Dogs normally live until 12.8 years on the average. However, size plays a role in the longevity of existence of living things. Usually, smaller animals live longer than larger ones. Since Shih Tzu’s are considered as toy breeds and miniature dogs, they normally live longer than large dogs at around 16-18 years. Females were also seen to live longer than males than 1.4 years on the average.
Though it is quite a long time before you say goodbye to your beloved pet, there are ways by which you can lengthen his or her stay with you. Here are few things that you can do to increase the lifespan of your Shih Tzu.
SPAY OR NEUTER. This is a must for every pet owner, especially when you have no plans of breeding or if your dog is considered old. Spaying and neutering your dog prevents the spread of cancer cells, such as mammary, ovarian and testicular cancer common to dogs.
STOP SMOKING. Just like in humans, carbon monoxide kills dogs. Old dogs exposed to smokers as their owners usually develop lung cancer. For your own health and your dog’s, quit smoking.
DENTAL CHECK-UPS. Though pet owners usually ignore their dog’s dental health, you might be surprised how dental problems can lead to a systemic disease or simply kill your dog by lack of appetite and dehydration. Dogs must at least be brought in for a teeth check up once a year. Plaques and calculus can cause gingivitis and infection that can spread through the blood. Simply put, if your dog will not eat, he can die.
EXERCISE. A healthy lifestyle always goes a long way – especially for Shih Tzu’s who are used to staying at home all day waiting for their owner. These dogs need at least a 30 minute cardio to boost their energy and normalize their body functions. It is also seen that properly exercised dogs are better behaved and exhibits less tantrums.