Pet Insurance for Shiba Inus

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

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, updated on September 15th, 2023       

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Price range

$2,500 – $7,000






Alert, bold, faithful

Coat length

Short, double coat

Exercise needs



Yes – older children

Life expectancy

12–15 years

Shiba Inu


The Shiba Inu is a Japanese breed known for its spirited nature and distinctive appearance. Originally hunting dogs in Japan, Shiba Inus were used for flushing small game from dense brushwood. Their agile bodies are compact and well-muscled, with a curled tail and a dense double coat that provides insulation against the elements.

Shiba Inus are known for their independence and intelligence. They are alert and confident, though often reserved around strangers, and their strong-willed disposition call for consistent training and early socialisation to ensure a well-behaved companion. 

Shiba Inus can be a wonderful addition to the right household, forming deep bonds with their owners. However, potential owners should be prepared for a spirited and assertive breed that requires a dedicated and patient approach to training and needs mental stimulation and regular exercise. Despite this, their loyalty and affection towards their families make them cherished companions.

Common diseases and conditions of Shiba Inus

  • Hip dysplasia: this is a genetic condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to arthritis and mobility issues, especially as your dog ages.
  • Patellar luxation: this occurs when the kneecap dislocates from its normal position, causing lameness and discomfort.
  • Atopy: Shiba Inus can be prone to atopy, a condition triggered by environmental factors like pollen, dust mites, or certain types of food. This can lead to symptoms such as skin irritations, itchiness and digestive issues.
  • Eye diseases: Shiba Inus may be susceptible to various eye conditions, including progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), cataracts and glaucoma. Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial for early detection and management of these potential issues.

Breed-specific issues:  

Shiba Inus are known for their spirited and independent nature. They can be reserved around strangers and early socialisation is crucial to ensure they are well-adjusted and comfortable in various social settings. Due to their high intelligence, they require mental stimulation to prevent boredom. They also display a degree of stubbornness, so owners should be prepared to provide firm but positive training techniques to establish themselves as the leader in the relationship.

How much does pet insurance cost for a Shiba Inu?

There are many factors that can influence the cost of pet insurance for your Shiba Inu, 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 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 which 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 does 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, whilst 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 Shiba Inus

Do Shiba Inus bark a lot?

No – Shiba Inus are generally not known for excessive barking. They tend to be quiet dogs, but they may express themselves through howling, especially when they are excited or alert. Owners should be attuned to their individual Shiba's vocalisations to understand their unique forms of communication.

Are Shiba Inus easy to train?

Shiba Inus are intelligent but can be independent and strong-willed. They excel in training when provided with early socialisation and consistent, positive reinforcement techniques. Patience and understanding their independent nature are key to successful training. 

These dogs are also very easy to toilet train due to their fastidious nature. They tend to be clean animals and quickly learn to associate specific areas for their bathroom needs. With consistent and positive reinforcement during toilet training, Shiba Inus typically adapt well to established routines.

How much exercise does a Shiba Inu require?

Shiba Inus are an active breed that benefits from regular exercise of about an hour a day. Walks, play sessions and engaging activities help them burn off energy and maintain their mental well-being. They particularly enjoy activities that engage their intelligence, such as puzzle toys and interactive games.

Are Shiba Inus good with children and other pets?

Shiba Inus can be good with older children if they are socialised from a young age, but may not be suitable for families with young children as the dogs are relatively impatient and can be easily provoked. Proper introduction and supervision are important and can help dog and children form strong bonds.

In terms of pets, as an animal that likes to be dominant, the Shiba Inu may not get along with other ‘alpha’ dogs, especially those of the same sex. Furthermore, due to their hunting background, they often have a strong prey drive, so caution should be taken with smaller animals.

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Shiba Inu

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