On average, Shih Tzus have a life expectancy of 10-16 years. Many factors can influence a Shih Tzu’s lifespan, including genetics, diet, exercise, and overall health care. With proper care and attention, it’s not uncommon for Shih Tzus to live well into their teenage years.

Compared to larger dog breeds, Shih Tzus tend to have a longer lifespan. Their small size puts less strain on their joints and internal organs as they age. However, this doesn’t mean they are immune to age-related health issues.

Common Aging Concerns in Shih Tzus

As your Shih Tzu enters their senior years, typically around 9-10 years old, it’s important to be aware of common aging concerns. Regular check-ups with your veterinarian can help catch and manage these issues early on.

Dental Issues

Shih Tzus are prone to dental problems like tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. Regular dental cleanings and at-home tooth brushing can help prevent these issues and keep your Shih Tzu’s mouth healthy.

Eye Problems

Many Shih Tzus develop eye problems like cataracts, glaucoma, and dry eye as they age. Watch for signs like cloudy eyes, squinting, or excessive tearing. Your vet can recommend treatments to manage these conditions.

Joint and Mobility Issues

Like many small breeds, Shih Tzus can develop joint problems like arthritis and hip dysplasia. Keep your Shih Tzu at a healthy weight and provide soft bedding to ease pressure on their joints. Your vet may also recommend supplements or pain medication.

Respiratory Problems

Shih Tzus’ flat faces make them prone to breathing difficulties, especially as they age. Watch for signs like snoring, snorting, or difficulty breathing. Keep your Shih Tzu cool in hot weather and at a healthy weight to ease respiratory strain.