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Are Shih Tzu Hypoallergenic? Here’s What the Expert Says

The Shih Tzu ranks among one of the oldest dogs in the world as their existence can be traced back to ancient China and Tibet where they were seen as holy dogs and were found in temples and palaces. This dog breed was bred to resemble a lion, it’s no wonder why they are called “Shih Tzu” which literally means “little lion”. The Shih Tzu behaves quite differently from what their name would suggest. Normally you would think they’ll be little ferocious devils but that’s not the case with the Shih Tzu breed contrary to the meaning their name portrays, the Shih Tzus are affectionate and playful pets with cheerful personalities and expressions. 

You love dogs and you are now interested in the Shih Tzu breed, after giving it some thought, you think you should just go ahead and adopt one but there’s a problem. You are an allergy person and everyone knows that dogs, fur, and allergy don’t mix which makes you wonder if Shih Tzus are hypoallergenic. If the aforementioned scenario seems like yours, welcome! In this blog post, you’ll come to learn if Shih Tzus are hypoallergenic and other relevant things surrounding allergies and the Shih Tzu you have grown to love.

Are Shih Tzu hypoallergenic?

The term “hypoallergenic” is a word used to describe anything that’s unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. Naturally, humans are allergic to pet dander instead of the actual fur or hair that’s found on the dog and since that’s the case, one could say that no dog is 100% hypoallergenic. But then, some dogs are better suited for people with allergies and the Shih Tzu is one of such dogs. Some people even consider the Shih Tzu to be a hypoallergenic dog breed since they produce very little dander. 

Most pet dogs grow fur but the Shih Tzus grow hair instead. Furs carry lots of dander but that doesn’t mean that hair is dander free. The hair on a Shih Tzu carries a negligible amount of dander which makes them safe for people suffering allergies.

How can I tell if my Shih Tzu can cause allergies?

Even though Shih Tzus are considered to be hypoallergenic, it’s still safe to check if they have allergies before buying one right? This is true because not everyone experiences allergies the same way. Some people can experience allergic reactions simply from being sensitive to a particular dog. In the end, it’s not about the breed of the dog causing the allergies but the person and their allergies. What this means is that even though Shih Tzus are generally hypoallergenic, you could react to them.

So how can I tell if I’ll react to a particular Shih Tzu or not? Well, I’m glad you asked. There’s a way to go about checking it before adopting a potential new Shih Tzu but that’ll be dependent on the breeder you are adopting your Shih Tzu from. The only way to check if you’ll be allergic to your potential new dog is by spending time with your dog and if after spending time with the dog you notice an allergic reaction then you can return the dog. That’s where a responsible and/or reputable dog breeder comes into play. To be safe, you should discuss these things with the breeder before purchasing one to ensure they’ll agree to such terms.

Tips for controlling dander allergies

Okay, let’s say your breeder doesn’t agree to such terms but you love the Shih Tzu you are seeing and it’s like you have already bonded so you take the risk to purchase it thinking they are hypoallergenic dogs so what’s the worst that could happen. For such a scenario, you might end up living happily ever after with the dog but there are people with bad allergies who can react to even the most allergy friendly dogs. If you fall into that category of people and you have already adopted the dog, you don’t have to worry or fret because there are still a few things you can do to help you live happily with your Shih Tzu. 

Basic dog care knowledge is all you need to happily live with your Shih Tzu when you have bad allergies. You should already know that allergies from dogs are triggered by dander since Shih Tzus have a negligible amount of dander, it makes it easier for you to reduce the amount of dander they’ll have to little or nothing through routine grooming practices. Since you react to the slightest amount of dander, you should let someone else do the grooming instead of yourself. 

As part of your routine grooming practices, your Shih Tzu should be brushed daily to minimize allergies. In addition to brushing, trim your dog’s coat to keep it short and also bathe your dog. When bathing your Shih Tzu use a natural, moisturizing shampoo that’s made for dogs to wash away excess hair and dander. With such grooming practices, it wouldn’t matter if you have bad allergies or not, you’ll be able to happily live with your Shih Tzu.

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