Shih Poo is a designer crossbreed mix of a Poodle and Shih Tzu. This hybrid dog has been bred keeping in mind the need to create a hypoallergenic dog. Before we jump to establishing through evidence whether or not a Shih poo is hypoallergenic, let’s discuss the meaning of this term.
What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?
The term ‘hypoallergenic’ is a label used by cosmetic manufacturers to identify products (makeup and skincare) that have fewer allergic reactions than their counterparts. There are no products, either makeup or skincare-related, that are free from allergic reactions. However, attempts have been made to ensure that the tendency of a particular product to cause an allergic reaction is mitigated as much as humanly possible. This is why the term ‘hypoallergenic’ has gained acclaim in recent years as people become more aware of their allergies.
Hypoallergenic in Dogs
This term is not confined to makeup and skincare products but has expanded to pets as well. Most people cannot fulfill their desire of keeping a pet, especially dogs, owing to allergic reactions.
Dog allergies are caused due to a protein found in a pooch’s saliva and skin cells. A lot of this protein is also found in the dander that most fluffy animals shed. Exposure to this protein can result in constant sneezing, itching and eye irritation among a few people.
These people can, therefore, not keep fluffy puppies to avoid their allergies. Hypoallergenic breeds have been experimented to have low shedding as compared to other similar dog breeds, thereby mitigating the risk of allergies on exposure. Thus, hypoallergenic dogs are ones that you can easily keep without having to worry about your allergies coming in the way of you and your desire to keep a dog.
Shih Poo – An Allergy-Friendly Dog?
Although attempts have been made to breed a dog type that is allergy-friendly, no dog (or even cat) is entirely hypoallergenic. A hypoallergenic dog differs from all other dog breeds in that it triggers less allergic reactions among people due to its reduced ability to shed dander.
Each person has a different reaction to the protein found in a dog’s saliva, on its skin and in its dander. People with higher sensitivities to specific allergies may react differently to each dog breed. Such people may even have a reaction to a Shih poo; there is no denying this!
However, a Shih poo does not shed as much as its fellow dog breeds and is, thus, marketed as a hypoallergenic dog. Based on its minimal shedding, the dog may be an ideal choice of pet for those with allergies, but heightened sensitivity to dog protein may still trigger an allergic reaction in some people.
If you take good care of your dog and ensure the use of HEPA air filters, you have a good chance of keeping your allergies from setting off. Clean your surrounding areas for any fur and dander so that your exposure to it can be sufficiently minimized and your allergies won’t be set off.
If you suffer from a heightened sensitivity to fur and dander, it may be realistic to consult a doctor before deciding to keep a pet dog.
Having said this, if your allergies are not triggered easily, a Shih poo can definitely be your little companion at home and any where else you go. It’s the cutest thing you’ll ever come across!
Do HEPA Air Filters Really Work?
HEPA filters have been manufactured to trap pollutants such as pet dander and pollen in homes, where allergies and asthma problems are more prevalent. If you are also suffering from allergies but have decided to keep a Shih poo, minimize the risk of potential allergic reactions by keeping a mechanical air filter in your room.
With the help of a HEPA filter, you can ensure peace of mind while keeping a hypoallergenic dog such as a Shih poo in your home by getting rid of dander – the primary cause of a reaction. So, yes, HEPA filters really do work!
Although a Shih poo has been constructed to ensure an allergy-free environment for those with asthma and dander allergies, a few organizations have disregarded an allergy-free dog breed to exist!
The Henry Ford Hospital released a study in 2011 where they demonstrated there was no significant difference identified between the quantity of allergens emitted by hypoallergenic dogs and other pooches. However, this has not stopped people with allergies from keeping dogs; in fact, people have felt a real change with a Shih poo as an allergy-free dog.
Thus, if you are planning to get a hypoallergenic dog, choose a Shih poo,but clean your surroundings from animal dander and have HEPA filters installed for an added layer of safety. It’s also recommended to consult a doctor before you get one.