Shih Tzu Average Lifespan: A 2022 Guide

The hardest part about adopting a pet is the fear of losing them. So, if you are willing to adopt a Shih Tzu, you must be aware of its lifespan, the diseases it might have, and how to keep it healthy to avoid messing up its health.

Each dog has a different lifespan. This article covers all the information you require for Shih Tzu’s average lifespan, how it can live a long life, what can be the causes of its early death, and much more. So let’s get into it!

Shih Tzu Average Lifespan
Shih Tzu Average Lifespan

    Shih Tzu Average Lifespan

    The lifespan of a Shih Tzu depends on various circumstances. The living conditions, the quality of food, and the grooming routine play a significant part in the lifespan of a Shih Tzu. There is no confirmation of the lifespan as many of these might die in their teens due to poor health, and some might make it up to nineteen years of age. But if a proper health routine is present, Shih Tzu’s average lifespan is generally 10 – 16 years of age.

    Heath Problems Impacting The Life Expectancy Of Shih Tzus

    Due to the terrible breeding ways of Shih Tzus, they have various health issues. Some of the common health problems of Shih Tzus are:

    Eye Problem

    As Shih Tzus get older, they might be exposed to having eye problems.

    Several eye conditions can get to them, leading their life to pain & danger. Cataracts are one of the common eye issues in Shih Tzus.

    It causes the lens of your Shih Tzu’s eye to get cloudy, but if you can treat it through surgery.

    Your Shih Tzu might also get dry eye. It happens when the tear glands of your dog produce less fluid.

    Dry eyes can lead to infections in your Shih Tzu’s eyes.

    You can simply use ophthalmic solutions as well as ointments to treat these dry eyes.

    Skin & Dental Problems

    Shih Tzu is a delicate breed that may get allergies. To avoid your Shih Tzu having allergies, you must ensure bathing them more often. Do not make leave your Shih Tzu dirty for too long.

    Most of the time, pet owners do not consider dental issues a significant concern. If you do not resolve the dental problem with time, it might lead to tooth loss and further kidney or liver damage.

    Ear Infection

    The long hair of Shih Tzus in their eyes might cause ear infections. The trimming of hair is essential to avoid ear infections. You must consult the veteran for adequate medication if your dog’s ear smells terrible.


    The favorite thing of every canine is eating food. But many dog breeds may cause obesity due to overeating: the Shih Tzu breed is one of them.

    Obesity does not only mean gaining weight for Shih Tzus but also brings several health issues.

    Obesity in Shih Tzus may cause them to have joint issues, digestive disorders, and more concerning issues. Ensure feeding your Shih Tzu a specific amount of food.

    Signs That Your Shih Tzu Is Dying

    Shih Tzu Average Lifespan: A 2022 Guide
    Signs That Your Shih Tzu Is Dying

    How to know if your Shih Tzu is dying? There are various symptoms if your Shih Tzu isn’t well and is leading towards death. Let’s look into some of the signs you might want to be aware of:

    Loss Of Appetite

    As a Shih Tzu owner, you must be aware that your Shih Tzu loves eating their food.

    They might even cry when they feel hungry. Shih Tzus are always looking forward to having their meal.

    So, this might be an issue if your Shih Tzu is not eating or craving food. Loss of appetite is not for Shih Tzus. There can be many reasons your Shih Tzu is not eating, such as it might be sick, the taste of food is not good, they might be uncomfortable in their environment, or they might also be dying.

    Usually, loss of appetite will not lead to death, but if it is not having food or having less food constantly, it might be the reason.

    If your Shih Tzu starts hiding more and eating less, ensure a veterinarian checkup as it might be moving towards gradual death.

    Loss Of Interest In Mainly Everything

    Losing interest in everything is one of the earliest symptoms if your Shih Tzu is dying. It might be heartbreaking when you enter your house and your Shih Tzu no longer runs to meet you.

    It might no longer have interest in the things that excited it before, such as intriguing and fun things. Losing interest in the owner is a significant sign.

    Although these might lose interest for many reasons, such as sickness, old age, depression, etc., death can be one of them.

    Loss Of Weight

    Loss of weight is a common sign of a significant health issue in humans and dogs.

    It is usual for your Shih Tzu to eat less with age, due to which weight loss might happen.

    But constant weight loss may lead to major issues like any chronic renal or health problems leading your Shih Tzu to death.

    Cancer or any hepatic insufficiencies may also cause weight loss.

    Constant weight loss of your Shih Tzu is never good; immediately consult a veterinarian to find out the cause and the treatment your Shih Tzu requires.

    Fall In The Body Temperature

    The Shih Tzu might lose control of its body temperature as it ages. It will cause the Shih Tzus to lose their body heat more often, and the dog owner must check their Shih Tzus’s body temperature and visit the veterinarian.

    You can check the body temperature by considering the weather of the environment your dog is in, such as if your Shih Tzu stays in a cold place, it must also be chill. If the case is the opposite, your dog might lead to death.

    If that’s the situation, you must consult a vet or must try to provide warm beds and equipment for your Shih Tzu to maintain its body temperature and vice versa.

    More Respiratory Issues

    Due to the nose shape of Shih Tzus, it may have more breathing difficulties in older age than many other breeds. If your Shih Tzu starts breathing slower, it may have respiratory problems.

    If so, it might cause your Shih Tzu to have heart failure.

    As soon as you notice the slow inhaling & exhaling of your Shih Tzu, alarms should start running in your mind as it means your dog has a problem breathing.

    If your Shih Tzu’s capacity to breathe is deteriorating daily, you must prepare for bad news and immediately consult a vet.

    Increase In Vomiting

    Vomiting can cause any sickness, but if your dog is not sick and there is an increase in vomiting, it might be a major symptom of death. It can be alarming if there is no proper diagnosis for the continued increase in vomiting.

    Increase In Skin Problems

    If your Shih Tzu is dying, it will affect your dog’s skin, making it a significant symptom.

    And, if your Shih Tzu’s fur is shedding more than often, with the skin conditions getting worse with time, it might be a severe problem.

    If your Shih Tzu is dying, even with all your grooming efforts: the hair is still dry and continues to get worse. Seeing the silky Shih Tzu getting rough and excessive shedding will be heartbreaking.

    How To Help Your Shih Tzu Live A Long Life?

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    How To Help Your Shih Tzu Live A Long Life?

    Can you help your Shih Tzu to live a longer life? Life and death are uncontrollable, but if you take proper care and pay attention to your Shih Tzu, you can definitely help your Shih Tzu live a healthy, happy and longer life.

    Some of the ways in which you may help your Shih Tzu are:

    Supervise Your Shih Tzu Outdoors

    If you avoid assisting, you might expose your Shih Tzu to several dangers outdoors. You must make sure to accompany your dog when outdoors so that you can save them from any dangers, such as:

    • Attack by other senior dogs
    • Protecting your Shih Tzu from eating harmful or unhealthy items.
    • Protecting it from any poisonous insect bites.
    • Controlling them to prevent them from breaking free and getting injured.

    Supervising your Shih Tzu just like a human baby will protect your pet from many injuries, infections and other health concerns. If you have a lawn, you must keep it clean and fill it with pet-friendly products.

    Provide Your Shih Tzu With Filtered Water

    You are wrong if you think your tap water is clean. We never give our children tap water to drink, so why give it to our pets? Tap water can be as unclean and unsafe for dogs as for humans.

    Tap water contains a considerable level of toxins, such as:

    • Fluoride: Tap water contains above sixty percent fluoride, which may cause your Shih Tzu to have kidney disease, osteosarcoma, etc.
    • The tap water might contain heavy metals, such as copper, cadmium, mercury and many more, which causes health issues leading to a weak immune system in your Shih Tzu.

    Using filtered water, you can save your Shih Tzu from all these toxins. You can either install a filter in your house/kitchen or buy water bottles.

    Ensure Your Shih Tzu Has An Exercise Routine

    Exercise is essential for your dog to live a long and healthy life. You must have an exercise routine to avoid your Shih Tzu to do over-exercising or under-exercising. Having a good exercise routine for your Shih Tzu have the following benefits:

    Make sure to start with making a routine step by step. Follow it daily to make your Shih Tzu get used to it by accompanying it daily and ensuring it is doing well.

    Ensure Regular Vet Checks

    Most dog owners consider vet checks an unnecessary step when in reality, your dogs need more vet checks than you. Your dog might have unspoken and unseen health issues which only a regular vet checkup can identify.

    There are more chances of treating your Shih Tzu early if you can diagnose or discover the illness early. Isn’t it better to treat your dog more timely than to hear sudden bad news?

    Ensure regular vet checks and avoid missing out on the checkup if your Shih Tzu is sick. It will require adequate treatment as soon as possible, hence increasing its lifespan.

    Final Words: Shih Tzu Average Lifespan

    As Shih Tzus have an average of thirteen years of lifespan, you can always help your dog to live a little more by being aware of the diseases and taking proper care.

    This article covers all the details you need to know before adopting a Shih Tzu.

    It covers the details of your Shih Tzu’s diseases and how important it is to have routine veterinarian checkups. Comment below if you need more Shih Tzu Information.

    Best of luck with adopting a Shih Tzu!


    I am the owner of Shihtzuadvice.com and the proud parent of two black and one gold Shih Tzu's. I belive that the Shih Tzu is the best all-around dog for anyone and want to share with you as much valuable knowledge as possible about this great breed!

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