- What is the Best Shampoo for Havanese
- Things to Consider When Shopping for a Top-Rated Havanese Shampoo
- The 3 Best Dog Shampoos for Havanese
- 3 Tips for Bathing a Havanese
Havanese are regal dogs with a lively personality and plenty of fur to match.
They may be a small bit high maintenance in the coat department, but your Havanese will reward you with a bright companion who loves people and has a gentle personality.
Let’s take a look at what you can do to keep your Havanese’s coat shiny and healthy, and how to maintain the overall look (whether traditional or shortly groomed).
What is the Best Shampoo for Havanese
Things to Consider When Shopping for a Top-Rated Havanese Shampoo
Your Havanese has a beautiful coat, but it’s certainly a challenge. It will require frequent brushing and conditioning to keep it soft and tangle free. It’s highly prone to mats, which can often hide irritated skin. In severe cases, your Havanese may lose coat volume altogether.
Choosing the right shampoo depends on a few factors. It’s important to pay attention to your shampoo to help reduce damage to the coat and skin irritations. Let’s take a look.
The Havanese coat helps protect against the sun in the areas of the world the Havanese calls home. Even if you don’t have a lot of sun where you are, you need to preserve the integrity of the coat. Double coated breeds have an undercoat and an outer coat, which can make it difficult to cleanse one without drying the other.
Gentle cleansers allow you to get down through the outer coat to get the undercoat and skin clean, but they won’t strip the outer coat of essential moisture. Harsh soaps certainly get the coat clean, but they’ll cause the skin to produce more protective oils in an attempt to soothe and repair itself. This vicious cycle can cause serious damage.
The Havanese coat will need some gentle conditioners to protect the hair shaft and to make it easier to brush the coat without tearing it. Conditioners should be very light so that you don’t weigh down the coat. The outer coat of the Havanese is light and has a good flow, so it shouldn’t be subjected to heavy conditioners that add too much oil and grease.
Gentle conditioners have ingredients like aloe and vitamin E, or avocado oils, for example, to provide natural moisture easily absorbed by the hair shaft. Conditioners should always come from natural ingredients so that you avoid greasy after-effects of heavy, artificial conditioners.
Your dog’s skin is still pretty sensitive, so cleansers that use natural products are better than ones that contain harsh, synthetic ingredients. Good natural ingredients include oatmeal and aloe to help soothe itchy irritated skin. Chamomile is also good for severely irritated skin. Avocado is good for natural conditioning. Things like almond and vanilla are natural scents to help combat the wet dog smell.
Check with your veterinarian when choosing your first shampoo to make sure that ingredients are suitable for your particular Havanese. Always, if you notice itching and irritation or flakes, discontinue the use of the shampoo until you know more.
The 3 Best Dog Shampoos for Havanese
|Our 2021 Picks: Best Havanese Shampoo|
Best Overall: Our favorite shampoo is Earthbath’s soothing Oatmeal and Aloe formula. Oatmeal helps reduce inflammation and stop itching that can cause damage to the skin while Aloe helps heal the skin’s surface. It has a natural vanilla and almond scent to help reduce that wet dog smell and keep your Havanese fresh until the next bath time.
It’s moisturizing and suitable for puppies over six weeks. It uses a 100% biodegradable formula with no parabens or sulfates that can cause allergic reactions or contaminate the groundwater. It helps restore shine and softness while maintaining overall skin health. Plus, it comes in a convenient one-gallon bottle for those of you with more than one Havanese in your household.
- gallon size available
- oatmeal to help with skin irritations
- moisturizing, natural formula
- some dogs may not like the scent
- not suitable for puppies
Runner Up – Our next top pick is Biosilk, a brand you may already know from their human line. These shampoos are specially formulated for a dog’s unique skin and pH with plenty of moisturizers to soften the coat and keep the skin healthy. It uses silk proteins in the company’s revolutionary formula that gently conditions the coat and improves the texture over time.
It’s safe to use with existing flea and tick treatments and uses a natural formula free of parabens and sulfates. There’s nothing to trigger itchiness or irritate the skin or eyes. Plus, it helps restore the moisture balance over time, repairing damage from harsh cleansers.
- helps restore moisture balance with long term use
- silk protein restores shine and softness
- contains gentle cleansers
- only one size bottle
- scent may not be strong enough for some
Best Organic Option – 4-Legger’s completely organic formula is hypoallergenic and designed to soothe skin and condition the coat. Lemongrass is naturally antibacterial which can help if your dog has any hotspots that can’t seem to heal. It has a fresh, citrus scent and contains no parabens or sulfates that can irritate.
Lemongrass is highly healing for multiple skin issues including fungus, yeast, and as we said, bacteria. It’s concentrated, but it may need some working to get a lather. It doesn’t use artificial thickeners, and all ingredients are from non-GMO sources.
It’s safe to use with flea and tick treatments, so you don’t have to worry about compromising your treatment plan or coordinating around treatments. The concentrated formula lasts a while, which is great for households with multiple pets because it only comes in one size bottle.
- lemongrass is antibacterial and anti-fungal
- non-GMO, natural ingredients
- longer-lasting concentrated formula
- only one size bottle
- the scent doesn’t last long
If you have a specific situation to solve with your shampoo, one of the following may be a better fit. Consider carefully if your Havanese is better suited to one of these unique circumstances.
Best For Fleas And Ticks – Richard’s Organics uses five different essential oils for a formula that helps kill fleas and ticks without using any harsh chemicals that can irritate your Havanese’s (or your) skin. It uses a natural, paraben-free formula for soothing itchy skin and creating a better coat condition.
The formula uses peppermint, clove, cedarwood, cinnamon, and rosemary essential oils to repel insects and kill them on contact. It also uses vitamin E to condition the skin and help it repair itself. It uses a simplified formula with no harsh cleansers or soaps that can strip the coat of natural oils. It should help balance any damage already done through flea and tick bites.
It’s safe for use on dogs who are 12 weeks or older, but it shouldn’t be used on cats. If you’re a multiple pet household, be careful that your cat doesn’t come in contact with the cleaner itself.
- five natural oils for conditioning and flea and tick solutions
- simplified formula with all natural ingredients
- conditions the skin
- not suitable for cats (multiple pet households beware)
- small bottle size
Best For Severely Irritated Skin –If your Havanese has persistent flaky, irritated skin, it may be time to address the root of the issue. Natural salicylic acid and Tea Tree Oil help your dog shed that irritated skin layer and begin to heal. Vitamin E and oatmeal help with itchiness and inflammation, moisturizing gently without weighing the coat down.
It also includes aloe vera, a known skin healer to gently condition the skin and improve its health with long term use. Papaya extract helps your Havanese smell amazing, and a soap-free formula means you never have to worry about stripping the coat of natural oils. It won’t interfere with your current flea and tick treatment either.
- natural salicylic acid conditions the skin
- Tea Tree Oil begins the healing process
- gentle moisturizers
- no coordinating conditioner
- consistency is slippery
Best For Puppies – Veterinary Formula’s shampoo is extra gentle for puppies’ delicate skin. It’s formulated with simple cleansers and contains no DEA. It’s safe for use in puppies as young as six weeks and is tearless to protect eyes.
It uses ultra-gentle cleaners to get rid of dirt and grime while leaving natural oils necessary for skin and coat health. It won’t interfere with any flea and tick treatments and is suitable for regular use.
- sensitive enough for young puppies
- no DEA
- not much scent
- Lather is weak
3 Tips for Bathing a Havanese
Double coated breeds can be tough to get completely clean. It helps to keep a few things in mind if you’re bathing. Let’s take a look at how you can make the process easier.
Double coated breeds have a water resistance that can make it difficult to distribute your shampoo. If your Havanese will tolerate it, run a warm bath and immerse the coat thoroughly in the water, allowing the water to reach all the way to the skin as you pull the coat gently apart with your fingers.
It can also be helpful to add the soap to your water and massage it into the skin as it soaks. After a few minutes, you can drain the water and run clean water. Continue this process until no more soap appears in the bath.
Brushing can also make it easier to bathe your Havanese. Knots will get much worse when wet, so a daily brushing habit can keep those knots at bay and make the coat smooth enough to pull apart in the water to reach the skin.
Also, make sure you brush gently right before putting your Havanese into the bath. It will make it easier to comb and dry the coat and help get any large debris out before it becomes stuck in wet hair.
Train For Baths
Help get your Havanese used to soaking calmly by starting small during the puppy years. Start allowing your puppy to play in warm water up to its feet at first and without soaps. As your puppy gets used to the water, gradually increase the depth until your puppy can calmly soak in water up to the shoulders or so. Never dunk your puppy’s head because this can create fear. Instead, use a soft washcloth to gently direct water to the top of the head.
Let’s answer a few questions you may still have about how to bathe your Havanese and get the best results from that gorgeous coat. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Can I Use Human Shampoo? – Your Havanese has soft, silky hair, but human shampoos can damage that pretty quickly. Human shampoos aren’t the right pH for dogs and can have the opposite effect that they would on your hair. You may love how your shampoo keeps your hair soft and silky, but prolonged use of Human shampoo can really damage your Havanese’s coat.
Stick with a shampoo formulated specially for dogs so that your Havanese’s coat maintains its health and shine. It’s better to let your Havanese go a little longer without a bath than substituting human shampoo even for one washing.
How Do I Keep My Havanese’s Coat Soft? – They don’t shed very much considering how much hair they have, but it’s going to take daily brushing to make sure the coat is healthy. If you choose the classic long Havanese cut, you need to commit to daily brushing to make sure knots and tangles are taken care of immediately, and to brush out any large debris that may have gotten caught.
Keep a light spray on hand to help make brushing easier. Brushing a dry coat can encourage breakage, so wetting the coat slightly and using a gentle brushing technique can get rid of tangles without breakage.
If you aren’t able to keep up with daily brushing, you may consider a much shorter cut to help keep the coat clean. Puppy style cuts are good for owners who aren’t able to keep up with daily grooming and can alleviate painful mats and tangles.