How long does a Shih Tzu live?

  • Date: January 18, 2022
  • Time to read: 3 min.

Shih Tzu are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world and for good reason. They are loyal, affectionate, and make perfect companions. One of the most common questions asked by potential owners is “How long does a Shih Tzu live?” The answer may surprise you, as these small but mighty breeds can live up to 15 years and even longer! This article will explore factors that can influence a Shih Tzu’s lifespan and provide tips for ensuring your pup enjoys a long and healthy life.

Life Expectancy of a Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu, a small, affectionate dog breed, is known for its friendly and playful personality. Its popularity has made it one of the most popular breeds in the world today. But how long does a Shih Tzu live?

The answer to this question depends on several factors, including diet, exercise, and overall health. While the breed’s life expectancy is typically between 10 and 18 years, some individuals may live longer or shorter lives.


A Shih Tzu’s lifespan is largely determined by its genetics. Some lines of the breed are known to have longer lifespans than others, and certain genetic conditions can shorten the lifespan of a Shih Tzu.

In general, the Shih Tzu is considered a healthy breed, with relatively few genetic issues. But it is important to speak with a vet about any potential health concerns before bringing home a new pup.

Diet and Exercise

The diet and exercise routine of a Shih Tzu can have a big impact on its life expectancy. Proper nutrition is essential for keeping a Shih Tzu healthy and active throughout its life.

A balanced diet should include plenty of high-quality proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. In addition, it is important to provide the necessary vitamins and minerals for optimal health.

Regular exercise is also important for a Shih Tzu’s well-being. This can include daily walks, playtime, and games. Exercise helps to keep a Shih Tzu’s muscles and joints strong, while also helping to keep its weight in check.

Overall Health

The overall health of a Shih Tzu can also influence its lifespan. Regular vet visits are important for monitoring a Shih Tzu’s health and catching any potential issues early. This can help to ensure that any health problems are addressed quickly and effectively.

In addition, regular grooming is important for keeping a Shih Tzu’s coat and skin healthy. This can include brushing its coat, trimming its nails, and cleaning its ears.


The Shih Tzu is a friendly and affectionate breed with a life expectancy of 10 to 18 years. However, the exact lifespan of a Shih Tzu can be influenced by factors such as genetics, diet, exercise, and overall health. Therefore, it is important to provide a Shih Tzu with the proper diet, exercise, and vet care to ensure a long and healthy life.

**Common Myths about Shih Tzu Lifespans**

Myth: Shih Tzus have a very short lifespan.

Fact: The average lifespan of a Shih Tzu is between 10 and 16 years. While this is slightly shorter than the average lifespan of other breeds, it is not considered to be a “short” lifespan.

Myth: Shih Tzus cannot live longer than 10 years.

Fact: While 10 years is the lower end of the average lifespan for a Shih Tzu, there are some that live longer, some even up to 18 years.

Myth: Shih Tzus are prone to health problems that shorten their lifespan.

Fact: While Shih Tzus are prone to certain health issues such as eye and ear infections, they are not necessarily more prone to them than other breeds. With proper care, these issues can be minimized, allowing for a longer lifespan.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a Shih Tzu live?

Answer: On average, a Shih Tzu can live anywhere from 10 to 16 years.

Do Shih Tzus need a lot of exercise?

Answer: Shih Tzus are relatively low-energy dogs and don’t require a lot of exercise. A daily walk and some occasional playtime are usually enough to keep them healthy and happy.


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