The Shih Tzu is a gregarious breed of toy dog. It is distinguished by its long, soft fur, sturdy stance, petite snout, floppy ears, and big, adorable eyes. This small breed has a sociable, gregarious, and lively disposition. Shih Tzus also have a tendency to be wary of strangers, although they still feel compelled to interact with their primary caregivers. As a result, owners of Shih Tzus must make sure to spend quality time with their pets.

How Long Does a Shih Tzu Live ? 7 Tips to Ensure a Healthy and Happy Life for Your Shih Tzu
How Long Does a Shih Tzu Live ?

If you have a Shih Tzu dog now or would like to adopt one, you may also be interested in learning about the typical lifespan of this breed. Now, let’s dig deep to learn about How Long Does a Shih Tzu Live and other pertinent information.

How Long Does a Shih Tzu Live?

The lifespan of a Shih Tzu dog is between 10 and 16 years. Thirteen years is the average of How Long Does a Shih Tzu Live.

There are always going to be exceptions to this estimate. Some Shih Tzu dogs survive into their mid-teens, and many do reach their early teens. The oldest Shih Tzu ever recorded was 23 years old. In terms of canine longevity, 13 years of age is regarded as a moderate and average age. In the US, dogs typically live to be 12.67 years old when trauma is not taken into account. The death by trauma component reduces it to 11.1 years.

Comparing How Long Does a Shih Tzu Live to Other Breeds

Shih Tzu have a moderate life expectancy in comparison to other dog breeds. This small dog breed is well-known for its adorable appearance and energetic way of life. To learn more about How Long Does a Shih Tzu Live in comparison to other breeds, read the following.

Shih Tzu vs Other Toy Breeds

Toy breeds can live anywhere from 10 to 15 years due to their small stature. In terms of toy breeds, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are renowned for having the shortest life expectancy, at 9 to 14 years, while Chihuahuas have the longest, at 15 to 20 years. In contrast, How Long Does a Shih Tzu Live is 10 to 16 years. Shih Tzus have a reasonable life expectancy when compared to the toy breeds with the longest and shortest life expectancy. Other toy breeds with an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years include the Bichon Frise, Pomeranian, Lhasa Apso, Maltese, Pekingese, Pug, and Yorkshire Terrier.

Shih Tzu vs Medium Breeds

Beagles have the shortest life expectancy at fifteen years, while Dachshunds, who are medium breeds, have the longest life expectancy at seventeen and a half years. In contrast to these breeds, How Long Does a Shih Tzu Live is up to 16 years on average. But the oldest Shih Tzu in history lived to be 23 years old, making it just as healthy and robust as the majority of medium-sized breeds.

Shih Tzu vs Large Breeds

Large breeds of dogs are larger, taller, and more muscular than Shih Tzus, but they also typically live shorter lives. Larger breeds like the Great Dane, Rottweiler, and Saint Bernard typically live 8 to 9.5 years, whereas How Long Does a Shih Tzu Live is up to 16 years on average.

How Long Does a Shih Tzu Live ? 7 Tips to Ensure a Healthy and Happy Life for Your Shih Tzu
How Long Does a Shih Tzu Live

Reasons for the Longer Life Expectancy of Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus live longer than most dog breeds for the following reasons:

In theory, dogs of the toy and little breeds live longer than those of other breeds. Since Shih Tzus are toy breeds, their lifespan is preferably longer. Shih Tzus have existed as a breed for more than ten millennia. They have improved their survival instincts and evolved as a result of this. Therefore, among the numerous explanations for How Long Does a Shih Tzu Live, improved evolution may potentially be one.

In addition, Shih Tzus are known for their friendly and adaptable nature. A calm and stress-free environment positively influences a dog’s health. The breed’s temperament may contribute to lower stress levels, promoting overall well-being in making them live longer.

Common Causes of Shih Tzu’s Death

Among the several frequent reasons of death in Shih Tzus are the following:

Urogenital Disorders

If left untreated, bladder stones, urethral calculi, and other urogenital infections and disorders can be fatal for Shih Tzus. Nonetheless, a balanced diet, frequent exams, and prompt access to the appropriate care can help prevent such severe consequences.


Just like people, dogs who get cancer may experience life-threatening health effects. Dog cancer can have several causes, including advanced age, exposure to toxins, environmental triggers, etc. Preventive measures and routine health examinations can aid in the early detection and treatment of this illness before it becomes life-threatening.


If left untreated, some illnesses have the potential to be lethal. A major illness is more likely to arise from infections that target automatic processes like respiration, digestion, and so on. Regular grooming, immunizations, physical examinations, and a healthy diet, however, may help you prevent such infections.

How Long Does a Shih Tzu Live ? 7 Tips to Ensure a Healthy and Happy Life for Your Shih Tzu

Signs to look for in an ageing Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are more likely to live longer than other toy breeds, although they will eventually age. These are some indicators that your aging Shih Tzu needs the best care and attention possible.

Loss of Appetite

Older Shih Tzus typically consume far less food than younger ones. But one of the usual indicators that your dog is becoming older is appetite reduction. During these periods, giving the elderly dog nourishing and healthy dog food might help it get some much-needed energy and nutrients in smaller servings.

Low Energy

Shih Tzus are lively and playful dogs, but as they get older, they often lose their vitality. Shih Tzus that are older may get drowsy and short on energy, but you can keep them happy and energetic by feeding them well, giving them proper care, rest, and exercise.

Breathing Difficulties

Age and allergies may be the cause of breathing difficulties in Shih Tzus which may shorten How Long Does a Shih Tzu Live. They will undoubtedly have a weaker body, making them more vulnerable to illnesses including infections, allergies, and generalized low energy. Additionally, a mix of these elements may have an additional impact on your dog’s respiration.


Most animals lose energy as they get older and would rather remain alone. Your dog may be getting older if it has been withdrawing from people and acting strangely for some time. It’s ideal to provide the dog with the love and support it needs during these trying times.

Bladder Problems

As Shih Tzus mature, most of them experience urinary incontinence. This illness may arise for a variety of reasons. But, in order to keep the condition from getting worse and to determine How Long Does a Shih Tzu Live, it is advisable to speak with a veterinarian if your dog exhibits any of the signs of this sickness.

How Long Does a Shih Tzu Live ? 7 Tips to Ensure a Healthy and Happy Life for Your Shih Tzu



What Are The Signs A Shih Tzu Is Dying?

It’s a surefire indication that your dog’s time is running out if in their older years they have lost their excitement for life. Your Shih Tzu may experience sadness, loss of coordination, strange breathing, extreme lethargy, changes in appetite, and digestive system problems as they near the end of their life.

Take your Shih Tzu to the vet right away if you observe any of these symptoms in them. Your veterinarian can assist in making them and you as comfortable as possible during their final moments.

7 Tips to Ensure a Healthy and Happy Life for Your Shih Tzu

Regular Veterinary Check-ups

Schedule routine veterinary visits for vaccinations, check-ups, and preventive care. Address any health concerns promptly to prevent the development of serious issues to ensure How Long Does a Shih Tzu Live.

Balanced Nutrition

Provide a high-quality, well-balanced dog food suitable for Shih Tzus. Also consider your dog’s age, size, and activity level when determining the appropriate diet.

Regular Exercise

To ensure a healthy and How Long Does a Shih Tzu Live, engage in daily walks and play sessions to keep your Shih Tzu physically active. Put the breed’s size into consideration and adapt exercise routines accordingly.


Ensuring How Long Does a Shih Tzu Live, brush your Shih Tzu’s coat regularly to prevent matting and tangling.Keep the facial hair clean to prevent eye irritations and schedule regular grooming sessions for haircuts and overall hygiene.

Attention and Affection

Shih Tzus thrive on companionship, so spend quality time with your dog.Provide them affection, cuddles, and positive interactions to strengthen the bond.

Comfortable Living Environment

Create a comfortable and safe space for your Shih Tzu at hoe and also make sure to provide a cozy bed and ensure access to fresh water.

Positive Socialization

Expose your Shih Tzu to various people, environments, and other pets from a young age to promote positive social behavior and also ensure How Long Does a Shih Tzu Live. Attend puppy training classes and engage in positive reinforcement training.

How Long Does a Shih Tzu Live ? 7 Tips to Ensure a Healthy and Happy Life for Your Shih Tzu


In conclusion, How Long Does a Shih Tzu Live is influenced by a combination of genetic factors, responsible breeding practices, and the quality of care provided by owners. Generally, Shih Tzus are known for their relatively long lifespan compared to larger dog breeds. Small size, favorable genetics, and a friendly temperament contribute to their longevity. However, individual variations can occur, and the overall health and well-being of a Shih Tzu depend on factors such as nutrition, regular veterinary care, grooming, exercise, and a loving environment.

To ensure a Shih Tzu lives a long and healthy life and to also determine How Long Does a Shih Tzu Live, it’s crucial for owners to prioritize proper care, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, preventive veterinary check-ups, and attention to grooming needs. By addressing these aspects and providing a loving, supportive environment, owners can contribute to the well-being and happiness of their Shih Tzu companions throughout their lives.



What is the main cause of death of shih tzus?

Heart failure is a leading cause of death in older shih tzus, and 75% of the heart disease is caused by valve deterioration. If your dog has a heart murmur or physical signs that suggest heart problems, we’ll do perform diagnostic testing to determine the severity of the disease.

Do Shih Tzu get sick easily?

However, Shih Tzu health problems do exist—including eye disease, ear problems and back pain. To be clear, Shih Tzus from responsible breeders tend to be robust, but pet parents should still be knowledgeable about common Shih Tzu health problems.

What are Shih Tzus weaknesses?

Many Shih Tzus live a good long life. But unfortunately they can suffer from serious kidney and liver diseases, knee problems, eye diseases, itchy skin allergies, and more. Read more about Shih Tzu Health. Minimizing the problems that can be caused by their short face.


An Author for PetsWealth, Tomiwa is finally living her dreams of writing and thinking about pets everyday

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