Chow Chow

Chow Chow


The chow chow has the mane of a lion and a personality to match. These dignified dogs are usually calm and independent, but when their family is in trouble, they will step up to the challenge. Loyal and loving with their family, chow chows are usually reserved around strangers.

Lifetime Care

Breed Profile


17 - 20



45 - 70


Life Span

8 - 12





of dogs

What is it?

Glaucoma is a painful condition that occurs when the pressure in your dog’s eye increases because more fluid is produced than can be drained.

Clinical signs:

Scratching/rubbing the eye, increased discharge, sudden blindness, dilated pupils that don’t react to light, excessive sleeping, decreased appetite, redness


Eye drops, like Timolol, Latanoprost, or Orzolamide, pain medication

Other risks:

Glaucoma is a medical emergency since it can cause blindness if left untreated.

Eligible vet bill


Reimbursement Rate

Amount a Spot accident & illness plan could cover*


Your Net payment


Click For Price

*Hypothetical reimbursement examples illustrate reimbursement of an eligible vet bill at the noted reimbursement rate, assuming the annual deductible had already been satisfied and the annual coverage limit has not yet been met. Annual deductible, co-insurance, benefit and coverage limits, and exclusions may apply. Eligibility may vary. Visit for full terms. For Canada enrollments only, reimbursement rate is based on the pet's age.


Diabetes Mellitus

of dogs

What is it?

Diabetes mellitus occurs when your pup’s pancreas is diseased and can’t perform one of its most important functions, regulating blood sugar.

Clinical signs:

Weight loss, increased drinking, eating, and urination, hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia


Twice a day insulin injections, scheduled feedings, regulated diet, monitoring blood sugar levels

Other risks:

If your pup is not treated properly, it can result in hypoglycemia.

Eligible vet bill


Reimbursement Rate

Amount a Spot accident & illness plan could cover*


Your Net payment


Click For Price

*Hypothetical reimbursement examples illustrate reimbursement of an eligible vet bill at the noted reimbursement rate, assuming the annual deductible had already been satisfied and the annual coverage limit has not yet been met. Annual deductible, co-insurance, benefit and coverage limits, and exclusions may apply. Eligibility may vary. Visit for full terms. For Canada enrollments only, reimbursement rate is based on the pet's age.



Chow chows may not show their affection by jumping up on you and licking you, but they are loyal and dedicated to you and the rest of their family.


Chow chows are alert and watchful dogs, and they are willing to do anything to keep their family safe.


Although chow chows like being around their family, they aren’t very big fans of strangers. They can do well around other small pets, but they can be aggressive towards or shy of other dogs.


Chow chows usually do pretty well by themselves, and they’re excellent at keeping themselves clean. Their independent spirit can cause them to be stubborn at times.


Even though chow chows are fairly active, they aren’t as playful as other breeds of dogs, and they are usually very serene. They don’t get excited easily and usually only have short bursts of activity.

Lifetime Care


CoatA chow chow can have medium-length double coats that shed an average amount. There are two main coat types in the chow chow: rough coats and smooth coats.


Common coat colors can include cream, cinnamon, red, black, and blue.





They need bi-weekly brushing, and their ears and teeth should be cleaned regularly. They will also need their nails clipped often.


Chow chows are intelligent, but their stubbornness makes them difficult to train. You should be firm but not forceful. Professional training might be useful.

Life Time Care Cost:


Learn more about the cost of caring for a Chow Chow.

Chow Chow: Dog Breed Information Guide 2022

With their fluffy fur, unusual blue-black tongues, and teddy bear-like appearance, chow chows are an ancient breed that is dedicated to their family. They have a protective and sometimes stubborn nature that requires a strong guiding hand to help them thrive as members of their families and communities.

If you’re thinking about adopting a chow chow, you need to be sure that you can take care of their needs, guide them, and spend time with them. Although they aren’t affectionate pups in the traditional sense, their loyalty and desire for attention from you is their way of showing their love.

At Spot Pet Insurance, we hope that every pet finds an owner that suits them and can fulfill their needs. To help reach this goal, we have worked to provide educational resources about each breed so that you can be prepared to bring your new fur baby home.

Chow chows may look intimidating, and they can be protective guard dogs. But once you get to know them, they’re often lovable and laid-back furry friends.

Meet the chow chow

Chow chows are large dogs, though their fluffy manes make them look much bigger and more intimidating than they are. They may look grumpy, but they’re happy to be with their people.

Purebred chow chows have a medium-length double coat. The topcoat can be either smooth or rough, and the undercoat is wooly and thick. They have a mane or ruff around their head. People often compare their appearance to a lion-like animal or a teddy bear.

Since their coats are so thick, they need to be kept indoors in hot or humid weather. They enjoy cold weather, but they like to be indoors because they enjoy being around their family members and having all the attention.

The most distinctive features of the chow chow are their blue-black tongues, their manes, and their slow, stilted gait that is due to their straight hind legs.

Where do chow chows come from?

Chow chows are an ancient breed. They are actually one of the 14 oldest breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). No one is sure of the exact history, but the breed's age was determined through DNA testing — and the breed may have originated in Mongolia.

For hundreds of years, the chow chow was popular among Chinese nobility as a hunting, birding, or pointing dog. After some time, though, hunting became less popular, and they began to live in monasteries in China.

In the late 1700s, chow chows were introduced in England, where they got the name chow chow. They weren’t very popular initially, but once dog shows became more common and exotic dogs could be shown off, chow breeders grew in popularity. Queen Victoria was a big fan of the chow chows in the late 1800s.

In the early 1900s, the American Kennel Club declared the chow chow an official breed. Their popularity has fluctuated over time, but they continue to captivate the hearts around the world.

What are the health conditions for chow chows?

Some of the conditions that affect chow chow are entropion, patellar luxation, gastric torsion, elbow dysplasia, glaucoma, cataracts, diabetes mellitus, hip dysplasia, and distichiasis.

There are two types of glaucoma. One is more sudden and causes blindness and intense pain, while the other progresses more slowly, although it also ends in blindness. Cataracts, another health issue that can cause blindness in chow chows, also progresses slowly.

The increased pressure from glaucoma damages the retina, optic disk, and nerve in a chow chow’s eyes. The damage to the optic nerve causes blindness. If your pup is diagnosed soon after the onset of the condition, blindness can be prevented.

Diabetes is also common in chow chows. The pancreas is supposed to produce a hormone called insulin, which helps to control the levels of sugars in the blood. Once your dog’s pancreas can’t produce insulin, the blood sugar becomes dysregulated and causes problems.

Diabetes mellitus can occur in most dog breeds, but the chow chow breed tends to have a higher than average occurrence of this health problem.

Diabetes can occur for three reasons: your pup has no insulin-producing cells (type I), your pup has very few insulin-producing cells/cells are resistant to insulin (type II), or other hormones cause insulin resistance  (type III, usually seen in pregnancy or if your pup has a tumor).

It’s important to discuss the possibilities with your vet so you can know what signs to look for. Spot plans can help cover eligible costs of visits to licensed vets across the United States and Canada. You can also take advantage of the 24/7 telehealth service powered by VetAccess.

How to be the best pet parent for a chow chow?

Although every individual dog will have their own personality and therefore their own needs, most dogs of the same breed have similar temperaments, so it’s important to learn about the breed you want to adopt before adopting.

To be a great chow chow parent, you need to have a strong personality. If chow chows don’t grow up with someone who can outlast them in a match of the wills, they’ll think that they are the boss, which means they won’t listen to anything you say.

Chow chows need a firm but friendly hand to help guide them so they can be great members of the family and community.

How much does a dog or puppy cost?

Adoption fee: $50-$4,000

[Expense: first year, following years]Food: $155-$310, $140-$450

Water/food bowls: $10-$40, N/A

Treats: $125-$715, $125-$715

Collars: $10-$40, N/A

Leashes: $10-$30, $0-$30

Dog bed and crate: $50-$205, N/A

Toys: $50-$155, $0-$155

Vaccines and routine care: $395-$1,645, $380-$825

Heartworm and flea prevention: $130-$210, $255-$400

Training: $1,050-$1,400, N/A

Total: $1,985-$4,750, $900-$2,575

Learn more about the price of a Chow Chow.

Basic training and behavior etiquette for your dog

Since chow chows are territorial and protective, it’s very important to properly socialize your pup. As puppies, chow chows need to be interacted with and introduced to new situations, people, places, and dogs so that they don’t become aggressive and antisocial.

It’s also important to have young chow chows interact with children. Otherwise, they won’t be good with kids as adults. You should always watch your pup when they play with children anyways, but early socialization can mean the difference between tolerance and dislike.

Professional classes can be beneficial for training a chow chow, as chow chows need to learn basic commands like sit, stay, heel, and come. Chow chows should be taught other tricks so their minds can also be exercised.

If you want to own a chow chow, you need to be firm and strong-willed when training them.

What type of foods should a chow chow never eat?

Although there are plenty of human foods that your chow chow can enjoy, like blueberries or cauliflower, there are also foods that we enjoy that are toxic to our pups.

Some of the foods that are toxic to chow chows are:

Exercising tips to keep your dog to stay fit and healthy

Since the chow chow’s hind legs cause them to have a stiff gait, they aren’t really dogs suited for runs. They also tend to have a lower energy level. As a result, chow chows do well with multiple short periods of daily exercise.

A short, leisurely walk four times a day should fulfill your chow chow’s exercise needs. It’s also a good idea to give them toys to play with or allow them to rough house or find another form of high-impact play for your chow chow to do.

Chow chow life stages

Puppy: 0-18 months

Adult: 1.5 years- Unknown

Senior: Unknown


  • 15 Things You Should Know About the Chow Chow | Your Dog Advisor

  • 26 Things Chow Chows Should Never Eat | The Paws

  • Chow Chow Dog Breed Hypoallergenic, Health and Life Span | PetMD

  • Chow Chow Dog Breed Information |

  • Chow Chow |

  • Chow Chow | VCA Animal Hospitals

  • Complete Care Guide for Chow Chows |

  • The Cost of Chow Chow Puppies & Adult Dogs (with Calculator) | PetBudget

  • Diabetes Mellitus In Dogs Overview | VCA Animal Hospitals

  • Distichia Or Distichiasis In Dogs | VCA Animal Hospitals

  • Glaucoma in Dogs | PetMD