Hi, my name’s Irena and I am writing from my home on the Mediterranean island of Crete.
It’s a beautiful sunny day and my three cats, Hammie, Dimitris, and Ebony are lazing about on the balcony.
My dog, Sherlock, is by my feet. He likes to be with me all the time and I don’t mind as he is a fantastic, lovable and crazy dog.
However, I’m not going to talk about my animals now. Today I’m going to take a look at Lhasa Apsos. They are little dogs with big personalities but are they hypoallergenic?
What is a Lhasa Apso?
Lhasa Apsos originate from Tibet. They were highly regarded there and were used as watchdogs despite their small size.
They would guard palaces and monasteries and some still do. However, a lot of them are now family pets all over the world.
They are very loyal dogs and will protect their families from danger. Although small, they are sturdy and independent.
They are fierce, but not usually aggressive. They are naturally suspicious of strangers but won’t attack anyone without a reason.
You must train your hasa Apsos at an early age, but even then you will find that they won’t always obey you. They are highly intelligent and have got minds of their own.
However, Lhasa Apsos are mischievous little dogs and remain puppyish until they are around three years old.
Physical Charactistics of the Lhasa Apsos
The lifespan of Lhasa Apsos is 12 – 15 years, though quite a few have been known to live to the grand old age of 20.
Males are 10 – 11 inches high and weigh between 13 – 15 pounds. Females are usually slightly smaller.
Their coats are dense, long, and straight. You can get them in a variety of colors including honey, black, slate, white, and multi-colored. Personally, I think that the white ones are the cutest.
It is probably better to not have these dogs with younger children as they don’t like rough play or clumsiness and may nip.
Lhasa Apsos dogs get on better with adults and older children who are gentler with pets. They don’t suffer from separation anxiety, so they are good dogs to have if you have to go to work.
They only need short walks and some play sessions. Most of the time they are happy to be indoors as they aren’t very active dogs. You don’t have to be a marathon runner to own Lhasa Apsos.
Lhasa Apsos are generally healthy dogs, but there are a few illnesses that they can be prone to including cherry eye, food allergies, contact allergies, dry eye, and progressive retinal atrophy.
They can also get Patellar luxation which means that their knee joints slide in and out of place.
Are Lhasa Apsos Hypoallergenic
To tell you the truth, no dog is completely hypoallergenic, but some almost are, and Lhasa Apsos fit into this category.
Most people believe that it’s the fur that causes allergies, but this is not strictly true. The real source of dog allergies is a protein that is present in their urine and saliva.
This protein sticks to the dead flakes of skin which are called dander. Because the dander sticks to the fur, when the dogs shed, the dander comes out and so allergies can be triggered.
Dogs that don’t shed or shed very little, don’t release much dander.
Do Lhasa Apsos Shed a Lot?
You’d think that Lhasa Apsos would shed because of their long coat, but surprisingly they shed very little.
One reason for this is that they only have one coat. Dogs with an inner and an outercoat have more of a tendency to shed.
Dog breeds such as Akitas, Alaskan Malamutes, Cardigan Welsh Corgis, Chow-Chows, and German Shepherds are examples of dogs that have a double coat and shed a lot.
You can add Sherlock to this list as he sheds all the time. I am forever sweeping up his hair.
Because Lhasa Apsos don’t shed much, very little dander is released into the atmosphere. This makes them good choices for people who can be allergic to dogs.
How to Mitigate Allergies Around Lhasa Apsos
Because their hair is so long Lhasa Apsos need regular grooming to keep them from developing tangles and mattes.
Brushing and combing should be done daily to keep their coats looking silky and smooth. The dander comes out with brushing and stops it from getting all around the house.
Bathing your dogs weekly also helps to get rid of the dander. Start bathing them when you get them as puppies as then they will get used to it.
I did try and bathe Sherlock a couple of times, but he didn’t like it much at all.
In fact, he was quite cross that I dared to pour water over him! If there is a non-allergy suffer in the house it is always best to let them do the brushing and bathing.
Give Your Lhasa Apsos a Trim
Some people decide to shave their Lhasa Apsos or trim their hair. If you do decide to do this, the amount of dander will be reduced drastically, but you will have to keep going to the groomer.
Hair grows back very quickly on dogs so you will have to commit to frequent grooming.
While dander contains saliva, some people can also be allergic to saliva on its own. It is not as common as a dander allergy, but it can happen to sensitive people.
Bathing helps with this condition. In addition, Lhasa Apsos aren’t dogs which drool a lot so that is one less concern.
Urine is an Allergen too
Another allergen is urine which is unavoidable. However, you can do things to lessen the impact. The first step to take is to make sure your dogs are house-trained.
It takes a bit of time and a lot of trouble to house-train Lhasa Apsos. They are very independent and don’t really want to do what someone says.
However, persevere. I think that Sherlock was a Lhasa Apso in a former life as it took ages to house-train him.
You want to teach your puppies to go outside to relieve themselves. Don’t use a puppy pad or newspaper as the urine will then be in the house.
Once you have house-trained your Lhasa Apsos, deep clean your house.
When you have taken them out for a walk, be sure to wipe their paws to get rid of any trace of urine. It is all too easy for your dogs to bring traces of urine into the house.
A Good Diet
So, what else can you do to mitigate allergies? Well, feeding your dogs a high-quality nutritional diet is particularly important.
Cheap dog food has too many empty fillers such as wheat, corn, and soy which are hard to digest. You need to read the ingredients on the tin or online and check that meat is the first ingredient.
Meat is much easier to digest, and the nutrients will be absorbed into your dogs’ systems quickly.
A nutritious and balanced diet will give your pups healthy skin and a smooth coat and will reduce shedding and dry skin.
Some dogs can be allergic to certain foods which can increase their shedding. Try out different dog foods on them to find one which suits them.
It’s also a good idea to speak to your vet and see what he says. Don’t give your Lhasa Apsos extra vitamins unless they are prescribed by your vet. If they have too much of any vitamin, they can become very sick.
This might sound weird, but it’s a good idea to add olive oil or flaxseed oil to their food. You can give them one teaspoon for every 10 pounds of weight.
Olive oil and flaxseed oil both contain plenty of omega-3 fatty acids which help to improve the coat, decrease dandruff, and calm inflamed skin all of which reduce dander and shedding.
You can also give your dogs tuna and salmon, both of which also contain omega-3 fatty acids.
Alternatively, can give them fish skins, but make sure that they don’t get bones as they can splinter and make your dogs choke.
You probably give your dogs treats. If so, don’t give them dog treats. Give them human treats which are probably more nutritious.
Try them on apples (without the seeds), cucumber, bananas, and lean cooked meat. These foods will help your dogs maintain a silky coat and stop them from shedding.
Your Lhasa Apsos also need to be able to drink fresh clean water at any time of the day or night. If they get dehydrated, their skin could become dry and then they may shed more.
Swap Your Clothes
It’s a good idea to put on old clothes to play with your dogs. Once finished, change your clothes and wash your hands and face.
This will get rid of the allergens that you would otherwise carry on your clothes and skin.
Another important thing to do is to control fleas. It is so easy for dogs to get fleas and ticks and both will make them scratch profusely.
Treat them about once a month for fleas and you will find that the scratching stops, and they won’t get skin dandruff or hair falling out.
Remove the Allegens
Don’t worry I’m not talking about removing your lovely Lhasa Apsos, but it’s a good idea to have a pet-free zone.
The bedroom is best as you will be spending around eight hours there every night and away from allergens that your dogs might spread.
You may not think about it, but if you have an air-heater or air-conditioning they might spread the allergens.
A good way to stop this happening is to put a piece of material over the vents. Cheesecloth works well.
Carpets, throws, and even pet beds can spread allergens. It is a good idea to get rid of these and instead have a hardwood floor.
This may be difficult if you live in a colder country as it’s nicer to have carpet under your feet. If you do decide you can’t live without a carpet, make sure to vacuum it often.
Wear a mask so that you don’t breathe in any of the dust or dander. Even better, get a family member who hasn’t got allergies, to do the vacuuming. Not a bad way to get out of cleaning!
Filter air cleaners are a good idea as they remove allergens from the air. Salt lamps are also useful as they can also reduce allergens.
With them, the light bulbs heat the salt so that negative ions are put in the air.
The allergens fall to the ground, meaning that you are safe at head level. Then you can vacuum the floor to get rid of the allergens.
A product called Allerpet is also something you should keep in stock. It is an emollient that is not toxic and is safe even around small children.
After brushing your Lhasa Apsos and getting the dead hair out, apply Allerpet. It will remove dander, dried urine, and saliva.
You don’t have to worry about your dogs sitting on the couch after the application. It doesn’t leave any residue on your furniture.
Take Allergy Shots
Another option is to go and visit your doctor and get allergy shots.
Of course, you do need to be tested to make sure that it really is an allergy to your Lhasa Apsos. If it is them, you will have to have shots regularly.
More Hypoallergenic dogs
Lhasa Apsos are right up there with the best hypoallergenic dogs there are, but are there any others which are just as hypoallergenic or even more so?
Well, there are hairless or almost hairless dogs which are considered to be a good choice for people with allergies.
Chinese Crested dogs have some hair on their heads and legs but the rest of them is hairless.
The Xoloitzcuintli or the Mexican Hairless is completely hairless, although there is a version which does have hair. Both of these dogs produce dander, but this is minimal.
Dogs that have tight curls are often low shedders. One example is the unusual Bedlington Terrier.
These are extremely cute medium-sized dogs that have tight wooly hair which comes in a range of colors; blue, sandy, liver, and sandy and tan.
Because of their hair and the shape of their bodies, they resemble lambs. They hardly shed at all, neither do they drool so making them reasonably hypoallergenic.
The Bichon Frise has a soft and fluffy coat with tight curls. They don’t shed much, and the curls keep dander in. It is a good idea to bathe them to get rid of any dander.
Dogs that don’t have an undercoat are prone not to shed as much as dogs that have two coats.
Irish Water Spaniels are examples of dogs with just one coat. They also have the advantage of having tight wooly curls.
However, not all double-coated dogs shed a lot. An example of this are Komondors.
They have a wooly undercoat and a curly overcoat which form natural cords that are so tight that these dogs hardly shed. They are very unusual looking dogs. It seems as if they have dreadlocks.
For light allergy sufferers, poodles are a good choice. They have tight curly locks that keep in dander until it is time for them to be groomed.
Final Thoughts: Are Lhasa Apsos Hypoallergenic?
As we have shown Lhasa Apsos are a good choice if you are looking for a dog that is hypoallergenic.
We have explained that no dog is completely hypoallergenic, but Lhasa Apsos are well on their way there so if you really want dogs but have allergies, Lhasa Apsos are a great idea.
There are of course lots of ways to mitigate the allergens and if you do what we have recommended you should have a minimum of allergic reactions.
Lhasa Apsos are lovely little dogs who think they’re big dogs and will make a great addition to your family.
Thank you for reading are Lhasa Apsos hypoallergenic, have a great day!