6 Best Havanese Dog Food Plus Top Brands for Puppies & Seniors – 2019

Hailing from the island of Cuba, the Havanese is a delightful little dog with a long silky coat.

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The Havanese is a toy breed that stands 8.5t to 11.5 inches tall and weighs 7 to 13 pounds at maturity. Though he may be small, he packs a lot of personality into that little body and he absolutely loves to have fun. These dogs are very intelligent, and they like to make up their own games, though they also do well with obedience training and excel in many dog sports as well. They also make a great children’s companion and family pet.

Generally speaking, the Havanese is a healthy breed but his long coat requires a fair bit of maintenance. These dogs are not overly active, but they do like to play and they need a great deal of affection and attention on a daily basis. Though he may not be as long-lived as other toy breeds, he still has a long lifespan of 14 to 15 years on average.

Feeding your Havanese a high-quality diet is the key to keeping him happy and healthy for as long as possible. He needs a diet rich in premium animal proteins to support his lean muscle mass with plenty of healthy fats for energy and coat support. This breed can also benefit from joint-supporting nutrients due to his propensity for musculoskeletal issues.

Keep reading to learn more about your Havanese’s dietary requirements and to see our top 15 picks for the 2019 best dog food for Havanese.

Understanding a Havanese’s Diet Requirements

As is true for all dogs, your Havanese needs the right balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates in his diet. Protein provides the building blocks for healthy muscle and supports your dog’s lean muscle mass. This nutrient is best from animal sources like meat, poultry, and fish because these are complete sources of protein – they contain all 10 essential amino acids your dog needs.

In addition to plenty of animal protein, your Havanese requires high levels of healthy fat in his diet. Fats provide a concentrated source of energy for dogs and they are most biologically valuable when they come from animal sources like salmon oil or chicken fat. Plant oils can be used to balance out the omega-3 and omega-6 content of the recipe. For carbohydrates, look for digestible options like whole grains, vegetables, beans, and legumes with a maximum fiber content of 5%.

  • Puppy Havanese Diet – Your Havanese puppy needs a minimum of 22% crude protein and 8% crude fat in his diet to support healthy growth and development. As a small breed, your Havanese dog’s metabolism is very fast anyway, but puppies need additional energy while they’re growing. The best thing you can do is pick a high-quality puppy food formulated for toy or small breeds to ensure that your puppy’s nutrient and energy requirements are met.
  • Adult Havanese Diet – Once your puppy hits 12 months of age, you should switch to a small-breed adult recipe. These formulas are still rich in protein and healthy fats, but they are a little lower in calories than puppy food. You may also want to look for a recipe that is supplemented with glucosamine and chondroitin to keep your Havanese dog’s joints healthy.
  • Senior Havanese Diet – As your Havanese dog gets older, his metabolism may slow down a little bit. Toy and small breeds usually enter seniority around the age of 7 or 8, but you may not have to significantly reduce his intake at this point. Check the feeding recommendations on the dog food package or switch to a small-breed senior recipe to make sure you’re feeding your Havanese the right amount.

In terms of caloric density, your Havanese dog needs between 30 and 40 calories per pound of body weight, depending on his individual activity level as well as his age. This number could be closer to 40 for puppies and active adults but closer to 30 for senior Havanese dogs.

Special Dietary Considerations for Havanese

Generally speaking, the Havanese is a healthy breed with a long lifespan between 14 and 16 years. When it comes to inherited health problems, there are some instances of inherited hip dysplasia in the breed and, as a whole, the Havanese has a fairly high risk for musculoskeletal issues.

Here is a quick list of the other health problems to which the Havanese may be prone:

  • Cataracts
  • Chondrodysplasia
  • Deafness
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Heart Murmur
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Legg-Perthes Disease
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Portosystemic Shunt

Most of the health problems to which the breed is prone are eye problems, musculoskeletal problems, or heart problems. Let’s take a closer look at some of the conditions in each category.

Some of the eye problems that affect the Havanese breed include cataracts, retinal dysplasia, and tear stains. Cataracts are an opacity that forms in the lens of the eye, causing either a partial or total blockage of vision. It generally isn’t painful and may not require treatment unless it luxates. Retinal dysplasia is usually a hereditary condition that can occur in one or both eyes, and tear staining is a cosmetic issue usually caused by overactive tear glands.

Musculoskeletal problems are more common in large breed than in small breeds, but the Havanese has an increased risk for several conditions including hip and elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation, and Legg-Perthes Disease. Hip and elbow dysplasia are characterized by a malformation of the joint which causes the bone to pop in and out of the socket. Patellar luxation involves improper movement of the kneecap which can lead to abnormal gait and lameness. Legg-Perthes Disease is a deformity of the hip joint that causes progressive degeneration of the femoral head.

The Havanese is also prone to several cardiovascular problems. A heart murmur develops when there is a disturbance in blood flow and it is often an indicator of another disease. Portosystemic shunt occurs when blood from the digestive tract skips the liver where it should be filtered of toxins, resulting in high levels of toxicity in the blood.

The quality of your Havanese dog diet will determine his overall health and wellness in addition to supporting the management of any of these conditions. A balanced diet comprised of wholesome, digestible ingredients is the best for the Havanese breed.

Havanese Feeding Chart

The Havanese is a toy breed that only weighs up to 13 pounds at maturity. This means that he is likely to grow quickly and will hit his adult weight before he reaches a year old. This also means that the quality of his diet as a puppy is even more important to ensure healthy growth and development.

Start with a high-quality small-breed puppy food and follow the feeding recommendation on the package to determine how much to feed your Havanese puppy. Remember, this recommendation is for the entire day, so you’ll need to divide that amount into four small meals until your puppy is 6 months old or full-grown. From there, you can reduce it to three meals per day.

Once your Havanese reaches 12 months old, you should switch to a small-breed adult recipe. Remember, it needs to be rich in protein and healthy fats but made with highly digestible ingredients. Again, refer to the feeding recommendation on the package according to your dog’s age and weight then divide that amount into three meals per day. When your dog becomes a senior, you will need to recalculate his daily portion, but you may still want to feed him three times a day.

The Best Dog Food for Havanese: Our 2019 Top 15 Picks

Now that you’ve developed an understanding of your Havanese dog’s nutritional needs, you’re ready to start shopping for the best Havanese dog food. Remember, you need a small-breed formula made with quality animal proteins, healthy fats, and digestible carbohydrates.

It is also a benefit if the formula contains joint-supporting nutrients like glucosamine and chondroitin as well as natural sources for key vitamins and minerals. Here are our top 15 picks:

Wellness CORE RawRev Grain-Free Small Breed Freeze-Dried Turkey Recipe

Overall Best Food for Havanese Dogs: To make sure your Havanese gets the ideal balance of nutrients in his diet, try this Wellness CORE RawRev Grain-Free Small Breed Freeze-Dried Turkey Recipe. This recipe consists of high-protein kibble and freeze-dried raw pieces, so your dog gets the high-quality nutrition of raw food with the dental benefits of kibble. Made with real turkey and chicken, this recipe contains a whopping 38% protein with 15% fat for a highly concentrated source of energy. It is supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables as natural sources for key nutrients as well as chelated minerals to ensure nutritional balance. It also contains dried fermentation products for probiotic support.

  • Pros: High-protein kibble plus freeze-dried raw pieces, contains 38% protein and 15% fat, crunchy kibble cleans teeth, fresh fruits and vegetables, chelated minerals, probiotics
  • Cons: Very expensive to feed as a staple diet, some dogs may be sensitive to potatoes

Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Small Breed Salmon & Whitefish Recipe

Most Affordable Food: If you want to provide your Havanese with a nutritious diet but you don’t have a big budget to work with, this Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Small Breed Salmon & Whitefish Recipe is a good recipe to consider. Formulated specifically for small breeds, this recipe contains a wealth of wholesome natural ingredients including real salmon and whitefish which are valuable sources of both protein and healthy fats. This recipe also features grain-free carbohydrates like peas and potatoes with fresh fruits and vegetables for a boost of healthy nutrition. It also contains probiotics for digestibility.

  • Pros: Affordable recipe, quality protein and fat sources, fresh fruits and vegetables, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, nutrient-rich chicken fat, chelated minerals, probiotic supplements
  • Cons: Some dogs may be sensitive to chicken ingredients, could be higher in fat

Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free Recipe

Most Popular Food: If you’re not sure what to feed your Havanese, why not choose a recipe that is popular among dog owners? This Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free Recipe is uniquely formulated for small breeds and designed to provide balanced nutrition through wholesome and high-quality ingredients. This particular recipe features venison and garbanzo beans as the main ingredients with supplemental proteins like lamb, duck, and ocean fish. You’ll also be glad to know that it is supplemented with prebiotics and probiotics for healthy digestion.

  • Pros: Formulated for small breeds, several sources of novel protein, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, prebiotics and probiotics, blend of omega fatty acids, no artificial additives
  • Cons: Contains some plant protein (pea protein), main source of fat is plant-based (canola oil)

Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Small-Breed Recipe with Real Chicken

Super Premium Food: For a high-quality dog food that offers premium nutrition, consider this Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Small-Breed Recipe with Real Chicken. This recipe features high-protein kibble mixed with freeze-dried raw pieces to deliver the ideal blend of premium animal protein, healthy fats, and digestible grain-free carbohydrates. Real, cage-free chicken is the first ingredient and this dog food is packed with other natural ingredients like chickpeas, peas, coconut oil, salmon oil, blueberries, and more. It also contains chicken meal as a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support.

  • Pros: Premium quality nutrition, high-protein kibble and freeze-dried raw pieces, rich in essential fatty acids, fresh fruits and vegetables, probiotics, glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Cons: Very expensive to feed as a staple diet

Canidae Grain-Free PURE Petite Small Breed Salmon Formula

Best Food for Havanese Dogs with Allergies: If your Havanese suffers from food allergies, you should look for a limited ingredient diet made with wholesome, natural ingredients like this Canidae Grain-Free PURE Petite Small Breed Salmon Formula. This formula features just 8 main ingredients in a protein-rich, grain-free diet formulated specifically for small breeds. It is packed with protein from fresh salmon and salmon meal, both of which also provide a valuable source of healthy fats for energy and coat support. This recipe is supplemented with probiotics for digestion and antioxidants for immunity, plus it is completely free from artificial additives.

  • Pros: Made with just 8 main ingredients, single source of novel protein, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, probiotics for healthy digestion, rich in omega fats for healthy coat, all natural
  • Cons: Expensive to feed as a staple diet, main source of fat is plant-based (canola oil)

Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Small Breed Salmon & Potato Dog Food

Best Food for Havanese Dogs with Sensitive Stomachs: For Havanese dogs with sensitive stomachs, you need a highly digestible recipe made with a limited number of high-quality ingredients like this Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Small Breed Salmon & Potato Dog Food. This recipe is uniquely formulated for small breeds, so you can be sure it will provide the optimal blend of protein and fat. It also contains a single source of animal protein, salmon, which also acts as a natural source of healthy omega fatty acids. This recipe is supplemented with prebiotic fibers and probiotics to ensure healthy digestion and it is free from artificial additives that might upset your dog’s stomach.

  • Pros: Made with a limited number of high-quality ingredients, single source of animal protein, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, prebiotics and probiotics, rich in omega fatty acids, no artificial additives
  • Cons: Main source of fat is plant-based (canola oil), could be higher in fat

3 more Top Rated (5 Star) Havanese Adult Foods

Solid Gold Mighty Mini Lamb, Sweet Potato, & Cranberry Toy Breed Recipe

Formulated uniquely for toy and small breeds, this Solid Gold Mighty Mini Lamb, Sweet Potato, & Cranberry Toy Breed Recipe features novel sources of premium animal protein and digestible grain-free carbohydrates for a nutrient-rich diet. Providing a full 30% protein and 18% fat, this recipe will support your Havanese’s lean muscle mass as well as his fast metabolism. Plus, it is supplemented with probiotics to ensure healthy digestion.

FirstMate Small Bites Australian Lamb Meal Formula LID Grain-Free Dry Food

If you’re concerned about providing your Havanese with a high-quality diet, try this FirstMate Small Bites Australian Lamb Meal Formula LID Grain-Free Dry Food. Made with a single source of novel protein and digestible grain-free carbohydrates, this recipe is nutrient-rich and easy to digest. You’ll also be glad to know that it contains fresh fruits and vegetables as well as supplemental glucosamine for joint health.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Toy Breed Adult Chicken Recipe Dry Food

For a protein-rich recipe made specifically for toy breeds like your Havanese, this Blue Buffalo Wilderness Toy Breed Adult Chicken Recipe Dry Food is a great choice. Not only does it contain 36% protein and 16% fat, but it features real chicken as the main ingredient which is also a natural source of glucosamine. This recipe is supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables for nutritional balance as well as prebiotics and probiotics for healthy digestion.

3 More Top Rated (5 Star) Havanese Puppy Foods

Holistic Select Small & Mini Breed Puppy Anchovy, Sardine, & Chicken Meal Recipe

Formulated specifically for small and mini breed puppies, this Holistic Select Small & Mini Breed Puppy Anchovy, Sardine, & Chicken Meal Recipe is an all-natural, high-quality source of nutrition for your Havanese. It features several unique sources of protein which also act as healthy fats to support lean muscle mass and to provide concentrated sources of energy. This recipe is also supplemented with antioxidant-rich superfoods for nutritional balance and healthy immunity.

Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Puppy Turkey, Oatmeal, & Salmon Recipe

Complete and balanced for small breed puppies, this Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Puppy Turkey, Oatmeal, & Salmon Recipe is an excellent choice for your Havanese. It features deboned turkey, chicken meal, and salmon meal to provide protein-rich nutrition as well as plenty of essential fatty acids. This recipe is also made with fresh fruits and vegetables for nutritional balance with prebiotics and probiotics to ensure healthy and regular digestion.

Now Fresh Grain-Free Small-Breed Puppy Recipe

Though it may be more expensive than many dog foods, it is hard to beat the quality of this Now Fresh Grain-Free Small-Breed Puppy Recipe. This formula features deboned turkey as the main ingredient and it is completely free from artificial additives and low-quality fillers. It is grain-free and supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables for nutritional support, providing 28% protein and 18% fat. It also contains chelated minerals and probiotics.

2 More Picks for Senior Havanese Foods

Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Senior Recipe

To make sure your senior Havanese gets the nutrients he needs in the right ratios, try this Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Senior Recipe. This recipe is protein rich with moderate fat to support lean muscle mass without encouraging unhealthy weight gain. It features deboned chicken and chicken meal for healthy protein and natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin. This recipe also contains probiotics for healthy and regular digestion.

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small-Breed Senior Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Recipe

As your Havanese gets older, his needs for high-quality nutrition do not change so this Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small-Breed Senior Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Recipe would be an excellent choice. Featuring farm-raised chicken as the main source of protein and a natural source of glucosamine, this recipe supports your dog’s healthy body weight and healthy joints. Plus, it is made with digestible whole-grain carbohydrates and has plenty of essential fatty acids.

Our FAQ and Havanese Feeding Guide

In addition to knowing what to feed your Havanese dog, you should think about how you’re going to feed him. Choose a high-quality dog bowl made from durable materials that are easy to keep clean. Stainless-steel and ceramic are inexpensive options that also offer good quality. They are also less likely to scratch which can leave room for bacteria to grow.

Not only do you want to keep bacteria out of your dog’s food bowls, but you also want to keep it out of his food. Proper food storage is essential to keep your Havanese dog’s food safe and fresh. Once you open the bag, place it in an airtight container to keep it fresh. Don’t just pour the food into the container, however. Dog food bags are treated on the inside to help keep the food fresh, so you don’t want to lose that benefit.

And now, here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about feeding a Havanese:

How much food should I feed my Havanese? – As a general recommendation, you’ll be feeding your Havanese about ½ to 1 cup of food per day. Keep in mind, however, that the calorie content of every dog food is different, so you’ll need to follow the feeding recommendations on the package. These are determined according to your dog’s age and weight, so you may need to make adjustments as your dog grows or about every 6 months as he ages. And remember, the feeding recommendation on the package is for a whole day, so divide that amount by the number of desired meals to find out how big each meal should be.

How many times a day should I feed my Havanese? – When your Havanese is less than 6 months old, you may want to feed him four meals a day or simply keep his food bowl full. This is the best way to ensure that he gets the calories and nutrients he needs to develop properly. After 6 months, reduce your dog’s diet to three meals per day and maintain that number of meals into adulthood. When your Havanese becomes a senior, you may need to reduce to two meals per day, but you can also just reduce the size of each of three meals to prevent obesity.

What kind of food do Havanese eat? – When it comes to choosing a type of food for your Havanese, it is important to buy the highest quality food you can afford. If you can afford to feed raw, freeze-dried, or dehydrated food then, by all means, go for it! The higher the quality of your dog’s food, the healthier he will be. If you can’t afford that level of quality, look for a small-breed dog food made with wholesome ingredients including animal protein, healthy fats, and digestible carbohydrates. Dry food is generally preferable to wet food for small breeds like the Havanese because these dogs are prone to dental issues. Chewing on kibble helps remove plaque and tartar from the teeth to keep them clean and healthy.

What vegetables are good in a Havanese food? – In addition to making sure your Havanese gets the protein and fat he needs, he also needs vitamins and minerals. Most dog foods include synthetic supplements to ensure nutritional balance, but these are less biologically valuable than natural sources for the same nutrients. Fresh fruits and veggies in dog food provide those nutrients as well as dietary fiber. Here are some of the best vegetables for dogs:

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Green beans
  • Peas
  • Pumpkin
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potato
  • Zucchini

You should look for any of these vegetables in your dog’s food and consider feeding some of them as snacks or treats. Just make sure that any vegetables you offer your dog are washed to remove any trace of pesticide or chemical fertilizer and only offer small amounts at a time.

Do Havanese need grain-free dog food? – There is a great deal of controversy regarding the long-term safety of grain-free dog food, but there are also many benefits. Fortunately, the Havanese breed doesn’t seem to have a higher than normal risk for food allergies and sensitivities, so a grain-free diet may not be a necessity. Every dog is an individual, however, so if your dog develops signs of an allergy such as recurrent skin problems or ear infections, you might want to try a grain-free diet to see if it resolves the problem.

A Final Word

Your Havanese is your best friend and he deserves to be treated as such! Take the time to learn everything you can about his nutritional needs and then select the highest-quality dog food you can consistently afford to meet those needs. Look for wholesome, all-natural ingredients including premium animal proteins, healthy animal-based fats, and digestible carbohydrates with beneficial supplements for nutritional balance and digestive support.

If you’re still not sure where to start in choosing the best Havanese dog food, try one of our top 15 picks reviewed above!

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