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The Lhasa Apso is one of the most sought-after dog breeds globally and with good reasons. They are intelligent, loyal, protective, energy-filled, and great family companions. This breed’s very noticeable physical characteristic is its floor-length, flat-hanging coat, usually parted in the middle and draped over either side of its body. If you’re considering adopting a Lhasa Apso in your home, the first question that may come to mind is how much fur they release regularly. Is their long, flowing fur difficult to groom? Do they shed a lot, and are they suitable for allergy sufferers? Let’s find out!
Do Lhasa Apso shed? Yes, they do. But unlike most dogs, they tend to shed more like humans, which is very slowly and often continuously. These dogs shed very little throughout the year due to their extended hair cell turnover time and long fur. But while this unique kind of shedding might mean less clean-up around your home, the dog itself requires a lot of grooming and care to maintain beautiful, healthy coats.
Understanding everything that pertains to a particular breed’s shedding, including how, when, and how much do Lhasa Apso shed, not to mention their grooming needs, is very important. It will determine how much your lifestyle will be affected by the presence of this doggy. If you’ve been looking for a low-shedding breed, you might have shied away from long-haired dogs like the Lhasa Apso because you automatically think they shed a lot. But nothing could be further from the truth. This breed stands unique in its way of shedding, and today we dive all in so you can decide whether or not it’s the right pet for you.
How Much Do Lhasa Apso Shed?
It’s a common fact that virtually all dogs shed. The only difference is some are low shedders, while others are moderate or heavy shedders. Despite having long fur, the Lhasa Apso is a low-shedding breed. These dogs shed more like humans, slowly and often continuously. You will hardly find any fur on your couch, carpets, clothes, or beddings. In fact, some owners even claim theirs don’t shed.
So, why does Lhasa Apso shed like this? This medium-sized pooch grows long, beautiful fur. As the fur grows, it tends to become heavier and dense, trapping hair strands inside and making it resistant to continuous shedding in large quantities. Growing long hair also means a slow turnover rate of the hair growth cycle from anagen to the telogen stage; hence, minimal shedding.
Why Do Lhasa Apso Shed?
When canines grow fur, it occurs in three main stages:
- Anagen: An active growth period where fur grows to its genetically-determined length
- Catagen: A transitional phase from the first to the last stage
- Telogen: This is a resting phase and lasts until the hair falls out
This hair growth cycle can last long or for a short while, depending on the dog. The cycle is brief if you have a short-haired pup like the Mastiff and long for long-haired breeds like the Lhasa Apso. This means that if you have a short-haired doggy, their hair growth cycle could repeat twice for the time it takes long-haired breeds to shed once.
From this explanation, it’s clear that dogs shed as a natural process where they get rid of old hairs to grow new, healthy fur. Another reason dogs shed is to keep up with different seasons. As the temperature fluctuates, your Lhasa Apso will shed to grow a more adaptable coat, either heavy and dense to keep warm in winter or light to keep cool in summer.
Aside from the natural shedding, your Lhasa Apso could also be shedding due to an underlying issue. Read more on this under ‘unhealthy shedding.’
Shedding Seasons and Frequency
Dogs, in general, grow denser coats in the months leading to winter to help them stay warm. But come spring, they don’t need the heavy coat anymore and will shed it all off to remain with something lighter that can allow them to stay cool in summer.
So, when do Lhasa Apso shed? So far, we’ve seen that these dogs shed, although minimally. You can expect them to shed often little to nothing throughout most of the year. But also, be prepared for some increased shedding during the seasonal shedding. The good news is you will not find fur everywhere around your home, even during seasonal shedding, like you would heavy-shedding breeds.
Shedding is a natural process in dogs, but sometimes it could be triggered by underlying issues. This brings about unhealthy shedding. Lhasa Apsos are particularly vulnerable to Sebaceous Adenitis, characterized by alopecia (the medical term for baldness) and scaling. Unhealthy shedding can also be caused by poor diet, poor grooming, skin infections, hormonal changes in pregnant bitches, allergies, parasitic infection, fungal or bacterial infection, stress or anxiety, or even be a sign of cancer.
All these issues can affect your dog’s quality of life. As such, it’s important to visit the vet as soon as you notice unhealthy shedding. You might be wondering, “How will I know my doggy is experiencing unhealthy shedding?” First off, if you’re keen on their normal shedding tendencies, you’ll quickly notice when something is off. Luckily, the Lhasa Apso is such a low shedder that any unhealthy shedding is easy to spot. Look for signs such as bald patches, shedding in lumps, itchiness, dull fur with no shine, brittle fur, and inflamed skin.
What Type of Coat Does a Lhasa Apso Have?
The Lhasa Apso grows a coat that is dense and straight. Some owners describe the texture as silky, while others say it is neither smooth nor wooly. But the fact is it boasts of a solid volume that, if you groom well, can grow straight to the ground and be styled in various ways. The long hairs of the Lhasa Apso break into two sections at the front and drapes on both sides of the body. The fur can be so lush and dense that it becomes longer than it is tall.
While the long-haired Lhasa Apso is the standard for this breed, some owners keep a short-haired Lhasa Apso for easier maintenance or just because they like the style. The shorter coat is achieved by trimming at a cap of 1 to 2 inches. But don’t go shaving your pup because they need their fur to help regulate their body temperature to stay warm or cool, depending on the weather. Plus, shaving damages the growth, and the hairs may never grow back to how they were. It’s best to hire a professional groomer to do the proper trimming. But since this can be costly, you can learn to manage your pup’s fur, although this is certainly not a beginner’s job.
How to Manage and Reduce Lhasa Apso Shedding?
Shedding can be a nuisance given all the cleaning that needs to happen afterward. Plus, it can affect people with allergies. Luckily, the Lhasa Apso is a very minimal shedder. But you can further reduce their shedding, especially during the seasonal shedding period when there’s a bit more shedding. These dogs also have long hairs that you must maintain to stay beautiful and healthy. The result of a happy, healthy dog is healthy shedding. Without much delay, here are the basic tips for managing and reducing shedding:
Lhasa Apso Grooming
Brushing allows you to capture loose, dead hairs before they get a chance to be released into the environment during shedding. Also, as you brush, you massage your canine and spread the natural oils all over their skin, thus encouraging healthy fur growth.
You should know by now that grooming this dog is not going to be an easy task. You have to regularly brush them for their long and beautiful hair to stay attractive and without tangles or mats. If you can, do it daily. But if you have to wait until the end of the week, you’ll have to sit for about an hour to really get in there and brush your pooch. Ensure you get to the roots to untie all the knots that may have formed underneath.
Using the right tools is just as important as the brushing itself. Pin brushes can remove tangles and mats, which this long-haired breed is prone to. You can also use a detangling spray before you start brushing.
Some owners, especially those not planning to show their Lhasa Apso, choose a short or puppy cut to reduce the grooming needs. Talk to your groomer about pin backing the eye fall, so it doesn’t irritate the pup’s eyes.
Lhasa Apso Diet
When your Lhasa Apso gets good nutrition through a well-balanced diet, vitamins, and healthy treats, hair follicles become more resilient. And strong follicles don’t fall out easily.
One of the most important nutrients for your canine is omega-3 fatty acids. They help improve the coat, calm inflamed skin, and decrease dandruff, all of which reduce dander and shedding. Food rich in omega-3 fatty acids includes salmon, tuna, fish skins, olive oil, or flaxseed.
If you’re buying commercial dog food, check the ingredients list. Cheap dog food tends to have many empty fillers that don’t add any nutritional value to the animal. Some dogs can be allergic to certain foods, which can cause scratching and itchiness and encourage unhealthy shedding.
While you’re at it, ensure your Lhasa Apso always has access to fresh, clean water to keep the skin hydrated. Dehydration can cause dry skin, which can exacerbate shedding and fur loss.
Lhasa Apsos are self-cleaning dogs, but their long fur can easily attract dirt and debris. Bathing is one of the necessary steps to keep the fur clean and prevent skin infections, which this breed is prone to. Bathing also gets rid of loose fur before it falls off during shedding. This breed has sensitive skin. So, avoid frequent baths as they can strip the animal’s skin of natural oils, leaving it dry, flaky, and prone to more shedding. You also want to use dog-friendly shampoo and not human shampoo, which can irritate the skin. Remember to apply some conditioner after bathing to help detangle and remoisturize the fur.
Lhasa Apsos will need proper nutrition to encourage healthy fur growth and reduce shedding. But perhaps your dog is not getting the necessary nutrients from its current diet. In that case, you can consult with your vet about the best supplements for them.
Are Lhasa Apso Hypoallergenic?
Pet allergies are caused by a protein found in the animal’s fur, dander, urine, and saliva. Since all dogs produce these elements, no perfectly hypoallergic breed exists. The good news is some have less dander, shed less, and/or drool less, thus creating fewer allergens This makes them more suitable for allergy sufferers. Dander tends to attach itself to fur and goes into the environment during shedding. Likewise, when dogs groom themselves, the saliva is on the fur. Needless to say, fur is the biggest transmitter of allergens, which is why low-shedding breeds like the Lhasa Apso are usually considered hypoallergenic.
This breed grows a long, heavy, and dense coat, making it difficult for allergens to escape and become airborne. With little to no shedding and almost zero drool, people who normally wheeze, sneeze, and tear up around dogs are less likely to be affected by the Lhasa Apso.
But getting an allergy-friendly canine is just the first step. These dogs are less likely to cause an allergic reaction, meaning they are not 100% safe. You can further reduce allergens through regular grooming, proper diet, cleaning and vacuuming your house, and investing in a HEPA air filter to catch all airborne allergens. You can also speak with your doctor to prescribe some allergy medications to help manage symptoms.