Dog owners always want to know how long their favourite dog breed is going to live. How long do Shih Tzus live is, therefore, a common and important question considering the popularity of this breed.
How Long Do Shih Tzus Live?
In general, they will live between 10 and 16 years (13 on average). As always, smaller dog breeds live longer than bigger ones. Below, we will discuss the matter in detail and reveal all the facts you need to know.
Shih Tzus Health Issues
Shih Tzus are generally healthy dogs. There are not a lot of health-related issues you have to worry about. You will want to know that this breed has some of the longest lifespans among all dog breeds, which is always a great thing to hear. But, how long Shih Tzus lives is not always so easy to answer. There are still some health issues you need to know about. These are important due to the fact that if you notice symptoms sooner, the treatment is far more effective!
This is an issue in which the hip will move away from the thigh bone and cause issues. Much smaller breeds, including Shih Tzu, believe they can jump hard and climb tall areas. This can cause the injury, which can cause the issue in question. In some cases, surgery is a must. This issue is not life-threatening, but in rare situations, it can cause immobility, which will then affect the lifespan.
Issues With Their Ears
These can be minor and severe issues depending on the situation. Basically, their ears need a lot of attention and they can develop many different infections, allergies and so much more. All of these do require treatment and regular care.
IVD stands for Intervertebral Disk Disease, and it is a back-related condition. Here we can see the disc slips and pushes the spinal cord. In rare cases, it can cause paralysis, which is a severe problem. IVD is common in this breed simply because they have short legs and a long spine.
This dog breed has a very small mouth and usually has teeth that do not align properly or are completely missing. Here we can see periodontal disease occurring frequently.
It is a fancy name for an infection that is severe. It can spread to the brain, heart, liver, and kidneys. As such, brushing the teeth of your pet is more important than you may believe. Regular brushing will minimise the risk of this disease. Keep in mind that this disease is common, so you will want to keep an eye on the symptoms and have your vet check the teeth on a regular basis.
These dogs can be born with airways in their nostrils that are too small. They will have a hard time breathing. Another issue is a collapsing trachea, which makes breathing even more difficult. You will probably notice if your dog has problems breathing, and yes, treatment is mandatory. The most common symptom you will probably notice is a snorting sound. Take your dog to a vet immediately.
In general, this dog breed has issues with eyesight. The most severe is a condition called proptosis, in which an eyeball will pop out from the socket and can cause blindness. An emergency visit to a vet is mandatory to solve the problem.
Tips for Prolonging Your Shih Tzu’s Life
Tthere are a lot of things you can do in order to make your dog live as long as possible. The goal is 16 years of age, but some individuals can live even longer. The first thing you need to do is use a harness when walking your dog. Using a leash is not a good idea due to the collapsing trachea.
Feed your Shih Tzu high-quality dog food that is age-appropriate. Steer clear of foods with fillers, artificial ingredients, or excessive grains. Consult your veterinarian for specific dietary recommendations tailored to your dog’s unique needs.
Though Shih Tzus are small and may not seem to need much activity, regular walks and playtime are crucial. These activities not only keep them physically fit but also mentally stimulated.
Routine Veterinary Visits
Ensure regular check-ups with your veterinarian. Early detection of potential health issues can make all the difference in treatment outcomes.
Shih Tzus have a long, dense coat that requires frequent grooming to prevent matting and skin issues. Regular grooming sessions also allow you to check for ticks, fleas, or any abnormalities on the skin.
Shih Tzus, like many small breeds, are prone to dental problems. Regular brushing and dental check-ups can prevent serious issues and potential complications.
Engage your dog in puzzles, interactive toys, and training sessions. Keeping their mind active can fend off cognitive decline in their senior years.
Ensure your Shih Tzu has plenty of positive interactions with both humans and other pets. Socialization can prevent behavioral issues and keeps them emotionally content.
Ensure your home environment is safe. Keep toxic foods and plants out of reach, use pet-friendly cleaning products, and make sure there’s no opportunity for your Shih Tzu to escape or get into accidents.
By adopting these practices and maintaining a consistent care routine, you can significantly increase the chances of your Shih Tzu enjoying a lengthy and fulfilling life.
The Final Word
Still want to know how long do Shih Tzus live? We gave you all the explanations, all the facts, and all you had to know about this breed and its lifespan. In general, this is one of the dog breeds with the longest lifespan, and you can see that they are healthy dogs.
On the other hand, owners do need to invest a lot of effort and a lot of attention in order to help their pets reach a long lifespan. For some, this is perfectly normal, while some owners simply don’t have the time to do all of this.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long is the average lifespan of a Shih Tzu?
On average, Shih Tzus live between 10 to 16 years. Proper care, genetics, and overall health play roles in determining their lifespan.
Are Shih Tzus prone to any specific health issues?
Like many small breeds, Shih Tzus can be susceptible to dental problems, respiratory issues due to their short snout, hip dysplasia, and certain eye conditions.
How often should I take my Shih Tzu for vet check-ups?
For adult Shih Tzus, an annual check-up is typically recommended. Puppies and senior dogs might require more frequent visits.
Is it okay to feed my Shih Tzu human food?
While some human foods are safe in moderation, others can be toxic. It’s crucial to know which foods are safe and which aren’t. Always consult with your vet before introducing new foods to your pet’s diet.
How often should I groom my Shih Tzu?
Shih Tzus have a long coat that needs regular grooming. Brushing should be done a few times a week, while baths can be done every three to four weeks or as needed.
Can Shih Tzus live in apartments?
Yes, Shih Tzus are adaptable and do well in apartments due to their small size and moderate energy level. Regular walks and playtime are still essential.
What’s the best way to train a Shih Tzu?
Positive reinforcement methods work best. Shih Tzus respond well to treats, praise, and play. Patience and consistency are key.