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9 Best (Healthiest) Dog Food for Havanese in 2020

The Havanese is the canine pride and joy of Cuba. It is the only native dog breed of the region since the Blanquito went extinct. The toy group pup is lively, energetic and full of love. Regal in stature and attitude, the Havanese will bring you years of joy, cuddles, and loyalty.

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Taste Of The Wild High Prairie

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This article will look at the common health issues and recommended feedings of the silky-haired dog. We will recommend what should and shouldn’t be in your dog’s food as well as provide you with a starting point to selecting the best brands.

Why Quality Food Matters for Your Havanese

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The puppy life stage should have more fats than any other stage, but you cannot let it become a habit. Into adulthood, the Havanese will need more crude proteins and vitamins from natural sources. By the time they are in the senior life stage, fewer proteins are okay as long as they are replaced by vitamins and minerals that protect teeth, bones, and muscles.

Havanese Common Health Issues

Havaneses have several health concerns that you should have checked out. Most honest breeders will show you papers and records of both parents. However, even the purest of gene pools don’t always protect your pup from these conditions.

  • Entropion – Eyelids are important to keep the eyes lubricated, clear of dust and debris and to help the eye recover from injuries. The eyelid, when affected by entropion, folds inward. This causes the eyelashes to rest and scratch on the eye surface. Over time this can cause injuries to the cornea and iris which will need to be treated medically. Left untreated your Havanese can experience keratitis or inner eye inflammation. It is a genetic disease, for the most part. However, there are several other factors thought to be a secondary cause. Poor diet can cause fat loss and muscle loss in the eye socket that can lead to the condition. The base treatment is careful monitoring and looking for a root cause. If none is found (meaning it is genetic) surgery is the only answer.
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes – Legg-Calve-Perthes, also known as LCP, is a condition that affects small dogs like the Havanese. It is similar to hip dysplasia where the hip bone, or ball socket section, is deformed or miss-sized. In LCP, it is the leg bone, or the ball section of the hip joint that is deformed or damaged. The most common reason for this is lack of proper blood supply to the area. This can be hereditary or caused by injury. It usually manifests as a lame leg, limping, rear leg pain and difficulty walking. You will most likely find this in your Havanese in the puppy life stage between five and 12 months. The treatment is surgery, which usually requires the removal of the ball end of the femur and moving the muscle to act as the joint. Surgery is accepted well and most recovery is near 90 percent. A simple X-ray will diagnose the condition if you fear your Havanese is suffering. Proper diet and nutrition for the puppy stage including vitamins and minerals for bone health and muscle growth can help to prevent the condition, though may not be 100 percent able to if the issue is genetic.


What to Look for in Quality Dog Food for Havanese

High-quality dog food matters. The ingredients matter and where those ingredients are sourced matters. Let’s take a look at what you should be looking for on the ingredient list for your Havanese.

  • Meat Proteins – The most important aspect is the protein. Dogs are designed to eat and process meat proteins. This means that vegetables, fruits, and berries should be secondary in their diet. Most of the crude protein and fats need to come from real meat sources. These sources can be chicken, beef, pork, game or fowl, but should be listed as which specific protein on the label. It should also be the first ingredient with most of the total crude proteins coming from this source.
  • Vegetables – Aside from meat proteins, carefully selected vegetables should be used to provide natural sources of vitamins and minerals. While there is nothing wrong with extra, or added, vitamins and minerals, the bulk should come from things like sweet potatoes, white potatoes, carrots, and kale. Fatty acids, Omega-3s, and other vitamins may come from other sources. However, most of the essential nutrients (aside from protein) should be sourced from fruits, veggies, and berries.

Ingredients to Avoid in Your Havanese’s Dog Food

Just as there are things to look for to include in your dog’s diet, there are a few things you should look to avoid completely.

  • Meat Byproduct – Anytime you see “meat byproduct” on the label you should walk away. If the meat source isn’t listed (for example “chicken byproduct”), you should run away. Byproduct is a food source that is essentially the waste portions of the animals at slaughter, animals that have died or become diseased and had to be put down, and expired meats added to the mixer that produces the byproduct (including the packaging it comes in). The FDA has mandated that byproduct is non-consumable for humans. However, it is allowed for canines. There is zero to no nutritional value of byproduct, no proteins and can actually make your dog sick.
  • Artificial Colors and Dyes – Another thing to look for are artificial colors and dyes. You recognize these on the label as things like Blue 40, or Yellow 5 & 6. Not only can these additives stain your dog’s fur, feet and face, they can also cause allergic reactions. While most Havanese are not highly susceptible to allergens, it is still best to avoid the chance. And since almost every Havanese pup has a white or light-colored muzzle, the staining will be prevalent.

Bad Dog Food Brands

There are several brands you should avoid. Some on the list may surprise you. However, marketing being what it is, the scary truth is that you don’t want to have these foods anywhere near your dog.

Each of the following brands is known to contain one or more of the ingredients you should avoid. This includes meat byproducts, artificial ingredients and may be lacking in any meat protein at all.

  • Purina Beneful
  • Ol’ Roy by Walmart
  • Iams
  • Pedigree
  • Kal Kan

Always ensure you double check the ingredient list before making a final purchase. You should also recheck the ingredients of your favorite brand regularly as recipes and manufacturing processes are known to change.

Havanese Feeding Chart

Individual dogs will vary on when and how much they eat. Even the nibbling Havaneses are known to be picky eaters. The following information is just a guide. If you think your dog may be eating too much or not enough, seek out the advice of your veterinarian.

Puppies should have between ¼ and 1/3 cup of food per meal. Puppies grow fast and for the first six to 12 months will need this amount three times per day.

After the 12th month, you can increase the amount to ½ cups per meal and feed twice a day. Some Havanese will need less, while others have been known to eat up to 2 cups per day.

Seniors will also need two daily feedings of about a ½ cup each. The amounts and frequencies of feedings will, of course, depend on the health, age and activity level of your specific pup.

Best Dog Food for Havanese

Finding your specific and favorite brand will be a matter of choice and trial and error. Finding the perfect match is crucial, though. This list should help get you started.

Merrick Grain-Free Real Chicken + Sweet Potato

Merrick Grain-Free Real Chicken + Sweet PotatoMerrick is well known for the attention to ingredients, only using what is essential to get the required proteins and fats. The new formula will net your dog a minimum of 38 percent crude proteins, 17 percent minimum fats and 3.5 percent fiber.

Most Havanese love the flavors and will devour the bowl as soon as it is placed in front of them. For those looking to avoid peas or white potatoes, though, you will need to look elsewhere. The first five listed ingredients are deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, sweet potatoes, and peas.


  • Very high crude protein levels to ensure growth and nutrition for the adult life stage.
  • Chicken and turkey proteins for essential nutrients.
  • Easily digested for most all Havanese.


  • Contains peas and white potatoes, which some choose to avoid.
  • Mixing with a wet food topper can quickly become too rich for the dog.
  • Overeating is possible and the high fat can lead to obesity.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo has high quality, naturally sourced ingredients for dog food. They have maintained their station and proven time, and again they deserve to be noticed, loved and used. Blue Buffalo never adds artificial ingredients and steers clear of the harmful grains that others use for filler, or to boost their content levels.

What you will find is a naturally sourced meat protein (chicken) along with easily digested grains (oatmeal, rice, etc.) along with a host of vitamins and minerals not found in some other high-end dog foods. Proper growth and bone support are inevitable with the Life Protection formula.

The first five ingredients on the label are deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, and oatmeal.


  • Easy to add wet food as a mix or topper without adding too many rich proteins.
  • Mixes well with just water for a softer, more flavorful gravy option.
  • Completely digests, leaving little waste and high energy.


  • Some Havanese avoid the food due to flavor or texture.
  • Lower Crude protein to fat ratio than some other brands.

NomNomNow Fresh Pet Food Delivery

NomNomNow is a dog food service that provides specific recipes based on whole, natural ingredients. They only use human grade foods and a ver limited ingredient list (most recipes are under eight ingredients, total.).

Each recipe is handmade weekly and delivered right to your door. The Porkalicious Potluck only has seven ingredients. The first five ingredients are pork, potatoes, kale, green beans, and mushrooms.


  • Food is delivered in portioned bags to avoid overfeeding or confusion.
  • Orders are placed automatically, so you never run out.
  • Most Havanese love all of the flavors leaving zero waste.


  • Buying in bulk is difficult for freshness and storage.
  • Limited recipes to choose from for a wider variety.

Best Puppy Food for Havanese

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy

Taste of the Wild brings flavors from across the country to your dog’s bowl. They select various regions and pull their proteins, vitamins, and minerals from naturally occurring plants, animals and foods of that area. Considered a more exotic protein source, you will find foods like salmon, buffalo, and lamb.

The first five ingredients of the High Prairie formula are buffalo, lamb meal, sweet potatoes, egg product, and pea protein.


  • Easily digested natural vitamins and minerals.
  • Provides plenty of protein for fast-growing pups and keeps them active and alert.
  • Mixes well with wet food or water.


  • With so many regional varieties, not all puppies will like all the flavors.
  • Lower crude fat levels around 17% are less than some other puppy formulas.

Nutro Ultra Puppy Chunks in Gravy

Nutro Ultra wet dog food has a high crude protein and fat content. The food itself is designed to be used as a stand-alone or mixed with a high protein dry food. The flavors are all natural, and there aren’t any additives to worry about.

The entire formula is designed for growing puppies, especially breeds that grow fast, like your Havanese. The first five ingredients are chicken broth, chicken, chicken liver, potato starch, and wheat gluten.


  • Easily mixes with dry foods for more flavor and added proteins.
  • Nine percent crude protein and seven percent crude fats give puppies energy and nutrition to grow.
  • Flavors are full, rich and enjoyable.


  • Does contain wheat, which some Havaneses are allergic to.
  • Can provide too much crude fat leading to obesity if mixed improperly.

Best Dog Food for Senior Havanese

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Senior

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Senior

Nutro Senior formulas have all the nutrients your dog needs to continue his active and healthy lifestyle. With glucosamine and chondroitin added for proper bone health and teeth support.

The dry food also mixes well with wet food and water for easier eating and protection of older teeth. The first five ingredients are deboned lamb, chicken meal, whole brown rice, brewers rice, and rice bran.


  • Easily digested for aging digestion tracts.
  • Flavors all dogs seem to enjoy thoroughly.
  • Mixes easily with wet food or plain water for easier eating.


  • Higher in crude fats which can cause obesity in less active seniors.
  • Doesn’t hold up well if not consumed right away after being mixed.

Nutro Senior Hearty Stews Grandma’s Farm

Nutro Senior wet food gives your senior the nutrition they need and the support required for aging bones, teeth and digestion. Each can is properly formulated to include low crude fat and high crude protein ratio.

Older dogs maintain a healthy appetite and active lifestyle with the naturally sourced items in the formula. The first five ingredients are water, lamb, lamb liver, ground rice, pea protein isolate, and sunflower oil.


  • Easily mixed with dry food for added nutrition where needed.
  • Older Havanese enjoy the flavor of the lamb and rice.
  • Included all the essential vitamins and minerals for older dogs.


  • Lower in crude fiber than most other senior brands.
  • Doesn’t work well for picky eaters as a stand-alone.

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