble, the kibble needs exceed minimum quality and safety standards.
What Brands Are Budget Friendly and Have “At Least” Average Quality?
For budget-friendly, bare minimum kibble options, we recommend the following:
- Costco’s Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain
- Whole Hearted By Petco
- Wag by Amazon
- Eagle Pack Dog Food
The dog food options listed above represent “average” quality kibble at a competitive price.
If you choose to buy a larger sized bag for increased savings, make sure you store the kibble properly to ensure maximum freshness.
Ideally, storing some of the kibble in a few extra large Ziploc type bags in the fridge would be the first option.
Due to harmful chemicals in most plastics, avoid storing any types of food in plastic containers.
And of course, never ever, microwave foods in plastic as well. This applies to both dogs and humans.
If you plan on feeding your Shiba Inu this type of kibble, try to supplement with as much fresh foods as possible, whenever possible.
Read this article for more information of food supplementation on a budget.
Yearly cost of "average / budget" kibble:
Premium Quality Kibble
Jumping into the premium dry kibble dog food department comes with a big increase in quality and an even bigger increase in cost.
There's ton's of brands that claim their kibble is "premium" but in reality it's more premium "marketing" than anything else.
Truly premium kibble is quite hard to find because most corporations know that "making" truly premium food costs a lot more than they're willing to pay.
Plus, it's much harder to sell kibble at such a high price point.
Fortunately, there are a handful of companies willing to make the extra effort to provide quality kibble regardless of whether they'll be losing out to a large portion of the market.
Here is the absolute best dry dog kibble available on the market today:
- Open Farms
- Honest Kitchens (Clusters)
Yearly cost: $600 - $900
Yearly cost of premium kibble
Fresh Homemade, Raw, Freeze Dried, ETC
The absolute best thing you can provide for your Shiba Inu is a healthy fresh food diet with whole foods.
Surprisingly, the annual cost is not much more than the cost of premium dry kibble (if you eventually learn to make it yourself).
It just takes more effort and time - but our Shibas are worth it, aren’t they?
It’s important to vary the diet as much as possible as long as your Shiba tolerates the foods well.
For example you can do a combination of fresh homemade food (balanced), raw (balanced), and even Freeze dried (balanced) on occasion.
You’ll notice the word “balanced” come up multiple times and it’s for an important reason.
It’s critical that the fresh and raw food diet you provide your Shiba Inu is balanced with all necessary vitamins and minerals.
The best way to ensure this is purchase these types of meals from a quality dog food company that specializes in either homemade / fresh or raw.
Learning how to properly formulate your dog’s diet is not easy. It can definitely be done but you’ll need to take the time to learn how to do it properly and safely.
In the meantime, stick to reputable fresh dog food companies while you learn more about the topic and protocols to do it correctly.
Yearly cost of fresh, homemade / raw nutrition
$1,700 (Buying Ready Made Fresh / Raw)
$1000 (Making It Yourself)
Routine trips to the veterinarian plays a critical role in keeping your Shiba Inu healthy and spotting issues before they become serious and hard / expensive to treat.
Shiba Inu puppies need a series of vet visits and shots during their first year.
Adult Shiba Inus should visit the vet at least once, or ideally, twice per year.
Annual lab work in the form of blood tests are an important part of preventative care that is worth the extra cost.
Dog's can't really tell us how they're feeling so spending a bit more for an annual blood test will greatly help the veterinarian assess your dog's health as well as log baseline data that'd be helpful in the future as your doges.
In 2017, the American Veterinarian Medical Association (AVMA) released new guidelines for annual vaccinations.
The new guidelines state that the core vaccines can be administered every three years or longer instead of annually (after first booster given within 12 months after initial vaccination series in puppies).
- Annual Visits $200
- Vaccinations $50 (lower amount reflects the fact that certain vaccines are not given every year once a puppy reaches adulthood)
- Flea / tick / heartworm preventative ($175)
- Various vet expenses estimate $200
Yearly cost of veterinarian services / medications
Pet Insurance OR “Veterinarian Savings Funds” Unexpected Medical Emergency Costs
It’s always best to plan and budget for the unforeseen.
It’s a fact that purebred dogs suffer from more health issues versus mixed-breed dogs.
This is why it’s important to have enough funds to cover any medical emergencies that may happen over the course of your Shiba Inus life.
Emergency vets can be astronomically high, so if you feel that you won’t have the means to cover a high vet bill $2,500 or more, than pet insurance may be an option for you to look at.
The younger you start, the lower the premiums are. However keep in mind that premiums are likely to increase over time.
Yearly cost of pet insurance (starting from a young age)
Or optional / not necessary if you can put aside a minimum of $5,000 in emergency savings funds for the duration of your shiba’s life.
Our Favorite Pet Insurance Choice:
Dog Care Services (Mostly optional if you can cover these yourself)
Dog care services like day care, walking, and boarding can quickly bloat up your yearly budget if not kept in check.
Ideally, you’ll have a plan in place so that your Shiba will always have someone to watch over them, walk them, play with them etc.
It’s unfair and heartbreaking to leave dogs alone for extended periods of time.
Dog’s are highly social animals and if you have a full time job with no one (family, friends) to watch over your Shiba during the day, then it’s best not to get a dog unless you can afford daycare services.
Additionally, although most dogs enroll in obedience school and training during puppyhood, training your Shiba should be an ongoing endeavor throughout your Shiba’s life.
This can be accomplished with occasional in person classes as well as books, videos, training memberships, and online training classes.
- Daycare - (full day, 5x week) = $5,000 year
- Dog walking (depends how much you need it - $20 / session average)
- Dog grooming ($50 per session)
- Dog training ($30 - $75 per session)
- Online dog training courses
- Dog training books, video
Yearly cost of pet services (daycare, walking, grooming, etc)
$100 - $5500
Or optional / not necessary if you can cover these tasks yourself
Miscellaneous costs involve supplies, and toys that need to be replenished or replaced every so often.
Items such as:
- Leash / collar
- Poop bags, wipes
- Toys, games
- Dog treats
- Grooming tools such as brushes, nail clippers
- First aid supplies, antibacterial cream, etc
- Toothbrush, toothpaste
- Car seat covers / sofa covers
- Fun stuff: costumes, doggy decorations for parties,
Yearly cost of everything else (miscellaneous)
$200 - "a lot more"
Initial Costs of Shiba Inu (Puppy): $3,450- $3,800
Annual Cost Of Adult Shiba Inu Care: $1,525- $8,525
Total 1st Year Costs: $3,850 - $10,800
Owning and caring for a Shiba Inu or any dog is a big investment in money, time, and commitment.
Many times new owners don't realize this resulting in some dogs being rehomed, or even worse - abandoned at a shelter.
Before jumping into such a serious commitment, take a good look at your current and future finances as well as your lifestyle.
If you don't have enough time to properly care for a Shiba or pay someone else to assist in the care, then it's best to wait until you can.
Don't be "one of those" many who irrationally purchases a Shiba Iu just because they're so cute and end up leaving them at home all day when the novelty wears down.
All dogs deserve better than this.
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