15 Oct

Grooming – Is Shih Tzu Hypoallergenic?

Shih Tzu GroomingAre you wondering whether the Shih Tzu is a dog that you can have regardless of allergies?

Perhaps you think that the Shih Tzu doesn’t shed at all and therefore he would not spread hair around your home and furniture. Read on to learn more about the coat of the Shih Tzu and whether he is indeed hypoallergenic.

The Shih Tzu is a dog with hair as opposed to fur. This means his coat grows long and usually quite thick, not dissimilar to human hair. Shih Tzu grooming is very much like combing the long hair of an adult and the dog does lose hair, just as we do.

So My Shih Tzu Does Shed?

The Shih Tzu does indeed shed hair. The difference between him and other dogs is the amount of hair that he sheds along with where it goes when it falls out.

Any hair that is shed by the Shih Tzu usually gets caught in the rest of his coat. Unlike the homes of short haired, high shedding dogs most Shih Tzu homes are generally hair free because the lost hair usually stays on the dog. Then because the Shih Tzu is either clipped regularly or groomed daily it is taken out of the coat and away on a regular basis.

The fact that the hair stays in the coat is another reason why, without regular Shih Tzu grooming, the dog can become matted and uncomfortable. All of the loose (blown) hair and attached (healthy) hair becomes stuck together and eventually impossible to groom out.

This is why many rescued Shih Tzu dog initially look like big bundles of hair and need everything clipping away in order to refresh the skin and give the coat another chance to grow back in a healthy state.

The Shih Tzu will go through specific shedding times based upon the rhythm of the season, the weather and his living conditions too. Some Shih Tzu notably shed hair once a year, in the very early spring as a response to the warming weather and less notably in the autumn to get ready for the winter coat.

Shih Tzu can also shed hair in one big event as they leave puppyhood behind and also when they are whelping puppies.

It’s Not Hair, It’s Dander

It is virtually impossible to state whether an individual will have an allergic reaction to a Shih Tzu because there are so many factors involved. In many cases the person suffering from the allergy could be struggling with the dander and not the hair at all.

Dander is the dead skin cells that are shed from underneath the hair. Much as we shed skin cells all of the time so do dogs. With his soft coat and long hair the Shih Tzu may leave less dander in the environment but this has never been proven.

Another thing that can cause an allergic reaction in people is canine urine. So if a puppy has had a few accidents in the home this could actually cause problems for the allergic person if not cleaned up properly.

So, if you would like a dog and are not sure whether allergy would be a problem it’s a good idea to spend some time with a Shih Tzu first to see whether you get any signs of allergy for his particular coat. Try grooming a Shih Tzu a few times over a couple of weeks and monitor for health changes that could be caused by allergy.

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