Lhasa apsos have beautiful hair! It grows and grows and grows. One area, where a Lhasa has hair, but you want to keep as little as possible, would be in the ears. If you don't pull the ear hair, you are inevitably going to deal with some kind of buildup, whether it be yeast, fungal, or just ear wax, that hair catches and holds onto anything. We have found, and most breeders know this, that if you pull the ear hair out of your beautiful baby's ears, just the ear canal area, you will cut down on ear infections, stinky smells, and discomfort for your little friend.
For years I didn't have the stomach to do this job, and would hire the groomer. Now I've done it enough to not be too grossed out. If you have a weak stomach, most groomers know how to do this. If not, you can simply grasp the hair between your thumb and first finger, and pull, it should come right out, without much resistance, and your dog should not even be disturbed by this.
You do want to start training them that this is done as a little puppy, otherwise they have a tendency to be aggressive, because you're messing with their ears. We desensitize our puppies to having their ears touched, by touching their ears as often as we can. If you continue this after taking your new baby home with you, you should never have an issue. If you're tugging on a piece of hair, and your puppy is whining, yelping, or acting uncomfortable, you may be too close to the outer ear. You only want to grab the hair that is inside of the ear canal area. I would advise against using tools, unless you have a very steady hand, and your puppy doesn't wiggle around a lot.
Let's admit it, most parents, have gone through the horror of clipping a child's fingernails. That same terror can be felt when you're grooming your puppies' toenails.
You want to keep your puppies' toenails groomed. This not only helps your puppy to be more comfortable, but it helps to save your floors and furniture.
Even though this is a scary job, if you do accidentally cut a toenail a little too short, it's not as scary as most people believe. For years, I thought that if I cut my puppy's toenail too short, that they could bleed to death. This is very unlikely. And honestly, I have never heard a single case of someone causing their puppy or dog to bleed to death from cutting a toenail too short.
It is however painful for your buddy, so being careful is a must.
If your Lhasa has white toenails, or clear toenails this is a very simple job. You simply look at the toenail and look for the pink underneath the toenail. The pink is where the meat is. If you cut the pink, you will cause your dog to bleed, and you will cause your dog to feel pain. What you want to do is go slightly out from that and using a good pair of sharp dog toenail clippers, you want to nip anything above the pink.
If your dog has black or dark toenails, this job can be a little scarier. With a dog with darker toenails, you want to look at the bottom of the toenail, sometimes you can see where the quick starts by looking at the bottom of the toenail. Not always, but often. In the case of a dog where you cannot tell where they're quick is, you will want to nip just the end of the toenail, this will cause the quick to recede a little bit. Then with each nail grooming, if kept up with consistently, the quick should recede back to a manageable distance, and then you can just continue to nip the ends every couple of weeks.
Holy Rapunzel! Did you know that a Lhasa does not have fur? Lhasas actually have hair, just like what grows on a person's head. And just like Rapunzel, it grows and grows and grows. It also mats, very easily, and they have this uncanny ability to find every burdock in the world.
If you are going to keep your Lhasa in coat, that means long hair, you are going to want to train your Lhasa that brushings are a delightful experience. This means that you should start when they are just a little puppy. Every day, a nice grooming, full coat, with happy noises, treats, and a tender voice. This desensitizes your Lhasa to having his or her hair touched.
If you do not want that level of dedication to brushing, most groomers can offer you an abundance of adorable haircuts. A simple online search will show you some of the cutest ones.
Unless you are planning on showing your Lhasa, being in full coat is a ton of work with almost no reward. Yes, they look beautiful, but they're hot in the summer, it mats easily, and some Lhasa Apso actually find it downright aggravating and will chew it off and give themselves sores pulling it out.
Since we don't show, we keep our Lhasa apso in a puppy cut. It's long enough to keep them comfortable and warm or cool, and short enough to not need constant brushing. They can run outside without concern about bringing in a burdock plant with them.
When you take your new puppy home, a good breeder will send you with a portion of what they have been feeding your puppy. You should take whatever they have been feeding your puppy and mix it 50 - 50 with whatever you've chosen to feed. What this does is it slowly acclimate your puppy to its new food. The Lhasa Apso does not like sudden food changes. A small treat here and there, or a new food item introduced slowly, is not a problem. But if you suddenly add something to their diet in large amounts, or suddenly change their food, they tend to get upset stomachs and diarrhea. This can be alleviated, and all together avoided by simply introducing new foods slowly and watching for a reaction. If your dog suddenly starts acting really itchy, having diarrhea, vomiting, spitting up frothy stuff, tearing dark brown, it can be a sign that they are sensitive to the new food. Stop the new food item. Give it 14 days and then reintroduce the food item. If you have the same reaction, you have found the culprit. If the dog is having any symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction, NEVER reintroduce that food item. It is far too risky, and you could cause great harm.
When your puppy was here, he or she was trained to a water bottle, and a water bowl. We do this so that whatever your circumstances, your puppy knows how to get a drink. The most important thing is to be sure that your puppy has clean water at all times. Your water bowl should be washed out at least every other day, otherwise bacteria begin to build up on the bowl.
If you have a well, and you know that you have hard water, it's a good idea to use a water filter for your Lhasa. Otherwise, they tend to have dark tearing around the eyes. The iron and other minerals will stain the hair and make it look dirty.
Oh no! You brought your new puppy home, everything's going great, and suddenly a few weeks in, your little friend has diarrhea or an upset stomach. What do you do?
First, take a deep breath, and relax. Most cases of an upset stomach can be attributed to something your puppy got into, and not some horrible disease. As long as you have not been walking your unvaccinated puppy on common ground, he or she is probably just fine. We do the first vaccine here, but your puppy is considered unvaccinated until they have had all of their puppy shots. Your vet can fill you in on what that includes.
For a puppy with an upset stomach or diarrhea.
First thing you want to do is take away all food for a minimum of 12 hours. After 12 hours, you have a couple of options. One of the best is a couple of spoons of pumpkin puree. It just tends to balance that stomach. Another great option is rice cooked in chicken broth. Just a couple spoonfuls, and just like with people, it tends to harden things up. Again you want to be sure that you're only doing a couple spoonfuls. Otherwise you can harden things up too much.
When not to wait. If your puppy is vomiting blood, or has stools with blood in them, that would be a time that you do not try to treat at home. That would be a trip to the vet. If your puppy seems lifeless, and lethargic, where they cannot lift their head, or when taken outside to go potty they cannot stand, that would be an emergency trip to your vet. Always allow your puppy to have access to water, clean water. Never withhold water, to a sick puppy. Better to clean up a potty accident then to have your sick puppy getting more dehydrated.
If your sick puppy is not getting better after trying the above, don't wait too long. Dehydration is a killer. Get them checked. They could have eaten something that caused a bowel blockage, have come across a poison or contaminant. It's better to have the puppy seen than to lose your new friend.
Your dog is definitely going to need some form of protection. Whether it be the woods, stray animals, wild animals, or adventures in the park, your puppy can pick up a tick or flea easily.
You definitely want a preventative. It's like the old expression says, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
Better to prevent them than fight them. Also, better to avoid the sickness these annoying pests can cause.
There are many options for flea and tick prevention and your vet can fill you in on what works best in your area.