Is Shih Tzu a healthy dog?

You simply cannot resist the charm of a Shih Tzu. Those cute little button eyes, that wavy silky mane, and their friendly demeanor make them a delight to have in your family. Their alert and adventurous nature, coupled with a seemingly built-in sense of regality, make them a perfect combination of a best friend and a playful companion. But, have you ever asked yourself, how healthy are these adorable creatures?

Dogs, just like humans, have a wide array of health issues they are predisposed to. It’s not just about the general health of a dog breed, but also about how well they are cared for and their genetic makeup. Today, we will dig deep into the world of Shih Tzus and uncover their health secrets. Is the Shih Tzu a healthy breed, or is it a cute time-bomb of health issues? Let’s find out.

The Shih Tzu – A Brief Intro

These adorable pups hail from the royal courts of China. Bred as foot warmers and lap dogs to the Chinese elite, their close association with humans from such early times may account for their exceptional social skills.

Historically speaking, Shih Tzus were so revered that they were a common part of Chinese paintings and were seen as tokens of good luck. But does this rich historic association match up with their health stature?

The General Health of Shih Tzu

On the surface, the Shih Tzu appears to be a healthy breed. In fact, they can live up to 10-16 years when well cared for, which is quite a reasonable span for a dog. However, like many other breeds, they are prone to certain health conditions.

Brachycephalic Syndrome

Ever wondered why the Shih Tzu has such a flat face? This defining feature unfortunately leads to a common health issue known as the Brachycephalic Syndrome. This syndrome affects dogs with short noses and can cause several complications such as difficulty breathing, snoring and overheating.

Hip Dysplasia

While it is a health problem common to larger dog breeds, Shih Tzus too can suffer from hip dysplasia. It’s an inherited condition which makes the thigh bone not fit properly into the hip joint.

Eye Troubles

Those expressive, dazzling eyes are more than what meets the eye. Eye-related health issues are common in Shih Tzus, such as Proptosis (when the eye protrudes from its socket), progressive retinal atrophy, and cherry eye.

Now, before you get all worried and start re-thinking your decision of having a Shih Tzu as a member of your family, breathe easy. Most Shih Tzus still lead a happy and healthy life despite these potential ailments.

How to Ensure Your Shih Tzu Stays Healthy

The best way to assure a Shih Tzu’s health is through proper care and regular check-ups. Here are some tips to follow:

– Regular Vet Visits: Regular check-ups can help catch potential health issues early.

– Balanced Diet: Provide a nutritionally balanced diet to ward off obesity, which can exasperate health issues in Shih Tzus.

– Regular Exercise: Despite their small size, Shih Tzus require regular exercise to keep them in optimal health condition.

– Regular grooming: Regular brushing is required for Shih Tzus as it keeps their skin healthy and prevents matting and skin issues.

In Summary

Shih Tzus are generally healthy dogs but are predisposed to certain health issues, much like any other breed. They have a fair lifespan of 10-16 years and definitely love their human families.

Regular vet check-ups, balanced diet, exercise and grooming are essential components to ensure a Shih Tzu’s longevity and health. Caring for a Shih Tzu requires commitment, but the joy they bring to your life is a reward beyond measure.

Whether you are a proud owner of a Shih Tzu or thinking of adding one to your family, knowledge about their health expectations and requirements can ensure you provide the best care for one of the most loyal and loving breeds on the planet.

So go ahead, enjoy the pure love and the regal companionship that a Shih Tzu offers. Just remember, they need a little care and love to stay healthy and keep those tails wagging!