No, Shih Tzus are not hypoallergenic dogs. They have a long, thick coat that sheds, which can cause allergies in some people. This characteristic makes it difficult to classify Shih Tzu dogs as hypoallergenic. Additionally, Shih Tzus regularly drool and produce urine, both of which can also trigger allergies. However, some people with mild allergies may have less of a reaction to a Shih Tzu than to other breeds. It’s important to spend time with a Shih Tzu before bringing one into your home to see how you or your family members react to them. Regular grooming and bathing can also help reduce dander and allergens.
Hypoallergenic dogs have become increasingly popular over the years, especially for individuals who suffer from allergies. One breed that catches the attention of many is the Shih Tzu, a cute, small, and fluffy dog with a loving personality. In this article, we will examine if Shih Tzu dogs are hypoallergenic and what allergy sufferers need to know before adopting one.
What Makes a Dog Hypoallergenic?
To determine what makes a dog hypoallergenic, it’s essential first to understand the types of allergies that people have. Allergies can range from mild to severe and can be caused by pet dander, saliva, or even urine. Hypoallergenic breeds produce fewer allergens and make them an ideal choice for people who have allergies. The characteristics of hypoallergenic dogs include having a non-shedding coat, low dander levels, little saliva production, and infrequent urination.
The Shih Tzu Breed
Originating in China, Shih Tzu dogs were bred to be companions to royal families. They are small dogs with a distinct underbite and a long, flowing coat. Shih Tzu dogs typically weigh between nine to sixteen pounds and stand 8 to 11 inches tall. They have a sweet and gentle temperament, which makes them a popular breed among families.
Coping with Allergies If You Own a Shih Tzu
If you already own a Shih Tzu or are planning to adopt one and suffer from allergies, there are a few things you can do to manage them. Regular grooming is key to reduce the amount of dander that your dog produces. Bathing your Shih Tzu once every few weeks can help to reduce your exposure to allergens. Implementing allergy treatments such as antihistamines and immunotherapy could also make pet ownership more manageable.
Other Factors to Consider
Before adopting a Shih Tzu, allergy sufferers should consider their sensitivity levels. Some people may react more severely to dander, saliva, or urine than others. Spending time around Shih Tzus before adopting can help individuals assess if they can tolerate their hypoallergenic characteristics. Additionally, the environment in which a Shih Tzu lives can also impact allergy sufferers. Keeping your home tidy, vacuuming regularly, and using air purifiers can make a considerable difference in managing allergens.
While Shih Tzus are not entirely hypoallergenic, their non-shedding coat and low amounts of saliva and urine make them a favorable choice for people who suffer from allergies. However, it’s crucial to understand that allergic reactions vary from person to person, and spending time with a Shih Tzu before adopting one is essential. With proper grooming and allergy treatments, owning a Shih Tzu may be possible for allergy sufferers who want to bring these cute and loving dogs into their homes.
FAQ About Shih Tzus Hypoallergenic
Do Shih Tzus shed a lot?
A: No, Shih Tzus have a double-layered coat that does not shed much compared to other breeds, but they still produce dander and require regular grooming to maintain their coat. Learn more here: Do Shih Tzu Shed?.
Can allergy sufferers own a Shih Tzu?
A: It is possible for allergy sufferers to own a Shih Tzu, but they will need to take extra precautions such as regular grooming, managing the environment, and taking allergy treatments.
Do Shih Tzus drool a lot?
A: Yes, Shih Tzus are known to drool, which can also trigger allergies.
Can regular grooming reduce allergies in Shih Tzus?
A: Regular grooming such as brushing and bathing can help to reduce the amount of dander that Shih Tzus produce, but it is not guaranteed to eliminate allergic reactions.
How often should Shih Tzus be groomed?
A: Shih Tzus require regular grooming, and it is recommended to brush them at least once a day and have them groomed professionally every 4-6 weeks.
Are there any hypoallergenic Shih Tzu mixes?
A: While there is no definitive answer, some Shih Tzu mixes such as the Shih-Poo (Shih Tzu Poodle mix) and the Shih Tzu Maltese mix may produce less dander and be more hypoallergenic compared to purebred Shih Tzus.
Will keeping a Shih Tzu outside reduce allergies?
A: No, keeping a Shih Tzu outside is not an effective solution for reducing allergies as it can expose them to other allergens that may worsen symptoms.
Can allergy sufferers build up immunity to their Shih Tzu over time?
A: It is possible for some allergy sufferers to develop a tolerance to their Shih Tzu over time, but this is not a guaranteed outcome.
Is a female or male Shih Tzu better for allergy sufferers?
A: There is no difference in allergy sensitivity between male and female Shih Tzus, so the decision should be based on other factors such as temperament and personal preferences.