Why we love Shih Tzus

Shih Tzus can be an excellent addition to a family with children. As an adaptable breed, they’re great for owners who live in a flat or don’t have direct access to a garden or a large green space.


Favoured among Chinese royalty during the Ming dynasty

Their name translates to “Little Lions” in Mandarin

Originated in Tibet as early as 1000 BC

The oldest Shih Tzu lived to be 23 years old!

What does John Lewis Pet Insurance include?

Pet insurance could give you peace of mind if your Shih Tzu were to become unwell. John Lewis Pet Insurance offers six different Vet Fee cover levels, ranging from £2,000 - £12,000 per year.


Our Pet Insurance includes:


Annual Online Health Checks

Provided by vetfone™, one of the UK’s most trusted pet advice services, who can help you to spot any potential health issues. This is a service to complement your normal annual physical check up with your vet.


Lifetime Cover 

If your pet develops a long-term, chronic illness, there’s no limit to the length of treatment as long as there’s no break in your cover.

Learn about our Lifetime Cover

24/7 vetfone™ helpline

Around the clock access to fully trained veterinary nurses to get the advice and reassurance you need, when you need it.


Dental treatment

Our comprehensive cover provides routine treatments and emergency care, ranging from tooth decay and gum disease to post-illness teeth removal.*


Treatment foods

If prescribed by your vet, we could pay up to £300 per policy year. Cover forms part of vet fees.


Complementary therapies

Whether carried out by your vet or by a specialist under your vet’s direction, we could pay up to £1,500 per policy year. Cover forms part of vet fees.


Behavioural treatment

If your vet suggests some behaviour training, we could pay up to £300 per policy year. Cover forms part of vet fees.

*For dental care up to your chosen Vet Fee limit. If your pet has a dental check every 12 months: once it has had its first check and your vet has done any necessary work, should your pet suffer from tooth decay or gum disease before the next 12-month check, or if tooth decay or gum disease are seen at the time of the next check, we pay. If your pet doesn’t have a check every 12 months, or if the work required is not done, we will only pay; 

1) For teeth or gums if they are damaged in an accident,

2) If an underlying illness causes tooth decay or gum disease, or

3) To remove teeth as treatment of an illness which is not gum disease or tooth decay.

Average treatment costs

For all breeds, including Shih Tzus, costs could vary, even if you already have insurance. This usually depends on the veterinary practice you visit and the type of treatment needed. Whether you’re bringing in a new Shih Tzu to your family or have one that’s already living with you, it’s important to have an idea of what your pet insurance could cost.


For transparency, we’ve put together an overview of the average cost of claims made for Shih Tzus at John Lewis Pet Insurance.


Data between January 2021 - February 2023:

Condition Average cost with
John Lewis Pet Insurance
Corneal ulcer £1,149.78
Lameness £1,180.08
Skin allergy £1,387.99
Poisoning £427.97
Eye condition £623.08
Gastro-enteritis £973.26
Lump £658.41
Gastric condition £943.71
Cruciate rupture £2,349.27
Tumour £1,161.43

95% of all Pet Insurance claims through John Lewis Pet Insurance were paid within 5 days between May 2023 and October 2023.


Despite their long flowing hair, adult Shih Tzus are known to shed less than the average dog. That is, if they are washed and brushed regularly. However, as puppies, they may start to shed more than usual. This isn’t a cause for concern, as it’s a normal process when puppies grow and have to change their coats. During this stage, brush their hair once a day and get the hoover ready to vacuum up their strands of hair!

Yes, a Shih Tzu’s hair is considered hypoallergenic, however no dog breed is 100% allergen-free. Read more about it here.

According to the UK Kennel Club, a healthy Shih Tzu can live 10 years or more. However, some may even live longer, as the oldest Shih Tzu made it to age 23!

This article is for promotion or information purposes only. You must not rely on it for advice.

Pet breed guides

Pet Insurance through John Lewis is subject to eligibility. Terms and conditions apply.

John Lewis Finance and John Lewis Insurance are trading names of John Lewis plc. The John Lewis Registered office address is: 171 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 5NN. Registered in England and Wales no. 233462. John Lewis plc is an appointed representative (Financial Conduct Authority number 416011) of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Ltd. John Lewis Pet Insurance is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Ltd (No. 93792). Registered in England and Wales at St. Mark's Court, Chart Way, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1XL. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register No. 202323).

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