Welcoming a furry friend into your family is an exciting experience. However, it is crucial to be aware of the responsibilities that come with taking care of a dog. The adorable Shih Poo is an increasingly popular crossbreed that owners love due to its charming personality and intelligence. Like all living beings, Shih Poos have a finite lifespan, and owners must take care of them to ensure they live a long and healthy life. In this article, we will explore the factors that affect the Shih Poo’s lifespan and provide tips on how to ensure they live a healthy and happy life. So, let’s dive in!

What is a Shih Poo?

A Shih Poo is a popular dog created by cross-breeding a Shih Tzu with a Toy Poodle. This results in a fluffy and adorable companion that is known for its loving and loyal nature. These dogs have become increasingly popular in recent years, partly thanks to their hypoallergenic qualities which make them a great choice for families with allergies.

Shih Poos are also sometimes referred to as Shoodle or Pooshi and are considered to be a designer dog breed. They are known for their cute looks and friendly character, and they come in a variety of coat colors such as black, white, cream, gray, and gold.

While Shih Poos are not recognized by the American Kennel Club, they are recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club and the Designer Breed Registry. These dogs are typically small in size, with an average weight of around 8-18 pounds.

Shih Poos make great pets for families and individuals alike. they are known for their calm and gentle temperament, which makes them great for living in smaller spaces. They are also intelligent and easy to train, making them an ideal choice for first-time dog owners.

To learn more about the characteristics and temperaments of Shih Poos, visit our Shih Poo Characteristics page.

How Long Do Shih Poos Live?

How Long Do Shih Poos Live?
As with any pet owner, the lifespan of your furry friend is a major consideration when choosing a breed. It is natural to wonder, how long do Shih Poos live? A Shih Poo, also known as a Shoodle, is a popular crossbreed between a Shih Tzu and a Toy or Miniature Poodle. This hybrid breed has unique features that make them a beloved pet choice. In this article, we will dive into the various factors that affect the lifespan of a Shih Poo, the average lifespan of this breed, and what you can do to ensure a healthy and happy life for your Shih Poo. But before that, let us explore what makes the Shih Poo special compared to other Poodle crossbreeds.

Factors That Affect Lifespan

Various factors can impact a Shih Poo’s lifespan, including genetics, environment, nutrition, exercise, veterinary care, training, and socialization. These factors have a vital role in the health and wellbeing of your Shih Poo, which ultimately determines their longevity.

GeneticsSome health conditions or diseases that can affect Shih Poos may be inherited, which means that it comes from their parents or family line.
EnvironmentThe environment where Shih Poos live also has an impact on their lifespan. A safe and healthy environment can help prevent injuries, illnesses, and accidents, which can increase their lifespan.
NutritionA balanced and nutritious diet with quality ingredients is crucial for a Shih Poo’s overall health and wellbeing. A poor diet can lead to health problems and a shorter life span.
ExerciseRegular exercise is essential for a Shih Poo’s physical and mental health. Lack of exercise can lead to obesity, health issues, and a shorter lifespan.
Veterinary CareRegular vet check-ups and preventative care, such as vaccinations and flea/tick prevention, can help ensure that any potential health issues are caught early, which can prolong a Shih Poo’s life.
Training and SocializationProper training and socialization help to prevent behavior issues and anxiety, which can impact a Shih Poo’s mental health and overall wellbeing.

By paying attention to these various factors, pet parents can help ensure their Shih Poo lives a long and healthy life. Proper nutrition, exercise, grooming, and veterinary care all play a significant role in a Shih Poo’s well-being. If you have questions about any of these factors, please consult with your veterinarian or read our associated articles for further guidance.

Average Lifespan of a Shih Poo

Shih Poos are a relatively new breed with a lifespan that largely depends on several factors, such as genetics, size, diet, exercise, and overall healthcare. As with most crossbreeds, it can be difficult to predict their lifespan with certainty, but on average, they can be expected to live between 10 to 16 years.

A comprehensive Shih Poo lifespan table is presented below:

BreedAverage Lifespan
Shih Poo10-16 years

Factors such as a Shih Poo’s size, genetics, and overall health can have a great impact on their lifespan. Smaller Shih Poos are known to live longer than their larger counterparts, while Shih Poos who receive proper care and nutrition may also be expected to live longer than those who do not.

As with any type of dog, it is important to ensure your Shih Poo is living a healthy and active lifestyle to optimize their lifespan. Proper nutrition, regular exercise, routine grooming, and yearly veterinary check-ups can all help to increase the lifespan and longevity of your furry companion. If you are interested in learning more about how to keep your Shih Poo healthy and active at all times, check out our article on the best ways to train a Shih Poo or our article on Shih Poo exercise needs.

Steps to Ensure a Healthy Life

Steps To Ensure A Healthy Life
Ensuring a long and healthy life for your Shih Poo is crucial for any loving pet owner. Luckily, there are many steps you can take to keep your furry friend happy and healthy. From providing them with a balanced and nutritious diet to regular exercise and grooming, every little detail can contribute to their overall wellness. In this article, we will dive into some of the most important steps you can take to ensure your Shih Poo lives a healthy and happy life. Don’t miss out on valuable information about nutrition, exercise, grooming, veterinary care, training, and socialization, as well as information about some common health issues for Shih Poos.


Nutrition plays a vital role in ensuring that your Shih Poo lives a long and healthy life. Like any other dog, a Shih Poo’s diet should be well balanced and tailored to their age, breed, health, and activity level. A nutrient-dense diet is essential to avoid obesity and other related health issues.

Many high-quality commercial dog foods are available on the market, and you should choose a diet that is specifically designed for small dog breeds. Make sure the food you choose has a good protein source like chicken, turkey, or fish, and it should also include vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Avoid dog food with fillers such as wheat, corn or soy as they do not offer any nutritional value to your dog.

Another popular feeding option is homemade food. If you choose to feed homemade meals, make sure to consult with your veterinarian or a canine nutritionist to ensure that your Shih Poo receives a balanced diet. Homemade meals should consist of lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and vegetables.

It’s important to note that overfeeding your Shih Poo can lead to obesity, which can have severe consequences such as heart disease, arthritis, and a shorter life span. Determine the appropriate portion size based on your dog’s weight, age, and activity level.

Provide access to clean water at all times, especially in hot weather or during physical activities. Keep in mind that some dogs may have specific dietary requirements or allergies, and it’s essential to be aware of what foods they can or cannot eat.

Remember that the quality of the food you provide to your pet impacts their overall health and well-being. A well-balanced diet enriched with high-quality protein, essential vitamins, and minerals is a vital factor to ensure that your Shih Poo lives a long, healthy life.

Learn more about the best diet for your Shih Poo here.


Ensuring your Shih Poo gets enough exercise is essential for their overall health and well-being. Regular exercise can help prevent obesity, decrease the risk of certain health issues, and improve their mood and behavior. Here are some steps you can take to make sure your Shih Poo is getting adequate exercise:

  • Take them for daily walks: Walking is a great form of exercise for Shih Poos as it doesn’t put too much strain on their small bodies. Aim for at least two 20-minute walks per day to keep them active and engaged.
  • Interactive play: Playing with your Shih Poo is an excellent way to get them moving and engaged. Toys can help keep their minds active while also providing physical activity. Consider puzzle toys that will keep them engaged for longer periods of time.
  • Try agility training: Shih Poos are intelligent dogs that enjoy a good mental challenge. Consider setting up an agility course in your backyard or attending an agility training class. This not only challenges and entertains them but also keeps them physically active.
  • Swimming: If you have access to a pool or a lake, swimming can be a great low-impact exercise for your Shih Poo. It’s an excellent way to cool off on a hot day while still getting exercise. Be sure to supervise your dog at all times around water.

Remember, exercise should always be appropriate for your Shih Poo’s age and physical abilities. Be sure to consult with your veterinarian on an exercise plan that is safe and effective for your furry friend. In addition, socialization and temperament training can help your dog feel more confident and comfortable in new situations, which can lead to increased physical activity.


Grooming is an essential aspect of Shih Poo care, as their coat can easily tangle and mat if not properly maintained. To keep your furry friend looking and feeling their best, regular grooming is a must. Here are a few grooming tips to ensure your Shih Poo stays healthy and happy:

BrushingWhen it comes to grooming, brushing your Shih Poo’s coat is the most important thing you can do. Brushing 2-3 times a week will prevent matting and tangles, and help distribute natural oils throughout the coat to keep it healthy and shiny. A slicker brush is the best type of brush for a Shih Poo’s coat, as it can easily lift out loose hairs and prevent tangles. You can also use a metal comb to gently work out any knots.
BathingAlthough Shih Poos are a low-shedding breed, they still need regular baths to keep their coat looking clean and healthy. Ideally, you should bathe your Shih Poo every 4-6 weeks, but this can vary depending on their activity level and coat type. When bathing your Shih Poo, use a gentle shampoo specifically made for dogs and avoid getting water in their ears or eyes.
Ear CareShih Poos are prone to developing ear infections, so regular ear cleaning is crucial. Use a cotton ball or soft cloth moistened with an ear cleaning solution recommended by your vet to gently wipe out any dirt or debris. Be sure to check your Shih Poo’s ears regularly for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or discharge.
Nail TrimmingKeeping your Shih Poo’s nails trimmed is important to prevent painful overgrowth and potential injuries. You should trim your Shih Poo’s nails every 2-3 weeks, or as needed. Use sharp, high-quality nail clippers made for dogs, and be careful not to cut the quick (the pink part of the nail that contains blood vessels and nerves). If you’re unsure how to trim your dog’s nails, ask your vet.

Regular grooming not only helps your Shih Poo look and feel their best but also allows for early detection of any potential health issues. By making grooming a part of your regular routine, you can ensure that your Shih Poo stays healthy and happy for years to come.

Veterinary Care

Regular veterinary care is crucial to ensure your Shih Poo lives a healthy and long life. It is recommended to schedule yearly check-ups with a trusted veterinarian to monitor your pup’s overall health, as early detection of health issues can prevent them from becoming more serious.

During these check-ups, your vet may perform a physical exam to check for any abnormalities, as well as run diagnostic tests such as blood work and urine analysis. They may also recommend additional preventive care measures, such as vaccinations and parasite control.

In addition to regular check-ups, it is important to take your Shih Poo to the vet if you notice any changes in behavior or if they start exhibiting symptoms of illness. Some of the signs to watch out for include lethargy, lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, and sneezing.

It is also important to maintain good oral hygiene for your Shih Poo. Regular teeth brushing and dental cleanings can prevent dental issues such as periodontal disease, which can not only lead to tooth loss but also impact your pup’s overall health. Your vet may recommend specific dental products or schedule dental cleanings as needed.

If your Shih Poo has a chronic health issue such as allergies, diabetes, or epilepsy, it is important to work closely with your vet to manage their condition. This may involve regular monitoring and medication.

Proper veterinary care is a crucial component of ensuring your Shih Poo lives a healthy and happy life. By staying up-to-date with check-ups, preventive care, and prompt treatment of any health issues, you can help your furry friend live a longer and more fulfilling life.

For more information about Shih Poos and other Poodle crossbreeds, check out our in-depth guide on Shih Poo vs Poodle Crossbreeds.

Training and Socialization

Training and socialization are crucial to ensuring a healthy and happy life for your Shih Poo. This breed can sometimes be stubborn, but with patience and consistency, they can be trained to be obedient and well-behaved.

Start training your Shih Poo as early as possible. Use positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats and praise, to encourage good behavior. Avoid harsh punishment, as it can cause your dog to become fearful and anxious.Expose your Shih Poo to a variety of experiences, such as different people, sounds, and environments. This will help your dog learn to adapt to new situations and become more confident.
Be patient and consistent in your training. Short, frequent training sessions will be more effective than long, infrequent ones. Use simple commands such as “sit,” “stay,” and “come.”Set up playdates or take your dog to a dog park to interact with other dogs. This will help your Shih Poo learn proper socialization skills and how to play appropriately with other dogs.
Consider enrolling your Shih Poo in obedience classes or hiring a professional dog trainer. This can be especially helpful if you are a first-time dog owner or are having trouble with certain behaviors.Introduce your Shih Poo to new people in a positive way. Encourage them to give your dog treats and praise. This will help your dog associate new people with positive experiences.

Socialization is just as important as training, as it helps your Shih Poo feel comfortable in a variety of situations and environments. By exposing your dog to new experiences and people, you can help prevent anxiety and fear-based behaviors from developing.

By investing time and effort into training and socializing your Shih Poo, you can help ensure a happy and healthy life for your furry friend.


The environment in which a Shih Poo lives is crucial to maintaining his overall health and well-being. A clean and safe living area is essential to ensuring a healthy and happy Shih Poo. Here are some ways in which you can create a suitable living environment for your furry friend:

  • Provide a comfortable living space: Make sure your Shih Poo has a cozy and comfortable place to relax in. This could include a bed, crate or dedicated space in your home.
  • Keep the living area clean: Regularly clean your Shih Poo’s living area to prevent the buildup of dirt or bacteria that can cause health issues.
  • Avoid exposure to extreme temperatures: Shih Poos are sensitive to both hot and cold temperatures. Ensure your pup’s living area is kept at a comfortable temperature to avoid any health complications.
  • Provide toys and mental stimulation: Shih Poos are intelligent and active dogs who require mental stimulation on a daily basis. Provide your pup with toys and games to keep him occupied and prevent boredom.
  • Prevent access to harmful substances: Remove any toxic substances, such as cleaning chemicals or plants, from your Shih Poo’s living area to prevent ingestion or exposure, which can lead to serious health issues.
  • Provide access to fresh air and sunlight: Fresh air and sunlight can do wonders for your Shih Poo’s physical and mental health. Provide access to a yard or take your pup for regular walks to give him ample time to soak up some sunshine and breathe in fresh air.

By providing a comfortable and clean living space, adequate stimulation, and access to fresh air and sunlight, you can help ensure your Shih Poo lives a happy and healthy life. Remember to always monitor your pup’s health and behavior and take immediate action if you notice any concerning issues.

Common Health Issues in Shih Poos

As much as we want our furry friends to be healthy and happy, there are some common health issues that Shih Poos may face throughout their lives. It is important to be aware of these issues, as early detection and treatment can prevent further complications. Here are some health concerns that Shih Poos may experience, and what you can do to keep them healthy and comfortable.

Eye Problems

One of the most common health issues that Shih Poos face throughout their life is eye problems. These issues can range from minor to severe and can even lead to blindness if not properly cared for. Shih Poos have a predisposition to several eye problems that pet owners must be aware of and take necessary precautions.

Here is a list of some of the most common eye problems that affect Shih Poos:

Eye ProblemSymptomsTreatment
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)Night blindness, dilated pupils, and a decrease in vision over time.There is no cure for PRA. However, providing your dog with a healthy diet rich in antioxidants and good eye care can help slow the progression of the disease.
CataractsInability to see clearly, a bluish or white discoloration in the eye.Surgery may be required to remove the cataract. It is important to catch them early to prevent irreversible vision loss.
Cherry EyeA pink or red mass protruding from the corner of the eye.Surgery is the most common treatment if the cherry eye does not resolve on its own or with medication.
Corneal UlcersExcessive blinking, redness, and discharge from the eye.Treatment options include antibiotic eye drops, pain relief medication, and sometimes surgery.
GlaucomaEye redness, watery discharge, and pain.Treatment can vary depending on the severity of the condition and can include medication or surgery.
EntropionExcessive tearing, eye infections, and abnormal eyelid position.Surgery can correct the position of the eyelids and alleviate symptoms.

As a pet owner of a Shih Poo, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of these eye problems. Regular visits to the vet are crucial in detecting and preventing serious eye conditions. Proper nutrition and grooming can also play a major role in maintaining healthy eyes in your Shih Poo.

Dental Issues

One common health issue that Shih Poos can face is related to their dental health. Just like humans, dogs need proper dental care to ensure their overall health and longevity. Dental issues in Shih Poos can range from plaque build-up to periodontal disease, which can lead to tooth loss or even organ damage.

To prevent dental issues in Shih Poos, it’s important to establish a dental care routine early on. Here are some steps to take:

  • Regular Brushing: Shih Poos should have their teeth brushed at least 2-3 times a week. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste made specifically for dogs. Be sure to get your Shih Poo used to the brushing process early on to prevent any resistance later.
  • Dental Chews: Providing dental chews for your Shih Poo can help reduce plaque build-up on their teeth. Look for chews that are specifically designed for dental health and make sure they are the right size for your Shih Poo’s breed and weight.
  • Regular Vet Check-Ups: Regular visits to the veterinarian can help prevent dental issues in Shih Poos. Your vet can check for signs of dental problems and provide recommendations for further care.
  • Dental Cleaning: Depending on the severity of your Shih Poo’s dental issues, a professional dental cleaning may be necessary. This involves your vet performing a thorough cleaning of your dog’s teeth and gums while they are under anesthesia.

By following these steps, you can help ensure your Shih Poo maintains good dental health throughout their life. Don’t forget that dental issues can lead to more serious health problems, so it’s important to take care of your furry friend’s teeth and gums.

Patellar Luxation

Patellar luxation is a common orthopedic condition among Shih Poos, especially in smaller size dogs. This condition occurs when the patella, which is also known as the kneecap, dislocates from its normal position. The patella usually sits in a groove at the end of the femur, held in place by ligaments. When these ligaments are loose or the groove is too shallow, the patella can slip out of its position.

Symptoms of patellar luxation may include limping, difficulty standing up or walking, and pain in the affected leg. The severity of the condition can range from mild to severe, with some dogs being able to pop the kneecap back in place on their own, while others require surgery.

If your Shih Poo has patellar luxation, your veterinarian may recommend various treatments depending on the severity of the condition. For mild cases, for example, exercise restriction and joint supplements may be recommended. More severe cases may require corrective surgery to realign the knee joint and prevent further dislocation.

To help reduce the risk of patellar luxation in your Shih Poo or to prevent it from worsening, there are certain measures you can take. Firstly, ensuring a healthy weight for your dog can help to reduce the strain on the knee joint. Exercise is also important, but high-impact activities should be limited. Keep your Shih Poo’s nails trimmed, as long nails can affect the way they walk and put extra strain on the knees. Finally, regular check-ups with your veterinarian can help catch any developing issues before they become severe.

Remember, while patellar luxation is common in Shih Poos, it is not something your dog has to live with. With proper care and treatment, your furry friend can live a happy, healthy, and pain-free life.

Ear Infections

Ear infections are a common health issue in Shih Poos, but with proper care, they can be prevented. These infections can be caused by bacteria or yeast, and can be very uncomfortable for your furry friend. Symptoms of an ear infection include itching, redness, swelling, and discharge from the ear.

To prevent ear infections in your Shih Poo, it is important to clean their ears regularly. This can be done by gently wiping the inner and outer ear with a damp cloth. Do not use q-tips, as they can push wax and debris deeper into the ear canal, which can lead to infection.

Another important step is to ensure that your Shih Poo’s ears stay dry. Moisture in the ear canal provides a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. After bathing or swimming, dry your dog’s ears thoroughly with a towel or blow dryer on a low setting.

It is also important to keep your Shih Poo’s ears trimmed, as excess hair can trap moisture and debris in the ear canal. Regular grooming and trimming of the fur around the ears can help prevent ear infections.

Finally, if you notice any symptoms of an ear infection in your Shih Poo, such as excessive scratching or discharge from the ear, it is important to seek veterinary care. Your vet can prescribe medication to treat the infection and help prevent it from recurring.

Regular ear care and grooming can help prevent ear infections in your Shih Poo. Keep their ears clean and dry, trim excess hair, and seek veterinary care if you notice any symptoms of infection. Taking these steps can help ensure that your furry friend stays happy and healthy for years to come.

Prevention of ear infections in Shih Poos
Clean ears regularly
Ensure ears stay dry
Trim excess hair around ears
Seek veterinary care for symptoms of infection


In conclusion, owning a Shih Poo can be a joyful and rewarding experience. By understanding their lifespan and how to ensure they live a healthy life, you can help your furry companion thrive for years to come. Remember to prioritize proper nutrition, exercise, and grooming, as well as regular veterinary checkups and training/socialization. By creating a safe and loving environment, you can minimize the risk of common health issues such as eye problems, dental issues, patellar luxation, and ear infections.

Overall, Shih Poos can live up to 16 years with proper care and attention. However, it’s important to remember that every dog is unique and may have different needs. Be sure to observe your pet closely for any signs of discomfort or abnormal behavior, and consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns. With consistent love and care, your Shih Poo can live a long, healthy, and happy life by your side.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Shih Poos live a long life?

Yes, with proper care and attention, Shih Poos can live a long and healthy life.

What is the average lifespan of a Shih Poo?

The average lifespan of a Shih Poo is around 10-15 years.

What are some factors that can affect a Shih Poo’s lifespan?

Factors such as genetics, nutrition, exercise, and medical care can all impact a Shih Poo’s lifespan.

How much exercise do Shih Poos need?

Shih Poos need a moderate amount of exercise, such as daily walks and playtime.

Is it important to groom a Shih Poo regularly?

Yes, regular grooming is important for a Shih Poo’s overall health and wellbeing.

What kind of food should I feed my Shih Poo?

You should choose a high-quality dog food that is appropriate for your Shih Poo’s age, size, and activity level.

How often should I take my Shih Poo to the vet?

Your Shih Poo should see a veterinarian for regular checkups and vaccinations at least once a year.

Why is socialization important for Shih Poos?

Proper socialization helps to prevent behavioral issues and ensures that your Shih Poo is comfortable in different situations and around people and other animals.

What are some common health issues that affect Shih Poos?

Some common health issues in Shih Poos include eye problems, dental issues, patellar luxation, and ear infections.

Can Shih Poos live in small apartments or homes?

Yes, Shih Poos are adaptable and can do well in small spaces as long as they get enough exercise and attention.


Matthew Farthing

Matthew Farthing

Сontributing author at DoggoLab, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant.

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