5 Best Dog Foods For Lhasa Apsos
Don’t let their small size fool you. Lhasa Apsos are tough, protective, devoted dogs.
Once kept as small watchdogs in Buddhist monasteries in Tibet, the Lhasa today still takes his role of watchdog seriously. He will carefully check out any stranger that tries to set foot in your home.
With family, Lhasas are affectionate and loving. They get along well with other family pets, too, including cats.
Lhasa Apsos have a beautiful long coat that comes in many colors.
It requires care to keep it looking good. Some owners choose to keep their dogs in a shorter pet trim. Despite a few possible health problems, the breed is considered to be very healthy overall.
The median lifespan for Lhasa Apsos is over 14 years. Feeding your Lhasa a good diet can help him live a long, healthy life. Keep reading and we can help you choose the best dog foods for Lhasa Apsos.
Best dog foods for Lhasa Apsos
We try to use the criteria recommended by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association when choosing the best dog foods for Lhasa Apsos. We look for foods that meet the following criteria as much as possible:
- Foods that are AAFCO-approved, preferably with food trials.
- We give great consideration to nutritional research done by the company.
- We prefer dog foods that have been formulated by veterinary nutritionists.
- Good quality control is essential.
- Nutrition is more important than ingredients that sound good to the dog’s owner. Clever marketing should not be the deciding factor in choosing the food you buy for your dog. You will not be eating the dog food – your dog will. You must choose the food that is best for him even if the ingredients don’t sound appealing to you.
We also consider the recent warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration which advised that there could be a link between grain free dog foods and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs. The FDA continues to investigate at this time.
They have expanded their investigation to include novel proteins used in dog foods. You can read the latest research in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association .
At the moment, we recommend that you feed your dog a food that includes grains unless your veterinarian recommends a grain free dog food for health reasons.
If your dog has a food allergy or sensitivity or another health issue that makes it difficult for him to eat foods that contain grains, work with your veterinarian to select the best dog food for your Lhasa Apso.
These are the reasons why we are not recommending many of the most popular grain free dog foods today.
The foods we are recommending are what we believe are the best dog foods for Lhasa Apsos.
These foods are healthy, nutritious, formulated by veterinary nutritionists, made with strict quality control standards, and backed up with solid nutritional research.
What kind of diet should you feed your Lhasa Apso?
Most Lhasa Apsos should be able to eat a normal diet for dogs. Most dogs need similar nutrients in their diet unless they have a health problem.
Your adult Lhasa Apso needs a minimum of 18 percent protein in his diet for daily maintenance. A pregnant/nursing dog and puppies need a minimum of 22 percent protein in their diets. Most dog foods today have higher protein percentages than these levels but your dog doesn’t need a huge protein percentage.
High protein sounds great but if your dog is getting more protein than his body needs, he will excrete the excess in his urine.
If you are buying a super expensive, high protein dog food, your dog could be urinating much of that money away.
Many grain free dog foods have extremely high protein percentages. Dog lovers often believe they are providing their dogs with lots more protein than with traditional dog foods. However, in most cases the increased protein in these grain free dog foods comes from plant sources such as peas, legumes and lentils. These are the ingredients that the FDA is currently investigating because of a possible link to dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs. We recommend that you feed your Lhasa Apso a food with moderate protein that relies on meat protein. Look for dog foods that have a protein percentage between 22 and 26 percent.
Fat is good for your dog. It makes his food taste better; calories from fat give him energy; and fatty acids are good for your dog’s skin, coat, and organs. Some vitamins can only be absorbed from fat. Adult dogs need a minimum of 5 percent fat in their diet. Pregnant and nursing dogs and puppies need a minimum of 8 percent fat per day.
Virtually all dog foods have higher fat levels than these percentages. Some dog foods have very high fat levels so you should be aware of the fat percentage of your dog’s food and its calories. It can be easy to overfeed your dog if a dog food is high in fat.
We recommend a fat percentage of about 12 to 16 percent for Lhasa Apsos. This is considered to be a moderate fat level.
While many dog lovers have been taught to believe that carbs are bad for dogs, they actually perform many important functions. They are not “filler ingredients” or empty calories. They are another source of energy for your dog, along with fat.
They can be a source of fiber. And they can provide nutrients. Simple sugars and starches from carbs help your dog’s brain function. Fibers helps regulate your dog’s gastric system.
Complex carbohydrates are important for keeping your dog’s glucose levels steady so he can avoid blood sugar spikes after meals. Carbohydrates can also help prevent your dog from feeling hungry between meals.
Fiber can be either soluble or insoluble. You will often see soluble fiber on a dog food ingredient list in the form of chicory, beet pulp, and inulin. This kind of fiber draws more water into your dog’s digestive system, turning stomach contents to gel and slowing the digestive process. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to the digestive matter and helps speed digestion.Most kibbles today have somewhere between 3 and 6 percent fiber. If your Lhasa Apso is having loose stools it could be because there is too much fiber in the food for his system. You can try changing to a food that has less fiber and see if it solves the problem.
Conversely, if your Lhasa seems to be constipated, you can try changing to a food that has a little more fiber. Remember to please see a veterinarian if any digestive problem is causing your dog distress.
Probiotics and prebiotics
Prebiotics and probiotics help keep your dog’s gastrointestinal system functioning, as well as strengthening the immune system. Prebiotics are a dietary fiber that encourages the growth of “good” or beneficial bacteria in your dog’s digestive system.
Chicory and inulin are prebiotics that are often added to dog foods. Probiotics are living microorganisms that are sometimes added to dog food to “colonize” your dog’s digestive system.
They can add millions of helpful bacteria to your dog’s system.
You can also buy probiotics separately and give them to your dog if you want to make sure he is getting enough friendly bacteria in his diet. It’s believed that 70 percent of your dog’s immune system is related to his gastrointestinal system which means that prebiotics and probiotics can be very important to your dog’s health.
Vitamins and minerals
Kibble is cooked at a very high temperature. Unfortunately, this means that many of the vitamins and minerals in the food’s ingredients are destroyed. Dog food companies typically add vitamins and minerals back into the food after cooking to be sure the food is nutritionally complete.
What to look for when choosing the best dog foods for Lhasa Apsos
When choosing the best dog foods for Lhasa Apsos we recommend the following:
- Look for a food that is grain-inclusive unless your veterinarian recommends a different kind of food;
- Most dogs will do well eating a protein percentage between 22 and 26 percent;
- A moderate fat percentage between 12 and 16 percent is good for most healthy dogs;
- Most dog foods today have a fiber percentage between 3 and 6 percent which is suitable for most dogs.
If your Lhasa Apso has a health problem and he can’t eat a grain-inclusive dog food, talk to your vet about what kind of food to feed your dog. Food allergies are not as common as many dog lovers believe but they do occur. Even in dogs with food allergies, grains area not the most common allergen. If you think your dog has a food allergy or sensitivity, it’s best to talk to your veterinarian and have your dog diagnosed instead of trying a lot of different dog foods that your Lhasa may not be able to eat. Trying lots of foods that your dog can’t eat can inflame his digestive system and make things worse.
Special considerations for feeding a Lhasa Apso
According to many sources, your biggest problem in feeding your Lhasa Apso may be coping with his fussy eating habits. It’s not always easy to find a food that these dogs will like. You might have to try several different dog foods before you find one that your Lhasa will eat. And, if there’s a change in the ingredients you could have to start all over looking for a new favorite food.
The good news is that Lhasa Apsos don’t usually become overweight since they are so particular about their food. An occasional dog may overeat or have weight problems but it’s not something that’s common in the breed.
Some Lhasa Apsos can have a problem with sebaceous adenitis (SA). This is an inflammatory skin condition that is often associated with Standard Poodles. With SA, the dog’s immune system attacks their sebaceous (oil) glands, leaving a silvery dandruff, a brittle coat, a musty odor, and skin lesions.
Lhasa owners sometimes mistake this condition for a food allergy but it’s not food-related. If you see this problem with your dog you should consult your veterinarian for a treatment plan.
There are many shampoos and other products that can help with it. Your vet can also prescribe antibiotics. Some experts recommend feeding dog foods that emphasize Vitamins A and E, as well as omega fatty acids to support the skin and coat.
How much should you feed your Lhasa Apso?
You can expect a mature Lhasa Apso male to be about 10-11 inches tall at the shoulder; a female will be slightly smaller. Lhasas will weigh between 12 and 18 pounds as adults. Since dog foods vary, it’s best to use calories to determine how much to feed your dog instead of cups or some other measurement.
- A three-month-old Lhasa that weighs 3 kg (about 6.6 pounds) would need about 479 calories per day.
- A six-month-old Lhasa Apso that weighs about 5.5 kg (about 12 pounds) would need about 503 calories per day.
- At one year, as an adult, your Lhasa Apso might weigh 7 kg (about 15.4 pounds) and he would need about 542 calories per day.
These are only estimates. Your puppy could weigh slightly more or less. You will need to adjust his calories based not just on his weight but on his condition.
If your puppy looks too thin or too pudgy, you can make small changes in how much food you are feeding him.
Lhasa Apsos are smart, funny, devoted dogs. They make wonderful pets and get along well with other pets in the home.
They are also good watchdogs, alerting you to anyone who dares to approach your door.
Once accepted, a Lhasa is happy to welcome your friends. These little dogs are one of the oldest breeds. It’s easy to see why they have been beloved for so long.
We hope that the information provided here will help you select the best dog foods for Lhasa Apsos.