Are Shih Tzus Hypoallergenic?

October 13, 2022 / Dog Breeds / By: iPupster

Shih Tzu Shedding and Dander

Shih Tzu dogs originate from Asia. They are a toy breed that comes from Tibet and are mostly known for their adorable large round eyes and their short snout.

They do have floppy ears that is paired with a long coat, however, these playful dogs happen to be hypoallergenic.

Let’s take a close look at the Shih Tzu breed below and their grooming needs to keep allergies in check. 

If you are looking for a dog that is compatible with an allergy prone household, the Shih Tzu is an excellent choice.


Are Shih Tzus Hypoallergenic?

If you are looking for a dog that is compatible with an allergy prone household, the Shih Tzu is an excellent choice.

What Causes Dog Allergies?

Dogs are one of the oldest human companions on the planet. They provide security, help with farm work, and generally provide emotional support.

However, most dogs generate a protein in their body that can trigger an allergic reaction in some people.

This protein is found in the saliva, dander, and urine of dogs. In moderate to high concentrations, the protein will trigger an allergic response that ranges from mild itching and discomfort to hives and trouble breathing.

While most people assume it is the hair or fur of a dog that triggers a reaction, the actual cause is the dander and protein found in their body fluids.

Are Shih Tzu Dogs Hypoallergenic?

Shihtzu dogs are thankfully considered hypoallergenic. For those looking to add a dog to their family, a Shih Tzu is least likely to aggravate any existing allergies.

As a breed these dogs are small and bred for companionship, however, they are big on love and affection.

They have a long coat of fur, but it is easy to manage and requires only a minimal amount of grooming. Shih Tzu dogs are hypoallergenic and low shedders.

These little lions tend to be very healthy and can live up to 16 years of age with the proper care.

Their coat is prone to matting, so it is important to keep the dog well-groomed and trimmed. Despite their long coat, they only generate a small amount of dander and shed even less.

Proper brushing with a high-quality dog brush is essential. Doing so a couple of times a week will keep their hair free from knots and reduce the already small amount of dander in their coat.

Shih Tzu Shedding

Shih Tzu doesn’t need much to thrive, but you will need to pay attention to their coat to prevent the need for excessive grooming. The breed has a naturally long coat that does not shed very much and also does not generate much dander.

However, despite that Shih Tzu is a low-shed dog, its coat tends to get matted quickly. Maintaining a shorter cut will help prevent matting and also reduce the already minimal amount of shedding that occurs.

The Shih Tzu breed has a double coat which is one of the reasons that they don’t shed much and also don’t generate a lot of dander. The small amount of shedding comes from the undercoat and is trapped in the top layer.

Brushing your dog occasionally will help remove these trapped hairs and keep their coat shiny and healthy.

It is worth noting that Shih Tzu dogs will increase their rate of shedding slightly during shedding season like most breeds. This is in response to the change of seasons at the end of spring and the start of winter.

Brushing their coat or taking them to a professional groomer will help with seasonal shedding maintenance

Caring for a Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu dogs were bred in China and Tibet for the purpose of providing companionship. They are easy to care for and have an even temperament with both children and adults alike.

As is the case with most dogs bred for companionship, they have a tendency to experience separation anxiety when left alone for long periods. 

They thrive in an environment where there is human interaction at least every few hours. With proper training, you can teach a Shih Tzu to remain on their own for the duration of a typical workday.

However, the process is time-consuming and requires a generous amount of patience.

Tips For Living with a Shih Tzu If You Have Dog Allergies

The Shih Tzu is considered hypoallergenic, but it is still possible to have a reaction due to pet allergies while in their presence. It is important to know how to care for yourself and your pet in order to reduce possible allergic reactions.

Dedicated Bathing

The proteins that trigger an allergic reaction are found in the saliva, urine, and dander of the dog. Bathing your Shih Tzu with specialized shampoos can help reduce these triggers and help keep the skin and coat moisturized and clean.

You should wash a Shih Tzu at least once every two weeks to help keep dander to a minimum.

If you have a very active pet or very strong allergies, you can wash them once a week. It is important to avoid over bathing as it will dry out their skin which will result in a higher dander production.

Using an oatmeal based shampoo will help prevent overdrying. Following up their bath with a dog coat conditioner will also help their hair remain silky and their skin moisturized.

Maintain a Shorter Coat

Keeping the coat of your dog clipped short can help reduce the number of allergens you are exposed to. Shorter styles will reduce the amount of dander they generate, and it will make them easier to groom in the long run.

You can buy a professional dog grooming kit online and maintain their coat at home, or you can set up regular appointments with a professional groomer.

Brush Efficiently

Brushing your Shih Tzu’s hair will help reduce shedding and prevent matted tangles from forming. However, we recommend spritzing their coat lightly with water or a conditioning spray before you brush. This will prevent dander from being released into the air, and it will make brushing your dog much easier.

It is a good idea to brush them at least three times each week to reduce allergens and keep their coat healthy.

You can also wipe their mouths occasionally to remove excess saliva that may develop.

Use An Air Purifier & Limit Exposure

An air purifier with a HEPA filter is an excellent way to remove allergens from the air. If you have a central HVAC system, consider switching from normal filters over to HEPA filters to help cut down on triggers.

Limit the areas in which your pet is allowed to roam. They should not be given the freedom to enter your bedroom or lounge on human furniture. 

By keeping your bedroom and furniture in an exclusion zone, you will limit the number of allergens you are exposed to.

Home and Pet Area Maintenance

Carpets and rugs have a tendency to trap dirt, dander, and other allergens. Consider switching to hardwood floors if possible. Otherwise, it is a good idea to vacuum and sweep the floors every other day.

This will help cut down on dander and allergens in your home dramatically.

Also, vacuum your furniture and curtains to get rid of dander.

Your pet bedding should be washed in a mild detergent once weekly. This will get rid of excess and dander that has built up over the week.

Make a point of washing your hands or even taking a shower after cleaning to rid your body and clothing of pet allergens.

Contact Limitation

If you suffer from severe pet allergies, it may be a good idea to limit your contact with the dog. For this to be effective, you will need to properly train your Shih Tzu to follow commands. This will ensure that they don’t jump on you unexpectedly and it will help them to maintain their distance at your command.

Specialized Diet

What your Shih Tzu eats will have a direct impact on the health of their coat and skin. Feeding your dog a specialized diet will keep their hair healthy and their skin properly moisturized. 

When their hair and skin are healthy, they will produce less dander than they already produce. A high quality diet will also help reduce the number of allergy-inducing proteins in their saliva and urine. 

Their diet should include a rich selection of lamb, salmon, and other food that contain a high concentration of omega-3 minerals. Not only will a specialized diet help reduce allergen production, but it will also improve the overall health of your dog.

Visit an Allergist

In case none of these methods help to reduce your reactions, consider visiting an allergist. It is possible that you may suffer from more than a simple pet allergy.

In many cases, a professional allergist will be able to give you other suggestions or even a prescription that helps you to keep your allergies under control.

With these strategies and a bit of hard work, you and your Shih Tzu can have a wonderful relationship.

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