Vet Care Costs

Getting a Shiba (or any dog) is a financial commitment, so adopters should consider wether or not they can afford to get a dog before getting one.  It is as important to your decision making process as wether the dog fits into your family dynamic and lifestyle!

Young healthy dogs cost money too:  From the day you bring home your Shiba, there are costs associated with caring for them, even the youngest and healthiest of dogs cost money to care for.  In their first year of life they go to the vet multiple times for vaccinations, vaccination boosters, and to be spayed/neutered.  Shibas live approximately 15 years and will need annual vet visits for wellness exams, heartworm tests and prevention, and to keep their vaccinations current.

Dogs need extra care in their senior years: Like any dog, Shibas will need extra vet visits and care to deal with the common problems that effect aging dogs like arthritis, loss of hearing and vision, incontinence, dental and kidney disease.

Shibas are genetically predisposed to certain issues: There are a variety of health problems that are common in Shibas: Patellar Luxation, environmental and food allergies, Glaucoma, and Peripheral Vestibular Syndrome.  They are also know to have other eye disorders, cancer, and hip dysplasia.  These common issues can lead to expensive diagnostics, treatments, medications and surgeries.  All breeds have the potential for health problems, but Shiba adopters should be prepared for any of these issues.

FYI- The chances of a Shiba having one of these issues is significantly higher if they come from a puppy mill.  Their focus is on profit vs. responsibility, so they don’t bother with the  proper genetic testing before breeding.  Beware that the Shibas you will pay $1600 for in pet stores are definitely from a puppy mill!  

Adopters should research the options that are available to them to help with the cost of caring for their Shiba before deciding to get a dog:

Low-cost clinics are available to lower income families in most communities and offer spay/neuter and preventative care.

Care Credit covers veterinary care and is accepted at most vet clinics.  It offers pet owners instant credit (upon approval) to pay for an emergency or unexpected vet bills that may mean the difference between life and death for your pet!

Pet Insurance policies are widely available now and offer coverage for everything from preventative care to accidents, and offer coverage for pre-existing or genetic conditions, as well as senior care.

Dog food is available at many local food banks.  Colorado Pet Pantry is an organization that keeps local food banks stocked with pet food so that families can food for their pets and don’t have to surrender them to shelters or rescues because they can’t afford to feed them.  Check them out at

Subsidized Veterinary Care