Are Shih Tzu Hypoallergenic? Separating Fiction from Reality

Shih Tzu dogs are undeniably adorable, with their fluffy coats and friendly personalities. However, for individuals with allergies, owning a dog can be a challenge. Many people believe that Shih Tzu dogs are hypoallergenic, meaning they are less likely to cause an allergic reaction. But is this a myth or is it actually true?

Let’s separate fiction from reality and explore the truth behind Shih Tzu’s hypoallergenic status.


Understanding Allergies

Before we dive into the specifics of Shih Tzu’s hypoallergenic nature, it’s important to understand what causes allergies in the first place. Allergies occur when the body’s immune system sees specific substances, referred to as allergens, as potentially hazardous.

In the case of pet allergies, the most common allergen is a protein found in the pet’s saliva, urine, or dander (dead skin cells).

Shih Tzu and Allergens

Certain dog breeds are thought to be more allergy-friendly than others, even though no breed is completely hypoallergenic. Shih Tzu dogs are often marketed as hypoallergenic due to their low-shedding coats. It is important to note that it is not the hair itself that causes allergies, but rather the dander and saliva that can get trapped in the hair. Shih Tzu dogs have hair that grows continuously, similar to human hair, which means they shed less compared to other breeds. This reduced shedding can help minimize the amount of allergens present in the environment.

Additionally, Shih Tzu dogs produce fewer allergenic proteins compared to other breeds. However, it is crucial to understand that allergenic proteins can still be present in their dander, saliva, and urine, although in smaller quantities. Therefore, individuals with severe allergies may still experience allergic reactions when exposed to Shih Tzu dogs.

Managing Allergies with Shih Tzu

If you or someone in your household has allergies but still wants to own a Shih Tzu, there are several steps you can take to manage the allergens and reduce the risk of allergic reactions:

  1. Regular grooming: Frequent brushing and bathing can help remove loose hair and dander from your Shih Tzu’s coat, reducing the amount of allergens in your home.
  2. Keep a clean environment: Regularly vacuuming your home, using air purifiers, and washing your Shih Tzu’s bedding can help minimize the presence of allergens.
  3. Designated pet-free areas: Establishing certain areas in your home where your Shih Tzu is not allowed can provide allergy sufferers with a safe space.
  4. Allergy medication: Consult with a healthcare professional to explore suitable allergy medications that can help alleviate symptoms.
  5. Meet the dog: Before bringing a Shih Tzu into your home, spend time with the breed to see if you have any allergic reactions. Everyone’s allergies are unique, so it’s essential to assess your personal sensitivity.

Also Read: 10 Best Medium Sized Apartment Dogs


While Shih Tzu dogs may be considered more allergy-friendly compared to other breeds, it’s important to recognize that no dog is completely hypoallergenic. The reduced shedding and lower levels of allergenic proteins in Shih Tzu’s dander, saliva, and urine can make them a viable option for individuals with mild to moderate allergies. However, it is always recommended to spend time with the breed and consult with a healthcare professional before bringing a Shih Tzu into your home.

Remember, allergies can vary from person to person, and what works for one individual may not work for another. If you’re considering getting a Shih Tzu but have concerns about allergies, take the necessary precautions and make an informed decision based on your personal circumstances.

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