Around 10% of USA population is allergic to dogs and hence Hypoallergenic dogs are quite common. Looking for Shih Tzu as your next pet and want to check out if they are Hypoallergenic or not.
Yes, Shih Tzu are Hypoallergenic dogs. Shih Tzu have silky hairs instead of dog fur as seen in other dogs. This tangles the dander with in the hairs reducing the chances of Shiz Tzu to be allergic.
Now that we have understood that Shih Tzus are hypoallergenic, let’s get into more details as to why they are Hypo allergenic dogs. This is despite the fact that they shed hairs at a rate greater than lesser shedding dogs like Poodles. We will also look at some tips and tricks you can use for reducing any allergy effects of Shih Tzu.
Why are Shih Tzu Hypoallergenic?
Opposite to the common belief, dogs are allergic due to dander, saliva or urine and not the dog hairs that they shed. Though with more shedding, the dander produced is also high.
Dander are the tiny dead skin flakes that is shed by dogs. This is most often the reason why people are allergic to dogs. Now that we know about how dogs can be allergic, let’s understand the reasons why Shih Tzu are Hypoallergenic or less prone to cause allergy.
Dead hairs gets tangled in long hairs
Shihs Tzu have a double coat and they do shed at an average rate. They neither shed heavily like a Corgi nor they shed very less like a poodle. But as they have long silky hairs, most of the fur shed gets trapped between the long silky hairs.
Less dander falls down
As with shedding of hairs, they produce dander as well but this also gets caught in their long hairs. So it doesn’t gets fallen down on the floor which prevents the cause of Allergy. When you groom your Shih Tzu by brushing him, you will see a lot of fur which you can easily dispose off.
Shizh Tzus do not drool
Shih Tzu do not drool. This again helps in reducing the chances of his saliva coming in contact with you which further reduces causation of allergy.
Why Dogs Shed hairs?
It is completely normal for dogs to shed dead hairs as it is for humans. This is part of the hair growth cycle that their hairs shed after full growth. Some dogs have longer hair growth cycle like Poodles and some have shorter like German Shepherds.
But all dogs do shed hence it is a misnomer to say any dog is 100% hypoallergenic. Shedding is seen more frequently in dogs with double coat when their under coat which is short sheds. This is called blowing out. During this time, you will find a lot of fur in your home and would require frequent grooming.
Though Shih Tzu have a double coat and do shed at an average rate, their long silky hairs stop this fur from falling down and spreading every where. This makes them hypoallergenic.
Tips for reducing the Allergy
Shih Tzu are lovely small pet dogs. If you have settled down on Shih Tzu as your choice of pet and find yourselves to be getting signs of allergy, let us help you out with few tips that can help to manage the same.
Regular Brushing of Shih Tzu
Shih Tzu with his long silky coat requires daily brushing. You may use a wired brush with flexible pins to brush him. This would keep his coat clean and magnificent and will also help build the bonding between you and Shih Tzu. All the dander trapped in their long hairs can be removed by brushing and this would reduce the chances of allergy.
Regular bathing of Shih Tzu is best preferably every third or fourth week. This is because they can get muddy and dusty due to their long coat. Regular bathing would not only help to make your Shih tzu clean and magnificent but also will remove any dead hairs which will help in reducing the chances of allergy.
No dog is 100% hypoallergenic as shedding of hairs and dander is part of natural cycle of hair growth. You may control shedding by grooming him regularly but nothing can be 100%. There will still be some hairs lying here and there. Thus vacuuming once in a week will help to keep your house clean and reduce the chances of allergy further by removing the stray hairs having dander.
Pet free zones
In case you are quite allergic, you can have pet free zones. You can train Shih Tzu that bed and sofa are not for him. If not controlled, these are the places where if he lies down, he will leave hairs his hairs and dander. These are the most prone places for allergens to pass to you.
Food rich in Omega 3 acids like Fish, olive oil are known to help reduce dog shedding and keeping his hairs healthy. If your pooch is not allergic to them, you can seldom choose this in his meal.
Keep Shih Tzu hydrated
Keep the water bowl of Shih Tzu full. Studies have shown that dehydration in dogs can cause shedding. Keeping his water bowl full would mean that he can sip water when ever he is thirsty and thus remains hydrated.
Looking for Dogs that do not shed – https://www.yourdogsworld.com/b/dogs-that-do-not-shed/
About Shih Tzu
Shih Tzu is a small toy group companion dog. Shih Tzu means “Little Lion” in mandarin. It was given this name as per a legend that Buddha traversed along with a little dog who could get transformed in to a lion.
Shih Tzu is an ancient dog breed that goes back 1000 years old. They originated from Tibet but are now quite popular in USA as well.
Shih Tzu can grow to a height of 9 to 10 inches tall and weigh approximately 12 to 16 pounds. Their average life span is around 10 to 16 years.
References and further reading-