A shih tzu typically lives between 12 and 13 years, which is average for dogs in the USA.
To give your shih tzu the best chance of a long and healthy life, there are several precautions you can take:
- Always supervise your shih tzu outdoors, to protect them from hazards such as traffic, aggressive dogs, wildlife, and theft.
- Feed them on all-natural foods and keep them at a healthy weight as much as possible. Avoid heavily processed foods, with multiple additives.
- Keep them active. Although small, shih tzus can handle up to 60 minutes of walking per day which can be divided into 2 or 3 shorter walks. A minimum of two 20 minute walks every day, plus some active indoor play with toys will keep you both moving.
- Dental care. It may not seem that important, but dental problems can not only be excruciatingly painful for your shih tzu, they can also lead to other serious health issues. Cleaning your pet’s teeth regularly will keep him healthy and happy longer.
- Annual check-ups by a veterinarian will help to identify any potential health issues so they can be addressed before they escalate.