How Long Do Shih Tzus Live (And Why)?

How Long Do Shih Tzus Live (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 10 to 16 Years

The Shih Tzu is a popular Tibetian dog breed. It is known for its large round eyes, short snout, fluffy coat, and short posture. Though they are tiny, they are notorious for their fun and goofy personality. They have calm and friendly behavior. They are independent dogs and adapt well to various situations. However, due to their free nature, they are not assumed as the most loyal breed.

How Long Do Shih Tzus Live

How Long Do Shih Tzus Live?

Longest Living Dogs Lifespan
Shih Tzu10 to 16 Years
Maltese Dog12 to 15 Years
Yorkshire Terrier13 to 16 Years
Chihuahua12 to 20 Years

Shih Tzus lives for 10 to 16 years with 13 years as an average. The dog owner can check on several things to ensure the health and lifespan of the canine.
First and foremost, while adopting from a breeder, one must check on the medical history. Only purchase from someone who is transparent about the medical issues and not someone suspicious.

The time when one might not check on the history is adopting from a rescue. In such situations, the owner can consult a vet to check on the little one.
Shih Tzus survives longer when taken good care of and regularly checked by a vet. They must be up to date with their necessary vaccines. To know whether the dog has some underlying health problems, one should note any behavior change. If anything is sketchy about it, consult a vet immediately.

As Shih Tzus have higher risks of overheating and difficulty breathing, one should watch over these too. One must check that their dog is not staying outside for long in the heat and are not short of breath. Keeping up with the daily necessities of the Shih Tzus are the final things an owner can do to increase their lifespan, which means maintaining, feeding, supporting, and training them correctly, cleaning them every day, and squishing them with loads of love and care!

Why Do Shih Tzus Live That Long?

Shih Tzus, as a small breed, holds one of the lengthiest lifespans in the dog world. Unlike several dogs, they have specific health difficulties that are typical of their type.
It is crucial to understand these issues, so one should keep an eye out for some symptoms. The earlier one detects any problems, the sooner they can be corrected or healed immediately.

When unchecked, these conditions will shorten the lifespans of the canine or at least diminish their lifestyle. Some health conditions are:
Joint-related issues, like hip dysplasia, where the hip joint moves apart from the patellar luxation and thigh bone when the kneecap leaps in and out, are common in many dogs. Depending on the severity, surgery is necessary.

Back-related problems, their body comprises short legs and a large back and is prone to IVD, also called Intervertebral Disk Disease. It causes muscle spasms and also paralysis. Might be treated with surgery

Breathing issues, Shih Tzus might be born with small airways in their nostrils, making it difficult for them to inhale. Not being able to receive enough oxygen, their body can experience related problems.

Eyes and Ear issues, very prone to various eye problems, a few of which might lead to blindness. Shih Tzu‘s ears need daily attention, though not all dogs need their ears cleaned regularly. It is a frequent reason that they will have to visit the Vet often.

Dental issues where they have tiny mouths and have teeth that are unarranged or missing. Brushing their teeth is crucial.


If something is about things that can affect the lifespan, one must look in-depth at their issues. It is crucial to understand the traits that a dog shows up. Even a walk might not be suitable for them, let alone a jog. Generally, Shih Tzus are not very good swimmers, so it is better to avoid paddle activities. This breed of canines is intolerable to heat, either. It is better to keep them indoors to prevent heatstrokes and dehydration. They must be given plenty of water and kept under shades.

Nevertheless, Shih Tzus are a breed unique in their way.


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