Caring For A Havanese
Grooming Your Havanese – “Looking good, kid!”

Grooming your Havanese not only keeps her/him looking good and
healthy, but it’s also a wonderful bonding activity, that helps grow the
relation between you and your dog.  

Typically the Havanese is kept in a full, flowing coat, which requires regular
brushing (typically 1-2 times per week) and a periodic shampoo.  Without a
regular brushing your dog's coat is likely to mat, being unsightly, unhealthy
& uncomfortable.  A thorough brushing is often achieved by lifting up
sections of the coat while brushing the coat underneath. Always brush your
dog until it is mat and knot free prior to a shampoo.  Water will tighten any
mats making them more difficult to undo.

1.        Brush – a Pin Brush is highly recommended and will be your
fundamental grooming item.   These are typically oval or oblong shaped
with wire “pins” spaced approximately ¼” apart protruding through a flexible
rubber backing.   They can be found in 6” or 8” sizes.  In the long run, it pays
to buy a quality pin brush since it will be used frequently.  
2.        Comb – A long tooth, metal comb, 6-8” long is usually most
effective.  Some varieties come with 2 different spacings of the teeth on
each half of the comb.  Another variation has a handle much like a brush.  
Try to find a “medium or fine” density comb, i.e., approximately 1/8”
between teeth.
3.        Shampoo and Conditioner – Only use shampoo or conditioner
developed for dogs.  Never use shampoo or conditioner intended for
people or babies – the pH is different between people and canines.  Many
shampoos or conditioners are sold as a concentrate and should be diluted
with water, so be sure to read the label.
4.        Dryer – a standard handheld hair dryer can be used on the
Havanese.  It should not be turned on “HOT” and must be kept moving
while drying or you can burn the skin. Lifting portions of the coat while
using th dryer will help the coat dry faster.
5.        Nail clipper – Clipping a puppy’s nails needs to be done
approximately every 2 weeks.  It’s often best if an experienced person
performs this or shows you how.  Many vets or groomers will do this for
under $10.

Dental Care

Good dental care is one of the most overlook aspects of caring for you
dog.  A thorough dental exam should take place between 6 months and 1
year of age, to be sure the dog's permanent teeth  have erupted correctly.

As in people dental plaque and tarter can cause gum infections and
ultimately lead towards the loss of teeth. Small dogs can be prone to
dental problems.  Regular brushing of your dogs teeth is highly
recommended.  This can be accomplished with a small toothbrush or
simply wrapping a gauze pad around a finger tip and rubbing your dog's
teeth.  Human toothpaste is not recommended for dogs as it can upset
their stomach.  Hard canine dental chews can help with your dog's dental
well being.

Common signs of dental problems in dogs include:

- Loss of appetite
- Red, swollen and bleeding gums
- Blood in the saliva
- Yellow-brown tartar at the gum line
- Broken teeth
- Foul breath

Toys – “It’s play time!!”

Havanese can turn just about anything into a toy.  They primarily play by
either chasing things and/or chewing things.  Some things will be cute,
some things will be irreplaceable and some things will be dangerous.  
Since puppies will go through a “teething” period, they will look for items
they can chew and likely swallow.  Puppy play needs to be supervised
and/or controlled.  Avoid (discard) any toy small enough to completely fit
inside a puppy’s mouth.

1.        Toys – There are 2 major categories of toys: (a) soft and plush (b)
hard and resilient.  
a.        The soft, plush toys typically come with a “squeaker” inside.  As most
puppies will eventually tear open the soft toys, when this happens be sure
to remove the squeaker before the dog chews & swallows it.  Same is true
of different pieces of the toy that become ripped off.  Be sure the toys aren’t
stuffed with small filling that can easily be swallowed, such as Beanie
babies.  Soft toys can also be pliable rubber with and without squeakers.
b.        Hard Toys – These are usually hard rubber or rubber like and may
help ease the pain of teething.  Some hard toys are made to conceal small
pieces of dog kibble.  These are good “brain teasers” and help to keep the
dog occupied.
2.        Home Made Toys – You will be amazed at what items a puppy can
turn into a toy, such as the cardboard core from paper towels.  You also
can make a toy out of a length of 1/4” sisal rope with a knot at the end.  
Throw away these items when they become shredded, so the dog won’t
swallow it.  Do not use old socks or shoes.  Puppies especially can’t tell
which shoes are OK to chew and which are not…they all smell the same!