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 a
bout $20.

Dental Care - "Let's have a big smile!"

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!