Is a Lhasa Apso a healthy dog?

Have you ever heard about a dog breed that was bred exclusively for Tibetan monks? I bet not. This is called the Lhasa Apso dog breed. Historically, these furry little creatures spent their days in the isolated Tibetan monasteries. The breed name, Lhasa Apso, itself comes from the sacred city of Lhasa, Tibet’s capital city. Their primary job was to serve as watch dogs in the monasteries and holy temples, alerting the monks of any intruders. It was believed that an ancient Buddhist deity dwelled within them known as Apso Seng Kye, which means “Guardian of the Sentinel Lion Dog”. Intriguing, right?

As mystic as their origin story may be, it’s even more interesting to discuss their health and longevity, which happens to be one of the reasons why they were considered holy and sacred. Lhasa Apsos are touted as being one of the healthiest dog breeds. These pups are known for their robust constitution, long lifespan, and resilience to many canine diseases that often plague other breeds.

Lhasa Apsos often live between 12 to 15 years, which is considerably a long life expectancy for dogs. Some even reach the ripe old age of 20. These little dogs are as tenacious as they are loving, known for their feisty and independent nature.

However, just like any other breed, some health issues can still occur in Lhasa Apsos. Luckily, most of these conditions are not frequent and can be managed or avoided with a healthy lifestyle and regular vet visits.

One common health issue for Lhasa Apsos is allergies. These can range from food allergies to environmental allergies and can cause symptoms like itchy skin, ear infections, and digestive problems. Not to worry though, this can easily be managed by identifying and avoiding the allergen, alongside a nutritious diet and prescribed medication if necessary.

Another health condition with Lhasa Apsos can be their eyes. Their large, beautiful eyes are prone to Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) and Cherry Eye. Regular eye checks are thus essential for this breed to detect the conditions early and manage them.

Similar to other small breeds, Lhasa Apsos are also prone to hip dysplasia, a condition where the thigh bone doesn’t fit into the hip joint. It can cause pain and lameness but can be managed with medications and sometimes surgery.

While it seems that the Lhasa Apso breed may have its share of health concerns, most of these conditions are not as frequent nor as debilitating as they can be in other breeds. Moreover, with advances in veterinary medicine, many of these health issues can well be managed, or even cured, extending the lifespan and the quality of it.

A crucial part of maintaining the health of any pet is its diet and exercise. For Lhasas, a balanced, high-quality canine diet is crucial in maintaining their long, silky coat and their overall health. As for their physical needs, they are an active breed that loves a good game. Short daily walks with some good indoor plays will keep them happily healthy.

In the world of dogs, the Lhasa Apsos are somewhat like the holy grail—compact, low-maintenance, healthy, and with an incredibly long and active lifespan. They are great companions for those who live in smaller spaces like apartments.

However, owning a dog is not just about their lifespan and health; it’s also about the enjoyment and companionship they give. These little dogs, with their quirky, energetic nature and their long, regal-looking fur coats, make them, not only a source of happiness, but also a conversation starter.

So, is a Lhasa Apso a healthy dog? With its potentially long lifespan, inherent robustness, few breed-specific health concerns, and with adequate care and nurturing from a loving owner, the Lhasa Apso comes closer to being the very embodiment of a healthy, happy, and hearty canine — a fantastic addition to any home lucky enough to be chosen by one of these remarkable Tibetan monastic emissaries. To own a Lhasa could be like owning a piece of divine history, with a wagging tail!