Are Shih Tzu Dogs Hypoallergenic? The Answer Might Surprise You


Have you or a family member got allergies to dogs but still yearn to have a pet? This can be a difficult situation to be in as an animal lover. If you have found yourself needing to take this into consideration, then you may have heard that Shih Tzus are hypoallergenic. This is your complete guide to why shih tzus are considered a hypoallergenic dog over other breeds, and how to prevent any allergic reactions from occurring.

white and brown shih tzu

Table of Contents

Are Shih Tzu Dogs Better for Allergies?

We’ve covered pomskies, pomeranians, bernedoodles, aussiedoodles, and beagles in this blog regarding their hypoallergenic score. Some dog breeds are more hypoallergenic than others, and shih tzus are one of them.

It is important to know what causes dogs to trigger allergic reactions and experience pet allergies. It is often just presumed that it is animal fur that causes the allergies. This is in fact not true. It is actually triggered by something called ‘dander’ and the saliva of dogs.

Dander is the term used to describe the dead skin cells which naturally shed from a dog’s coat. It can be compared to dandruff which comes from human scalp. Therefore, both humans and dogs have dander.

Due to the fact that all dogs will shed this dander, it cannot be said that any dog is completely 100% hypoallergenic.

Saying this, shit Tzus are a good dog breed if you have light dog allergies. Shih Tzus do not have a thick coat and do not shed much, which means that they produce less dander than that of other dog breeds.

Are Shih Tzus 100% Hypoallergenic?

Due to the fact that saliva can be the cause of allergic reactions, we cannot say that shih tzus are 100% hypoallergenic.

Saying this, a Shih Tzu has an unusual coat which is much more soft and silky compared to other dogs’ coats. In fact, Shih tzus don’t actually have a coat of fur. They have a coat of fine, layered hair. The difference in coat is why Shih tzus actually shed less dander, which is why breeds like shih tzus are considered to be more hypoallergenic.

It will really depend on the person who experiences the allergies because allergies are different. The person who experiences the allergic reaction should try spending a little bit of time with one to see if they actually experience allergies from a shih tzu. This will help gauge whether it is feasible for you to get one for yourself.

Bella the shih tzu

Does My Shih Tzu Shed?

Shih Tzus do indeed shed their hair. The main difference between this breed and other dogs is the volume of hair that they shed. They actually shed much less fur than that of other dogs. The texture of their coat is also different and any hair that they do shed usually stays within their coat. This is why you’ll notice that houses which shih tzus live in are generally pretty hair-free.

Of course, regular grooming is essential, as this will help to get rid of the excess fur from your dogs coat.

This is important because if a shih tzu’s fur is not regularly maintained, then they can quickly become quite matted and uncomfortable. They can also begin to smell bad.

Tips To Control Your Allergies

While your dog cannot be 100% hypoallergenic, there are preventative methods which you can take in order to improve any allergies you or a family member might be experiencing.

Below is a list of tricks you should follow to prevent symptoms occurring.

Maintain your Shih Tzu’s Coat

The type of coat your dog has (nor does the hair or fur) does not have an impact on any allergic reactions in any direct matter. Saying this, it can help to keep their coat as short as possible. This will ensure that there isn’t any excess dander, saliva, or urine getting caught in your pooch’s coat, which can often happen. This makes it much easier to control allergic reactions from dogs because they won’t carry the cause as easily as if they had a long coat.

Brushing Their Coat Daily

In any case, Shih Tzus’ coats should really be groomed every couple of days. If you are trying to minimize the chance of getting an allergic reaction, daily brushing is a great way of removing the dander from their coat.

If there are any knots or tangles, this is a breeding ground for this dander, so regular brushing can prevent any build up. I recommend that this becomes the daily task for a family member which doesn’t have any allergies to dogs.

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Frequent Cleaning and Bathing

Keeping your dog as clean as possible is the main goal here. So naturally, regular washing of your canine friend is very important to prevent any allergic reactions from occurring. If you are able to keep your dog very clean, then it will be very near impossible to obtain symptoms of allergic reaction from your dog.

Bathing once per week, or at least 3 times per month is a good guideline to follow. The following list is a helpful guide for staying on the safe side.

  1. Make sure that a family member who does not suffer from the symptoms of allergy completes this task. If you suffer from the allergies and are washing your dog often, this may only aggravate the symptoms even more.
  2. Use a high-quality dog shampoo which is highly moisturising to your dog’s skin. Ensuring that your dog’s skin is adequately moisturised will ensure that they shed less dead skin, which is the cause of the allergic reactions. High quality shampoo will also ensure that your dog’s coat will have a nice shine to it and prevent it from getting dull!
  3. Another helpful trick is using diluted conditioner on your dog’s coat and leaving it sit on their wet for for a little while. This will help to tame the volume of dander which they shed. If you can’t find a conditioner tailored for dog fur, use a diluted version of human conditioner which is unscented.
  4. If nobody is able to or willing to regularly groom your dog, you could always take them to a dog groomer regularly who are trained specifically for this purpose.
  5. After washing, it may be a good idea to blow dry your dog’s fur outside. This will prevent lots of dander from being blown around the house. Be sure to not spend too much time blow drying in one area, because this could cause their skin to dry out, resulting in a higher production of dander.

Take your household surroundings into consideration

It is important to consider the furnishings in your house and whether or not you have carpets or rugs. If you have lots of carpet, make sure that you regularly hoover the carpets.

For sofas and rugs, you could try to keep them off any soft furnishing and have a special bed for them in the lounge area, so they have somewhere to go when you are all relaxing. You can train your dog to sleep in specific parts of the house, such as their own bed.

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Training is Important

Furthermore from my previous point, training your dog is important to stay off of your soft furnishings, such as sofas. It’s essential to ensure that the sofas remain free from any dander.

Particularly if your dog has a habit of jumping on beds, as this is where you will likely get the most allergic reaction from. It is important that your dog stays out of the bedroom of the person who suffers from allergic reactions.

Regular hand washing

The most symptoms usually occur in people touch their face often. This is because it is so easy to transfer the allergen from your hands to your nose or mouth when you keep touching your face.

If you practice regular hand washing, particularly after touching your dog, this will help to prevent allergic reactions from flaring.

white and brown shih tzu puppy

Are Shih Tzus Hypoallergenic – Your Questions Answered!

Shih Tzus are not hypoallergenic, and it is actually impossible for any dog to be completely hypoallergenic. That being said, they are pretty clean dogs due to the fact that they shed very little. There are many different tricks which you can do in order to reduce symptoms of allergy. If you are to follow these tips, then Shih Tzu’s are a breed that can be tolerated by those who experience allergies from dogs.

If you think that I have missed out on anything, or have any questions or queries, make sure to drop a message in the comments section.


Do Shih Tzus Shed?

Shih Tzu’s do shed their fur, but their different texture of coat actually keeps the hair within their coat as opposed to transferring to their surroundings. They also shed a lot less than that of other dogs. Saying that, it essential to practice regular grooming of your Shih Tzu to free their coat from excess shedding.

What Makes Shih Tzu’s More Hypoallergenic?

Shih Tzu’s shed much less than other dogs and even when they do, the hair remains within their coat and does not transfer onto other surfaces they come in contact with. They naturally produce less dander than other breeds of dogs, which is the main cause of allergic reactions to dogs.