Shih Tzu life expectancy
How long do Shih Tzu live? Shih Tzu dogs have an average lifespan of 11 to 16 years. Getting a Shih Tzu dog is a responsibility that last from the moment you bring the Shih Tzu puppy home to the moment of the final good-bye. When choosing Shih Tzu as a family dog, many people wonder about the life expectancy of ShihTzu. This is an important question because a dog that you choose will be your family member for many years to come. Each dog breed has its own life expectancy with smaller dog breeds enjoying a longer lifespan in comparison to larger dogs. Learning more about Shih Tzus life span and what can help to prolong your pet's life can help to properly care about your pet and to do your part in raising a healthy and happy dog that can love you unconditionally for many years to come.
Factors that affect Shih Tzu lifespan
Life span of small dog breeds such as Shihtzu is determined by many factors that include internal factors as well as external factors. For example, Shih Tzu dog's genetics may help to estimate how long a Shih Tzu dog may live. If both parents of Shih Tzu lived up to 16 years and enjoyed a healthy life, the offspring may also be genetically predisposed for a longer life span. If, on the other hand, both parents of a Shih Tzu died of health issues and did not live beyond 11 years of age, the offspring may have a higher chance of living a shorter life. Shih Tzu's health is another factor that affects longevity of this breed. Certain health conditions such as cardiac problems are the second highest cause of death for Shih Tzu dogs that follows death from complications due to an advanced age. The good news is that many Shih Tzu dogs live a long and healthy life and dogs that are bred by responsible breeders that check breeding stock for any health issues prior to breeding produce healthier Shih Tzu offspring.
How can Shih Tzu owners help their Shih Tzu dog live a long and healthy life? External factors that affect Shih Tzu's health include the dog's diet as well as care. Healthy diet that includes important minerals and vitamins to help support Shih Tzu's overall health. Shih Tzu owners should pay attention to any signs of health problems in their dog and check with the veterinarian if there are any signs of health problems. Catching any health issue early on can help to resolve the problem before it turns into a serious health issue.
Trauma prevention is another important element of longevity in any dog, including Shih Tzu. If you have small kids at home, be sure to supervise your pet's interaction with young children to help prevent any accidents. Teach your children not to pick up the small Shih Tzu puppy as a dog may get seriously injured if accidentally dropped. Instead, kids can sit or stand next to the dog to pet the Shih Tzu rather than pick up the dog. During car trips make sure to place your Shih Tzu in a dog car seat that can prevent serious injuries in case of an accident.
Have your dog leashed at all times when walking outside in an area that is not fenced. When taking your Shih Tzu to a dog park, choose a dog run for small dogs as larger breeds may unintentionally or intentionally hurt the small dog. During car trips make sure to place your Shih Tzu in a car seat for dogs that can prevent serious injuries in case of an accident.
Shih Tzu's life span also depends on getting regular exercise that helps Shih Tzu stay in healthy weight and promotes physical and mental health. Overweight dogs suffer from a range of health issues and maintaining healthy weight can help to increase the lifespan of your pet. Shih Tzu dogs are brachycephalic, which means they have shorter snouts than other dogs. Brachycephalic dogs may experience breathing problems, especially during hot and humid weather. Always keep your Shih Tzu in a cool place during the hot and humid weather. Be extra careful to not leave your pet inside the car alone, even during the cool weather. Keep in mind that even during the cool days the temperature inside a vehicle can be much warmer than outside and Shih Tzu may get heat stroke or worse if left alone in the car. Avoid exercising your Shih Tzu dog during hot weather because cooling off may be more difficult for brachycephalic dog breeds such as Shih Tzu. Many Shih Tzu owners trim their dog's coat short for summer season to help their pet stay comfortable.
Dental health is also very important for your Shih Tzu. Some heart diseases may be directly linked with dental health therefore it is important to regularly brush your Shih Tzu's teeth and maintain the dental health of your pet in order to keep your dog healthy and long-lived. Start training your Shih Tzu to accept teeth brushing during early puppyhood. Only use canine toothpaste that is safe for dogs. Daily brushing helps to prevent tartar and bacteria from adhering to the dog's teeth and eventually causing tooth decay.
Shih Tzu mixes may also enjoy a better health and a longer life due to hybrid vigor that affects mixed dog breeds. The first cross between dogs of different blood lines, such as different pure breeds often results in healthier offspring. Shih Tzu cross breeds include Shih Tzu Maltese Mix, Shih Tzu Poodle Mix, Shih Tzu Bichon Mix and many others.