If you’re an allergy sufferer and have been allergic to animals in the past, it’s an important consideration when purchasing a Shih Tzu to know whether this dog breed is hypoallergenic or not? If you have been hoping the Shih Tzu can be a good choice for your allergies, here is what you need to know about choosing this sweet little breed.
Is the Shih Tzu hypoallergenic? The Shih Tzu is considered a hypoallergenic dog breed and a great choice for any allergy sufferer who is trying to avoid any irritation. This is not to say you will be able to avoid 100% irritation of your allergies as no dog breed can be considered 100% hypoallergenic, however, due to a number of factors, the Shih Tzu is a great choice for allergy sufferers.
Why are Shih Tzus hypoallergenic?
The Shih Tzu dog breed has no undercoat, meaning Shih Tzu does not shed much and does not produce much dander. This means that you need less time to clean up after your pet in order to avoid a flare-up of allergies. The Shih Tzu also has short hair which makes some people feel that it is easier to keep clean as there is no longer any dead coat left on the floor or furniture.
Shih Tzus usually have very little shedding; however, if your pet does shed, you will notice only about once every six weeks or so. Many people do find that their allergy symptoms improve when they own a Shih Tzu because there are fewer allergens present in its fur than with other breeds of dogs.
What is Shih Tzu Dander?
Dead flakes of skin that can fall off your Shih Tzu are commonly known as ‘Dander’ which are pieces of microscopic skin that can cause allergies in owners because it contains a protein called the Can F L and Can F II. This allergy-causing protein can also be found in saliva, urine, and feces. People often think it’s the fur of their Shih Tzu that causes allergic reactions, however, it’s the Dander that is the main problem.
How to reduce your Shih Tzu’s dander and your potential allergic reactions?
Now that we know it’s your Shih Tzu’s dander that is likely to cause any allergic reaction, what are some ways to reduce it in your home?
You should regularly groom your Shih Tzu anyway, however, an easy way to reduce any allergic pet dander is to lightly brush them daily to keep the dander from building up on their coat.
You should also aim to keep your Shih Tzu’s coat shorter than the normal American Kennel Club standard for the Shih Tzu breed with a simple puppy cut as longer fur will mean more chances for dander to develop.
Shampooing their coat
If your Shih Tzu does shed fur occasionally it’s definitely worth giving them a shower with some shampoo to try and wash everything out from their skin. However, you might need to try a couple of different shampoos to find what works for your Shih Tzu as some shampoos can irritate. Pay attention to how your Shih Tzu reacts to the shampoo and make sure you use rubber gloves which help you also avoid any irritation. If you don’t fancy doing this yourself, you can always have this done with your dog’s groomer as all dog groomers will offer both a dog wash and hair grooming service.
Have them sleep in a different room
It can be tempting to have your cute little Shih Tzu sleep in your bed, however, for a person who suffers from allergies, this is not overly wise. It’s best to train your Shih Tzu to sleep on a dog bed in a different room or an area that is separate from yours in order to give yourself a chance to recover at night. It could also be worth looking at an air purifier potentially to help reduce any irritations that may be in the air.
Your Shih Tzu will love to lick you, however, if you do get allergies from this, it can worsen the symptoms of your allergy as you will most likely be more allergic to their saliva than their fur. If possible, you should try and train your Shih Tzu that licking you or other people with allergies is not acceptable or these friendly little dogs will keep doing it if you don’t train them.
Put a dog bed on the couch
To reduce any dander on your furniture, it’s a great idea to have a little dog bed on your couch for your Shih Tzu to lie on. Your Shih Tzu will most likely want to be by your side or on your lap, however, if you’re an allergy sufferer you need to encourage them to stay on the dog bed on your furniture in order to limit any dander falling on you.
Even though your Shih Tzu is not going to shed mountains of hair around your home, it may still have some dander fall onto your floor or furniture that may cause it to flare up. Remember even though Shih Tzu hair is hypoallergenic, its dander certainly isn’t and will cause issues for people with allergic reactions to pet dander. Having a simple robotic vacuum that will do a light vacuum daily whilst you’re out at work is a great simple preventative measure to help reduce any allergy to Shih Tzu. If you can’t afford a robotic vacuum, a weekly vacuum with your cleaning schedule should be enough to pick up any potential dander on the floor.
Make sure your Shih Tzu doesn’t have dry skin!
If your Shih Tzu has dry skin, it can cause it to scratch itself to relieve itself of irritation which may cause flakes of dander to fall onto you or around your home. Some solution to help your Shih Tzu’s dry skin is to add some more omega oils into their diet with either supplementation in their food or some salmon. The other option is to brush them more regularly
Are All Shih Tzu hypoallergenic?
Many people wonder why the Shih Tzu is hypoallergenic, and whether or not all Shih Tzus are hypoallergenic? When you see a Shih Tzu for sale, what it looks like is one of the most important things to consider. The coat should be short and smooth with no undercoat. However, there are many different types of coats that can vary from dog
Shih Tzu Puppies Hypoallergenic?
Yes, Shih Tzu puppies will tend to have shorter fur and generally not have any real skin issues at a younger age meaning the potential for any dander to be produced is far less. However, as they are puppies they will be energic and probably more likely to lick you than an adult Shih Tzu. This is why it’s important to try and avoid having them lick you too much if you’re prone to allergic reactions to pet dander.
Is the Shih Tzu the most hypoallergenic dog breed?
In a general sense, the most hypoallergenic dog breeds are those that shed the least hair possible and those which catch the shedding hair in their own coats most readily before it can cause any allergy flare-ups. Due to the Shih Tzu not having an undercoat and not shedding much of its coat, the Shih Tzu for allergy sufferers is a great choice in comparison to most other dog breeds.
Are Shih Tzu Fully Hypoallergenic?
The Shih Tzu is a great dog for allergy sufferers but it’s not fully hypoallergenic. There are many Shih Tzus out there that may cause you some issues if you’re allergic to pet dander and best avoided in these cases. However, no dog can be 100% fully hypoallergenic but the Shih Tzu comes close!
Enjoy your hypoallergenic Shih Tzu for allergy sufferers
Even though no dog is 100% hypoallergenic friendly, the Shih Tzu and allergy sufferers will have no problem getting along. By taking sensible steps, even the most sensitive allergy sufferer will be able to enjoy the companion of the Shih Tzu dog breed as your pet. The Shih Tzu is a very calm and daring dog that rewards you with a lifetime of love if you take great care of them.