Choosing the Right Food for Your Havanese: Nutrition Tips and Recommendations

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By LITTLE PUPPY PAWS | May 16, 2023
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Feeding your Havanese a well-balanced and appropriate diet is crucial for their overall health and well-being. As a small and active breed, Havanese dogs have specific nutritional needs that should be met to ensure they receive optimal nutrition. 

The Havanese is a small breed of dog that requires a specific type of nutrition to maintain optimal health. They are prone to certain health issues, such as dental problems, obesity, and allergies. Therefore, choosing the right dog food for your Havanese is essential to ensure they receive the proper nutrients to stay healthy.

What is a Well-Balanced Diet for a Havanese Like?

A well-balanced diet for a Havanese consists of high-quality dog food that provides all the essential nutrients they need for optimal health. Here are some key components of a balanced diet for your Havanese:

Importance of Protein for Havanese

Protein is a vital nutrient for all dogs, including Havanese. It plays a crucial role in building and repairing tissues, making enzymes, and providing energy. Dogs require a high-protein diet, and Havanese is no exception. Protein should comprise at least 25% of your Havanese’s daily caloric intake. Good protein sources include chicken, beef, turkey, fish, and lamb.

However, not all proteins are created equal. The protein in your Havanese diet should be high-quality and come from animal sources. Plant-based proteins are less digestible and less bioavailable, which means your dog may not be able to absorb all the nutrients they need. Some plant-based proteins, such as soy, may cause allergies or digestive issues in some dogs. Therefore, it’s important to choose a high-quality, animal-based protein source for your Havanese.

Importance of Carbohydrates for Havanese

Carbohydrates provide energy for your Havanese and are essential to their diet. However, not all carbohydrates are created equal. Simple carbohydrates, such as sugar, can cause blood sugar spikes and crashes, leading to obesity and dental problems. Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains and vegetables, are a better option as they provide sustained energy and are rich in nutrients.

Havanese dogs are prone to dental problems, and feeding them dry kibble can help prevent plaque buildup. Dry kibble contains complex carbohydrates that help clean teeth as your dog chews. However, it’s essential to choose a high-quality kibble that is free from fillers and artificial preservatives. Look for kibble that contains whole grains, such as brown rice, barley, or oatmeal, and vegetables, such as sweet potatoes or peas.

Importance of Fat for Havanese

Fat is an essential nutrient for your Havanese, providing energy and aiding in absorbing fat-soluble vitamins. It also plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy skin and coats. However, too much fat can lead to obesity, a significant health concern for Havanese.

A balanced diet for your Havanese should contain about 15-20% fat. Good sources of fat include chicken fat, fish oil, and flaxseed. It’s important to choose high-quality fats that are easy to digest and provide a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil and flaxseed, are particularly important for Havanese as they help reduce inflammation and promote healthy skin and coat.

Importance of Fiber for Havanese

Fiber is essential for maintaining digestive health and preventing constipation. Havanese dogs are prone to digestive issues, and a high-fiber diet can help keep things moving smoothly. Good sources of fiber include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Introducing fiber gradually into your Havanese diet is important to avoid digestive upset. Too much fiber can lead to diarrhea or bloating. A balanced diet for your Havanese should contain around 3-5% fiber. High-fiber diets are also beneficial for weight management as they can help your dog feel full without consuming excess calories.

Importance of Water for Havanese

Water is essential for all dogs, including Havanese. It plays a crucial role in regulating body temperature, aiding digestion, and flushing out toxins. Ensure your Havanese has access to fresh, clean water at all times. You can also add water to your Havanese food to help prevent dehydration.

Common Allergies in Havanese

Havanese dogs are prone to food allergies and sensitivities. Common food allergens include chicken, beef, dairy, and grains. Symptoms of food allergies can include itching, digestive upset, and ear infections.

If you suspect your Havanese has a food allergy, consult with your veterinarian. They may recommend an elimination diet or allergy testing to identify the allergen. Once the allergen is identified, it’s important to avoid it completely.

Avoiding Fillers and Artificial Preservatives

Fillers and artificial preservatives can be harmful to your Havanese’s health. Fillers are added to pet food to bulk it up and provide cheap calories. They offer little to no nutritional value and can lead to digestive upset, obesity, and other health problems.

Artificial preservatives are added to pet food to extend its shelf life. However, some preservatives, such as BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin, have been linked to cancer and other health issues. Look for pet food that is free from fillers and artificial preservatives.

Wet Food versus Dry Food

When feeding your Havanese, you can eat wet or dry food. Wet food can be a good option for dogs who are picky eaters or have dental issues. It’s also beneficial for dogs who don’t drink enough water as it contains more moisture than dry food.

Dry food is a more convenient option and can benefit dental health as it helps clean teeth. It’s also less expensive than wet food. However, it’s important to choose a high-quality kibble that is free from fillers and artificial preservatives.

Homemade Food versus Commercial Food

Some pet owners prefer to make their dog’s food at home. While homemade food can be a good option, ensuring your Havanese receives a balanced diet with all the necessary nutrients. Homemade diets can be difficult to balance correctly and can lead to nutrient deficiencies if not done correctly.

Commercial pet food is formulated to provide a balanced diet for your Havanese. Look for pet food that is free from fillers and artificial preservatives and contains high-quality animal-based proteins.

Feeding Schedule

Establishing a feeding schedule is essential for your Havanese’s health. It helps regulate their digestion and can prevent overeating, which can lead to obesity. Puppies require more frequent feedings, while adult dogs can be fed twice daily.

Portion Control

Portion control is crucial for maintaining your Havanese weight. Feeding your dog the recommended amount of food for its size and activity level is important. Overfeeding can lead to obesity and other health problems.


Treats are an important part of your Havanese diet. They can be used for training, as a reward, or as a special treat. However, it’s important to choose healthy treats that are free from fillers and artificial preservatives.

Supplements for Havanese

Supplements can be a good addition to your Havanese diet, but they should always supplement a balanced diet. Consult with your veterinarian before adding any supplements to your dog’s diet.

Omega-3 fatty acids can benefit your Havanese coat and skin health. They can also help reduce inflammation and improve cognitive function. Probiotics can also be beneficial for digestive health and immune function.

Obesity Prevention

Obesity is a common problem in Havanese dogs. It can lead to other health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and joint problems. Prevention is key, and it starts with a balanced diet and regular exercise.

Limit treats and table scraps, and stick to portion control when feeding your Havanese. Ensure they get regular exercise, including daily walks and playtime. If your Havanese is overweight, consult your veterinarian for a weight loss plan.

Senior Havanese Nutrition

As your Havanese age, their nutritional needs may change. They may require a diet lower in calories to prevent obesity, but still high in protein to maintain muscle mass. Senior dog food is formulated to meet the needs of aging dogs and may contain added supplements for joint health and cognitive function.

Dental Health

Dental health is essential for your Havanese’s overall health. Feeding your dog dry food can help clean their teeth, but brushing their teeth regularly and providing dental chews or toys is also important. Regular dental check-ups with your veterinarian can also help prevent dental problems.

Nutritional Needs for Pregnant or Nursing Havanese

Pregnant and nursing Havanese require a diet higher in calories and nutrients. It’s important to choose high-quality dog food formulated for pregnancy and lactation. Consult with your veterinarian for specific recommendations.

Transitioning to a New Diet

When transitioning to a new diet, it’s important to do so gradually to avoid digestive upset. Start by mixing a small amount of the new food with your Havanese’s current food and gradually increase the amount over several days. Monitor your dog for any signs of digestive upset.

Importance of Reading Dog Food Labels

Reading dog food labels is essential to ensure your Havanese gets a balanced and nutritious diet. Look for high-quality animal-based proteins as the first ingredient, avoid fillers and artificial preservatives, and ensure the food meets AAFCO standards.


Feeding your Havanese a balanced and nutritious diet is essential for their health and well-being. Choose a high-quality dog food free from fillers and artificial preservatives that meets your dog’s nutritional needs. Consult your veterinarian for specific recommendations and regularly monitor your Havanese’s weight and overall health. Your Havanese can live a long and healthy life with the right diet and care.