What Is The Best Dog Food for a Lhasa Apso?
The Ultimate Lhasa Apso Food Buyer’s Guide
Bred to be watchdogs in ancient Buddhist temples, the modern Lhasa Apso is happy to stand watch in your home and look after you despite his small size and adorable appearance. With a little training and patience, the Lhasa Apso makes a devoted and protective family dog in need of a high-quality, nutritious diet. So, what is the best dog food for a Lhasa Apso? Here’s an in-depth look at what to feed a Lhasa Apso.
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The Best Dog Food for Lhasa Apso’s
Lhasa Apso Diet and Nutrition
Lhasa Apsos stand about 10 to 11 inches tall at the shoulder, with some slight variation. They generally weigh between 11 and 18 pounds. Females are usually a little smaller than males. Lhasas are compact and muscular with long, flowing hair. Everything about the breed’s appearance shows that it is a small mountain dog.
It may come as a surprise to some, but Lhasa Apsos and their owners often enjoy competing in obedience, agility, and rally – so they can be trained! If you are training or competing with your Lhasa Apso in events like these, be sure to take this into account when you figure how many calories your dog needs in his diet.
According to the National Research Council of the National Academies, an active adult Lhasa Apso weighing 15 pounds requires an average daily caloric intake of 532 kcal. Dogs that have been spayed/neutered, or that are older, may need slightly fewer calories. Some dogs may need more calories depending on their level of activity and their individual metabolism. For example, if you are training and participating in agility with your Lhasa Apso, you might need to feed him somewhere around 591 kcal. Growing puppies consume more calories than adult dogs and so do young adult dogs. A young Lhasa Apso puppy ( four to 12 months) weighing 10 pounds needs an estimated 436 kcal per day.
What to Feed Your Lhasa Apso
You may want to feed your Lhasa a grain free dog food just to avoid common allergens such as corn and wheat. You can start off feeding dog foods with common proteins (chicken, lamb, fish) but if your dog shows any sign of food allergies developing, you may need to switch to a food with a novel protein. Fortunately, there are many dog foods available today with novel proteins.
Adult Lhasa Apsos usually do well eating two meals per day. You can feed Lhasa Apso puppies three to four meals when they are very young, then move to three meals per day as they get older. By the time they are about a year old they should be eating two meals per day.
Ingredients To Look For:
As with most dogs, when choosing a food for your Lhasa Apso you should look for a food that has good sources of protein and fat.
Protein– Ideally you will select a dog food that features two or three meat proteins in the first several ingredients listed. Both whole meats (chicken, beef, fish, lamb) and meat meals, a concentrated form of meat in which the moisture is removed, are good sources of protein. If you choose a dog food with plant protein (lentils, peas, etc.), be sure there is a higher percentage of protein coming from meat because it’s easier to digest.
Fat– Look for named fat sources such as chicken fat. Other named fats also provide needed nutrients such as fish oil which can provide omega-3 fatty acid to help keep the skin and coat healthy. Puppies can benefit from DHA, which is a form of omega-3 fatty acid that helps with brain and eye development.
If your Lhasa Apso has a food allergy or food sensitivity, you may need to work with your veterinarian to identify the food triggers unless they are very obvious. There are lots of good foods with alternative meat proteins today as well as limited ingredient diets which we will discuss below.
Best Dog Food for a Lhasa Apso Puppy
Lhasa Apso puppies can usually begin eating a puppy food after they are weaned. Some people like to feed a puppy food for a few months and then switch over to an all life stage food when their puppy is a few months old. If you have questions about how to feed your puppy, we recommend talking to your puppy’s breeder. They usually have the most experience with raising Lhasa Apso puppies and can guide you.
Puppy foods should have a calcium to phosphorus ratio of about 1.2 parts calcium to 1 part phosphorus, though there is some slight room for variation. It’s also important that dog and puppy foods do not have an excess (or deficiency) of calcium since this can affect bone growth. Here’s a look at the best dog food for a Lhasa Apso puppy:
Canidae Grain Free Pure Foundations Puppy Formula is a limited ingredient food with nine ingredients plus vitamins and minerals and probiotics. It’s grain-free with probiotics to help digestion; antioxidants for a healthy immune system; and omega 3 and 6 to support healthy skin and a beautiful coat. The recipe is supposed to be especially good for puppies with sensitive digestion. Just remember that you don’t need to feed a lot of food with these very nutrient-dense foods. If your Lhasa Apso puppy does well on this puppy food, Canidae has some good adult foods – both grain free and foods with grains.
Main Ingredients: Chicken, Menhaden Fish Meal, Lentils, Peas, Potatoes
Calories: 520 kcal/cup
Canine Caviar Limited Ingredient Diet Puppy food has no corn, no wheat, no soy. The food is grain-free, gluten-free, and GMO-free and contains no by-products, tapioca, or potatoes. It has a single protein (dehydrated chicken) and carbohydrate source, and the meat is hormone-free, pesticide-free, and antibiotic-free. It also has the proper calcium level for puppies. If you are trying to be very careful with your Lhasapuppy, then this LID holistic puppy food from Canine Caviaris definitely a food you may want to consider. Canine Caviar also has several other formulas so you can rotate the proteins.
Main Ingredients: Dehydrated Chicken, Split Peas, Chicken Fat, Coconut, Sun-Cured Alfalfa
Calories: 599 kcal/cup
Best Dog Food for a Lhasa Apso Adult
Lhasa Apsos can eat many good quality dog foods. If your dog has a food allergy or food sensitivity you will need to try to avoid foods with ingredients that are triggers for your dog. We have listed some foods we recommend for dogs with food allergies and food sensitivities below. We have suggested a variety of the best dog food for a Lhasa Apso adult. These foods do not contain corn, wheat, or soy. You may have to try a couple of foods to find which one is best for your dog.
Wellness CORE Grain Free Small Breed formula is high in protein and calories to meet the high engery needs of small breeds. It has no meat by-products or filler ingredients. It also includes glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints, as well as antioxidants and probiotics. And it has no grain, corn, soy, wheat-gluten or artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors. It also has a smaller-sized kibble that makes the food easier for small dogs to eat.
Main Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Peas
Calories: 396 kcal/cup
This recipe has 70 percent meat ingredients, 30 percent vegetables, vitamins, and minerals. It is grain free and gluten free with no ingredients from China. It also has glucosamine and chondroitin added, as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Merrick uses local growers from Texas, where the food is made. Not everyone will like a protein percentage this high but if you do, give this food a try.
Main Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes
Calories: 460 kcal/cup
Fromm Small Breed Adult Gold makes a good food for small dogs like the Lhasa. It has kibble pieces that are small in size so small dogs can eat them easily. Even dogs that have problems with cereals/grains like corn and wheat can often safely eat oatmeal and barley. These ingredients provide good sources of dietary fiber for your dog’s digestion, too. The food is also enhanced with probiotics to aid digestion and salmon oil to keep the skin healthy. We hear great things about Fromm from everyone who feeds it.
Main Ingredients: Duck, Chicken Meal, Chicken, Oatmeal, Pearled Barley
Calories: 416 kcal/cup
Best Dog Food for a Lhasa Apso Senior
It’s not unusual for many Lhasa Apsos to live into their teen years. This means that you will probably need to consider what kind of food to feed your Lhasa Apso as he gets older. As your dog ages it’s a good idea to plan an annual senior check-up with your vet. Many older dogs begin to put on pounds as they become less active. For this reason, most senior dog foods have fewer calories and they can skimp on protein. You should watch your older dog’s weight as he gets older to make sure he doesn’t become overweight. In some cases you can simply cut back on the portions of his regular dog food to help him stay fit or increase his exercise.
On the other hand, some very old dogs often start to have some problems metabolizing nutrients, including protein. It can become hard for them to keep good muscle tone and weight as they age. For this reason, you may wish to avoid many dog foods labeled “senior.” These foods are often formulated for older dogs that have gained weight. Instead, look for a senior dog food that we like which has lots of protein. As long as your older dog doesn’t have any problems with his kidneys or with phosphorus, there is no reason to avoid higher protein levels.
Orijen Senior is the best dog food a Lhasa Apso senior. It helps keep older dogs in good muscle even as they become less active. Made of 85 percent meats and fish, the food is low-glycemic and has low carbs to help keep your older dog’s blood sugar steady. The food also contains natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin to keep your Lhasa Apso’s joints healthy. We think this is a very good food for senior dogs who often need extra protein as they get older.
Main Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Deboned Turkey, Yellowtail Flounder, Whole Eggs, and Whole Atlantic Mackerel
Calories: 414 kcal/cup
Another food you may want to consider for older dogs is Weruva’s Caloric Harmony Venison and Salmon Meal Dinner with Pumpkin. This food (and several others in this product line) is potato-free with no corn or wheat. It’s easy to digest, low-glycemic, and contains pumpkin and oatmeal for healthy gut motility. Meat protein comes from grass-fed venison and the food also features salmon meal and herring meal.
Main Ingredients: Venison, Venison Meal, Salmon Meal, Herring Meal, Oatmeal, Barley
Calories: 348 kcal/cup
Additional Dietary and Health Considerations
Despite these possible health issues, Lhasas are considered to be a very healthy breed. The median lifespan is around 14 years and four months, with many dogs living past 15 years. Some dogs have been reported to live to 20 years. Renal dysplasia is considered to be the most serious health issue in Lhasa Apsos but this can be a late-onset health problem. The disease is often not recognized in young dogs because the symptoms are so minor or the dog is only slightly affected. If you notice any symptoms, you should see your veterinarian. If renal dysplasia is diagnosed, you may need to adjust your Lhasa’s diet at some later point.
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), glaucoma, and a few other eye diseases also exist in the breed. Some elderly dogs can begin to lose their vision or experience heart murmurs as they age.
Looking for more dog food recommendations for your Lhasa Apso? Check out these small breed dog food brands.
Below is a list of Products reviewed in this article
- Canidae Grain Free Pure Foundations Puppy Formula
- Canine Caviar Limited Ingredient Diet Puppy Holistic Entrée Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- Wellness CORE Grain Free Small Breed Formula
- Merrick Grain Free Real Chicken and Sweet Potato Recipe
- Fromm Small Breed Adult Gold
- Orijen Senior Dog
- Weruva’s Caloric Harmony Venison and Salmon Meal Dinner