How Long do Shih Tzu dogs live?

How Long do Shih Tzu dogs live?

The life span of Shih-Tzu is about 13 to 16 years. Healthy and well-taken care of Shih Tzu will get the maximum out of his/her lifespan.

Shih Tzus are one of the oldest breeds existing today. They were developed in China and their origin can be traced back to 400 B.C.

The name itself means ‘lion’ or ‘little lion’. These dogs were mostly kept as pets and they were considered more like a friend rather than a pet.

However, later on, they came to be used for hunting purposes too. But some people think that these dogs started being bred only around 1860 while others believe that it happened much earlier around 1160.

Shih Tzus are also very popular amongst celebrities. Some of the celebrities that have owned this breed include Posh Spice aka Victoria Beckham, Jessica Simpson, Glenn Close, Kate Hudson, Ellen DeGeneres etc.

Life span


While healthy Shih tzu dogs will live up to 16 years on average, there have been cases where these dogs have lived for 20 years or even longer. The life expectancy of a dog depends mainly on its health condition and proper care given to these animals can definitely increase their lifespan.

However, other factors like obesity can cause problems too so owners must ensure that they don’t over feed their pets with rich food and keep them fit by making sure that they exercise well.

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Inbreeding- Shih Tzu

These dogs have been inbred a lot because of their popularity and there are high chances that these dogs might face some health problems soon due to this.

In fact, the life expectancy of such dogs has reduced considerably because of this reason too. If you want your pet dog to live longer then keep him healthy by providing good care and attention.

Obesity- One of the main reasons why most dogs don’t get long to live is obesity or overweight. They gain weight very quickly which causes several health problems like heart diseases etc.

An obese dog cannot lead a healthy life for long and will be prone to various diseases quite often. Owners must try their level best to make sure that they don’t feed more than required to their pets.

Health Problems

There are many health problems that Shih Tzu dogs are prone to and most of these are genetic in nature. If they have been inbred then there are very high chances that they can suffer from hereditary disease.

Some of the common diseases found in Shih Tzus include Patellar Luxation, Cataracts etc.

Eye Care- An estimated 30% to 40% of the Shih Tzus may get cataracts when they reach the age 7 years or older. Such eye disorders can cause serious problems for your dog if not treated well on time.

You must take your pet to an expert if you notice any abnormality in its eyesight at an early stage itself because it can lead to complete blindness.

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Patellar Luxation

The knee cap might get dislocated in Shih Tzus which can cause pain and discomfort for them. This is also known as luxating patella and the main cause for this disorder is genetic.

You must ensure that your pet dog doesn’t jump around much because it might lead to serious injuries if the kneecap gets dislocated even once.

Take your dog to an expert immediately if you find out that it has got this problem.

Ear Infections

Due to the heavy coat of fur on its body, many of these animals are more prone to ear infections than most other breeds.

The reason why they get infected too often is that they don’t shed their coats which causes the ear to become hot, moist and dirty.

This can cause problems for your pet if not taken proper care of.

So make sure that you clean their ears twice a week with ear cleansing solution which you can find easily at any vet clinic or pet store near your home.

Shih Tzu Skin Problems

Shih Tzus also suffer from other skin related problems other than allergies because of their coats.

They are very prone to dermatitis, seborrhea, etc due to the formation of dandruff inside the fur which causes itching and discomfort for them over time.

Grooming is an essential part in keeping these animals healthy so owners must ensure that they brush their dogs regularly using conditioner to remove the dead hair from its coat effectively.

Keeping these things in mind, you can surely take care of your Shih Tzu pet dog so that it lives longer without facing many problems early in life.

If you want to adopt a Shih Tzu puppy then make sure that the breeder is genuine and provides a good home for these animals.

As they are prone to various health conditions at old age, you must ensure that they are healthy during their younger days only.

Shih Tzus are easy-going dogs that have got lots of positive traits in them to be excellent companions for kids or elderly people who love company throughout their life.

They don’t need much exercise activity because of their tiny size and will remain playful even when they grow up well into their old age.

In addition to this, they are very loyal and loving dogs who will remain with you for a lifetime if treated well from the beginning of their life.

Shih Tzus make great companions because of their obedience towards their owners and love cuddling sessions too on regular basis. They enjoy being pampered a lot by their masters because they instinctively know that these animals need good care.

But you must be prepared for some expenses when taking care of your pet dog as it is going to cost you a few bucks each month in terms of grooming tools and other things that your pet might require during its lifetime.

These animals do not shed fur like other breeds so it is important that you clean them often or brush them regularly for efficient shedding.

Other than this, you must also be prepared to face problems like ear infections or skin allergies as they are often seen in these breeds of dogs.

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