The Havanese, the national dog of Cuba, is a toy breed that is no more than 8.5 to 11.5 inches tall and does not weigh more than 7 to 13 pounds when they grow up. And though they may be small, they are incredibly playful and energetic.
Their disposition makes them the perfect playmates for children and families. Their friendly nature, curiously intelligent mind, and long silky coat are what sets them apart from other breeds of dogs. Havanese are descendants of the Bichon lineage.
If you are proud parents of a Havanese, then you might wonder how best to keep them healthy and happy. The key to ensuring the health of your dog is giving them a nutrient-rich and balanced food.
That’s what this guide is all about, how to select the best dog food for your Havanese.
I have done a lot of research on the Havanese and the kind of nutrition they require, and these are the top eight best dog foods for Havanese.
The Best Dog Foods for Havanese – My Top 8 Picks
1. Wellness- CORE RawRev Grain-Free Small Breed Original Recipe with Freeze Dried Turkey Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Turkey, 2. Potatoes, 3. Dried Ground Potatoes, 4. Freeze-Dried Turkey, 5. Chicken Fat
When looking for dog food, the one thing you most are concerned about is whether or not it meets their nutritional needs. The easiest way to do this is to opt for commercially produced food specifically designed for the needs of your dog. Wellness CORE RawRev Grain-Free Small Breed Original Recipe with Freeze-Dried Turkey Dry Dog Food is one of the best in the market. It contains all the right amounts of proteins, fats, carbs, and fiber.
This formula contains freeze-dried raw turkey and chicken kibble and is chock full of proteins. But that is not where the goodness ends. It has a balanced mix of fruits, veggies, and other supplements to ensure optimal health for your beloved pet. And all of this goodness comes without any artificial additives.
2. Merrick- Classic Small Breed Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Barley, 3. Oatmeal, 4. Quinoa, 5. Carrots
Merrick Classic Small Breed Dry Dog Food fits the bill if you want balanced and controlled nutrients. Real, deboned chicken, peas, carrots, apples, and quinoa are the primary ingredients in this formula, along with many other veggies, fruits, and added supplements. These supplements ensure that your dog maintains good health, along with the energy to fuel their day. The presence of glucosamine and chondroitin allows for increased mobility, and high levels of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids ensure that the immune system remains strong, and the coat/hair of your dog is long and shiny.
Merrick’s recipe uses locally produced fresh products without the inclusion of corn, wheat, soy, or any kind of artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. The best part is that your Havanese will love the taste and texture of this recipe.
3. Cesar Puppy Chicken & Beef & Lamb & Rice Variety Pack Dog Food Trays
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Chicken Liver, 3. Beef Lung, 4. Chicken Broth, 5. Fish Oil
Puppies are delicate creatures, just like human babies, and need extra care. Your Havanese puppy will be tiny, and you, as the pet parent, should make food choices that help them grow strong and healthy. Canine Cuisine Variety Pack with Chicken and Beef Recipe and Lamb and Rice Recipe is an excellent choice in this regard. It is tasty enough for the pickiest of eaters, and this recipe contains everything your little buddy needs to grow into a healthy and happy adult.
Made with US Chicken or US Beef, this formula contains all the essential vitamins, minerals, and supplements that your baby requires. The best thing is that since it is wet food, your puppy will have no difficulty eating and swallowing it. No matter the size of your pup, your Havanese will enjoy this wet food.
4. Blue Buffalo- Life Protection Formula Small Breed Puppy Chicken & Oatmeal Recipe Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Oatmeal, 3. Menhaden Fish Meal (Source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), 4. Dried Egg Product, 5. Flaxseed
If you are looking for one of the most nutritious dry food for your Havanese puppy, Blue Buffalo is an excellent choice. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula delivers health and vitality to your little best friend. This recipe contains real meat, whole grains, garden veggies, and fruits; the formula also contains extra punch in the form of antioxidants, Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, and other vital supplements.
The small kibble size is just right for the tiny mouth of your Havanese. The presence of DHA and ARA aid healthy brain and eye development, while Omega 3 & 6 fatty acid improves the immune health, hair, and coat of your buddy. It’s free of corn, wheat, soy, or chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, so you won’t have to worry about common allergens.
5. Purina Pro Plan- Focus Small Breed Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Formula Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Salmon, 2. Brewers Rice, B3. Animal Fat Preserved with Mixed-Tocopherols, 4. Pea Protein, 5. Sunflower Oil
When it comes to dogs with sensitive stomachs and skin issues, there is a need for special dog food. Purina Pro Plan Focus Small Breed Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Formula is ideal for such pups. This recipe contains prebiotic fiber, which allows for the good bacteria in the stomach to flourish, which means that they would be able to digest and metabolize the food easily. The presence of rice and oatmeal provides energy stores, and fish oil ensures the mobility and health of joints.
Bear in mind that this recipe is formulated for dogs 20lbs and less. Omega-6 fatty acids and zinc provide for the rich coat and healthy hair of your beloved Havanese. There is no corn, soy, or wheat, nor is there any presence of artificial color, flavor or preservatives.
6. Instinct- by Nature’s Variety Raw Boost Small Breed Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken,2. Chickpeas, 3. Tapioca, 4. Peas, 5. Dried Tomato Pomace
Nature’s Variety Raw Boost Small Breed Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken Dry Dog Food is made with a high animal protein source but balanced with other nutrients in the form of added fruits and veggies. This formula is made with cage-free chicken and designed to give your best friend the energy and playfulness that Havanese are known for. Also present are calcium and phosphorus for strong teeth and bones, natural probiotics, Omega fatty acids, and antioxidants for better digestive health, healthy skin and coat, and immune health, as well as naturally occurring glucosamine and chondroitin for complete joint health.
7. CANIDAE- Grain-Free PURE Petite Salmon Formula Small Breed Limited Ingredient Diet Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Salmon, 2. Lentils, 3. Canola Oil, 4. Garbanzo Beans, 5. Freeze-Dried Salmon
CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Petite Salmon Formula is the one to go for when you are looking for safe, yet healthy food for your sensitive stomach Havanese. This freeze-dried kibble contains limited ingredients, which cuts down on the chance for allergic reactions and digestive issues. The eight main ingredients in the recipe are salmon, salmon meal, peas, lentils, tapioca, canola oil, garbanzo beans, and freeze-dried raw salmon. Since there is no poultry, the chances of allergies are reduced significantly. The grain-free formula has no soy, wheat, corn, or any other artificial additive.
8. Castor & Pollux Organix- Grain-Free Organic Small Breed Recipe Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Organic Chicken, 2. Organic Sweet Potatoes, 3. Organic Chickpeas, 4. Organic Sunflower Seed Meal, 5. Organic Coconut Oil
Castor & Pollux Organix Grain-Free Organic Small Breed Recipe Dry Dog Food contains everything organic and extremely nutritious. The recipe has just the right blend of superfoods, probiotics, and prebiotic fiber. Organic, free-range chicken is the first ingredient along with organic sweet potatoes and organic peas. Also present are organic flaxseed, blueberries, and coconut oil, which help to create a strong immune system and even better gut health. The small kibble size allows your Havanese to consume their food with ease and digest it even more easily. There are no artificial preservatives, nor is there any corn, wheat, or soy in the recipe of this dog food.
Frequently Asked Questions About Havanese Dog Food
By now, I may have raised some questions in your mind about just what makes a dog food right for your Havanese.
I have made things easier for you by collecting some frequently asked questions about eating habits, food preferences, and other food-related questions in this section.
What amount of food should I give my Havanese?
Each food has clearly worded instructions as to how much you should feed your dog. 1/2 to 1 cup a day is usually enough, but you have to remember that each dog is different and may have different nutritional needs. Of course, different formulas ask you to give certain amounts only because of the individual recipe. If you’re still unsure of how much you should feed your Havanese, consult with your veterinarian.
How many times in a day do Havanese eat?
A Havanese puppy should be fed more frequently than an adult Havanese. For example, when the baby is less than six months, it is best to feed them four times a day. Once they reach adulthood, you should reduce their meals to three times daily, so they don’t become overweight. One the dog becomes a senior, reducing their feeding to twice a day may become necessary as their activity level wanes.
What are Havanese favorite food options?
Whatever breed your dog may belong to, you need to look for food that is of the highest quality, made with a well-balanced formula. Fresh, freeze-dried, wet canned food and dry food are all options for the Havanese, and you can select the one that best suits your dog. The more time you invest in picking good food, the healthier your dog will be. Keep in mind that for Havanese, dry food is usually a better option because wet food can cause dental problems to which they are prone. Chewing on the kibble helps to remove tartar and plaque. In terms of their favorite food items, Havanese love good meat sources, along with fruits and vegetables too.
What are the best veggies for Havanese?
The reason why you need to make sure that your dog eats veggies is that they are the main source of essential vitamins and minerals. Some of the best veggies for your dog are asparagus, zucchini, green beans, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, pumpkin, cucumber, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, spinach, and carrots. If vegetables are already present in the food formula, you don’t need to give extra, but you can give them as a treat for good behavior.
Should I give my Havanese grain-free diet?
Whether to go grain-free or not is a long-running debate among researchers. There are both pros and cons to giving grains. From what history and research tell us, Havanese aren’t overly allergic to food, which means that you can try giving them grains to see how it works for your pal. But you will need to keep a close eye on them to see how well they are taking to it. If they develop an allergic reaction, consult with your veterinarian.
Can I give eggs to my Havanese?
Yes, you can, so long as they’re cooked eggs. Giving raw eggs to your dog can make them sick. Since eggs are rich in protein and fatty acids, they make for an excellent snack option. They are also good for an upset stomach so you can give them when needed to help settle the tummy.
Is peanut butter safe for my dog?
Peanut butter makes a good treat for your dog, as it contains protein and healthy fats. But you have to make sure that it does not have even a little bit of xylitol as that can be hazardous for your little pal. Also, since it contains fatty acids, it is best to give in moderation only, as too much of it can cause excess weight among dogs.
Which vegetables are unsafe for dogs?
Generally, vegetables are good for your dog, but certain ones like raw potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, or even onions can be hazardous or toxic to them.
Can one grape kill my dog?
This depends on the size of your dog. One or two grapes or even raisins can kill a dog who weighs 10 pounds or less. They contain a substance that is toxic for your dog so make sure you never give it to them and if they ingest it by mistake, take them to the vet immediately.
How soon after eating grapes can my dog get sick?
It depends on the sensitivity of your dog. Dogs who are allergic can become sick within 24-48 hours after eating grapes. The first sign is vomiting and diarrhea, followed by further deterioration of the dog’s condition. There will be residues of the grape in vomit, so you will be able to tell it is what they ate. You should take your dog immediately to their vet the instant you find out what they have eaten.
Can I give broccoli to my Havanese?
Yes, broccoli is a wonderful source of nutrition for your dogs. But they can only be served as snacks and in moderation because human food can lead to an upset tummy for your beloved pet. So if they already are eating a proper diet, your Havanese does not need extra meals, just small snacks sometimes.
What are the things that you must never give your dog?
Some of the most toxic products for your dog include:
- Corn and wheat gluten
- Meat and grain meals and by-products
- BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole)
- BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene)
- Food Dyes (Blue 2, Red 40, Yellow 5 and 6, 4-MIE)
- PG (Propylene Glycol)
- Rendered fat
The above list is the one that is present in commercially produced food, which is why you need to read the label carefully to see that they are not present.
Can I give the chicken to my dog every day?
You only need to give chicken separately when your dog is not taking any other kind of food formula. Even then, when giving chicken, be sure to cook it without any kind of spices or seasoning. It is also a good option for when you do not have dog food at hand, or when your dog’s stomach is not feeling well.
The Buyer’s Guide: Food For Havanese Dog Food
Now that you have a pet Havanese at home, you want to shop for their food immediately. But what are the things you should know first? Are there some things that are specifically needed? Some products that should not be a part of the formula?
The buyer’s guide will help you in making intelligent and healthy choices for your beloved canine family. Just keep in mind that no one formula fits all and you will need to experiment a little before hitting the absolute right choice that your dog loves.
Anytime you feel that your dog is having a bad reaction to a food, you should consult with your veterinarian immediately.
Here is all you need to know about what to look for in Havanese dog food.
When it comes to what nutrients do Havanese need, then the four most important things to consider are proteins, fats, carbs, and fiber.
Proteins are essential for all human beings, but those who are active need them in greater quantity, as proteins aid in the development of muscle mass. In other words, proteins should make up 50% of the formula. Proteins, or amino acids, are usually either animal-based or plant-based. For dogs, animal-based proteins aren’t only more healthy; they are also easier to digest. So opt for food products based on meats like whole chicken, turkey, beef, mutton, fish, venison, bison, or duck. These are the items that your dogs crave the most.
When reading the label, look for the major ingredients. They should be based on animal-based proteins.
Fats are essential too. Don’t think of them as something that lets your dog gain weight. In moderate quantity, they are necessary. When it comes to Havanese, they require relatively higher amounts of fats in their diets because they are so active all the time. It is fat that gives them the energy to remain this peppy throughout the day.
Check the label for animal sources like fats obtained from salmon oil or chicken fat. These are the ones best absorbed by your dog’s body. Plant oils are good and help in balancing out omega-3 and omega-6 content that is present in the dog food recipe.
Carbs or carbohydrates are misidentified as the culprit behind many diseases. Keep in mind that in excess, anything can be bad, but in low amounts, carbs are essential. Complex carbs make up at least 25% of the formula, and they come from sources like whole grains, vegetables, beans, and legumes. They are what give bursts of speed or energy to your dog for them to carry out their chores or playful activities.
The minimum fiber in your beloved pet’s diet has to be 5%. Fiber is what keeps the gut strong and efficient. It helps in creating bulk in the tummy and intestines, while also smoothing out the process of poop.
Vitamins and Minerals
These are also must-haves in the diet of your darling dog and are derived from fruits and vegetables. Some food-producing companies also add supplements to make them more power-packed. Some of the vitamins that out should look out for are vitamins A, C, D, and E when food shopping for Havanese. These are the nutrients that protect your puppy from a variety of diseases that are related to eyes, bone, and muscles.
Ingredients to Avoid
Now that you know what the beneficial food items are, you must also be well-versed on the food products that are a strict no-no when you shop for food for your Havanese.
- Raw foods: Most raw foods, particularly meats, aren’t all that healthy for your dog, which is why you should avoid giving them. They can give rise to upset stomach conditions in your pup and can also destroy their dental health.
- Excessive sugar: Sugar can be just as bad for our dogs as it is for us. Try not to give your dog any human food that is rich in sugar. Give fruits in moderation too, because they are high in sugar content.
- Artificial preservatives: BHA, BHT, and other artificial preservatives are toxic to your dogs. They are very damaging in the long run and banned in most European countries. Be on the lookout for them when reading the label of food products.
- Other additives: This includes everything from flavoring, to taste enhancers, to preservatives and colors. These things can lead to cancer and other major diseases in the long run.
Havanese Feeding Chart
Here is how you should feed your Havanese dogs according to their age.
- Puppy Havanese Diet: A Havanese puppy needs to be fed at least four times a day since they are too small to be able to consume much food in one or even two settings. The puppy needs at least 22% crude protein and about 8% crude fat to grow and develop healthily. Since the Havanese breed is extremely active and alert at all times, their metabolism is pretty fast, which means that you have to give them food items that are rich in nutrients but not heavy on the little tummies. The best way to do this is by opting for a food brand that specializes in small or toy breed food because it caters to the needs of small breeds.
- Adult Havanese Diet: Havanese puppies become an adult at the age of 12 months, and that is when you need to transition them to a diet made for adult toy breed dogs. When reading the label for adult Havanese dog food, you should notice that protein ratio is still high, but the calorie count is reduced somewhat because the last thing you need is an obese dog. As long as there are added supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin to keep your dog’s joints strong and immune system healthy, you are good to go.
- Senior Havanese Diet: It is mostly at the age of 7 to 8 when your Havanese start to slow down and enters the ripe age of a senior citizen. Now that they are getting slightly slower, you need to pay even more attention to how good a diet they consume. Their metabolism is also likely to suffer, along with their bones, joints, and teeth health. You won’t have to reduce their food intake so much, just give them a nutritiously rich diet. Opt for a food formula that has the needs of senior toy breed dogs in mind. This way, they will get all the supplements they need without packing on any extra pounds.
Keep in mind that feeding your Havanese 2-3 times a day is enough. There will be clear instructions on the back of the food packaging to give you a clear indication of how much food you should give them in a single day, Try not to up the dose as it can make your senior overweight.
Havanese Medical Issues
Havanese are a generally healthy breed with few medical conditions. But like all living things, they too can fall ill, and some of the most common health conditions include:
Most toy breeds and small dogs are susceptible to obesity when their activity is levels are low, and their food intake is high. Make sure you feed them only as much as they can burn off to reduce the chances of becoming fat or developing obesity.
This disease is prevalent among small dogs and distorts their legs, and hence their walk. The best way to prevent Leg-calve-Perthes disease is by giving your dog food formula that contains calcium, Vitamin D, and Vitamin K, as itenhances bone growth and aids in bone strength. Omega-3 does the same, so it should also be a part of your dog’s diet.
Even though this may not always be preventable, cataracts can be delayed when dogs are fed a proper diet, one that is rich in Vitamin A, beta-carotene, and lutein. These things are abundant in sweet potatoes, carrots, apricots, broccoli, pumpkin, and peas.
Keep in mind that so long as the food you feed your Havanese is healthy, the chances of them developing any kind of medical condition are reduced. Inclusion of vitamins, minerals, and appropriate protein content is the best way to ensure that your Havanese lives to a healthy and active life of 14-16 years, which is the range for a healthy Havanese.
If you notice that something seems wrong with your Havanese, be sure to take them to the vet immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment. Also, ask the vet to recommend the best food for your dog if they have a sensitive stomach, immune system, or some other condition that can be addressed by a proper diet.
My Remaining Picks for the Best Dog Foods for Havanese
9. Halo- Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver All Life Stages Small Breed Dry Dog Food
Holistic diets are an excellent option for your tiny pal, and Halo Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver All Life Stages Small Breed Dry Dog Food delivers. This food contains sustainably-raised, cage-free chicken as the very first ingredient and also features a variety of fruits and vegetables, along with added supplements. Some notable fruits/vegetables include non-GMO sweet potatoes, blueberries, carrots, and cranberries, which are the source of vitamins and minerals. The greatest thing about this formula is its meaty flavor, which is very attractive for even the pickiest eaters.
10. Taste of the Wild- High Prairie Puppy Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Puppies need a special diet, one that is rich and brimming with nutrition. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food offers you that with a balanced and well-formulated recipe. This grain-free formula contains animal proteins from buffalo and bison, along with the addition of peas and sweet potatoes, and is perfect for your Havanese puppy. The presence of real fruits and vegetables along with dried chicory root as prebiotic encourages healthy digestion and a well accomplished immune system. Since there are no grain, corn, wheat, filler, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, this dog food is perfect for pups with sensitive tummies.
11. Diamond- Naturals Small Breed Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food
Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food is the go-to choice for dog food by many pet parents. Why? Because it contains real meat, fresh fruits, and delicious vegetables. This formula includes cage-free chicken along with kale, pumpkin, blueberries, and oranges as the primary source of proteins, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Addition of probiotics and DHA aid in a healthy gut and improved brain and vision health. Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids promise a healthy coat and hair for your little canine friend. There are also no corn, wheat, filler, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
12. Now Fresh Grain-Free Small Breed Adult Recipe Dry Dog Food
Now Fresh Small Breed Adult Recipe boasts of 100% fresh turkey, salmon and duck, and Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids from coconuts and canola, which is why it is such a favorite among pet parents. Also present are wholesome berries, fruits, and veggies such as peas, spinach, cranberries, pumpkin, blackberries, alfalfa sprouts, kelp, lentils, and carrots, which are the main source of vitamins, minerals, and other supplements. There are absolutely no grains, gluten, wheat, beef, corn, soy, rendered meats, by-products or artificial preservatives, so you won’t have to worry about your dog developing any kind of diseases or allergic reaction from their food.
These were 12 of the best dog foods for the Havanese breed. I have researched them, experimented with them, and found them to be the absolute best on the market.
The only thing I want to stress is that every dog is an individual, and just because one Havanese is thriving on a certain formula does not guarantee that another one will too. So make sure you try out a few to see which one your little buddy loves the best. Happy dog food shopping.