The Havanese Coat and Care
Your Havanese has a fabulous "cotton floss" coat.
Oh to pet a Havanese...
A Havanese in my lap or at my feet. Pure joy.
Milo loves his summer haircut in this picture! And I too can't resist the famous "puppy cut." It's one of my favorites on Milo. It makes him look just like a teddy bear. That's one thing I love about my Havanese - there are so many fun clips you can have them cut in. True, they are known for their gorgeous long coat, but not everyone may choose to have their Havanese in the full length coat. That's fine, and that is up to you. Our Havanese just want to be loved and cuddled and they really don't mind what your favorite doggy hairstyle may be! I have found mine love putting on a show each time they are done being groomed! They prance around the house showing everyone their "new-do!" For AKC show purposes, the long coat is a must, but for hanging out on your bed, snuggle time by the tv, going to the park, and playing by the pool, you may choose other styles for your Havanese. No one's going to judge you if you can't resist a certain hairstyle. Havanese have such an amazing coat that they can be clipped in a bunch of different styles. Always be sure to take a picture to your groomer. That way your groomer knows what style you have in mind for your precious pooch. And if you don't want to have your Havanese clipped, no problem! Just be sure to brush them every day or two to keep any matts from sneaking in to their beautiful coat.
Caring for the Havanese Coat
A few minutes a day keeps the tangles away...
As mentioned above, brush your Havanese every day or every other day as needed. Be sure to pay attention to spots that are prone to matts such as: behind the ears, the back of the legs and around the tail, chest and belly.. Also, if your Havanese has a full beard be sure to check it frequently for matts and keep it clean. A super fine toothed flea comb (not for fleas!) is a great trick I read about for cleaning the fur around their eyes, it really does work great. Be gentle! Also a rotating detangling comb for any other areas is a must, and a long pin brush is one of my number one grooming tools. Please be sure to check out my links in the "Products We Love" section of this website.
When it comes to baths, dogs do not need frequent bathing like humans. The frequency will depend on whether they need a bath or not. You don't want to wash your Havanese too frequently because shampooing them too much can really dry out their coats. I always use a natural (paraben free) shampoo on my dogs. I love really love Buddy Wash shampoo and conditioner. Also Pro-Pet Works All Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo and Conditioner for dogs (check out the links in our Products We Love section.). After every bath, Havanese need to be blow dried on a warm setting (never hot!). If their coat is not blow dried, it can easily develop tangles because it is so soft and fine.
Be sure to keep their nails trimmed, and I highly recommend you start this practice when they are young. If you don't want to trim their nails yourself, you can take them in for a "pawdicure." The last time I checked this only costs about $10 - $20 at the groomer.
I actually prefer to use toe nail clippers when my Havanese are young, I have also used a dremel pet nail groomer to trim my dogs nails. These only cost about $30 on Amazon and in the long run with save you quite a bit on pawdicures. I know puppies can be wiggly, but if you start trimming their nails (even if only a few toes at at time), this will make it a "no big deal" item in your dog's grooming to-do's. For the link to the one I use please check out my links and recommendations page.
Dew Claws Do Matter
What are dew claws for anyway?
I felt it was appropriate to include this subject in the Havanese Coat and Care section of my website. In their paperwork, I always tell my puppy owners when I send them home to always let your groomer know that your puppy has its dew claws.
It is common practice for a breeder to remove the dew claws (the tiny claw further up their leg on the side of their front paws). This is usually done when the puppy is only three to four days old. Talk about a traumatic experience for the pup! I used to be one of those breeders that had the dew claws removed on my pups. However, I have chosen to stop having them removed from my puppies for a very important reason.
I came across a youtube video called Dew Claws Do Have a Purpose. It was of some Golden Retrievers who had fallen in through an icy pond. Long story short....all the dogs that had their dew claws were able to get out of the icy water. The dogs that had their dew claws removed had to be rescued by humans. We live in Florida and don't have ice to fall through, but we sure do have a lot of pools in this state. That is one of the main reasons why I refuse to remove the dew claws from my puppies any more. (The link to that video on youtube is at the end of this section.)
I believe if God gave a dog dew claws, He had a good reason in doing so. Did you know that dogs also use their dew claws when holding a bone between their paws to chew, and even when playing with their favorite toy? It has also been stated that when a dog runs at high speeds and makes quick turns the dew claws even stabilize the wrist!
I grew up overseas because my parents were missionaries, and my husband and I lived overseas for a long time too. In the countries we lived in, dew claws were never removed from a dog. In all those countries I never once saw a dog with a dew claw injury. Actually, in my forty years of life, I have never once seen dog with a dew claw injury. Sure it may happen, I'm not denying that, but it is quite rare. And yet the main reason for removal is always -- "The dew claws must be removed because they can tear off and injure the dog."
Always tell your groomer that your dog has its dew claws. If you have a good groomer, it is no problem to groom a dog with dew claws. I know this because I clip and groom all of my Havanese without any problem. If your groomer complains, tell them how important dew claws are for a dog.
*Note - I am certainly not saying if your dog falls in a pool, that it will be able to safely get out. Please always supervise your pets around water! I am just saying, I believe they have a far better chance of getting out of dangerous situations if they have all their dew claws.
Link to video of a group of goldens with and without dew claws in icy waters:
Dental Care - Toy Breeds
Do I REALLY need to brush my dog's teeth?
Yes, yes, and YES! If you are like me, perhaps you grew up with a larger dog and never really had to worry about their teeth. They were fine right into their old age without any problems. Toy breeds are different. They are prone to dental decay and even gum disease more so than larger breeds. Is this a problem? Not if you brush your dog's teeth. If you do not brush their teeth you will face serious dental problems later on and the huge bill will make you wish that you had actually taken a short amount of time each day to brush your Havanese's teeth. By even three years old your Havanese can develop tooth decay and gum disease if the teeth are not brushed. Whimzees and other dental treats can help too (supervise your dog always with these treats) but they do not completely replace needing to brush the teeth. I have recommended teeth cleaning items and treats in the Products We Love section on this site. Also you can simply take lint free cloth, like t-shirt material, and gently wipe down your dogs teeth every few days, this can help a lot too, and alternate this with brushing every few days. Also, simply water and a toothbrush, or a soft cloth will do just fine. I sometimes think its better to just use water than all those toothpastes often since your dog swallows the paste.