The Shih Tzu Life Span: How Long does Shih Tzu Live?

Shih Tzu is a dog breed that is adorable looking. But before getting one let’s get to know how long does Shih Tzu Live? After all, these furry babies are such a treat for your eyes that you won’t resist having one of them as your pet. Do you know you can increase the lifespan of these dogs by having substantial control over the factors like genetics, exercise, and diet?

Shih Tzus are small in size and hence have a longer life expectancy than the standard breeds. Let us talk about the life of Shih Tzus, their lifespan, some unknown facts about them, and more such tidbits to make your day more exciting and enlightening.

If you own a Shih Tzu or plan to have one, this article will acquaint you with them to have a compassionate bond with them and get to know them better.

how long do Shih Tzu live

How Long Does Shih Tzu Live?

Like the other small dog breeds, Shih Tzus have a relatively long lifespan ranging from 13 to 16 years. They are pretty fascinating as lifelong companions.

Brown Shih Tzu Puppy

Shih Tzus could live longer than 16 years if they are taken care of very well and the factors affecting their age are taken into consideration and worked on properly. The purity of breed also plays a significant role in their lifespan.

Mixed ancestry could increase their life expectancy because mix-breeds are designed to counteract all the flaws or disadvantages of the pure breed inclusions. Shih Tzus are very popular as pets in countries like North America, Asia, and Australia.

The average lifespan is about 13 years, assuming any minor congenital diseases in them, but if you manage to keep your Shih Tzu happy and disease-free, it would probably live for 16 years or more.

What Health Problems Do Shih Tzus Have?

Health problems in a Shih Tzu are an essential deciding factor for their life expectancy and lifestyle. They are very delicate little creatures that need to be taken care of properly, and the dietary routine must be healthy enough to fulfill their daily nutritional requirements.

Following are the possible disorders that a Shih Tzu is likely to suffer in their lifetime:

1. Cancer

Cancer is a fatal issue among Shih Tzus and can agonize their breed severely due to many cases that take their lives. Approximately 15% of all Shih Tzu deaths are due to various cancerous disorders.

Regular visits to your vets and periodic body diagnosis may help detect cancer early and save a Shih Tzu life from this deadly disease.

2. Prostate and womb disorders

Prostate diseases and womb issues are the second leading cause of Shih Tzu deaths because of the renal malfunctions it brings along with them that could be fatal.

If you are not willing to mate your Shih Tzu for babies, you should get them neutered, castrated, or spayed. Removing these reproductive organs would prevent diseases related to the renal system from developing in them and prevent unwanted pregnancies.

3. Kidney diseases and UTI

Diseases involving the renal organs are fatal for Shih Tzus and can cause deaths.

The kidneys, bladder, and urinary tract are susceptible yet necessary organs for prolonging the lifespan of a small dog; unsafe excretion or poor hygiene in Shih Tzus may result in kidney stones, bladder sludge, and urinary tract infections that would be a bad sign for their long life.

4. Infections

The third leading cause for Shih Tzu’s deaths is Viral infections. Highly infectious virus types like the canine coronavirus, parvovirus, helicobacter, salmonella, and distemper are likely to affect Shih Tzus and become incurable making it a severe problem for their overall health.

If you suspect any possible infections in your pup, immediately take them to the vet for medical assistance.

Besides viral infections, several bacterial, parasitic, and fungal infections infest these dogs, pester their health, and make them suffer in silence.

The only prevention for these infections is punctual vaccination shots and antibiotics, and deworming meds as a provisional cure for deadly infections.

5. Eyesight problems

Vision is a necessary sensory function for dogs, and its deterioration can cause a lot of accidental deaths.

Shih Tzus have very gouging eyes having more exposure which are prone to various vision problems like Keratitis, Retinal detachment, Lagophthalmos, Cataract, Proptosis, and many more that can result in a loss in eyesight.

Blind dogs are not very good at living long lives and get caught in some or the other type of accidental deaths.

6. Bone and joint degradation

Bone strength and joint health are essential for sensitive dogs like Shih Tzus with an active and playful lifestyle. Their delicate bone joints are prone to diseases like hip dysplasia and patellar luxation, due to which they can suffer severe immobility in the limbs.

Hip dysplasia is inherited genetically and happens when the hip joint doesn’t glide smoothly in its socket, whereas Patellar luxation is just a dislocation in the kneecap. These conditions, if they occur frequently, could lead to arthritis or minor fractures.

7. Breathing issues

Shih Tzus have a very narrow tracheal snout that makes them severely prone to breathing issues. These tiny dogs have all their functioning systems congested in a small area.

Their respiration process carries out sensitively, and they may suffer from accidental conditions like laryngeal collapse, spine injury, collapsed trachea, cleft palate, or stenotic nares.

These conditions are sometimes genetically inherited or can also be developed in the later stages of life.

8. Periodontal disease

Besides having very tiny mouths, Shih Tzus also have very closely packed teeth that create difficulties maintaining dental hygiene and proper oral sanitation.

Due to carelessness regarding oral hygiene, issues such as teeth cavities, gum disease, infections, and canine stomatitis affect the dietary routine of Shih Tzus, after which they need to consume limited and specially designed dog food that doesn’t provide many nutrients and may cause eventual malnutrition, shortened lifespan, or death.

How Old Was The Oldest Shih Tzu?

An average life expectancy of a Shih Tzu is around 13-14 years. As we discussed, their lifespan could be increased by a few years by taking care of your furbaby correctly and looking after the factors that affect their lifespan positively.

According to the documented World Records, the world’s oldest living Shih Tzu was 23 years old. It is an astonishing fact because it nearly lived two times the average age of its breed.

The dog’s name was Smokie, and it lived in Florida his whole life. It was born on 18th January 1986 and lived a happy and incredible life until it died in 2008. The officials verified the record because of the veterinary documentation and birth certificate from the hospital.

If you wonder if your Shih Tzu can live this long, it will remain a dream for you because these are genetic exceptions with a lot of care and precautions added.

You surely can give immense love and care to your Shih Tzu and possibly increase its lifespan as close as possible to that age, but it is quite an impossible task for taking it further than 16-18 years.

Genetical constitution, environmental conditions, active routine, and dietary habits are essential factors that ultimately get to decide the life expectancy of your furbaby.

It is a miracle for Smokie’s affluent owners that they had such a pup that could live such a long, happy life with their companionship, lovely environmental circumstances, and a balanced lifestyle including comfort as well as regular exercising.

What Is The Most Common Cause Of Death For A Shih Tzu?

Shih Tzu is a breed of dog with a very delicate organ system and sensitive metabolism, so they are more prone to suffer from many diseases that afflict their health and may cause deaths.

Apart from these different disorders, the ill health of most Shih Tzus is contributed by genetics and environmental conditions.

Some of the specific health concerns resulting in death for Shih Tzus are:

Heart conditions

Small dogs like Shih Tzus suffer from heart disorders very quickly because they have a weak heart with sensitive functioning.

Heart attacks or cardiac strokes occur if the blood flow gets imbalanced in the system due to any stressful condition or external pressure; Shih Tzus are very likely to have these heart concerns due to their biological structure and genetic formation.

Old age

The muscles and internal organs start to injure and malfunction along with age, due to which your Shih Tzu may get lethargic and lose the hope to live.

Muscles become lethargic, due to which they fail to support or assist the body for regressive physical activities causing immobility. The tissues and cellular lining of the organs get gradually paper-thin and weak, causing injuries/ tissue ruptures internally.

Kidney failure

Kidneys perform urine filtration and waste removal, essential for preventing unnecessary fluid from our systems for smooth body functioning.

Kidney failure causes when they fail to filter the water and hinder the excretion process, resulting in waste accumulation in the body, creating a toxic environment and an unhealthy body.

Routine checkups of your Shih Tzus are to be done periodically for anticipating symptoms of any deadly diseases that could harm the dog.

If the conditions are partially diagnosed in the early stages, you can take good care of your pet and prevent that disease by all means possible.

What Reasons Do Cause Shih Tzus Deaths?

The leading reasons of death for Shih Tzus are as follows according to the percentage of occurrence:

  • About 15% of all Shih Tzu deaths are due to various types of cancerous diseases, mast cell tumors, soft tissue sarcomas, lymphomas, etc. When diagnosed in the final stages, these diseases are untreatable but can be prevented if they are anticipated somehow in their earlier stages by looking at the starting symptoms. Surprisingly, 50% of all cancer cases can be entirely treated if they are detected early.
  • About 13% of all Shih Tzu deaths are from the excretory system, prostate, and womb. These issues are fatal and can be highly toxic because of the waste accumulation in the body itself because of the failed waster removal processes.
  • About 8% of all Shih Tzu deaths are due to deadly infections caused by various kinds of viruses, bacteria, fungus, parasites, etc. These are almost untreatable and can be tried to prevent earlier by appropriate vaccinations and prescribed medicines.
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How to Extend Your Shi Tzu’s Lifespan?

Shih Tzus can have a longer life expectancy if you take proper care and pay the necessary attention to the vital factors that positively affect the dog’s lifespan.

You can practice some basic guidelines yourself to prolong the lifespan and improve the daily lifestyle of your lovely Shih Tzu.


A high-quality and nutritionally balanced diet is vital for a dog. A healthy diet ensures the complete functioning of the body by adequate energy provision to all the organs to carry out their tasks smoothly.

The quality of diet you feed your dog is directly proportional to the health and lifestyle of your dog. It is essential to get to know the exact nutritional requirements of your specific dog and fulfill its needs appropriately.


Providing safe and clean water to your Sih Tzus is essential for their kidney health because letting them drink water from unchecked sources like taps, lakes, and borewells can be toxic to their kidneys filtration and purification.

Make sure that you set up a water filter at your home to give them clean and healthy water every day for proper hydration. Excessive minerals and bacteria in stagnant and unpurified water can harm the sensitive internal system of your small Shih Tzus.


All dogs need to exercise regularly according to their specified programs and physical activeness. Maintaining a fit, flexible and strong body is very important nowadays for decreasing any possibilities of bone or joint issues that make the dog age faster.

Domesticated dogs are more likely to have a sedentary lifestyle, and they spend most of their time indoors, having a minimal amount of agility in their daily life. Disorders like obesity and diabetes occur to lazy dogs and ultimately harm the respiration process.

Your vet must advise the intensity of regular exercising for dogs not to exhaust them or have any side effects on them.


Diseases involving the reproductive organs are also a potential threat for dogs and can be incurable if diagnosed late.

Issues like mammary tumors, breast cancer, womb infection, and prostate cancer are fatal in small dogs and can be avoided if you get your dog neutered/spayed. This decision will surely prolong the life of your Shih Tzu.

Neutering or spaying your dog also has some disadvantages of its own, and it is best if you research well or talk to your vet before you take this step.


Keeping your Shih Tzu physically hygienic and good-looking will create a sense of cleanliness in your environment and help your dog adapt to staying as clean as a whistle in its daily lifestyle.

Shih Tzus have a good amount of fur on their body that is long and silky in texture. It can easily reach the floor if it is taken care of properly, groomed daily, and maintained its texture.

Keeping your dogs free from parasites and lice is necessary to avoid and trigger allergic reactions in people who interact with or pet your dog. Regular teeth brushing, ear cleaning, nail trimming, and hair brushing also come under the grooming habits.

Visiting your vet for frequent checkups is also for the benefit of your dog so that any possible disease can be detected early and cured quickly.

A scheduled caring routine is advised to ensure your dog’s well-being, which would eventually help your fluffy companion live a long life.

What Age Does A Shih Tzu Die?

The life expectancy of a Shih Tzu ranges between 10 to 16 years irrespective of their gender. Usually, the average lifespan is 13 years for these furbabies, depending on factors like environmental conditions, dietary routine, regular exercising, and genetics.

Dog, Puppy, Shih Tzu, Pet, Domestic

Ongoing care and love for your pup will help you prolong their age beyond these limits and have a happy life. On the other hand, if you fail to look after your dog correctly and don’t fulfill its necessary needs, your dog won’t even make it to its old age.

Lifespans of Shih Tzus are neither too less nor too high compared to other dogs; the range of 10-13 years lies in between the spectrum among all breeds of dog. Some breeds usually live up to 20 years, and some live only 6-7 years.

Sensitive animals like the Shih Tzus have a flexible and variable life expectancy because many factors play a significant role in extending or reducing their lifespans.

So, it is recommended that you take care and love your dog every day of its life and see how many years it lives to admire your companionship.

How Do You Know Your Shih Tzu Is Dying?

Dogs are stoic, which means they have emotionless, blank, and calm expressions even if they feel any pain or illness. They are not fond of portraying their fears and painful side to their owners and prefer remaining quiet and lazy.

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Your Shih Tzu may also not show any visible indications of suffering or pain if they sense their nearly approaching death somehow due to some possible reasons.

However, instead of observing for signs of pain, if you look for any changes in normal behavior in your Shih Tzu, you will notice and determine some unusual indicators that would confirm that your Shih Tzu is in its final days.

  • Extreme laziness and lethargy.
  • Variable weight loss.
  • Adapting the isolation and emotionally unattached behavior.
  • Frequent shivering due to fluctuation in body temperature.
  • Losing interest in activities that were generally their favorite.
  • Difficulty in breathing.
  • Loss of appetite or complete anorexia
  • Incontinence

All these listed indicators are not the guaranteed way to predict that your pup is in its final days. If your Shih Tzu shows all these signs, your pup may be suffering from a curable medical disorder that needs immediate assistance from your vet.

Rather than drawing your conclusions regarding your dog’s health, it is best if you consult your vet and let them carry out some routine checkups and medical tests for accurate diagnosis.

However, the manifestation of these signs surely does tell you that something is wrong with your pet. It needs medical assistance as soon as possible to determine that it is counting its final days or suffering from a severe disease.

How to make your Shih Tzu live longer?

The most important factor on which the life expectancy of your Shih Tzu depends is their dietary routine and nutritional requirement throughout their entire life.

Food and water are the prime necessities for a living being, ensuring the provision of energy and smooth functioning of the body. Let’s look at the diet factor in detail for prolonging the lifespan of your pup.

It will direct you to maintain a proper nutritional balance in the body regularly so that no individual nutrient is left short or is provided in excess.

Dietary Requirements:

  • Shih Tzus needs a rich diet in protein and calories because this breed burns comparatively more calories in a day than any other dog, creating more demand for protein-rich food to satisfy the needs. So, food choices with an effective protein content are recommended frequently to keep the energy levels high.
  • Small dogs like Shih Tzus have sensitive stomachs. You must avoid feeding them canned and packaged foods containing chemically enriched ingredients, preservatives, flavoring agents, artificial colors, fillers, soy, allium veggies, and high wheat content. These ingredients may either trigger allergies or cause severe deadly conditions in your pup.
  • It is quite a task to fulfill your Shih Tzus nutritional requirements every day, inducing a healthy variety of food items for a change. Instead of getting confused every day about what to and what not to feed your dog, prepare a diet schedule that is perfectly suitable for your puppy and follow it strictly to provide good health to your dog.
  • It is necessary for you to go through the feeding instructions for a small dog like Shih Tzu because it has small and narrow organs that require tenderness in texture, is small in size, and is easy-to-swallow food.
  • If you want to incorporate natural food items or homemade dishes for your pup, make sure they fulfill their nutritional requirements and do not contain potentially toxic ingredients for Shih Tzus. Foods like green beans, baby carrots, berries, fish, lean beef, quinoa, brown rice, sweet potato, yogurt, sweet peas, white chicken, lamb, etc., are healthy and nutritional for Shih Tzus be included in their diet.

It is essential to include vital minerals in their regular diet is also a necessity so that the body has a smooth functioning:

  • Sodium
  • Antioxidants
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus
  • Omega 3 fatty acids
  • Taurine
  • L-Carnitine


  • Proper hydration is essential for your Shih Tzu and nutritional food for quick digestion and maximal assimilation of nutrients in the body. Other bodily functions require water, and that’s why fresh and clean water should be readily accessible for your pup at all times so that they can drink it according to their needs.
  • If your pup has any disorders or infections that have prescribed medications that need to be given through fluids like water, mix those meds directly in your pup’s water bowl so that it ensures the complete intake unknowingly.

The average lifespan of a Shih Tzu

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  • Most people have this doubt whenever they want to buy or adopt a dog in their family. This uncertainty is because dogs are so lovable and become part of the owner’s families, instantly making a special bond and a sense of compassion between them. Dogs have a very short lifespan when compared to an average human lifespan. Losing a dog due to its shorter lifespan can upset its owners and break their hearts, so they find it comforting to choose a suitable dog with the highest life expectancy for spending more time with them until their death.
  • Shih Tzus are very small, cute, and adorable, which is why they can quickly get along with children and elders very well. They are the typical kind of household pets that love being indoors and playing the whole day. They live for around 10 to 16 years for a maximum of the Shih Tzu population. Only some cases occur, having the lifespan lower or higher than this range due to accidental deaths or exceptional care, respectively.
  • So, on average, you could expect your Shih Tzu to live around 13 years in your life to be your best furry companion.
  • However, their exact lifespan would be decided by the conditions in your house, the amount of exercise they perform, and how mentally happy they are. Dogs are highly affected by the vibrations and spirituality of your house, so make sure your house has positive vibes and calm energy. A proper environment allowing an appropriate relaxing mood for your pup would be an ideal situation that will keep their heart rate optimal and utterly free from stress.
  • Excessive excitement, chaotic surroundings, and a furious house can make your dog high on adrenaline at all times, which may cause them to stress, unknowingly affecting their body negatively.
  • These recommendations are crucial for you to maximize the lifespan of your pup so that someday you may break the world record of the oldest living Shih Tzu.

How long can a Shih Tzu live with heart disease?

Heart diseases are fatal for small dogs like Shih Tzus because their delicate heart functions way smoothly until it is disturbed by any injuries.

Shih Tzu, Animals, Small, Dog, Naked

Cardiac arrest, congestive heart failure, and cardiovascular malfunctions can occur in Shih Tzus depending on their routine and other factors like diet, environment, etc.

After suffering or being diagnosed with heart disease, a Shih Tzu can live up to one year at most, depending on the severeness of the condition. The following symptoms can determine the contraction of heart disease:

  • Exercising intolerance
  • Constant coughing
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Weakness or Fatigue
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Fast breathing rate
  • Unconsciousness
  • Acute paralysis

If your Shih Tzu has a prognosis of a heart condition and is suffering from the listed symptoms, there are high chances that your Shih Tzu will not live more than a year.

The minimum time that could be left with you is entirely dependant if the condition is severe and is on the final stage.

How long can a Shih Tzu live with cancer?

Shih Tzus are affected by many cancerous diseases that can be deadly or curable depending on the time of detection. If the condition is identified early, your pup can make a full, healthy recovery and live a simple life.

Still, if the diagnosis is made at a higher stage, cancer spreads vigorously in the body and becomes incurable. In the latter situation, your fur baby has only 2-3 months left with you.

Almost 15% of the Shih Tzu deaths are cancerous blood, breast, bone, skin, and tumor. Some prevalent diseases affecting Shih Tzu are lymphoma, melanoma, osteosarcoma, mast cell tumor, and mammary carcinoma.

Surprisingly, 50% of these cancer cases can be treated if detected early and acted upon immediately on the safe stages. However, cancer symptoms are minuscule at the start, and before we know its severity, the condition worsens. Some severe symptoms that are visible for cancer are:

  • Abnormal swellings on the affected part
  • Sores that don’t heal
  • Constant bleeding
  • Fluid discharge from body openings
  • Anorexia and weight loss
  • Lethargy
  • Difficulty in eating and swallowing
  • Respiratory blockage
  • Problems in excretion

Some of the cancerous diseases go unnoticed by vets and owners because detecting explicit cancer infections or tumors in a dog’s body requires elaborate tests and CT scans, which are expensive and not included in routine checkups.

So there are high chances that when severe symptoms point out towards a specific cancer type disease, the comprehensive scans are performed, and cancer or tumor is diagnosed, but usually, that is too late to save your pup.

How long does Maltese Shih Tzu live?

The Maltese Shih Tzu or the Malt-zu is a hybrid variant formed by mixing the Maltese and the Shih Tzu breeds. This crossbreed is very popular and is more tolerant, loyal, easy-to-care-for, and better-natured than the parent breeds.

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It is usually the conception that crossbreeding improves the life expectancy in the offspring, and it also teaches more positive traits.

Maltese Shih Tzus have an average life expectancy of 14 years. Analyzing the physical and genetic traits of the hybrid parents will help you determine a more accurate life expectancy and any medical history that needs to be considered for any precautions in the future.

Ideally, it is recommended that you should buy crossbreeds like Maltese Shih Tzu from well-reputed breeders that mated healthy parents of different breeds in suitable conditions to produce the pup. The healthier the parents are, the longer the lifespan of the hybrid pup.

How long does the Imperial Shih Tzus live?

The Imperial Shih Tzu is an artificially formed species that are initially Shih Tzus purposefully bred to change physical traits like size and weight. The Imperial breed is much tinier than the standard Shih Tzu and has very little weight, approximately around 5-10 pounds.

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Although their physical traits are quite different from one another, the lifespan of the Imperial Shih Tzu remains unchanged and is 13-14 years. This toy breed is more delicate than the standard Shih Tzu and needs more care and love for nurturing.

How long does Teacup Shih Tzus live?

Teacup Shih Tzu is a variant of Shih Tzu that is somewhat smaller in size and has better characteristics like smoother fur, highly obedient, cuter, and more intelligence than the original.

Animal Portrait, Puppy, Dog, Shih Tzu

They are referred to by the term ‘Teacup’ because their size is so tiny that they can easily fit in a standard-sized teacup.

As the Teacup Shih Tzus have no such significant differences in the biological and genetic traits, their life expectancy also remains the same, i.e., 12-15 years, depending on the amount of care you take of your fluffy pup.

Also, due to their tinier size, Teacup Shih Tzus are more prone to injuries and internal diseases related to the disadvantages of delicate organs.

How long does Bichon Shih Tzus live?

A Bichon Shih Tzu is the most common and the cutest variant of the Shih Tzu breed. It is the hybrid of the Shih Tzu and the Bichon Frise; this mix breeding gives the best among both breeds in the mixed offspring.

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It is also known as Zuchon or Shichon. It could be found on any mobile wallpapers with the most adorable dogs ever.

These irresistibly cuddly pups are among the longest-living Shih Tzu mix breeds and have a life expectancy ranging from 12 to 18 years, depending on the care you take of them.

How long does male Shih Tzus live?

A male Shih Tzu has an average life expectancy of 13 years which is not entirely different from the general lifespan of a Shih Tzu because gender doesn’t play a significant role in deciding the life expectancy of this breed.

However, it is observed that a female Shih Tzu lives 1.5 years more than males on average. The fact that gender distinguishes this lifespan difference is not proven. It isn’t necessarily true because the factual lifespan of both male and female Shih Tzus is approximately 13 years.

How long do Shih Tzu poodles live?

Shih Tzu poodles or Shih-Poos are the most friendly and ideally lovable variants of the Shih Tzu breed.

They are pretty versatile and can quickly adapt to any environment, like a large bungalow, a family house, an apartment, or a tiny house. They are the hybrid variant of two breeds – the Shih Tzu and the Miniature Poodle.

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Shih-Poos is a crossbreed designer dog with a life expectancy of 17 years on average, and if you take great care of them, they might live a few years more.

So, that gave you an idea that a Shih-Poo would be the variant of the Shih Tzu that would probably stick with you for the most prolonged duration.

How Long Do Shih Tzus Mix Live?

All mix-breeds derived from the Shih Tzu have approximately the same life expectancy of about 12-14 years except the two crossbreeds – the Bichon Shih Tzus and the Shih-Poos, that have their lifespan a few years more than the usual. i.e., 17-18 years.

Mix breeds are formulated to overcome the disadvantages of the parent breeds and hence are successfully crossbred to reproduce offspring having better traits.

These hybrids are better than the original breeds in almost every factor, including lifespan, behavior, and other physical traits.

How Long Do Shih Tzus Live In Human Years?

Dog years are calculated to their equivalent human years to make sense of a dog’s life phases like infancy, young age, adolescence, and old age according to human understanding so that we know how to take proper care of them in these phases of their life.

Calculation of equivalent human years for a Shih Tzu (small-sized dog):

Considering the average lifespan of 13 years,

First dog year = 15 human years

Second dog year = 9 human years

Years after that would be equivalent to 4 years each for a small dog,

11*4 dog years = 44 human years

15 + 9 + 44 = 68 human years.

So, the average lifespan of a Shih Tzu which is 13 years, is equivalent to 68 human years. This age is considered middle old for humans, and that’s the level of affection and care needed by your Shih Tzu when they are at their final stage of life.

They begin to show signs of old age and get overall lethargic, so taking proper measures for their care and nutritional needs is necessary.

How Long Do Pekingese Shih Tzus Live?

The Pekingese Shih Tzus or the Shinese have an average life expectancy of 12-15 years if cared for and nurtured properly. Their face structure and muzzle are pretty unusual, which causes breathing problems and spinal issues in them.

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According to Chinese history and ancient folklores, the Pekingese and the Lhasa Apso were the most exotic dog breeds for the royal emperors in their province. They were strongly bonded with them and refused to crossbreed them, multiply them, or sell in other countries.

The breed was unique to their culture and remained with the same rich grace until they eventually traded in 1930 by importing to Europe. This breed, named Pekingese, was then introduced to the world by being recognized by the Kennel Club and was ultimately renamed, Shih Tzu.

Some theories say that the Shih Tzu was first crossbred in Tibet by mixing three breeds – The Pekingese, The Lhasa Apso, and the Tibetian Mountain dog. Many such unproven theories are publicized worldwide, which may or may not have any truth in them.

How Long Do Havanese Shih Tzus Live?

The Havanese Shih Tzu or the Havashu is a hybrid dog variant crossbred from the Havanese and the Shih Tzu.

Dog, Puppy, Shih Tzu, Tibetan Terrier

They are not very distinct from other mix-breeds in terms of physical traits but are more hyperactive, enthusiastic, socially playful, and easy to train. Also, their life expectancy is approximately 12-16 years that is quite the same as the original Shih Tzus.


Shih Tzus are small-sized and have a longer life expectancy than any of the giant breeds. Suppose you want to maintain their lifespan to the maximum range and provide them with a happy lifestyle.

In that case, some factors need to be considered so that you would take care of your dog more appropriately and make more efforts for its prolonged life expectancy. Small dogs have longer lifespans but are also prone to all kinds of diseases and disorders related to different systems in their body.

Their sensitive body and delicate organs can get infected or injured for minor reasons and can cause severe damages to your furbaby if not taken care of properly.

As responsible pet owners and loving companions of your Shih Tzu, you must provide them with a suitable environment, nutritional diet, healthy sleep, regular exercise, and other crucial necessities for maintaining their good lifespan.

Shih Tzus have a royal lineage and were designed for royalty and utter aristocracy in the historical provincial empires. They were not meant to hunt or live as wild beings; instead, they were created for lounging around on the elite enclosures, being treated in a regal manner and groomed at all times by the chauffers.

However, considering the existence of Shih Tzu in modern times, they need to be exercised and trained regularly to maintain their life expectancy to the best possible duration.


What is a good age for a Shih Tzu?

If you get a Shih Tzu 2-3 months old, you will have the most benefits, including ease in handling them, solid feeding habits would be started by then, and training them would be easier for you. These factors and many others would be in your favor as handling and adopting a pretty young pup is always better than getting a newborn pup or a much older dog.

Can a Shih Tzu live 20 years?

The world record for the longest living Shih Tzu was of 23 years. If you have a hybrid variant like the Bichon Shih Tzu or the Shih-Poo, that has an average life span of about 17 years; taking excellent care of them and providing them with the utmost necessary conditions would possibly make them live for 20 years approximately. But extending an original Shih Tzu breed’s lifespan from 13 to 20 is nearly impossible.

Is it okay for Shih Tzu to sleep on the floor?

It is recommended that your Shih Tzu shouldn’t sleep on the floor as it can cause many bone and joint problems and temperature changes in the body. We must avoid hard surfaces for sleeping. Instead, set a unique bed for your furbaby at a suitable spot having a moderate temperature so that they feel comfortable sleeping in it and don’t cling to your bed.

About the author

I'm Gulshan, a passionate pet enthusiast. Dive into my world where I share tips, stories, and snapshots of my animal adventures. Here, pets are more than just animals; they're heartbeats that enrich our lives. Join our journey!