On average, a Shih Tzu will live for around 13 years. However, there are many different factors that can affect a Shih Tzu's life expectancy. If you own a Shih Tzu and you want to know more about how long they will live, keep reading here to know all about the Shih Tzu health problems and other information that may affect the lifespan of a Shih Tzu.
Common Health Issues Affecting a Shih-Tzu’s Life Expectancy
As just mentioned, you know there are some health issues that might affect your Shih Tzu’s life expectancy. While not every Shih Tzu will get these health issues, it is still important to know they could occur. One of the common problems with a Shih Tzu's health is hip dysplasia. This occurs when a dog’s hip socket isn’t developing correctly. If your dog gets hip dysplasia, they might experience arthritis and increased pain. Your Shih Tzu may also experience hypothyroidism. This occurs when your dog’s thyroid isn’t making enough hormones. Hypothyroidism can affect your Shih Tzu's organ functions and metabolism. Shih Tzu's often have eye diseases, as well. They may develop dry eye, which could cause blindness or ulcers. Ulcers can be a big problem for little dogs and make it nearly impossible for them to see properly. Cataracts are another common eye issue in Shih Tzus. As this issue progresses, your dog might lose their vision. This can become quite serious. Some Shih Tzus are prone to kidney and liver disease, as well. Unfortunately, many of the dogs that get this type of disease will pass away from it.
Increasing Your Shih-Tzu’s Life Expectancy
It is possible to increase your Shih Tzu's lifespan. The first and most important thing to do is make sure you are buying a Shih Tzu from a responsible breeder. They will have the parents tested for health issues and disclose any issues to the buyers of their puppies. You should also have your Shih Tzu regularly see the veterinarian and get all the proper vaccinations. If you ever notice your dog acting differently than normal, you should bring them to the veterinarian. Catching any health issues that might be going on earlier gives your dog the best chance for proper treatment.
You should also make sure your Shih Tzu isn’t left outside in the heat for too long. They can overheat too easily and this could cause major health issues. Shih Tzus, on average, will live around 13 years old. There are some Shih Tzus that have lived longer than this and some who have lived less than this. With that being said, if you want to extend your Shih Tzu's life expectancy you need to make sure you are keeping them active, taking proper care of them, and having them visit the veterinarian on a regular basis. You need to make sure they are getting their vaccinations. If you do these things, you can expect your Shih Tzu to live for many wonderful, healthy, and happy years.