Best Dog Food For Havanese: Havanese looking at his food

5 Best Dog Food For Havanese (2020 Reviews)

Havanese originally developed in Cuba and took its name their name there, which means the ‘little dog of Havana’. Then, their endless energy, affectionate personality, and their staggering intelligence made Havanese perfect companions for every household around the world. That is why owners of the Havanese always want the best for their beloved pets, including providing them the best beds, best toys, and the dog food.

However, finding the right dog food is not as easy as it sounds because you should consider your pup’s needs and preferences. Therefore, we prepared a list of the dog foods that we think are the best choices for Havanese. Also, below the list, we provided you with a buyer’s guide that we believe will be very helpful to you when you’re making your choice.

Here are the 5 dog food for Havanese for a quick glance: 

  • Instinct Original Grain-Free Dog Food
  • WholeHearted Grain-Free Salmon and Pea Recipe Dry Dog Food
  • Rachael Ray Small-Breed Dry Dog Food, Real Chicken & Veggies
  • Holistic Select Dry Dog Food Grain-Free Salmon Anchovy & Sardine
  • Blue Buffalo High Protein Grain-Free, Dog Food Chicken Recipe

Our Top Pick: Instinct Original Grain-Free Dog Food

Most dog lovers know that Instinct is a very trustworthy company that makes really good dog foods, and Instinct Original Grain-Free Dog Food is one of them. This dog food has a very good list of ingredients and also has a very high protein content, so, it is an excellent option for active Havanese.

Real chicken meat is listed as the first ingredient in this dog food, and it provides the highest protein content in this product. Other sources of protein are chicken, turkey, and salmon meals. Salmon meal makes this dog food very high in Omega-3 fatty acids, and they are very beneficial for your pup’s skin and immune system.

This dog food is grain free, so, it does not contain grains such as corn, wheat, and barley. So, if your Havanese has any allergies to any of such ingredients, this dog food would be among the best you can get for him.

Instead of the grains, the manufacturer decided to include vegetables such as chickpeas and peas to provide a healthy source of carbs for your pup. It also includes carrots, apples, and cranberries, and all of them are filled with fiber, and they have antioxidant properties.

However, we should mention that both peas and chickpeas also contain a fair amount of protein, so, some of the protein content in this dog food probably comes from them.

Runner Up: WholeHearted Grain-Free Salmon and Pea Recipe Dry Dog Food

We love to give a place to products that are lesser known but underrated, and this recipe of WholeHearted is one of them. WholeHearted Grain-Free Salmon and Pea Recipe Dry Dog Food has a straightforward and high-quality recipe, and it is perfect for Havanese that is sensitive to specific ingredients usually found in dog foods.

Salmon and salmon meal are the first two ingredients in this dog food, and they will provide all the protein needs of your dog. However, we should mention that considering that the recipe has salmon as the first ingredient, Omega-3 fatty acid levels are not that impressive.

We already mentioned that this product has a very simple recipe, and it does not contain any grains such as wheat, corn, or rice. Sources of carbohydrates come from ingredients like chickpeas and peas, which are both sources of fiber and various vitamins.

We should also mention that this product contains flaxseed, and it has several benefits such as reducing the inflammation in pups that have kidney disease, helping the immune and digestive system. So, for Havanese that have any digestive problems, flaxseed makes this dog food one of the best options in the market.

The only downside about this product is that it contains pea flour. It is a by-product of peas, and it is a low-quality ingredient that is used to bind the kibble.

Best for Budget: Rachael Ray Small-Breed Dry Dog Food, Real Chicken & Veggies

Rachael Ray Small-Breed Dry Dog Food, Real Chicken & Veggies is a small breed recipe with small kibble size, which makes it perfect for your pup’s small bites. Not the mention this dog food has a perfect flavor that your pup will probably won’t be able to get enough of.

Turkey is the first listed ingredient in this dog food, and it is the primary protein source, and the second listed ingredient is the turkey meal. Turkey has a lot of benefits for dogs, including containing a high level of phosphorous, which helps regulate metabolism. 

It also has the right amount of vitamin B2 in it, which is essential for producing energy for your Havanese. This recipe also contains a fair amount of venison, which is not only a good source of vitamin B but also contains zinc, phosphorous, and iron.

We should mention that this product is not grain free and contains brown rice, whole ground corn, and corn gluten meal. So, if you’re Havanese has a sensitivity to those ingredients, this dog food might not be the best choice for it.

This product also contains cranberries, and it has antioxidant properties. But, other than that, this product does not have any significant amount of vegetables or fruits as the carb source.

Best Seafood Recipe: Holistic Select Dry Dog Food Grain-Free Salmon Anchovy & Sardine

Holistic Select Dry Dog Food Grain-Free Salmon Anchovy and Sardine is another selection that we believe that goes under the radar. It has very high-quality ingredients that will fulfill your dog’s all the dietary needs and provide the energy to get through its days.

The first listed ingredient in this product is salmon, and the second listed ingredient in this product is anchovy and sardine, which makes this product full of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. So, you can be sure that your pup’s coat will shine better than ever, and it will have a better immune system to resist any kinds of diseases.

This dog food does not contain any grains, wheat gluten, or corn. Instead, it contains healthy carbs such as carrots, potatoes, peas, pumpkin, cranberries, and apples. While all of these vegetables and fruits have several benefits for your dog, carrots, and pumpkin are especially beneficial for your pup because of their antioxidant properties, and also both of them are excellent sources of beta-carotene.

We should mention that the protein content could be higher in this product. So, if you’re trying to get your pup on a high protein diet, this dog food might not be the best option for your Havanese.

Best High Protein: Blue Buffalo High Protein Grain-Free, Dog Food Chicken Recipe

The quality of the products of Blue Buffalo varies a lot; however, we believe Blue Buffalo High Protein Grain-Free, Dog Food Chicken Recipe is one of their finest ones. This is a grain-free product with a high protein content that we think your pup will definitely love its flavor.

Deboned chicken is the first listed ingredient in this one, and it will provide the primary source of protein for your pup’s daily protein needs. Chicken meal is the second ingredient, and it is filled with glucosamine, which makes this dog food one of the best options for senior Havanese with sore joints and muscles.

Instead of grains, the manufacturer decided to go for a lot of different vegetables, including peas, sweet potatoes, blueberries, parsley, and cranberries. Parsley is known for its ability to freshen a dog’s breath, but it also has many several other benefits. Parsley has anti-inflammatory properties, and it can be beneficial for dogs that have inflammatory issues, including arthritis.

We should mention that this dog food is very rich in both Omega-3 fatty acids and Omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids content comes from menhaden fish meal, and it will help your dog to have a healthier and shinier coat. Omega-6 fatty acids content comes from flaxseed, which has several benefits from helping your pup to have a healthy kidney to promote better digestion.

Kibbles of a dog food

Buyer’s Guide

What Should Be in Your Pup’s Dog Food?

High-Quality Protein

The high-quality protein content is the number one ingredient that you should look for when getting a dog food for your Havanese. Because even though their fluffy tail and amazingly cute face don’t necessarily show, Havanese are evolved from predators like wild wolves and protein is the main source that ensures that they will live a healthy and fulfilling life.

Protein is a macronutrient, and it is one of the big three along with carbohydrates and fat. Macro means large, and the protein is a macronutrient because your pup needs it in large amounts. Protein is made up of little building blocks called amino acids, and when your Havanese digest the protein, those amino acids are used by its body to manufacture other proteins.

Also, just like humans, dogs’ system does not store protein, so it is crucial that your pup gets adequate protein every day. That is why the best thing you can do for your Havanese would be to get a dog food that has high-quality protein content.

Protein has various benefits, including building muscle mass, repairing damaged muscles, providing energy, and promoting a healthy and shiny coat. Diets that are low in protein can cause some issues with your Havanese such as lethargy, weakness and even change in behavior and the best way to avoid that would be to provide him a diet that has protein.

Dogs should get around 20-25% of their daily nutrition from proteins. However, we should mention that this amount should be a little higher for pregnant dogs, puppies, and dogs that are very active.

healthy Food for Havanese


Just like proteins, fats are also vital for your pooch to enjoy a healthy life. Fats are essential for providing energy to your pup’s body, they are necessary for the absorption of vitamins, and protecting the brain and heart health

However, it doesn’t mean that every food that contains fat is healthy but you probably already know that if your Havanese is devouring French fries, it is not the best way for it to fulfill its need for fat. There are different types of fats, and there is a clear distinction between healthy and unhealthy fats.

First, there are bad trans fats. They are usually found in fast food products, commercial foods, and pastries. Trans fats don’t have any known health benefits the consumption of them should be minimized both by you and your pet.

Then, there are saturated fats. They are usually found in animal products such as dairy products and animal meats. Consuming too many saturated fats can be harmful to humans and raise cholesterol levels; however, dogs don’t have to worry about that issue, and they usually only benefit from a high saturated fat diet.

Other than that, there are unsaturated fats. There are two types of unsaturated fats, which are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats are usually found in vegetables such as avocado and olive oil.

Also, there are polyunsaturated fats. There are two types of polyunsaturated fats: Omega-3 fatty acids and Omega-6 fatty acids. They are both very beneficial for dogs.

Omega-3 fatty acids are usually found oily fish such as salmon and menhaden fish. They promote healthier skin and better immune system, and they can even reduce allergic reactions.

Omega-6 fatty acids are usually found in vegetable oils, including sunflower and corn, so, they are more readily available for consumption. They are beneficial for the functioning of the digestive system, and they are essential for reproduction in dogs.

Healthy fats have a lot of different benefits for dogs so, the best thing you can you would be to take into consideration the healthy fat content of the dog food you’re getting for your Havanese.


Carbohydrates are another macronutrient they are often found in dog foods; however, what differs them from protein and fat is that it is not necessary for them to be included in a dog’s diet. However, when consumed in moderate amounts and if the right carbohydrates are taken, they can even be beneficial for your dog.

Just like fats, all carbs are not the same, and some carbs can be very healthy for your pup, and some carbs can issue for your dog.

Good carbs are usually found in vegetables and fruits, and most of them have excellent nutritional values that can benefit your pup. For instance, carrots have very low calories, and they are full of fiber and several vitamins. Peas benefit digestion, and they help regulate your pup’s blood sugar levels. Also, flaxseed is very good at relieving healthy joint, and they are also beneficial for a better immune system.

Bad carbs are usually found in foods that have high glycemic index such as, grains, rice, and sugar. When consumed too much, they will cause a ‘sugar spike’ in your Havanese so the best approach would be to minimize them as much as possible when getting a food for your dog.


Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals, and even though they don’t have to be consumed as much as them, micronutrients are also essential to provide a healthy and balanced diet for your Havanese. For instance, zinc is one of the most used minerals in dog’s body and should definitely be in its diet because its deficiency can cause issues such as chronic digestive issues, dermatitis and even in some cases, organ failures. Other than zinc, magnesium supplementation is a huge one. Magnesium is a natural relaxant, and it is directly related to muscle health. It helps your dog to contract and relax its muscles, and it is also very significant for muscle regeneration. Other essential minerals include calcium, potassium, sodium, and iron and they all have different benefits, and the best way to provide them adequately to your Havanese is to check in ingredients list when you’re buying a dog food for your pup.
havanese dog bed

How Much Dog Food Does Your Havanese Need?

It might be surprising to hear that, but small breeds usually need more food per pound compared to the larger breeds. Because they have a higher metabolism and they burn what they eat faster.Dogs on average usually need around 30 calories per pound a day. Small breeds that are less than 20 lbs. might need up to 40 calories per pound a day. Havanese usually weights between 10-17 pounds (4.5-7.5 kg’s), so by this calculation, we could say that Havanese needs between 300-510 calories every day.

We should mention that this is a rough calculation and it is best to consider different factors when determining the amount of food you’re giving to your Havanese; for instance, if you live in a place with hot climate or if your dog is overweight, your pup will need fewer calories.

On the other hand, if you have a pup that is very active or that is pregnant, daily calorie amount should be increased.

How Often Should You Feed Your Havanese?

This is a topic that is usually argued about heavily, and there are a different point of views with valid reasons for every one of them. Some believe that you should feed your dog three times a day, some say that two should be the upper limit.

We look at this situation from an evolutionary perspective, and since your Havanese is a descendant of wild wolves, we believe that feeding in a way that wolves were feeding would make sense. So, our advice for the dog owners with pups that are older than 12 months, we advise them not to feed them more than twice a day, and we believe there are a lot of valid reasons for that.

Because when your pup starts feeding, its metabolism will begin to work. This will happen even if it consumes a little snack. So, there will not be a chance for its gut to refresh itself and create healthy bacteria.

That is why we also believe that fasting your Havanese by depriving it of its beloved food can be one of the best things you can do for your dog. By fasting, we mean not giving it any food or snacks for a couple of days, and, no our intention is not to make your pup or starve it to death.

Before you start to think that we’re crazy and leave this website forever, we advise you to listen to our reasons for a second.

First of all, as mentioned above, not consuming food regularly will give your pup’s gut a break from working, and it will have a chance to recharge itself and create healthy bacteria.

Also, its digestive system does much more than digesting foods, and most of the immune system of a dog takes place in its gut. So, it will have a chance to do its other duties, such as preventing your dog from getting diseases from harmful hormones, vaccines, and antibiotics that are commonly found in almost every food.

As mentioned above, we are huge believers of fasting and think that depriving your Havanese of its dog food would be one of the best ways to give it a healthier and maybe even longer life, but we leave the decision to you but advise you the do more research about that.

Common Health Problems In Havanese


Cataracts (cloudy lenses) are eye disease, and it is one of the most commonly encountered conditions in Havanese. One of the most common causes of cataracts is diabetes and, in fact, 75% of the dogs that have diabetes are diagnosed for cataracts. Cataracts are a severe issue, and if it is not diagnosed early, it can have severe consequences.

Of course, the best way to be harmed the least by that issue would be to take the necessary precautions to prevent this issue from ever happening. As mentioned above, diabetes is the number cause of cataracts.

Just like humans, two types of diabetes are encountered in dogs: Type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.

We’ll start with type 2 diabetes since it is the one that is known more. Type 2 diabetes can be caused by two things, and they are eating too many carbohydrates and obesity. The way it happens is that a dog’s body cannot handle too much insulin production and begins to resist it because it is receiving much more sugar than it can handle.

Since type two diabetes is usually caused by the wrong diet, the best way to prevent your Havanese from getting this disease would be to implement the right diet for it by choosing a dog food that suits its needs.

However, we should also mention that type 1 diabetes occur more than type 2 diabetes in dogs, and it is even more serious. Type 1 diabetes is the failure of the pancreas to produce enough insulin. So, the body is not able to convert glucose into energy, and that usually causes symptoms like fatigue, vomiting, and weight loss. The treatment of this issue is much harder, and in some cases, life-long insulin shots might be necessary.


Dogs are not different from us in the way that they get all the allergies that we get. They can get seasonal allergies, food allergies, and skin allergies. Skin allergies also called atopic dermatitis, are the one that is commonly seen in Havanese.

Most of the time, their feet, belly, skin, and ears are the places that are most affected by this issue. The symptoms can start to show themselves from the age of three, and they can worsen every year. Constantly licking the paws and constant itching are the most common, and they resemble the symptoms of a food allergy a lot.

So, although there is not enough evidence to support that there is a strong correlation between them, experts believe that there might be a connection between the two.

Whether or not there is a connection between the two, the best thing to do would be to take precautions and removing the ingredients that your Havanese has allergies to from its diet and be careful about them when getting a dog food for your pup.

Also, it is possible that your pup has already allergies to a food and you have not been able to find what is causing the problem. In that case, there is a method that is called ‘elimination diet’ which is suggested by vets, and you can implement it to your pup’s diet.

To do that, you have to remove the possible allergy causing ingredients from your dog’s diet and see if the symptoms are diminishing if so, you should put that ingredient slowly back into your pup’s food and see if the symptoms will reoccur. If that is the case, you managed to find the allergy-causing ingredient

Best Dog Food For Havanese: Havanase in a park

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is an orthopedic disease, and it is a condition that affects the hip joint. Hip dysplasia is a disease that happens when the hip joint moves differently than its usual way of moving, and it ends up damaging the socket.

It is a condition that is usually seen in larger dogs, but sometimes it can be seen in smaller dogs as well, and Havanese are no exception to that. We should mention that hip dysplasia is not caused by diet, but like most of the other things, it can play a role in the prevention and the management of it.

As we mentioned above, a high protein diet is very beneficial for dogs to recover from injuries and to repair damaging muscles. So, we believe that a diet that is high in protein is the way to go if you have a pup that has hip dysplasia.

However, we should mention that unlike arthritis, high protein dog food will probably not be enough to fix your pup’s problem and if you have a Havanese that suffers from this issue, surgery would be probably the best solution for her.

Elbow Dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia is a disease that is caused in dogs when the elbow grows unnaturally and cause a disturbance in the elbow joint. Even though they are generally a healthy breed, this is one of the issues that Havanese are susceptible to.

There are several claims about the causes of this problem, and they include trauma, genetics, and diet.

Since this disease is caused by the overgrowth of the elbow, a lot of people think that this issue might be caused by a high protein diet that is implemented to dogs when they are at a young age.

Even though that sounds like a plausible argument since protein is the number one macronutrient that will help dogs to thrive, we believe that this not actually the case. Even from a young age, dogs should not have problems with high protein diets because it is how they are wired.

There is also one study that supports our belief, which clearly states that giving dogs a high protein diet does not cause any irregularities of bone development. So, if you’ve ever read that giving your Havanese a high protein dog food might actually cause elbow dysplasia in your pup, we suggest that you to continue to do so because it is the best way for them to have a healthy life.

Conclusion: 5 Best Dog Beds for Havanese (2020 Reviews)

Because of all their lovely traits, Havanese just makes unbelievable pets and just like in everything, they deserve the best nutrition they can get, and that’s what we tried to do in this article. We wanted to provide you with the best foods for Havanese that are available in the market today.

We hope that both the list and the buyer’s guide were helpful to you to find the best dog food for your Havanese!

Alaaddin Sarac

I've been an avid dog enthusiast since childhood. I started this blog in hopes of helping owners find answers to questions I had after owning my first dog. This website was created as a way to share our love for all things canine with the world. From choosing the best food for your older dog to get the best beds for your tail-wagger, I aim to give you the information you need to give your dog the best care throughout his entire life.