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Is A Shih Tzu Hypoallergenic? Everything You Want to Know

Written by: Lorre Luther

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

Is A Shih Tzu Hypoallergenic? Everything You Want to Know

Shih Tzus are relatively healthy canines, and most live 10 to 18 years. Shih Tzus often do well in apartments and smaller homes because they don’t have excess energy. They’re also good with kids and other pets, making them popular family dogs. But are Shih Tzus good choices for allergy sufferers? Are they hypoallergenic? Shih Tzus produce less of the protein that causes allergies in humans, but they’re technically not hypoallergenic as they still produce some of the offending protein. However, they’re often great for allergy sufferers since they may cause fewer and less intense allergic reactions.

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What Causes Pet Allergies?

Pet allergies are caused by various proteins found in dog saliva, dander, and urine. Can f1 and Can f2 are the most common offenders regarding human allergies to dogs. All dogs produce these and other proteins that can trigger reactions in individuals with dog allergies, so hypoallergenic dogs technically don’t exist.

But Shih Tzus generally make less of the protein, so they trigger fewer allergy symptoms in some people. But keep in mind that dogs within the same breed produce different amounts of Can f1 and Can f2, so it’s possible for a Shih Tzu to cause one person with allergies to sneeze and to induce little or no reaction in someone else.

Holding her Shih Tzu dog at home
Image By: Drazen Zigic, Shutterstock

Are There Other Breeds That Are Good for Allergy Sufferers?

Yes. Poodles, Xoloitzcuintlin, Portuguese Water Dogs, Afghan Hounds, and Schnauzers are often considered good options for those with allergies. Other possibilities include the Maltese, Bichon Frises, and Chinese Crested dogs. While there’s no guarantee these dogs won’t trigger allergies, they tend to shed less and produce less dander than other breeds.

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Ways to Reduce Allergy Symptoms

There are several ways to reduce allergy symptoms if you already have one of these loving dogs at home, including vacuuming, a few environmental changes, increased grooming, and medication.

Vacuum Your Pet’s Favorite Areas

Regularly vacuuming your home may provide allergy symptom relief—it’s quick and relatively easy to get rid of the fur and dander often responsible for allergy symptoms in people. You can use products with high-quality HEPA filters to get the most bang for your buck. Consider putting HEPA filters in rooms where your dog likes to hang out and in your bedroom to limit dander accumulation.

Pay extra attention to floorboards and corners while vacuuming, and spend extra time on your dog’s bed to pick up loose fur, dirt, and dander. Put comforters, pillows, and blankets in the wash to limit dander and mite accumulation.

Shih tzu dog lies calmly near black robotic vacuum cleaner in light cozy room with fireplace
Image By: Slava Stock, Shutterstock

Wash Your Dog’s Bedding

Wash your dog’s bed at least once per week. Start off by giving it a good vacuum to collect dirt and fur. Follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions and use the hottest water to kill any lingering bacteria. Avoid scented laundry detergent, as these products sometimes cause canine skin irritation.

To be safe, opt for a pet-friendly, unscented, hypoallergenic detergent. Consider putting a folded blanket or sheet on top of your dog’s bed or favorite napping place to make cleaning easy. Do a quick pass with the vacuum, then throw the blanket or sheet in the washing machine for a high-temperature clean.


Replace Carpeting

Replacing carpeting with hardwood, laminate, marble, or linoleum floors may also help, as carpet often collects and harbors allergens, which can increase symptom severity in some people.

shih tzu dog lying down on carpet at home and looking away
Image By: Drazen Zigic, Shutterstock

Brush Your Dog

Regularly brushing your dog may also help prevent dander from building up in your pet’s fur. Some owners find bathing their pets every 2 months is beneficial. Spray-on dander reducers can also help reduce allergy symptoms. Some owners find that wiping dogs down with a moist cloth helps keep dander under control.

Having your dog’s hair trimmed also helps by making it easier to groom your pet. Puppy cuts are functional, look great, and are easy to maintain. Most leave about 1 inch of fur over your pet’s entire body, making them popular summertime choices. Shaving dogs usually doesn’t help reduce allergies and can be harmful to dogs with double coats like Shi Tzus.

Our Favorite Products

Selecting the right shampoo and conditioner makes the world of a difference when grooming your pup. Our favorite products are the duo by Hepper. The Oatmeal Pet Shampoo is formulated with aloe and oatmeal to soothe skin and hydrate the coat. The Pet Conditioner works at eliminating tangles and taming frizz and static. Both products are pH-balanced and formulated with pet-friendly ingredients, free of harsh soaps, chemicals, and dyes. Give this duo a try to heal and nourish your dog's coat, and leave them with an irresistible just-left-the-spa cucumber and aloe scent. 

Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
Hepper Pet Conditioner and Moisturiser - Scented...
Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
Hepper Pet Conditioner and Moisturiser - Scented...
pH balanced
Gently cleanses
Cucumber & aloe scent
Free of harmful additives
Combats tangles & static
Soothes & hydrates
Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
pH balanced
Gently cleanses
Cucumber & aloe scent
Free of harmful additives
Combats tangles & static
Soothes & hydrates
Hepper Pet Conditioner and Moisturiser - Scented...
Hepper Pet Conditioner and Moisturiser - Scented...
pH balanced
Gently cleanses
Cucumber & aloe scent
Free of harmful additives
Combats tangles & static
Soothes & hydrates

At Dogster, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool pet company!

 


Change Your Clothes

Put on new clothes after playing with your dog, spending time in homes with canine residents, or cleaning your dog’s bedding or favorite hangouts. Reducing dander exposure often goes a long way toward managing the intensity and severity of allergic episodes.

And taking off dander-laden clothes is an incredibly simple and effective way of limiting your exposure to allergens. If you can’t launder your clothes immediately, put them somewhere out of the way, preferably where you can open a window to let some fresh air in! Throwing clothes in the dryer is a quick and efficient way to reduce pet dander.

cute young woman relaxing with shih tzu dog in her living room at the home
Image By: Milan Markovic 78, Shutterstock

Speak With Your Doctor

Several medications may reduce the severity of allergy symptoms, including over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants and prescription options such as nasal steroids.

Allergy shots help some people with sensitivities to dog dander, but they don’t work for everyone, and treatment requires several months of shots. Speak with your doctor to get accurate information about the risks and benefits of using medication to manage your allergies.

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Conclusion

Shih Tzus are loving, playful, friendly dogs that make great companions for those living in apartments and small homes, but they tend to bark a bit! They’re usually extraordinarily friendly, easy to get along with, and loving.

Shih Tzus also make great choices for allergy sufferers as the breed tends to produce less of the protein usually responsible for triggering allergy symptoms. They aren’t, however, technically hypoallergenic, as most dogs still have the offending proteins, just in lower amounts than other dogs.


Featured Image Credit: Sanyalux Srisurin, Shutterstock

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