Dog owners always want to know how long their favorite 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. 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.
How Long Do Shih Tzus Live?
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 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 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 minimize the risk of this disease. Keep in mind that this disease is common so you will want to keep your eye on the symptoms and make 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 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.
How can your Shih Tzu live longer?
Yes, there 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 to use a harness when walking your dog. Using a leash is not a good idea due to the collapsing trachea.
Other things you can do are straightforward. For instance, you need to take your pet to a vet on a regular basis. Regular tests and checks can minimize the risk of the issues we have discussed earlier. You will want to brush his teeth as well. Proper oral hygiene will affect how they eat and will eliminate many other issues.
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Make sure your dog doesn’t overheat. They don’t tolerate heat very well so you will need to make sure this issue doesn’t affect them and are not the ideal dog breed for running and jogging companions so keep that in mind as well. They need a small amount of physical activity and they need a lot of attention but in a safe and relaxing environment. Shih Tzu don’t like to swim either so keep that in mind. A few minutes in the swimming pool won’t be very dangerous but anything longer than this will.
You will also have to keep the hair out of their eyes. They have long hair on their face which can cover their eyes. Their eyes on the other hand are protruding forward which means they can be easily scratched. This can cause infections and as you remember we did say that this dog breed has issues with eyes.
It is a nice idea to look at the specific dog you are trying to adopt. Take him to a vet first and also try to get as much information as possible from the breeder you are adopting the dog from. Proper breeding can decrease the risk of many issues and help you have a healthy dog who will live as long as possible.
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 have to know regarding 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.
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