Because of its silky coat type, routine grooming is an absolute necessity for the Havanese dog breed. Brush your Havanese often, at least once or twice per week (more often if the coat is kept long). If you do not have the time to do this, the Havanese may not be the dog for you. Many Havanese owners choose to keep a shorter coat, in which case haircuts may be necessary every few weeks. Their coat protects them from the sun and they tolerate hot weather well and cold weather moderately.
As a moderately active little dog, the Havanese should get daily exercise but does not need a lot of it. With the proper outlets for their energy, these dogs are content to cuddle on your lap or play indoors. In fact, they can be great for city and apartment living.
Paper is a favorite toy for the Havanese, and this clever little breed will go out of his way to find it, even sniffing through the jackets of your guests. Toilet paper, which can give him hours of shredding pleasure, is a special treat. Toss him a roll, and your house will soon look like it’s been hit by Halloween pranksters.
The Havanese needs as much exercise as a larger dog. A long walk or an active game each day should do it.
However, a Havanese will not do well if you must leave it alone for long periods. They crave companionship, are known to have separation anxiety, and may develop destructive habits due to being unhappy and bored.
One drawback is that the Havanese can take longer to housebreak. You will need to be consistent during this period or provide a doggy door so the dog has access to the outside. Many of them don’t like to get wet, so it’s good to have a covered area available. On the other hand, if they grow up around water, they can be good swimmers. In general, the Havanese should be an indoor dog.
Common Health Problems
Responsible breeders strive to maintain the highest breed standards as established by kennel clubs like the AKC. Dogs bred by these standards are less likely to inherit health conditions. However, some hereditary health problems can occur in the breed.
The following are some conditions to be aware of:
- Deafness: This is often a congenital condition in the Havanese.
- Patellar Luxation: This is a loose knee joint that can lead to lameness and knee arthritis.
- Hip Dysplasia: While this is often thought to be a condition for large dogs, the Havanese are also prone to hip dysplasia. This can cause pain and lameness.
- Elbow Dysplasia: Havanese are also prone to elbow dysplasia and may need surgery.
- Hypothyroidism: The Havanese has a high rate of underactive thyroid glands and may it require treatment through the dog’s life.
- Allergies: The Havanese can have skin allergies to fleas, grass, and pollen, causing the dog to scratch and chew itself.
Diet and Nutrition
Feed your Havanese two meals a day with a total of one-half to one cup of dry dog food. Don’t leave out food for free-feeding or you may discover weight gain; obesity can reduce a dog’s lifespan and lead to other conditions. Discuss any weight gain with your veterinarian and what type of feeding schedule, food, and exercise is appropriate for your dog.
Avoid giving people food to your Havanese. Be aware that they are tricksters and can train you to feed them some of your food if you aren’t vigilant. Be consistent and ensure everyone in your family is as well.
Do Havanese like to Cuddle?
Are you a cuddly dog person? Do you like spending your lazy afternoons with your dog lounging on your lap? If so, and if you are interested in adopting a Havanese dog, you probably want to know how cuddly they are.
You will be pleased to know that while most dogs enjoy cuddles – in fact, I can’t think of a single dog that has ever disliked cuddling – Havanese dogs may enjoy it the most out of any of their canine brethren. These are perhaps the cuddliest dogs in the world.
Not only do Havanese like to cuddle, but they are fun to cuddle. Havanese dogs have silky hair that is wonderful to run your fingers through while you sit together on the sofa. Also, Havanese have extremely expressive eyes. Just one look from your Havanese dog and you will know it is cuddle time. They are practically begging you with their adorable eyes to be cuddled.
In fact, Havanese must be cuddled! If you leave a Havanese dog alone for too long, they can slip into a horrible depression which will result in behavioural problems and general unpleasantness for the animal. There is a reason Havanese dogs hang around you all day – they always love their families!
What about kids? Absolutely, Havanese dogs love to cuddle with their children’s owners. They will give never-ending attention to anyone who loves them back. They are extremely playful, they love to be affectionate, and they despise independence. If you were in a relationship with a Havanese dog, you would consider it a stage 5 clinger.
Grooming & Cuddling
One of the best things about having a cuddly Havanese dog is that you can groom them endlessly. While it is recommended to groom your Havanese dog at least once a day, you can definitely groom them all day long to their relaxed contentment.
Be sure to have your house stocked with appropriate grooming tools, like hairbrushes, toenail clippers, and specialized grooming brushes. I guarantee you will never get sick of grooming your dog’s shaggy coat. It is a great excuse to stop your busy day and cuddle your dog.
Havanese dogs are extremely social animals. They are most social if exposed to strangers at a young age. When your Havanese dog is a puppy, I highly suggest exposing them to new people and new animals as much as possible. Take your Havanese dog to the park when they are just a puppy, keep a close eye on them, and let them socialize.
While this may seem rude, I would argue that Havanese are extremely loyal no matter what. They simply prefer sitting in your lap rather than canoodling with some stranger.
Changes with Age
Temperament changes with age for Havanese dogs, the same as it does with people. While puppies have more energy and are generally more curious as they explore their surroundings, this can change with old age as your dog matures.
You may find older Havanese dogs like cuddling more. This may be because they grow lazier and more placid with age, because they lose a bit of their curiosity, or because they just get more comfortable with you. It is really anyone’s guess.
Cost of caring for a havanese
Here’s a quick rundown of everything you’ll else you might need to pay for at some point once you’ve bought your havanese (in no particular order):
- Dog toys
- Dietary expenses
- Pet sitters/boarding
- Puppy training
- Grooming expenses
- Veterinary care
- Preventative maintenance
- Emergency expenses
The above list covers a number of different things. There are a few things in there you may never have to pay for if you decide to handle them yourself, such as puppy training or dog sitting.
Veterinary care and emergency expenses however are a whole other matter. You will have to pay for licensing and vaccination shots for example. And there are a number of common health issues in Havanese, such as dysplasia, deafness, eye problems and heart defects. An annual wellness checkup might cost you around $200-300, and to include dental checkups and lab work, you may have to pay additional costs on top of that.
Depending on the particular needs of your pup, you could also be spending upwards of $100 every year on preventive medication and supplements. Emergency expenses should not be overlooked either. Even an emergency that does not require surgery can cost thousands of dollars.
To that end, it may be worth considering getting pet insurance. There are loads of different pet insurance plans available on the market today, with some offering really good value for money. If you decide to go down this route, please be sure to read the fine print, so you know exactly what is covered and what isn’t.
Is it worth it to raise a Havanese?
A Havanese dog can really make an excellent pet for a retired couple or a stay-at-home parent. And now that we’ve covered the various costs so thoroughly, you should now know whether you can both afford to buy a Havanese, and whether you can afford to adequately care for one.
So if you can afford all the financial costs involved, including caring for the Havanese, and you can commit to being a good, caring dog owner, then buying a Havanese is absolutely worth it.
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