Pet Insurance for Shar Peis

Find out all about the Shar Pei and their common health conditions, then compare pet insurance options from some of Australia’s leading insurers.

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, updated on October 4th, 2023       

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Price range

$600 – $3,000






Loyal, protective, independent

Coat length


Exercise needs



Yes – with socialisation and supervision

Life expectancy

9–11 years

Shar Pei


The Shar Pei has a rich history that stretches back more than two thousand years in China. Highly regarded during ancient China's dynastic periods, Shar Peis faced a huge decline in numbers in the mid-20th century, and in the 1960s and 1970s held the world record as the rarest dog breed. The breed was saved by a small group of dedicated breeders in the United States.

The Shar Pei has a distinctive appearance with its deep wrinkles and unique “hippopotamus” muzzle. Initially bred for hunting and guarding, they are known for their loyalty and protective nature. Their adaptable temperament, combined with their striking appearance, has made them a popular breed in Australia. They are suited to various living situations, from apartments to larger homes, and their devotion to their owners can make them excellent family pets.

Common diseases and conditions of Shar Peis

  • Hip dysplasiaa condition in which the hip joint does not form properly, leading to pain, inflammation and arthritis.
  • Patellar luxation: a condition in which the kneecap dislocates from its normal position.
  • Shar Pei fever: an autoimmune disease that causes fever, inflammation, and joint pain.
  • Amyloidosis: a condition in which amyloid proteins build up in the organs, leading to organ damage.
  • Skin fold dermatitis: a skin infection that can occur in the deep folds of Shar-Pei skin.
  • Entropion and ectropion: eye conditions in which the eyelid rolls inward or outward, respectively, causing irritation and inflammation.

Breed-specific issues:  

Shar Peis are known for their independent and stubborn nature, which can make them challenging to train. However, with patience and consistency, they can be taught to obey commands and behave well in social situations. Early socialisation is also essential to help Shar Peis become comfortable around strangers and other animals. Shar Peis can also be territorial and protective of their family and home, making them excellent watchdogs. However, it is important to teach them that not everyone is a threat. This can be done by gradually introducing them to new people and animals in a positive way.

How much does pet insurance cost for a Shar Pei?

There are many factors that can influence the cost of pet insurance for your Shar Pei, including the following: 

  • Age: the older your dog is, the more pet insurance is likely to cost. This is because older dogs tend to have more physical health conditions and illnesses due to age, and so present a higher insurance risk.   
  • Type of insurance you choose:  there are three basic types of pet insurance for dogs available in Australia; accident-only, accident and illness, and comprehensive insurance. An accident-only policy is the cheapest type available, with comprehensive coverage costing the most. 
  • The policy annual limit: each pet insurance policy has an annual limit, which is the maximum amount that will be paid out on the policy in one financial year. Annual limits range from around $10,000 up to $25,000 or more.  
  • Sub limits: in addition to an annual limit, there may also be sub limits that apply to the policy, for example a $300 sub limit for consultation fees, or a $5,000 limit for cruciate ligament conditions.  
  • Benefit percentage: pet insurance may not cover 100% of the cost of your vet bill. Instead, it may pay a percentage of the total bill. This can range from 50% for cheaper policies up to 90% for top-of-the-range cover. 
  • Excess amount: this is the amount you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket each time you make a claim on your policy. Some pet insurance policies do not come with an excess amount, while others do. 
  • Any add-ons you choose: it’s possible to add on more cover options to a basic policy, such as emergency boarding fees, routine care and dental care. These add-ons extend the scope of your pet insurance, but do increase the overall cost of the policy.
  • Discounts: some insurers offer discounts of between 5% and 15% if you have multiple pets insured together, if you pay your premium annually, or if you bundle your pet insurance with other forms of insurance with the same company.  

Types of pet insurance you can choose from

Why compare pet insurance with Savvy?

Common questions about Shar Peis

Are Shar Peis good with children and other pets?

Shar Peis can be good with children and other pets, especially when they are properly socialised from an early age. Their loyal and protective nature can make them excellent family pets. However, it's important to supervise interactions, especially with younger children, as Shar Peis can be reserved and may not always have the patience for rough play. Furthermore, Shar Peis can be territorial, so it is important to introduce them to new people and animals slowly and carefully.

How much exercise do Shar Peis need?

Shar Peis have moderate energy levels. They benefit from daily walks and playtime, but they are not overly demanding in terms of physical activity. A couple of walks a day, along with some playtime in a secure area, is usually sufficient to keep them content and healthy.

Are Shar Peis easy to train?

Shar Peis are known for their independent nature, which can sometimes be mistaken for stubbornness. This can make training a bit challenging, especially for inexperienced dog owners. Consistent and patient training methods, along with positive reinforcement, tend to work best with this breed.

Are Shar Peis aggressive?

No – Shar Peis are naturally protective, but they are not inherently aggressive. Early socialisation and positive experiences with other dogs and people are crucial in preventing aggressive behaviours. Responsible breeding and proper training can also play a significant role in shaping a Shar Pei's temperament.

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Shar Pei

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