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Now your Lhasa Apso is getting older they are going to need your help, there are certain precautionary tasks that must be taken. Here you will find how to take care of your Lhasa Apso as they get older.

Problems increase with age. You should be looking out for these. Claws, teeth, joints, eyes, ears, etc. need care. I will share with you how to take care of your Lhasa Apso as they get older. As their age increases, your observations need to increase accordingly. So let’s go into some deeper detail now.

My Lhasa Apso is seventeen years old and has a few problems that need to be watched over. As the years add on, your best friend will become prone to various illnesses. Read on to get some ideas on what to look out for.

  • Life expectancy of Lhasa Apso
  • A hardy breed of dog
  • Early signs to look for as they get older
  • Eye problems
  • Skin problems
  • Internal problems
  • Exercise your dog
  • Hygiene
  • Ears
  • Teeth

Life expectancy of Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso is a small breed of dogs and as such their life expectancy could range up to seventeen years or more. I give this figure personally as my Lhasa Apso Lucky is almost this age. Larger breeds do not live this long. Lucky has been well cared for and fed proper dry meal biscuits most of his life, he gets special treats like these available in the Amazon store. If we have some of our food left on the plates he will get a share, but this is not a regular thing and I advise you do not overdo this either, once in a while is fine, maybe your vet will say the opposite but my Lhasa Apso is still next to me as I write! going on seventeen. In the Lhasa Apso breed, the oldest dog on record is one that lived to a wonderful twenty-nine years.

A Hardy Breed Of Dog

They are hardy little chaps, having been bred originally in Tibet, they became hardened to the harsh winters in the mountains, this quality has been carried through to later generations that have arrived in Europe and the USA in the early nineteen hundreds. I even take my Lucky with me on my winter holidays, you can learn more about taking your Lhasa on a winter holiday on my other post here. Expect your Lhasa Apso to live a good age if you take good care of them. I have never left my Lhasa Apso to sleep outside even though he could if he had too, they have a natural survival instinct. I suppose living inside with us has increased his chance of living older.
Sixteen years old with my girlfriend

Early signs to look for as they get older

Lhasa Apsos are closer to the ground than most other dogs and thereby pick up a lot of dust and rubbish in their eyes. You must pay attention and wash their eyes with a recommended lotion, I wash my Lhasas eyes? which also gets those bad looking brown stains with a lotion I researched for, on Amazon, the latest price is here.  They also have a hereditary problem with their eyes called progressive retinal atrophy. They can also get a problem called cherry eye if they contract this their tear ducts erupt to the eye surface, on the opposite of this a problem that can affect their eyes is Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca! That is a big word! But it means that their eyes become dry and itchy and can even become swollen because their tears are producing much less to wash the dust away. Local treatment can be obtained from your vet to control this dryness.

Eye problems

Although Lucky shows no sign of the later two illnesses above he does have the first problem called progressive retinal atrophy and his vision has become very poor. I have taken him to his vet and for the moment no surgical intervention is required. But to see him looking down at every step on the stairways is saddening to see, he is really trying hard now to see and at times even barks a warning at me because all he can see is an outline shape of me, only when I call him is he at ease again.

Skin problems

The Lhasa Apso can also suffer from skin diseases, sebaceous adenitis being one, this condition is where their own immune system will attack their sebaceous glands if you find that your Lhasa Apso has a bad odor, has skin eruptions, and the coat seems hard and lacks luster then your pet could well be suffering from this condition and you should seek your vets advice urgently. He will suggest using a medical shampoo, mineral oils and ointments to alleviate the symptoms.
Washed and brushed

Internal problems

This breed of dog is also susceptible to renal cortical hyperplasia. A terrible illness where their kidneys are not fully developed, because the kidneys are reduced in size they cannot function correctly and the toxins in their blood is badly filtered. This is hereditary the only long term cure is to stop breeding with affected dogs. There is no cure for this disease and one can only help them by correctly feeding them, be careful they do not become overweight and to make sure they drink plenty of water to help flush out their kidneys as much as possible. With regular vet check-ups, you will be assured that your pet is in good health. Lucky was diagnosed by his vet with cancer in one of his testicles, I had the choice to have him castrated or lose him earlier in life, he is still here so my choice was the correct one to have taken. Dogs also get intestinal worms that are very unhealthy, you should give them special deworming tablets to eliminate them. A sign if your Lhasa Apso has worms is they will eat large quantities of food but will be losing weight, this is a typical sign your dog has intestinal worms and you should consult your vet to obtain the correct treatment.

Exercise your dog

Regular walking of your pet is vital when young, although they do not really need you at that age, as the years pile on they become in themselves less active, and rely on you this I can confirm with Lucky, sometimes in the morning, I have to carry him outside to do his toilet. He still likes to run after a tennis ball and then run away with it the terror! I watch out how much running he does now as his heart will become tired much quicker.

One benefit that comes from running on hard surfaces is the natural way their claws wear down, if your Lhasa Apso live indoors and never gets out that much you must check those claws regularly, before they become too long and deformed thus making them suffer, you can buy little claw clippers here or from your local pet store and it is quite ok for you to do this operation, just be careful not to cut too short, best to cut a little at a time so as not to make them bleed. I have a short video here on Youtube demonstrating the technique to cut the claws.


They will need brushing continuously, when Lucky was young he would jump on to the table to get brushed, now as the years go by I notice that he runs away when I get the brushing equipment out. And what was once a pleasure for him and us now becomes a moment he just does not appreciate anymore, this I can tell by his crying and trying to get away all the time. Of course, after brushing your Lhasa Apso they need to take a bath or gentle shower, use the correct shampoo if he has any skin problems described above if not them a good quality shampoo and conditioner from the Amazon store.
A healthy Lhasa Apso


Small dogs are so close to the ground and this is the case with our Lhasa Apso, their ears are prone to get dirty and dirt can build up inside them. Another thing you should do is pull out the hair that grows inside their ears, this I have been told by my vet does not hurt them so much but do not go pulling great big lumps at a time because that will make them unhappy and only cause problems the next time you try. If you see your pet rubbing his ears along the floor then you must check to see if anything is stuck inside, Lucky had a grass dart deep inside his ear once and it took the vet with tweezers to remove it, now these grass darts are like barely/corn heads, they have a form similar to a fishbone where all the fine needles point in the same direction, if they enter your dogs ear point first they will never come out on their own, a trip to the vets is in order, it is also a major problem for male dog as these darts can actually get inside their penis with disastrous results.


Cleaning their teeth is an important part of the hygiene routine. You can use a small brush available in the pet store with some flavored toothpaste, I used chicken for Lucky, there are also little finger socks where you can use your finger with paste on if your pet does not like the brush technique. Available are these chewy sticks that come in various shapes and forms that clean their teeth as they chew. A dog’s mouth is full of bacteria so do keep it as clean as possible, but as the years add up so do the problems with their teeth, poor old Lucky has lost most of his now but it does not stop him from chewing his favorite chew sticks.
Healthy clean teeth

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