UPDATED MARCH 26, 2019 | WRITTEN BY MOLLY
Many people consider Shih Tzu dogs to be a non-shedding dog breed, and that they are "hypoallergenic dogs"...but are they really?
And what exactly does being hypoallergenic mean for people who suffer from dog allergies?
Well…although the Shih Tzu are indeed a great pet choice for allergy sufferers, to say they are a non shedding dog breed isn't entirely accurate.
Shih Tzu are among the few breeds whose coat is made up of hair (like people) instead of fur, but they will shed their hair daily, just as people do.
The difference is what happens to the hair they have shed.
The thing about the Shih Tzu breed is they have what is called a double coat.
When the hair is kept long the shedding hairs don't fall to the ground or furniture. Instead these hairs will shed off into the coat itself and is then brushed out during regular grooming.
This means you won't have to pull out the lint roller to clean up a bunch of hairs after these pampered, longed haired pooches have been lounging on the couch all day. Nor worry about changing your clothes after you've cuddled with them before heading out to work.
And since clumps of loose hair are not visibly seen, this is likely the reason many consider them to be a non-shedding dog breed.
You probably also heard that the Shih Tzu were a hypoallergenic dog...well again, this isn't quite accurate either.
Since the Shih Tzu dog breed is covered in hair and not fur, what is probably meant by "hypoallergenic" simply means that most people, who are allergic to fur, will not be allergic to the Shih Tzu hair.
Something else worth mentioning is that a dogs skin can become dry. When a dog shakes its body, these flakes tend to fly into the area around him. These flakes could trigger an allergic reaction in some people.
It's easy to tell when his skin is dry because he will be scratching quite a bit, his hair will be dull, and you'll see the tiny flakes on him and on your clothes.
However, this happens with any dog breed.
The best way to keep his skin from becoming dry and his coat dull is to feed him the best dog food you can, and brush him more often to stimulate oil glands.
Another beneficial option is to add a little omega oils in his diet.
But, if after trying all of the above and the problem persists you'll want to have your Veterinarian check him out for any underlying issues like food allergies or thyroid disease.
No dog will be completely allergy free to all people, but as far as a hypoallergenic dog, or non shedding dog breed go, the Shih Tzu comes pretty close.