Losing your pet is one of the saddest moment in our lives. For this reason, Shih Tzu owners worry about the lifespan of their dogs and the thought of their dog dying scares them most. If you own a Shih Tzu, there’s a high possibility that you will spend lots of years with them. This is due to the fact that small dogs have a longer lifetime in general than the big ones. There was a study conducted that showed that dogs weighing 20 pounds below can live around 11 years which is similar to medium-sized dogs. On the other hand, dogs that weigh more than 90 pounds have an average lifespan of 8 years.


Like other dog breeds, Shih Tzu dogs can have various illnesses. Ocular problems are more likely to develop in your Shih Tzu because of their large eyes. These ocular problems include cataracts, glaucoma, and corneal ulcer. Sensitive skin also exposes them to dermatological issues. Dental diseases are also most likely to develop to this type of breed.

Common Shih Tzu conditions are rarely fatal. The number one cause of death for Shih Tzu dogs is old age and complications due to this. The second most common cause of death is heart conditions which can be heart attacks and heart failures. The third most common cause of death for Shih Tzus is acute and chronic kidney failure. The last one is different types of cancer.


Although the specific genetics of dogs can greatly affect their lifespans, environmental factors can play a big role, too. Good thing that Shih Tzu owners can take specific steps in order to extend the lifetime of their dog.

Veterinarian Visits

Shih Tzu Lifespan

One of the best things you can do is to bring your Shih Tzu to the veterinarian on a regular basis. With this, the veterinarian can monitor their health, identify any problems, and provide your Shih Tzu with the appropriate medications before conditions get worse. Nutritious food should also be fed to your dogs and you need to follow the instructions of your dog’s veterinarian when it comes to giving supplements.


Exercise is also a very good way to extend your Shih Tzu’s lifespan. They are already active dogs despite their small size, and they need to release all those pent-up energies. Take your dog out for a walk every day to give him a good workout and prevent any heart conditions, but keep the walk short to avoid overexerting him.