The Best Dog Food for Havanese: Small Dog, Big Nutrition
When it comes to fluffy little dogs, you can’t really go wrong with the Havanese – these little balls of floof are basically barking clouds you can have waddling by your side, or napping on your lap. You love your little pal, but you want to make sure that they’ve got the right kind of food; after all, a healthy Havanese is a healthy Havanese. Check out our suggestions for dog foods for Havaneses of all shapes and sizes, and our tips for feeding as well!
Check it out: 4 Great Foods for Havaneses
**There's more info below, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Chewy.
**Disclaimer: Our dog food reviews are based mostly on (1) our expertise and that of the experts with whom we consult and (2) the information provided by the manufacturers. We do test many dog foods (with our dog's help), but we can't test them all. As such, please remember the above recommendations are our opinions, and you should consult your vet before making changes to your dog's diet.
How Much Should I Feed My Havanese?
**Please note: these estimates are based on an average weight for this breed. Every dog is different. Please talk to your vet before making changes to your dog's diet.
Most Havenese are pretty little, weighing in at about 7 to 14 pounds – they’re no English Mastiffs, that’s for sure! To that end, you’ll be able to feed them a little less than those larger breeds, but finding the right balance between too much and too little food is just as important.
A typical 10 pound Havanese, with about a normal level of activity, will require about 342 kcal/day, while a Havanese that’s a bit more rambunctious and active will probably need up to 545 kcal/day to keep up with its activity.
As your Havanese gets older and a little less active, you can feel free to reduce its kibble to about 280 kcal/day. They’re small dogs, so they don’t need much; make sure their feed is regulated and controlled so as to avoid overfeeding.
Looking for Havanese Info? Go to the Video
Dog nutrition videos this helpful can be tough to find online, so relish it – it’s short and sweet, but this veterinary nutritionist helpfully points out the importance of hard, dry kibble as a means of providing vital nutrition and dental hygiene to your little Havanese. It’s less than a minute long, so take a break and check it out!
Just like many other types of dogs, Havanese should get a lot of high quality animal protein, since it is vital to building strong animal muscle and keeping your lapdog nice and fit. Make sure that good, natural animal protein is the primary source of your dog’s nutrition.
When finding the best dog food for your Havanese, look at the top five ingredients of a dog food. If you see two or more grains, it probably has more plant than animal protein, which is not ideal. Keep an eye on the kind of food your dog is eating – what goes in the food will go in your dog, so it’s important to be vigilant.
Havanese should have a sufficient amount of healthy fats to keep their long, silky coats healthy and shiny. Now, fat might not be the first thing you think of when you think ‘things my dog should have,’ but remember that fats can be healthy as well.
Animal-based fats like fish oils and the like are essential for your Havanese, as they promote heart health and can be easier on your dog’s metabolism and liver. If you can keep their portions smaller and maintain their proper calorie intake, healthy fats will do wonders you might not even think about with your Havanese.
Perhaps the secret weapon for a Havanese is carbs; your dog needs them a lot more than you might think, as they’re required for all that energy your Havanese will need for all its yipping and running around. Caloric filler like healthy carbs is more important for Havanese than other dogs, since having too much animal protein in their diet (and, therefore, more copper) can encourage the development of liver disease. To that end, it’s okay for Havanese to have a little more carbs than other breeds, as they need to have those calories but could stand to have less of that be from meat.
Common Health Problems
- Luxating patella. This is important to avoid; while Havanese don’t get as many health issues as some other breeds, these kinds of osteopathic problems are something you want to watch out for. Keep your dog’s diet balanced, with not too much calcium, to avoid this kind of overgrowth.
- Liver disease. This can be alleviated with a good deal of water and controlling the amount of protein your Havanese gets.
- Heart disease. Be sure to get a feed that has plenty of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to promote heart health.
- Urinary infections. Keep plenty of water close by and within easy access of your Havanese.
- Eye disease (example: retinal dysplasia). Get a nutrient-rich feed that has beta carotene to promote proper eye health.
How to Feed a Havanese
Since Havanese are much more people-centric than other breeds of dog, and are incredibly devoted to you, they’ll be looking to you for their primary feeding needs. They can be insistent too; it’s not uncommon to have your Havanese nipping and nibbling and begging for food at all times of the day.
Don’t worry, when they want to be fed, they’ll let you know. Most curious of all, however, is that Havanese will sometimes take a bite or two of their food, then come yipping back to you for more attention, then return to their food. It’s like they want a little feeding buddy!
This is normal, and isn’t something that you need to discourage (unless it’s getting annoying), but rest assured it doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong.
In terms of a proper feeding schedule, Havanese puppies should probably be fed about 3 times a day. It’s best for young Havanese to be fed about ¼ cup of feed at a time, and make sure to take their food bowl away after about 15 or 20 minutes to encourage them to eat faster (if you want to curb the annoying behavior described above).
By about 4-5 months, you can then switch to about 2 meals a day. If you keep this up, and follow the calorie requirements, your dogs should be on their way to having a healthy diet and being more disciplined eaters before you know it.
20% off at chewy.com
On ALL dog food.
Our Recommendation: Wellness Core Reduced Fat
Wellness Core is likely one of the best dog foods for Havanese out there, given its lower fat content and higher emphasis on lean animal protein. This food contains primarily deboned turkey, turkey and chicken meal, which is ideal for your little Havanese’s strength.
That said, this food is slightly higher in carbs, which in most other dogs, might be less than preferable; however, with Havanese, you want to limit their intake of animal protein somewhat to reduce their risk of developing liver disease (which is more prevalent in Havaneses than other kinds of dogs).
Luckily, these carbs are the good kind, comprised mostly of potatoes, peas, dried ground potatoes and more.
Having such a high plant protein and fiber content will be good for your Havanese’s digestion, which needs a little more help than other dog breeds. All in all, Wellness Core Reduced Fat is likely to be a good solution for your little lapdog, given that it’ll keep it nice and trim throughout its life!
Pros and Cons:
- Higher carb content curbs risk of liver disease
- Lower in fat content, but still has enough to provide key fatty acids
- Cost-effective compared to other high-end brands
- Contains pea fiber, which is filler
- A bit higher in carbs than in protein or fat
There are quite a few fantastic dog foods for Havaneses out there – this is just the one we thought would work for the unique requirements of such a small dog. Still, you can always veterinarian make up your own mind with your own research before deciding on a diet plan for your Havanese.
Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jessiejacobson/