Havanese Breed Maintenance
The proud bearer of a beautiful coat, the Havanese must be brushed at least twice every week to avoid the irritating and even painful matting and tangling that can plague dense and curly hair.
On this note: do Havanese shed and are Havanese hypoallergenic? Yes, but also, yes! The breed sheds very little hair and, although no breed of dog can be classed as 100% hypoallergenic, it’s certainly more allergy-friendly than many. Fabulous news to the dog-lovers out there who don’t have a great deal of choice when it comes to choosing a suitable pup.
Exactly how much you want to groom your Havanese is up to you but you may want to employ a professional groomer some of the time. A Havanese’s hair is important, especially, of course, if you have aspirations to put the dog in any shows.
In terms of teeth-brushing, a few times a week is generally sound advice for your canine’s canines.
Havanese health risks
No dog is totally immune to health problems, unfortunately, and the Havanese is no exception. Here are a few conditions that may be slightly more likely to affect this breed:
Normally a congenital defect but occasionally the result of an accident, a luxating patella refers to the dislocation of a dog’s kneecap. Surgery may be able to be prevented or, more likely, delayed through a dose of glucosamine, which will strengthen the dog’s ligaments.
More often than not, however, surgery on the knee will be required — at which point, depending on the severity of the condition, your dog should make a good recovery. The problem is painful for your dog but, in most cases, not too serious.
Often a congenital condition, deafness is relatively self-explanatory but certainly a sad thing for your dog to develop. The Havanese don’t have it as bad as some breeds — did you know that almost a third of all Dalmatians are deaf? — but it’s something to look out for.
Trickier to spot than many other conditions because there are no physical symptoms, deafness in your furry friend may become apparent to you when they are ignoring instructions, snapping at you when you touch them unexpectedly, or vocalizing in an unusual way.
There isn’t much vets can do about deafness but a deaf Havanese can still be a very happy Havanese . When do you go out, however, keep your furry friend on a leash if they’re deaf.
Legg-Calve-Perthes, or LCP, is a hip joint disorder that’s a common health issue in toy breeds like the Havanese. It causes stiffness and pain, and often occurs when a dog is relatively young, within the first year of its life.
In order to comprehensively take care of your Havanese — or whichever breed of dog you own — make sure you have the best possible pet insurance cover. In addition, a wellness plan can help you manage routine vet appointments.
A heart murmur can be a concerning sign of something not quite working properly in your dog’s heart. Typically diagnosed by a vet listening to your pet’s heart through a stethoscope, it tends to imply some kind of turbulence in the flow of your dog’s blood.
The murmur isn’t in itself a condition so a vet will need to examine the heart further in order to reach a diagnosis. Often no action is required but on other occasions it may be necessary to change your Havanese’s diet. In more serious scenarios, a vet may need to perform surgery or, if there is a tumor present, chemotherapy.
Havanese are vulnerable to chondrodysplasia, also known as osteochondrodysplasia. These terms refer to skeletal dwarfism, a genetic condition that slows the growth of bones and cartilage (‘chondro’ means cartilage). This can lead to deformities in a dog, causing pain and potentially arthritis later in life.
There are various things a vet can propose if your dog suffers from something that is causing chondrodysplasia (it can be caused by a wide range of problems including kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular defects): surgery is only performed if absolutely necessary, because it is painful and expensive; medication can help with the dog’s pain; or the growth hormone progestin could be prescribed, as it has shown itself to be effective.
Feeding a Havanese — what’s the best diet?
As we’ve said, a Havanese doesn’t rapidly burn off calories through exercise like hunting dogs, so you do need to go a bit easy on the amount of food you give your furry friend in case they start having weight-related health problems.
A Havanese adult should probably only be eating about 1.2 cups of good-quality food a day. Like most dogs, it’s good not to get into the habit of feeding your Havanese from the dinner table, and foods that are high in fat should be avoided when possible.
If you’re looking for a wealth of food advice when it comes to dogs, check out our aptly-named friends over at Dog Food Advisor. They have tons of products, information and reviews that will help you decide what and how to feed your Havanese.