Is a Lhasa Apso Hypoallergenic?


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Most dogs shed their coats which can cause allergies to some people. There are a few breeds of dogs that do not shed hair. One of those breeds is the beautiful Lhasa Apso. I will explain the benefits and difficulties in owning a non-shedding Lhasa Apsoo

The Lhasa Apso is Hypoallergenic because they do not shed their coat. Would this breed be a good choice, is the Lhasa Apso hypoallergenic? The answer is YES and you will suffer less from allergies owning this breed of dog and your home will be cleaner as a bonus.

Are you in the category of people that suffer when dogs are in the vicinity? You can be happier if you own a Lhasa Apso. Not having sniffing bouts all the time. Read on to learn more about the benefits of owning one of these little dogs.

What is Hypoallergenic?

There are three words that we need to look at and the first will be the first part, Hypo, this means under, beneath, or down, thereby any word that is mentioned with the prefix hypo it will mean that particular object or something will be under the normal.

The second word we will look at is Allergen This can be described as an object, textile, cosmetics or animal that causes allergies, this can arrive if you are wearing or are in the presence of animals, cosmetics, and textiles. If you are allergic to any of these this will mean that in the presence of the object you will suffer in some way. You are allergic.

Then we look at the full word, Hypoallergenic. The interpretation of this word means again ”below normal allergies” Primarily it is an object that cause’s fewer allergies than other items, be it living, material or cosmetic. We can learn that the word hypoallergenic was first used in 1953 in the cosmetics industry.

What is the meaning of Allergy?

We are all allergic to something in today’s life, maybe a certain food or a type of clothing, even sometimes if we are in the vicinity of animals it can trigger off our allergy. So an allergy can take us by surprise if we are not careful, most of the time we are fine and our daily routine goes on. Primarily our immune system reacts negatively to something in the environment that will cause us suffering.

This can be caused by eating a meal unadapted to us, wearing fur, having cosmetic’s unsuitable for our skin. It continues with mold, insects, and sadly some medication can have negative effects. Even in the spring, there are many pollens that can set off our allergies, that we call ”Hay Fever” So our bodies can react negatively to many attacks from these different types of Allergens.

Why is the Lhasa Apso a Hypoallergenic Dog

I have a friend that is very allergic to dogs and when visiting us she has really bad allergic conditions in the presence of Lucky who is as all other Lhasa Apso’s a Hypoallergenic breed of dog. There are several dog breeds that are hypoallergenic. As these dogs do not have a double layer of hair there is very little shedding.

The result of the Lhasa Apso not shedding their hair all the time means there will be less dog fluff in the environment. Less fluff floating around will mean lower chances of allergens in the air. Reducing the risk of you or friends getting allergic symptoms

Other dog breeds that have a double coat indeed shed more of their hair resulting in lots of dander in the air causing susceptible people to become allergic having runny eyes and noses for example.

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A single-coated Lhasa Apso having a grooming session

What is the difference between a single and a double coat?

Now we know that the Lhasa Apso has a single layer coat lets look into the differences between the two types of coats. A typical breed we will choose with a double layer coat is the German shepherd, a dog with a head and a statue that demands respect. The German shepherd has a first coat close to their body made up mainly from a fluff/down, whilst their second coat, an outer layer of hair is coarser and longer. The first coat being fluffy gives the second coat an impression of being denser.

This inner coat tends to be thicker and curlier giving volume and making the outer layer look denser. These double-layer breeds shed lots of hair creating problems for allergic people.

Single-coated dogs shed some hair but nowhere near as much as the double coat, it comes away from their body in small clusters of flat hair. whereas the double coat comes away in lumps or clusters.

What is Non-Shedding Hair

The many breeds of dogs that have non-shedding hair can be classed as having one layer of fine hair, that grows continually and needs to be groomed regularly because our pets shed much less and need our help in keeping the coat under control. Although it is called non-shedding hair they do shed a little amount. Each strand of hair originates from a follicle, some dogs have compound follicles that allow anything up to twenty hairs from each!

Each strand of hair that we can see is called the shaft of the hair, going to the follicle inside our pet’s body. This is where the color of your dog’s coat is determined. Has your Lhasa curly hair? This might surprise you, it comes from the follicle inside the body, if that is a twisted follicle, then as the hair grows out of the follicle it will be naturally twisted!!

Why Do Dogs Shed Hair?

Dogs shed their hair mainly in the spring as the temperatures start to rise and they need less insulation on the body. So they are naturally getting rid of the winter coat. And again they will shed in the autumn. These are the periods when the dead hair is expulsed making way for the season’s new hair growth.

Can I Shave The Hair of a Single Layered Dog?

You more than likely take your Lhasa Apso to the grooming salon to get a professional cut notably if your pet has long hair. I personally cut and trim Lucky myself keeping his hair short as he is in the garden all day with me. Having long hair would become too time-consuming to look after. Although it is nowhere near as good as the professionals he does not complain. I will get his electric clippers like these out once a year to trim his hair back close to his body using a number three or four comb on the clippers so it is not too short.


Remember the single-layered coat of the Lhasa Apso does not have the thick undercoat like the German Shepherd, so when you use the clippers always use the combs that come with the kit, if you are not sure what length you would like then start with the largest and move down a size of comb until you have the length that pleases you.

What you must not do when using the clippers is to cut their hair too short and close to their bodies. Our babies do not have that thick protective under-layer if you have overdone the clipping and have shaved them its not the end of the world, but you must take adequate safety measures until the hair grows again.

If you made the error and cut the hair too close to the body your pet Lhasa is going to be susceptible to the sun, sunburn on the exposed skin, and from the cold, the risk of hypothermia if its a cold winter for example. Just keep them out of the sun or cover them with a jacket in the colder periods.

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Hair trimmer with extra combs

Is the Lhasa Apso Allergy Free?

On the whole No, there is no dog breed that is allergy-free, but one of the attributes of the Lhasa Apso breed of dog is they shed much less hair than double-coated breeds. This has given the Lhasa a reputation of being one of the best Hypoallergenic breeds. If you suffer from allergies then a double-coated breed is a bad choice because they will shed much more hair and dander resulting in an increase in allergens in the environment. Lhasa breeds with their single coats shed less. Resulting in fewer allergies 

Allergies That Dogs Can Pass To Humans

As humans, we love our dogs and we need to choose the right dog breed if we are prone to allergies. There are many to chose from, ranging from large dogs down to our little Lhasa Apso’s. These breeds called hypoallergenic dogs. They are in the category of single-layer coat dogs and thus are hypoallergenic reducing the risk of you suffering from these allergens that dogs can spread. Hypoallergenic dogs are the best choice if you suffer from allergies.

These allergens that dogs can pass on to us are released when a dog sheds its hair and fluff. If you suddenly get a bout of hay fever in the vicinity of a dog then you can be assured you have what is medically known as Allergic Rhinitis. You will be shocked to learn that in the U.S.A alone between forty and sixty million people suffer from this chronic disease, there are over six hundred million worldwide!

There is another illness that dogs can pass on to us humans that are called Allergy-related Asthma, a serious breathing condition. Have you heard of Can F1? No, it is not a Canadian Grand Prix racing car! Its another form of allergen from dogs that arrives in their saliva. One more allergen they have comes from the dog’s blood called Albumin. Many dog owners go untreated because they love their pets and prefer not to go to a doctor, they would rather suffer a runny nose, sore eyes and sneezing rather than live without their dogs.

When you are out walking your dog do you realize that all sorts of things get into your dog’s hair and fluff ranging from city dust, and tree pollen which can set off your allergies. Many sufferers indicate red eyes, swelling, and itchiness.

There is belief that if you are exposed to dogs at a young age you might become immune to dogs and their allergens. I was raised with dogs from my earliest days and I have never suffered from any sort of allergy so this could be true.

How to reduce Allergies if You Are Allergic to your Lhasa Apso

Have you the symptoms of an allergy from an allergenic producing coat on your dog? Are you suffering from red eyes and a runny nose? What can you do to reduce these symptoms? Although Lucky sleeps in my bedroom it is adviced that if you suffer then make your bedroom out of bounds to your Lhasa at an early age, the sooner the better. Have them learn to sleep in the bed provided for them in a separate room. Regular bathing, will help reduce the number of allergens on your pet.

What after all these measures you are still suffering from Allergic Rhinitis?  Then there are anti-allergy products that can be taken which will reduce the symptoms. Antihistamines of the second generation are better than the first generation, as they were too strong and made it difficult to carry out a normal day. For the stuffy nose then there are nasal sprays that can relieve this symptom. If in any doubt what to take to alleviate your allergies then do not hesitate to speak with your doctor.

Grooming Requirements

To help reduce the hair and dander/fluff that could invade your home creating allergies for you and your family I suggest that regular grooming is carried out once a day if possible. If not two or three sessions per week, this will help combat the allergens floating about in your home. The more the Lhasa is brushed and combed the better looking they will be.

The Lhasa hair is long and to groom your pet properly it will take more time than a short-haired breed, do make sure once you start that you have the time to finish the task. There are numerous brushes and combs available to accomplish this task and I invite you to look at the products for your dog menu to make a choice.

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Combined Soft brush and Soft tipped wire brush

Related Questions

Good Diet and Hypoallergenic Dog Treats and Foods

There are special dog treats on the market that can aid your pet in staying in top health and helping to reduce thier own allergies. Again you need to test your dog on different types of Hypoallergenic food like this one to find the one they enjoy the best.

You could consult your vet if you Lhasa is allergic to some foods, discuss with them your desire to have your dog eat only hypoallergenic foods they will propose a diet that will be correct for your dog.



Signs That Your Lhasa Is Allergic

  • Ears and skin that is red and itchy
  • Runny eyes that are itchy and swollen
  • Digestive problems
  • Sneezing
  • Constant scratching and licking

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