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Pet Insurance for Lhasa Apsos

Find out all about Lhasa Apsos and their common health conditions, and then compare pet insurance options from some of Australia’s leading insurers.

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, updated on September 26th, 2023       

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Price range

$1,500 –$3,000

Height

25cm - 28cm

Weight

5.5kg - 8.2kg

Personality

Independent, intelligent, assertive

Coat length

Long, double

Exercise needs

Low

Kid-friendly?

Yes

Life expectancy

12 - 15 years

Lhasa Apso

Overview

The Lhasa Apso is an ancient and dignified breed originating from ‘the Forbidden City’ of Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. For hundreds of years, they were bred by Tibetan monks to be companions and watchdogs at isolated monasteries. Their name translates to ‘bearded sentinel lion dog.’ They are highly effective watchdogs, with an incredible memory for knowing who is friend and family, and who is a stranger.  

Lhasa Apsos are a small but sturdy breed that has a beautiful long, flowing coat that protects it from the biting cold in the Himalayan Mountain region. Their fur extends over their eyes to protect them from sun glare off the snow. They have a broad muzzle and comparatively large lungs to help them breathe in high altitudes where there is 40% less oxygen in the air. 

Once threatened with extinction, the Lhasa Apso is now a popular family pet in many parts of the world. They are known for their intelligence and loyal nature. They make excellent companions for individuals or families in smaller living spaces, and can either be a lap dog or an amusing family companion for families with small children. While they are affectionate with their owners, they can be reserved around strangers. They are silent dogs for the majority of the time but will bark loudly if a stranger enters their property, which is why they have a reputation as such good watchdogs.

Common diseases and conditions of Lhasa Apsos

  • Hip Dysplasia: This is a common orthopaedic condition affecting the joint's development. It can lead to discomfort and mobility issues.
  • Chondrodysplasia: A genetic disorder that can lead to joint and spinal issues.
  • Eye Issues: Lhasas are prone to developing dry eyes or eye infections.

Breed-specific issues:  

The independent nature of Lhasas means they may require patient training. They are often shy with unfamiliar people. They are known to be very still dogs, often sleeping for up to 18-20 hours a day. For this reason, they are suitable pets for working families, as they do not suffer from separation anxiety as other breeds can do.  

How much does pet insurance cost for a Lhasa Apso?

Most Australians can expect to pay between $20 and $60 a month for pet insurance. There are many factors that can influence the cost of pet insurance for your dog, which is why it's important to compare pet insurance policies. Factors affecting the cost of your insurance include: 

  • Age: The older your dog is, the more pet insurance is likely to cost. This is because senior dogs tend to have more physical health conditions and illnesses due to age, and so present a higher insurance risk.    
  • Type of insurance you choose:  There are three basic types of pet insurance available in Australia; accident-only, accident and illness, and comprehensive insurance. An accident-only policy is the cheapest type of insurance available, with comprehensive coverage costing the most.  
  • The policy annual limit: Each pet insurance policy has an annual limit, which is the maximum amount that will be paid out on the policy in one financial year. Annual limits range from around $10,000 up to $25,000 or more.   
  • Sub-limits: In addition to an annual limit, there may also be sub-limits that apply to the policy, for example, a $300 sub-limit for consultation fees, or a $5,000 limit for cruciate ligament conditions.   
  • Benefit percentage: Pet insurance does not cover 100% of the cost of your vet bill. Instead, it may pay a percentage of the total bill. This can range from 50% for cheaper policies, up to 90% for the best policies available.   
  • Excess amount: This is the amount you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket each time you make a claim on your policy. Some pet insurance policies do not come with an excess amount, whilst others do.  
  • Any add-ons you choose: It’s possible to add on more cover options to a basic policy, such as emergency boarding fees, routine care and dental care. These add-ons extend the scope of your pet insurance, but do increase the overall cost of the policy.  
  • Discounts: some insurers offer discounts of between 5% and 15% if you have multiple pets insured together, if you pay your premium annually, or if you bundle your pet insurance with other forms of insurance with the same company.
  • Gap-only insurance options: Some insurance companies offer a gap-only insurance option, which means when you go to the vet you'll only be required to pay the gap amount, not the cost of the whole bill. This is similar to the Medicare system of health insurance for humans in Australia, where gap payments can be made at HICAPS terminals at the time of treatment. 

Types of pet insurance you can choose from

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Common questions about Lhasa Apsos

  How much exercise do Lhasa Apsos need?

Lhasa Apsos are a small breed with low to moderate energy levels. Daily short walks and some playtime are usually sufficient to keep them happy and healthy. They adapt well to apartment living due to their size and temperament. 

Do Lhasa Apsos shed a lot?

No. Lhasa Apsos boast a luxurious, long double coat. However, they do not shed and are considered hypoallergenic dogs. Because they do not shed their coat requires diligent care. Regular grooming is essential to prevent matting and tangles. Many owners give them a ‘puppy cut’ to reduce the maintenance required on their hair. Their coat's beauty and condition greatly depend on consistent brushing and professional grooming sessions. 

Do Lhasa Apsos get along with other pets?

Yes, Lhasa Apsos can coexist harmoniously with other pets, but it's essential to introduce them gradually and socialise them from a young age. They do have territorial instincts, which may require supervision initially, but once they get accustomed to sharing space with another pet, they are usually happy companions. 

Are Lhasa Apsos good with children?

Yes, Lhasa Apsos can be excellent companions for children when introduced and socialised properly. Their small size and gentle disposition, combined with a protective nature, often makes them watchful over kids. Obedience training is recommended to ensure the Lhasa grows to be a gentle and trusted family pet. 

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Lhasa Apso

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