Feeding Your Havanese

feeding_timeSo Many Choices
A balanced diet is important whether feeding a commercial dog food or home prepared meals. Read labels carefully and get as much information as possible to make an informed decision. There is not one single right way to feed your Havanese. There are many options available: commercial kibble, kibble/canned, home made, natural or raw. The choice is yours according to your preparation time, pocket book and personal preferences. It has been commented that Havanese are picky eaters, this is not necessarily so; however I would have to say that Havanese can be quirky eaters.

Havanese are people dogs, exceedingly devoted companions, so much so, that they would rather be at their owners side than anywhere else, all the time including mealtimes. Mealtime wandering and nibbling are not uncommon. My female is a mealtime wanderer. At first, I thought it was just an amusing and intriguing quirk that was uniquely hers, but as I talked to Havanese owners around the world, I discovered that many other Havanese do this too. This is how it goes, the food is put down in the bowl in the kitchen. If I stay in the kitchen, she will munch her meal happily. But if I leave the room, then she will grab up a mouthful of food, follow me to wherever I go, drop the food on the floor and eat it up one piece at a time. Then she will run back to the kitchen for another mouthful. She will quite happily eat her meal one mouthful at a time, in the bathroom, den, livingroom etc. There are many Havanese mealtime wanderers and almost as many nibblers, where they eat little bits throughout the day but don’t empty the bowl all at once. The nibbling and wandering habit can certainly be curtailed by other dogs in the home who come along and empty the bowl in short order.... unless you have multiple Havanese with similar quirks. Oddly enough, mine respect each others dishes and each one gets their own portion of food. Overeating does not seem to be a big problem with the Havanese but it can become one.

All dogs love cookies and treats. The Havanese is no exception. Just remember to indulge your pet sparingly as Havanese are a toy dog whose daily food requirement is quite small. A Havanese who does not empty the bowl is not necessarily a picky eater. New owners can become quite distraught about their pet not getting enough and may decide to supplement the diet with tasty hand fed morsels. Whether a dog is hungry or not, they are unlikely to turn away from cheese, chicken and other tasty tidbits and in no time at all you may have a self-caused weight problem. A Havanese appetite and daily food requirement may be much smaller than many people imagine. Your Havanese should maintain a slim trim figure and you should be able to easily feel the ribs when you run your hands along the body. If your Havanese is not eating his whole portion of food, it may be that he has had enough to eat and is not hungry. If they are hungry, they will eat.

If other problems are present like itching, chewing feet or tail, dry coat and skin, vomiting, loose or frequent stools and corporophagia, then there may be something else going on. These problems may stem from digestive disorders, food allergies or intolerances, which are more of a diet problem rather than a feeding problem and will need special attention.