Lhasa Apso is an adorable dog with a long, straight coat that comes in a wide variety of colors.
If you suffer from allergies, you may be wondering whether this breed can be a good pick for you.
Are Lhasa Apsos hypoallergenic? Lhasa Apso are as hypoallergenic as any of the breeds of dog with hair that continuously grows rather than fur that sheds often. Some people find that the extremely dense coat is more hypoallergenic for them than other types of hair.
Deciding on the right dog breed for you is hard enough. If you have allergies, the decision is even harder.
Could the Lhasa Apso work for you? Let’s find out.
What Is a Hypoallergenic Dog?
No dog is truly hypoallergenic.
When people are allergic to dogs or cats, what they are almost always allergic to is a protein in the urine and the saliva.
The protein also sticks to the dead flakes of your pet’s skin known as dander.
Dogs that don’t shed or who shed very little don’t release nearly as much dander that broadcasts allergens into the air.
However, they can still cause an allergic response.
How to Choose a Hypoallergenic Dog
If you or someone in your family is allergic to dogs, there are a number of things you can look for to find a dog who is less likely to cause an allergic response.
The Lhasa Apso meets a number of these criteria.
Smaller dogs shed less dander because they have less skin and less fur.
The Lhasa Apso only weighs between 12 and 18 pounds, so they will shed much less dander than larger dogs.
If you want a dog who is big enough to be athletic and independent but want to reduce the dander as much as possible, this breed is a great choice.
Stays Out of Bedroom
Many allergy sufferers are most miserable at night.
Allergy symptoms interfere with sleeping, and having allergens in the room where you sleep means you are continuously exposed for eight hours or more every night.
Therefore, it is best that dogs stay out of your bedroom if you are allergic to them.
Unlike some other small breed dogs who want to be by your side every second, the Lhasa Apso is independent enough that he probably won’t mind sleeping in another room overnight.
He won’t have a problem with being kept out of your bedroom throughout the day either.
This independence also means that you will have time throughout the day away from your Lhasa Apso, which helps to keep your allergies from acting up.
It is recommended that you bathe your Lhasa Apso at least every two weeks when he is in full coat.
Whether your dog is in full coat or not, you probably won’t have a problem bathing your dog every week.
As long as you choose a time when your dog is relaxed and you make sure that bathing is a pleasant experience, you can expect that your Lhasa Apso will be okay with your bathing ritual.
Many people find that it is very helpful to encourage their dog to stay outside for an hour or so every day to allow air purifiers and vacuums to run and generally rid the house of allergens.
No dog, especially a small breed dog, should be left unsupervised outside.
However, if you want a dog who may enjoy spending an hour or so outside while you supervise from a window or check on him periodically, the Lhasa Apso might be a good pick.
These dogs have heavy-duty coats to keep them comfortable even in sub-zero temperatures.
Your dog may have a blast playing in the snow for an hour or so outside while you clean up, even on very cold days.
Because of his independent nature, the Lhasa Apso doesn’t need you to be constantly engaged with him while he plays outside.
Give him a favorite toy or just let him sniff around and get out his zoomies, and he’ll be happy to entertain himself for awhile.
Do Haircuts Affect Hypoallergenic Qualities?
There isn’t a clear verdict on what is the best way to cut your Lhasa Apso’s coat to reduce dander.
You may want to try both a full coat and a shorter cut to see which is better for you.
In general, most people find that either a full coat or a very short cut is best for allergy sufferers.
The argument for keeping your Lhasa Apso in full coat is that the dense, heavy coat will hold dander in more effectively.
Dander will be kept against your dog’s skin so that you can wash it away every time you give your dog a bath.
You may be less likely to suffer from the effects of dander throughout the day.
It will take more work to maintain your dog in full coat, but some people find that it is worth it to reduce their allergies rather than cutting the coat short.
The idea behind the short coat is that you can wash your dog more effectively and easily, eliminating dander regularly and keeping it from building up and bothering you.
In a short coat, your dog can be washed and dried in just a few minutes without you having to worry about mats and tangles.
Most Lhasa Apso adjust easily to being washed frequently, even though this is not a breed who typically would have been exposed to the water very often.
It is not necessary to always use shampoo. Many people find that just a brief wash with water is enough to relieve symptoms.
Tips for Improving Hypoallergenic Qualities
It is very important that you only brush your Lhasa Apso outside so that you don’t get dander in your house.
Brushing time will be one of the biggest times that dander is released, so be sure to always do this outside, and wear a mask if it triggers your allergies.
Provide a High Perch
If you don’t want your Lhasa Apso on the furniture where you’ll be sitting and laying your head, offer high perches just for him by windows and other places he is likely to want to be.
Give Plenty of Outside Time
From the time your dog is young, encourage him to spend time outside playing under your supervision so that you’ll have time to air the house out and clean it.
Sleep in Separate Rooms
It can be hard to train a young puppy to be comfortable sleeping away from you, but if you’re consistent, your Lhasa Apso will likely always be comfortable sleeping somewhere other than your room.
If you have your Lhasa Apso in a short cut, clothes can be a great way to hold in the dander while also making your dog look adorable in between baths.
Train your puppy to wear clothes early, and he’ll be more likely to tolerate them when he is an adult.
Is the Lhasa Apso the Most Hypoallergenic Dog?
Different people react differently to different dogs.
The best way to determine which dog is most hypoallergenic for you is to spend time with different breeds and see which irritates your allergies the least.
Talk to a Lhasa Apso breeder about spending some time with their dogs to see how you react.
It’s not a bad idea to try a couple of different breeds to see which one has the least reaction for you.
Some people find that the thick, dense coat of a dog like the Lhasa Apso is perfect for holding in dander and preventing allergic responses in between baths.
Other people prefer a silky coat. Still others find that dogs with no hair at all are the least irritating.
There are good reasons why each of these dogs may be more or less hypoallergenic than the others.
The only way to determine what will work for sure for you is to spend time with different breeds.