Breeds

Are Shih Tzu Dogs Hypoallergenic? Do They Shed Their Hair?

Are Shih Tzu Dogs Hypoallergenic? Do They Shed Their Hair?
Written by Graeme Hall

There are dozens of dog breeds that don’t shed their hair but are Shih Tzu dogs one of them? Non-shedding dogs are also referred to as hypoallergenic dogs, and they’re the perfect choice for people who suffer from allergies.

And YES, Shih Tzu’s are among the breed of dogs that do not shed their hair. This is great news for any of you reading this that suffer from allergies.

Having allergies towards dogs isn’t uncommon, in fact, up to 60 million Americans and over 600 million people worldwide have some sort of allergy to dog hair and pollen. 

What makes Shih Tzu dog different from other breeds is their hair where most dogs have fur Shih Tzu’s have hair which is less prone to shedding. In fact, it’s actually the combination of dander, dead skin and fur that can bring on the sniffle in people who are allergic. Because Shih Tzu’s are hypoallergenic, they are the among the best breeds for people with allergies.

Do Shih Tzu Shed?

Most Shih Tzu owners report minimal to no shedding from their pet. Now it’s worth pointing out that even hypoallergenic dogs such as Shih Tzu’s will lose some hair, this is perfectly normal.

Shih Tzu’s have “regular” hair (like humans) rather than fur, hair is a lot finer that fur and will grow continuously. It’s not uncommon for other breeds of dog that do shed to leave big clumps of fur around the house, and pet owners spend most of the day vacuuming.

This doesn’t happen if you own a Shih Tzu, you might find the odd strand on the floor very much like human hair fall, but definitely not clumps.

Due to the human-like hair found on a Shih Tzu, regular grooming is a must and having your Shih Tzu clipped once a month is recommended. Not only will this keep their coat in great condition it will also decrease the amount of hair fall; which is already minimal.

Shih Tzu Hair Growth Rate

Shih Tzu dogs are relatively high maintenance and have a fast-growing luscious coat that requires brushing at least once per day and ideally professionally groomed every 4 to 6 weeks.

Many Shih Tzu owners opt for their dog‘s coats to be clipped short which makes it far easier to maintain and it makes for a happy dog during the hot summer months. The growth rate varies from dog to dog but generally, you can expect a Shih Tzu’s hair to grow back after clipping within 6 weeks to where it was prior to clipping.

Maintaining Shih Tzu’s Hair So It’s Silky Smooth

Due to the type of hair on this breed of dog regular shampooing is required to make Shih Tzu hair silky and tangle free. I recommend that you use dog shampoo products that are moisturizing and contain very little fragrance.

For Shih Tzu's the Sofee & Co. White Pear Natural Dog Shampoo is a great option.

Some dogs are prone to itchy skin and this is can be exaggerated if fragranced dog shampoos are used.

Grooming is also essential for silky tangle free hair. The coat of a Shih Tzu typically has an over and under coat, the longer the hair on your dog the more likely you notice falling hair due to the under coat losing hair that is then caught in the outer coat and will slowly build up. Regular grooming will ensure that any loose hair is removed.

how to make shih tzu hair silky

Why Am I Allergic To Other Dog Breeds?

So you already know Shih Tzu’s don’t shed but for those of you that suffer from allergies towards dogs, your reaction is not so much due to the dog’s hair but rather the dander (flakes on the dog’s skin) and the saliva.

Yes, dog hair can play a small role in your allergic reaction, for example, dust, and other allergens such as pollen can build up on a dog’s thick coat which in turn can trigger allergic symptoms if you’re already sensitive.

If you suffer from hayfever, you know what I’m talking about; the symptoms are almost identical, like congestion, sneezing, nasal swelling, asthma, and rashes. Again, this isn’t triggered by the dog hair per se but it's more to do with the allergens stuck in the hair.

It's worth noting that there are a few theories out there that suggest that if you’re exposed to dog or cats at an early age, you are less likely to develop allergies to pets later on in life - food for thought.


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About the author

Graeme Hall

Graeme is the founder of Doggytastic! which is where he blogs about dog training, health, nutrition and anything else related to keeping a dog happy and healthy. Want to know a little bit more? Make sure to check out his full bio.

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