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Do Shih Tzu Have Health Problems (Everything You Need to Know)?

Shih Tzu are prone to suffer many health problems common to tiny dogs. They are a fairly healthy breed. Still, owners need to watch out for various health issues.
Do Shih Tzu Have Health Problems?

Table of Contents

Shih Tzu issues may include dental abnormalities, joint dislocations, breathing problems, and kidney concerns.

What Diseases Are Shih Tzu Prone to?

There are several diseases to which the Shih Tzu is at risk genetically. These are:

  • Seizures
  • Cancer
  • Allergies
  • Bone and joint problems
  • Eye problems
  • Dental abnormalities
  • Respiratory and heart problems
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Liver and kidney problems

Are Shih Tzu Prone to Seizures?

Shih Tzu are prone to epilepsy which usually results in seizures. Epilepsy is the electric misfiring in the dog’s brain. Seizures occur when brain cells are overly excited. When this happens, the brain’s normal function is disrupted.

Why Did My Shih Tzu Have a Seizure?

In most cases, seizures in Shih Tzu are hereditary. Sometimes, it is caused by toxins or tumors. Females going into heat, allergies, and pregnancy may also cause seizures.

What Does a Seizure Look Like in Shih Tzu?

Epileptic seizures can be mild, which affects a part of the Shih Tzu’s body and lasts for a short time. Other episodes can be severe, causing twitching and loss of consciousness.

How to Stop a Shih Tzu Seizure

Seizures are caused by epilepsy which is a life-long illness. Shih Tzu, affected by seizures, are placed on antiepileptic medications. These medications control the severity and frequency of the attacks. These medications need to be adjusted over time, so always keep your vet appointments.

Owners should know what to do if their Shih Tzu has a seizure episode. The first thing to learn is to recognize an attack. Some of the more common signs of seizure episodes are:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Muscle rigidity or twitching
  • Urination, defecation, and salivating

Tail or shadow chasing and fly or air biting are less common signs of seizure. If you identify these signs as a seizure episode, never put your hand inside your dog’s mouth. You can be severely injured. Instead, put ice on your Shih Tzu’s head and neck. Lower temperatures prevent the discharge of the brain cells.

Call your vet immediately if the seizure lasts for more than two minutes. It is essential to take your dog to the emergency clinic. Prolonged bouts can lead to brain damage or death.

Are Shih Tzu Prone to Cancer?

Older Shih Tzu are prone to cancer. Cancer is the leading cause of death in older dogs. However, these cancers are curable by surgical removal. Specific treatment such as chemotherapy may also be done. It is crucial to detect it early on.

What Causes Shih Tzu Cancer?

Shih Tzu’s life expectancy is between 10 to 16 years. This breed will likely live longer than other breeds. They are also likely to get cancer in their golden years.

Why Does My Shih Tzu Scratch So Much?

Shih Tzu often has a skin allergy called “atopy.” Instead of sneezing, allergies cause them to have itchy skin. As a result, they scratch so much. Other signs of allergy include rubbing their faces, licking paws, and ear infections.

What Can You Give a Shih Tzu for Itching?

To relieve your Shih Tzu of itching, give them a topical steroid spray. Examples are cyclosporine or hydrocortisone. It would be best to check with your vet to rule out other diseases. Otherwise, self-medicating may do more harm than good.

Why Does My Shih Tzu Keep Getting Ear Infections?

Ear infections in Shih Tzu can be painful. Causes can be allergies, swimming, hair overgrowth in the ears, and earwax accumulation. Prevent deafness resulting from untreated ear infections. Bring your dog to the veterinarian if you notice:

  • Scratching or shaking their head
  • Ears seem painful to touch
  • Foul odor from the ears

What Are Shih Tzu Commonly Allergic to?

Shih Tzu’s double and long coat of hair can trap various allergens. They can be allergic to many things:

“fleas, dust mites, cleaning products, plastics, shampoos, grass, pollen, grass products, perfumes, cigarette smoke, molds, and others. ”

Food allergy is infrequent. Pet owners reported dietary intolerance to particular food. These include wheat, corn, soy, eggs, food additives, and proteins.

What Can I Give My Shih Tzu for Allergies?

You should bring your Shih Tzu to the vet to identify their allergen. Based on the discovered allergen, the vet will prescribe medications and management. For fast itch-relief, they usually give an immunosuppressive or topical steroid spray.

Are Shih Tzu Prone to Fleas?

Your Shih Tzu’s long and double coat makes them prone to fleas. Watch out for these telltale signs if you suspect your dog of being infested with fleas:

  • Intense itching
  • Irritated skin and localized hair loss
  • Black or white specks
  • Presence of fleas

How Do You Get Rid of Fleas on a Shih Tzu?

If your Shih Tzu has flea allergy dermatitis, it is recommended to rid both your home and dog of fleas. Do this by keeping your home clean. Regularly bathe your dog and wash their doggie beds frequently.

Use an all-natural, chemical-free flea treatment. To apply, you will need a double-teeth comb, a dipping bowl, and a small towel. Spray the flea treatment over your Shih Tzu’s entire body. Use the comb to go section by section.

Repeat as necessary while also cleaning the surroundings. Do these until you have eradicated the fleas from your home and your dog.

Why Does My Shih Tzu Wheeze?

Dog breeds with small, short noses, such as the Shih Tzu, are at risk for collapsing trachea. The trachea can collapse itself. The flexible membrane that closes it becomes loose or floppy. Consequently, there is a narrowing of the airway. The dog develops labored breathing and wheezing.

Sometimes, wheezing is caused by other factors. These can be heart disease and foreign objects in the airways. It is best to see your vet for diagnosis and treatment.

Are Shih Tzu Prone to Bladder Problems?

Shih Tzu are susceptible to bladder infections and bladder stones. The common signs your dog is suffering from bladder infections are blood in urine, pain when urinating, and urinating minimal amounts of urine.

Is It Normal for Shih Tzu to Lose Hair?

Because the Shih Tzu has a coat of hair and not fur, hair loss occurs as the coat renews itself. There is no need to worry about seasonal hair loss or molt, as hair will eventually grow back.

Hair loss usually occurs in spring and autumn. However, if it’s pathological hair loss or alopecia, you need to bring your Shih Tzu to the vet. The latter will identify the underlying cause. It can be caused by external factors or internal factors.

Examples of external factors are parasites such as fleas or mange. Internal factors may be underlying diseases such as Cushing’s or hypothyroidism. Sometimes, Alopecia X is given as a diagnosis if, after tests have been done and turned out to be inconclusive, the cause is unknown.

Why Is My Shih Tzu Losing Hair on His Back?

Usually, the back is the most common area with a noticeable hair loss. Parasites, allergies, or alopecia can cause hair loss in this region. Take your Shih Tzu to the vet to identify and treat the root cause of the problem.

Why Is My Shih Tzu Losing Hair on His Ears?

Common causes for hair loss behind or around the ears are fleas, ticks, lice, and mites. Intense itching and scratching results in losing hair in the affected parts of the body. Allergies or metabolic diseases can also cause it.

Why Is My Shih Tzu So Anxious?

Shih Tzu can be prone to fear and anxiety in different situations. Watch out for these anxiety symptoms:

  • Constant Whining and Whimpering: Your Shih Tzu seems to be in pain without an apparent reason.
  • Posturing: A distressed Shih Tzu’s tail is down between its legs. Its ears flattened, pointing backward, compared to a calm one with a tail curled up above its back.
  • Shivering or Trembling: Your Shih Tzu is frightened if it is shivering and trembling when it’s not cold.
  • Whale Eye: The whites of the eye called sclera are bulging. It means that your dog is feeling threatened and ready to fight.
  • Separation Anxiety: Your Shih Tzu constantly follows you at home. There are barking, chewing, scratching behaviors when you are out.

In addition, excessive self-grooming, lip-licking, panting, and yawning may also indicate distress. The more of these signs you observe, the higher the probability that your dog has anxiety.

What Can You Do for an Anxious Shih Tzu?

Treatment will depend on the cause and severity of your dog’s anxiety. The first thing to do is find out that it is indeed anxiety. Rule out other possible causes by carefully observing the new behaviors. For example, if your Shih Tzu started peeing indoors, it can be an infection and not anxiety. Minor anxieties can be addressed with short training.

If separation anxiety is the cause, don’t make your separations and reunions a big deal. Keep calm when going out and upon your return consistently. Your Shih Tzu will take your lead.

For more extreme cases and possible aggressive behaviors, seek advice from your veterinarian. You may need to log your dog’s behaviors learn more about its parents or history if it is a rescue dog.

Why Does My Shih Tzu Shiver?

Your dog may be in a distressing situation. When your Shih Tzu shivers, it can be because it is cold. However, if it is not cold but your dog continues to tremble, watch out for other signs of anxiety.

Why Is My Shih Tzu Limping?

If you notice your Shih Tzu is limping, it may be due to several reasons. Because of their small stature, they are prone to injury. They might limp on their front paw or back leg or display signs of lameness.

You may find your Shih Tzu limping after it has awoken from its sleep or after it has sat on its paw for a long time. The position may have caused pressure on its nerves and cut off blood flow. This position only brings short-term numbness and is not a cause to worry about. However, if the limping does not wear off, it may mean a soft tissue injury. Strain to a tendon, ligament, or muscle may be the cause.

Check your dog to identify the possible cause. Look for:

  • Broken toe and claw nails
  • Visible bleeding or cuts on the skin
  • Splinters and other foreign objects in between the paws
  • Visible signs of swelling

Especially if your Shih Tzu becomes lethargic and refuses to eat, seek a consultation with your vet.

What Is IVDD in Shih Tzu?

IVDD or Intervertebral Disk Disease is a degenerative disease that affects a dog’s spine. The disease results in painful mobility concerns. A ruptured, slipped, bulging, or herniated disc may be seen. It is commonly seen in Shih Tzu and other dog breeds like the beagles and dachshunds.

There are two types of IVDD: Type I and Type II. Type I is more common in small breeds of dogs such as the Shih Tzu. In this type, discs develop hardening of their outer layer, usually in the mid-back region of the dogs.

Why Do Shih Tzu Get IVDD?

Because of the way they are bred, Shih Tzu is prone to get IVDD. Their short limbs and long backs (spinal cord) are vulnerable to added weight and pressure. The narrow lumbar support results in a frequent amount of suspension on their backs.

Also, the Shih Tzu is a playful dog that likes to frequently run and jump off elevated surfaces such as the bed or couch. The excessive and constant jolts of pressure on the spine cause the discs to extrude and harden. These will eventually degenerate.

What Age Do Shih Tzu Get IVDD?

IVDD is a degenerative disease. Age of onset varies, but it is prevalent to see Shih Tzu puppies taken down by IVDD. In breeds at risk, IVDD can start as early as two years of age.

What Are the Symptoms of IVDD in Shih Tzu?

Type I is more common between the two types of IVDD in small dog breeds. This type generally has more severe signs and symptoms. These are:

  • Paralysis
  • Abnormal walking
  • Hesitation to jump
  • Pain and weakness in the legs
  • Crying out in pain
  • Anxious behaviors
  • Bent back or neck with tensed muscles
  • Reduced appetite and activity level
  • Loss of bladder and/or bowel control
  • Unwillingness to posture to eliminate

Is IVDD Hereditary in Shih Tzu?

Premature degeneration of the intravertebral discs has long been associated with specific dog breeds. Recently, studies have also suggested a substantial heritability of IVDD. The presence of a dog chromosome 12 (CFA 12) locus in cases of intravertebral disc calcification has strongly indicated a genetic component for IVDD in dogs.

What Percentage of Shih Tzu Get IVDD?

IVDD is most prevalent in Dashchund with 20 to 60% incidence rates. There is approximately a 10% prevalence rate in other dog breeds at risk. These are the beagle, Maltese Terrier, Shih Tzu, Cocker Spaniel, Lhasa Apso, French Bulldog, Pekingese, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

How Do You Prevent IVDD in Shih Tzu?

Relieving the pressure from their spine is key to preventing the early onset of IVDD in Shih Tzu. Do that by:

  • Controlling Its Weight: The extra weight puts more stress and pressure on your dog’s joints and muscles, especially the spine. Monitoring their diet and eating habits is vital. It does not only prevent IVDD but in their overall health.
  • Using a Harness Instead of a Collar: Dog collars are best for keeping ID tags around your dog’s neck. But the constant pulling and yanking are detrimental to their spine structure. A harness hugs their bodies and creates an equal weight distribution when tugged.
  • Providing a Ramp for Elevated Surfaces: Jumping off from higher grounds is a culprit in developing IVDD. Placing a ramp from couches and beds has proved to prevent IVDD. Safe and easy access to elevated surfaces keep high-impact injuries and stresses at bay.

Will My Shih Tzu Have Back Problems?

Back problems are widespread in Shih Tzu. Because of their short limbs, their back is subjected to weight, stress, and pressure. This is especially true when they run around or jump off furniture such as your couch or bed.

What Causes Back Problems in Shih Tzu?

Different factors can cause the Shih Tzu’s back problems:

  • Age: Bones become weaker in age, older dogs are at risk for back pains.
  • Injuries: Injuries arising from bad landing or wrong turning may cause spine issues, inducing back problems.
  • IVDD: Intervertebral Disc Disease is the most common cause of back pain in small breeds of dogs. The cushion or disc between the spines may slip, harden or rupture. It results in pain or paralysis in the back.
  • Arthritis: Damaged joints, especially in the spine, may cause back pain.
  • Inflammatory Diseases: Inflammatory conditions may cause pain in different body parts, including the back.

Constant running and jumping from elevated surfaces may cause your Shih Tzu’s back pains. Watch out for more severe symptoms which may indicate problems in its spinal column. These are abnormal walking, unwillingness to jump, and signs of distress.

When Do Shih Tzu Develop Back Problems?

Especially if your dog is very active, it can develop back problems from two years of age. Smaller dog breeds are prone to develop back problems as early as when they are still a puppy.

How Do You Tell if a Shih Tzu Has a Bad Back?

You can tell if your Shih Tzu has a bad back by the way it is moving. It may have a hunched back and stiff position. Mobility problems are telltale signs your dog has a bad back. Examples are limping, dragging its limbs, and other awkward movements.

What Can You Do for a Shih Tzu With Back Pain?

Bring your Shih Tzu to the veterinarian to identify and address the underlying cause. You can also help alleviate the pain by doing the following:

  • Weight Management and Control: Monitor your Shih Tzu’s weight to ensure it is within its healthy weight range. Extra pounds may put pressure and strain on its back.
  • Restricted Exercise: Physical activity is crucial, even for dogs with back pain. It maintains the integrity of its bones, joints, and muscles. Small movements and shorter walks are usually allowable.
  • Mobile Assistance: Depending on the vet’s advice, you may utilize equipment such as wheelchairs, belly supports, and back braces. These will adequately support your Shih Tzu’s back while it is healing.
  • Adjustments in the Home: Modify your environment to assist your Shih Tzu in its recovery. Keep them in small rooms to limit their movement. Place anti-slip mats to prevent further injury in case of slipping. Put ramps in place, so they don’t jump or use the stairs.

How Do You Know if Your Shih Tzu Hurt Its Back?

The following signs and symptoms may tell you if your Shih Tzu hurt its back:

  • A stiff, hunched posture
  • Mobility problems such as limping, dragging, and abnormal walking pattern
  • Muscle spasms or shaking limbs
  • Crying or barking when the back is touched or moved
  • Behavioral changes
  • Loss of appetite

Is It Common for Shih Tzu to Break Their Backs?

The Shih Tzu’s small stature and high activity level increase their risk of breaking their backs. Frequent jumping and running puts strain on their backs. It is crucial to put preventive measures to promote your dog’s spine health.

What to Do When Your Shih Tzu Hurts Their Back

The first thing to do upon noticing that your Shih Tzu has back pain is to bring it to the veterinarian. The latter will identify the underlying causes. The vet may prescribe medication, therapy, or surgery.

While your Shih Tzu is on its way to recovery, help alleviate its pain. Modify your home to prevent further injury. Do this by placing ramps on elevated surfaces and stairs. Anti-slip rugs are also helpful.

Ensure that your Shih Tzu gets low-impact walks and exercises to maintain its mobility.

How Long Does It Take for a Shih Tzu to Recover From Back Injury?

With medication and therapy, the required rest period is between four to six weeks. However, if surgery is done to treat IVDD, your Shih Tzu should have restricted activity for six to eight weeks.

How to Prevent Back Problems in Shih Tzu

Back problems are preventable in Shih Tzu. The following are beneficial:

  • Weight Management: Maintain your dog’s healthy weight by watching its diet and ensuring it has ample physical activities.
  • Good Posture: Harness is better than dog collars since it envelops their bodies. This creates an equal distribution of weight when you are tugging it. Watch out when you lift your Shih Tzu. Place your hand under its abdomen and the other one under its chest. Doing this ensures its spine is straight.
  • Movement Moderation: Discourage jumping by placing ramps on couches, beds, and stairs. Avoid playing tug of war. Running, jumping, and pulling place stress on its back.

How Much Is Back Surgery for Shih Tzu?

IVDD is a common condition in Shih Tzu and other small-breed dogs. The surgery for IVDD costs from $1500 to $4000. This range does not include required imaging techniques diagnostic tests such as x-ray. Everything included, the cost of IVDD surgery may range from $3000 to $8000.

How Successful Is Back Surgery on Shih Tzu?

Based on the severity of symptoms, IVDD is graded on a scale of 1 to 5. Dogs with IVDD grades 1 to 4 that undergo surgery have an expected 90% full recovery. However, for IVDD grade 5, there is a 50 to 60% recovery rate.

How Long Does It Take for a Shih Tzu to Recover From Back Surgery?

It will take six to eight weeks for the Shih Tzu to recover from IVDD surgery. After the surgery, hospitalization, pain management, physical therapy, and bladder management will also be in place.

How Do You Know if Your Shih Tzu Is in Pain?

From time to time, your Shih Tzu may whine when it is hungry or when it needs to go out for potty needs. Conversely, when it is in pain, it will be different. Here are the common indicators your Shih Tzu is in pain:

  • Shaking, Shivering, or Trembling: Your dog may shiver to cold or to feeling nervous. Increased instances of muscle tremors may indicate a problem.
  • Excessive Grooming: If your Shih Tzu licks itself more frequently, it may indicate that it is in pain.
  • Limping: Your dog is obviously in pain if it starts limping. Pay a visit to the vet to get it checked.
  • Heavy Panting: Aside from exercise and warm weather, dogs also pant due to stress.
  • Increased Vocalization: Howling, barking, yelping, and growling that is more frequent indicate pain or disease.
  • Aggression: When your Shih Tzu suddenly growls and nips at you, it may be its way of telling you that something is wrong.
  • Loss of Appetite: Persistent loss of appetite is a sign that your dog needs medical attention.
  • Difficulty Resting: When they have trouble finding their position of rest, it is a sign that they are in pain.
  • Other Behavioral Changes: If you find new behavioral patterns emerging for no apparent reason, get your Shih Tzu checked immediately.

What Can You Give a Shih Tzu for Pain?

When your Shih Tzu is in pain, but your vet appointment needs to wait for the day, you need to know what you can give your dog to ease its pain.

Over-the-counter medications can be administered with care:

Tylenol (Acetaminophen)

Bear in mind that medicines manufactured for people are different from those for canine use. It is safe to give Tylenol to your Shih Tzu if the dose is very low and with the approval of your vet. Administer the pill form at 5 mg per pound of your dog’s body weight. This dose can be given every twelve hours.


Aspirin is an NSAID (Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug). This type of drug can affect the kidneys and gastrointestinal tract. It may also cause blood clots. Hence, it can be dangerous to give to your Shih Tzu.

Aspirin comes in coated form and very low doses. A veterinarian can prescribe baby Aspirin to dogs for low-grade fever and mild acute pain. One-half of the baby Aspirin is enough for a Shih Tzu under 10 pounds (4.5 kg).

Never give Advil (Ibuprofen) and Aleve (Naproxen) to your Shih Tzu. Both are NSAIDs that relieve fever, discomfort, and swelling in humans. But these medications are toxic to canines. A small dose may cause bleeding disorders kidney and liver dysfunction.

How Many Teeth Does a Shih Tzu Have?

Newborn Shih Tzu are born without teeth. Generally, dogs grow two sets of teeth in their lives: 28 baby or deciduous teeth and 42 permanent or adult teeth. The first 28 teeth erupt within three to six months of age. These fall to be replaced by permanent teeth at around four months. Then, from six to eight months, all adult teeth have erupted.

How Many Sets of Teeth Do Shih Tzu Have?

Like humans, Shih Tzu get two sets of teeth. By six months, they have 28 baby or deciduous teeth. At eight months, 42 permanent or adult teeth erupt through their gums.

Is It Common for Shih Tzu to Lose Their Teeth?

At three to four months of age, Shih Tzu begin to lose their baby or deciduous teeth. This gives way to permanent or adult teeth. You may not notice the teeth that your Shih Tzu are shedding. Because these are very small, your puppy often swallows them.

Why Do Shih Tzu Lose Their Teeth?

Shih Tzu start teething at the three- to four-month mark. Forty-two permanent teeth will replace the 28 baby teeth during the teething process. Teeth falling out and new ones growing in is a regular occurrence.

How Many Teeth Do Shih Tzu Lose?

Shih Tzu will lose all their 28 deciduous teeth during the teething phase. There is no cause to worry since the new set of permanent teeth, 42 in all, will begin erupting through their gums.

What Age Do Shih Tzu Lose Their Baby Teeth?

The teething process begins at three months of age. Your Shih Tzu will start losing their baby teeth during this time. You will notice that as the baby teeth fall off, the permanent teeth start growing to replace them.

How Long Are Shih Tzu Teething?

Some of the Shih Tzu puppies may be early or late bloomers. Because of this, the teething phase may start at three to four months and will end by seven to eight months.

What Should Shih Tzu Teeth Look Like?

The first 28 deciduous teeth are tiny. They feel like sharp needles when they bite on your skin. During the teething process, these fall off. Sometimes, owners do not notice since these are very small. Sometimes, the puppies swallow them.

As the milk teeth are replaced, new permanent teeth emerge. Incisors first appear, followed by canines. The last to emerge are the premolars.

Shih Tzu puppies do not have to grind much food. That is why they do not have molars.

Are Shih Tzu Known to Have Bad Teeth?

Being a small dog breed with small mouths, the Shih Tzu are prone to dental issues. They can have overcrowded, misaligned, or missing teeth. Sometimes, the Shih Tzu puppy will not lose all their milk teeth before the permanent teeth emerge. These need to be removed by a vet.

Why Do Shih Tzu Have Bad Teeth?

Shih Tzu can have misaligned, overcrowded, and missing teeth. This is due to them having small mouths. Being a brachycephalic breed, Shih Tzu naturally has the undershot jaw. An undershot jaw is a type of bite in which the bottom jaw is longer than the upper jaw. The Shih Tzu’s dental health would be dependent on the dental care they received from puppyhood.

Shih Tzu are prone to having plaque and tartar buildup. When not addressed, this results in gingivitis which eventually leads to periodontal disease.

When Should Shih Tzu Puppies Be Vaccinated?

Core vaccines include distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvo, and parainfluenza. These are administered in a series of three: at six, twelve, and 16 weeks old.

They should also be vaccinated against rabies at 16 weeks, 12 months, and every one to three years after that.

Noncore or optional vaccinations are also scheduled in your Shih Tzu’s first year. This is based on the individual risk factors and the country you live in.

What Vaccinations Do Shih Tzu Need?

Shih Tzu should get vaccinated against:

  • Rabies: Humans can catch rabies from dogs, and it is a severe disease. Rabies vaccines are a legal requirement in many countries.
  • Parvovirus: Parvovirus is an easily transmitted disease with a mortality rate of 90%.
  • Hepatitis: Also called adenovirus, an acute liver disease transmitted by bodily fluids.
  • Canine Distemper: This is a highly contagious disease that spreads by body secretions of animals.

There are also vaccines that they should have, only if they are at risk. These are Bordetella, Lyme disease, leptospirosis, and parainfluenza.

Is Pet Insurance Worth It for a Shih Tzu?

The purebred Shih Tzu will possibly suffer from genetic diseases and other health issues throughout its life span. Getting pet insurance will help you prepare for financial risks and dog health costs. Your dog deserves medical care access to enjoy a healthy and happy life.

How Much Is It to Insure a Shih Tzu?

The price for pet insurance depends on the age of your Shih Tzu. Your zip code, financial standing, and coverage preferences are also major factors. The following are the average monthly rate in three US states:

  • NY: 6 months old $30 to $70; 5 years old $40 to $8
  • AL: 6 months old $15 to $40; 5 years old $20 to $45
  • CA: 6 months old $25 to $40; 5 years old $35 to $50

How Long Do Shih Tzu Live?

Shih Tzu’s life expectancy is between 10 to 16 years. Its average life span is 13 years. For a small dog breed, this is 68 years in dog years. Many factors affect their life span, but they can live up to 16 years or more.

How Long Do Shih Tzu Live in Human Years?

The Shih Tzu’s average life span in human years is 13 years. There are a lot of factors that can increase their longevity. Some will live longer. Some will not even reach a decade. They can live up to 16 years and more.

Do Male or Female Shih Tzu Live Longer?

Generally, a female Shih Tzu will outlive a male by around 1.4 years.

How Do Shih Tzu Die?

The Shih Tzu breed’s leading cause of death is cancer. Causes of death of approximately 15% include mast cell tumors, lymphomas, bone cancer, and soft tissue sarcoma. Around 13% of Shih Tzu die from kidney, bladder, prostate, and womb diseases.

How to Keep a Shih Tzu Healthy

Taking care of the Shih Tzu does not need to be complicated. Here are practical ways you can do every day to keep it healthy:

  • Feed it high-quality dog food
  • Make clean water always available
  • Keep it clean as well as the surroundings
  • Have regular exercise
  • Ensure regular grooming
  • Visit the veterinarian every year
  • Be sensitive to its needs