Shih Tzu Health

On this page we will discuss Shih Tzu health and perhaps more importantly, the health problems most commonly associated with these dogs.

In general, the Shih Tzu is a very healthy breed. Their average life expectancy is 9-15 years. Of course, a lot of this depends on several factors such as genetics, proper breeding, a good diet, adequate exercise, yearly medical examinations and frequent grooming.

While all of these are very, very important, probably the most important one is proper breeding.

Good Breeding Tells ...

If you are considering the thought of purchasing a Shih Tzu puppy from a breeder, please do your homework and find a reputable, responsible Shih Tzu breeder which is licensed in your particular city and state.

Almost always, these breeders will be in good standing, endorsed and recommended by the AMERICAN SHIH TZU CLUB.

Reputable, responsible breeders have one primary objective and that is to improve upon the quality of the Shih Tzu breed by continually conforming their puppies as close to the breed standard as possible.

When proper breeding methods and practices are utilized, the chances of having healthier Shih Tzu puppies is significantly increased.

As we have stated earlier, the Shih Tzu is considered a very healthy dog breed but there are some genetic and medical issues that are prevalent to Shih Tzus. Some of the more common health conditions that effect these dogs are breathing problems, allergies, kidney disorders, hip dysplasia, patellar luxation and eye disease.

More Information on Shih Tzu Health

For those of you that are curious about these specific Shih Tzu problems, please visit our Shih Tzu Health Problems page. Hopefully, with the information discussed on this page and throughout our site, you have become better informed about these health issues and concerns. If you ever suspect that your Shih Tzu's health might be at risk, please contact your local veterinarian for further advice and/or treatment.

For a much more detailed explanation of common canine conditions and diseases, please visit our friends at Dog Health Handbook and Dog Health Guide.

Keeping Your Dog Healthy

Apart from good food and regular exercise, there are a few other things you can do to keep your pet healthy:

  • Shih tzus are prone to ear and eye injuries due to their facial structure.  So keep their ears clean and trim any excess hair.  Wash any dirt away from near their eyes to avoid infections.  Some vets recommend letting some hair grow over your dog's eyes to help keep the dirt out.
  • Discourage your dog from rough play as this can risk injuries.
  • Avoid strenuous activity on hot days to minimise the risk of heat stroke.
  • Take your pet for regular vet check ups and be sure to keep any required vaccinations up to date.


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