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Best Dog Foods For Havanese: Puppies, Adults & Seniors


Last Updated: May 9, 2024 | 13 min read | Leave a Comment

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The Havanese is a delightful doggy who has won many admirers in America. So, it’s safe to say that there are many out there, all of whom deserve the very best. And that includes what you put into his bowl.

He might be a small, fluffy pooch, but he has bundles of energy. Make sure he gets all the nutrients he needs to fuel his fun days ahead. We’ll take you on a Cuban canine food tour, including all the nutrients needed at every stage of his life and what ingredients pack the most nutrition.

Plus, we have found the best dog foods on the market to suit every Havanese, taking all the hard work out of your decision so you can spend more time cuddling and playing with your bestie.

At A Glance: Best Dog Food For Havanese

Our Rating

Best For Puppies

Diamond Naturals Small Beed Puppy

The Farmer's Dog Food Products (3 flavors)
Our Rating

Best For Adults

The Farmer’s Dog

Holistic Select Small Breed Puppy
Our Rating

Best For Seniors

Blue Buffalo Small Breed Senior

Puppy Nutrient Needs

Adorable, happy Havanese puppy caught in motion while running on vibrant green grass
Always feed your Havanese pup food that is specifically designed for puppies.

Havanese make adorable, fluffy puppies. This is why people fall head over (Cuban) heels in love with them worldwide. And this is probably why you have a Hav pup in your life. But they’ve got a lot of growing to do, and it’s your job to give them the best start to life with the best nutrition. Your pup should be weaned off his mother’s milk at around six weeks old, so he’ll be ready for mealtime when you bring him home.

Puppy foods have more protein, energy, and healthy fats than all life-stage foods for healthy development. It’s also important to feed him puppy food that is specifically designed for small pups. His small mouth might struggle to eat normal-sized kibble. Plus, they contain optimized nutrition for his small body compared to large dog breeds.

Regarding fats, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (ARA) are particularly important because they are naturally found in mothers’ milk. They assist with healthy cognitive and vision development. Ingredients such as meat meals, fish, fish oils, and eggs are great DHA and ARA sources to look out for in the ingredients list. Poor quality recipes rarely have adequate amounts of omega fatty acids for puppy development.

Protein is the main source of puppy growing power as it contains amino acids, which are the essential building blocks in all living things. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) recommends that puppies need a minimum protein content of 22%. If the first ingredient in the list is meat, it’s likely to be a good-quality brand. Vitamins and minerals are also important components of puppy food, as it supports immunity development. Look for fresh fruits and veggies, as well as added supplements.

Adult Nutrient Needs

Cute Bichon Havanese puppy dog is lying beside a red bowl of dog food and looking at camera
What should you look for an adult dog food for your growing pup?

Your Havanese should be switched to his adult food around the age of 12 months. He has completed most of his growing by now, so he needs less fuel. Otherwise, he’ll become a chunky Cuban canine. Adult formulas focus on a well-balanced diet instead. It’s also important that you focus on your dog’s needs. If you think your pooch is intolerant of certain ingredients, switch him to an option that doesn’t include it. Excessive gas and tear-staining are signs of food intolerance.

His diet should consist of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, omega fats, vitamins, and minerals. AAFCO recommends that adult dogs eat a diet that provides them with a minimum protein content of 18%. Always look for meat listed as the first ingredient. Meat meals are a great source of protein too. As well as healthy omega fats for a lush coat and glucosamine for his hardworking joints.

Look for nutrient-dense ingredients, such as blood meal and dried kelp. As well as antioxidants, including blueberries and cranberries, that supply his body with nutrients for his immunity. If your Havanese struggles with digestion, look for prebiotic fibers such as soothing pumpkin, chicory root, or beet pulp. Probiotic ingredients such as dried lactobacillus plantarum fermentation products promote friendly bacteria in his gut for better gut health and immunity.

Senior Nutrient Needs

White senior Havanese Dog Relaxing in a Dog Bed
A senior dog’s needs are different than a puppy’s.

You should switch your Havanese from adult food to senior formulas around the age of eight years old. His nutritional needs are changing again, so it is really important to make the switch to senior food to meet his nutritional needs. Be careful to gradually switch dog foods to avoid any stomach upset. Again, high-quality small breed-specific food is required.

Your Havanese’s senior years require less energy and fats because he is less active. If you continue feeding him adult food, he’ll become overweight, which increases the chances of weight-related health concerns. You’ll feed him the same amount as you did adult food, but the difference is senior kibble is less calorific. Many senior recipes have higher fiber contents, too, to keep him feeling fuller between mealtimes.

Just like us, your Havanese’s joints become sore and stiff. Glucosamine and chondroitin support his joints, so senior dog foods have a higher content of these. Ingredients to look for are meat meals, fish, fish oil, cartilage, green-lipped mussels, and added supplements. Nutrient-dense ingredients, antioxidants, and vitamin and mineral supplements are even more important now because they support his weakening immune system.

Best Food For Havanese Puppies

Puppyhood is arguably the most important nutritional life stage, so it’s important to get it right for your pup. Here are the best foods for Havanese puppies.

Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy

Wellness Complete Small Puppy Food
  • No artificial fillers, flavors, or colors.
  • Real meat is the first ingredient.
  • Made with real cage-free chicken.
  • Amino acid profile supports muscle growth.
  • Made in the USA from sustainable sources.
  • Includes blueberries, kale, and carrots.
  • Veggies supply fiber for young puppies.

This option is budget-friendly without compromising on quality. Plus, it is available to buy in a large 40-pound bag which is fantastic if you are lucky enough to have more than one Havanese pup. This option provides a protein content of 32%, and chicken and chicken meal are the first two ingredients. The chicken is cage-free which is great for eco-conscious buyers too.

This recipe is packed with antioxidants thanks to superfoods like kale, chia seed, pumpkin, blueberries, oranges, coconut, papaya, and many more. Each kibble piece is fortified with K9 strain probiotics meaning that he’ll receive beneficial live cultures with every bite.

We love that this recipe has the highest fat content on this list, giving him plenty of puppy-growing power.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Puppy

Canidae Puppy Small Breed
  • Super 7 package with antioxidants.
  • DHA for brain health.
  • Omega fatty acids for skin & coat.
  • No corn, wheat, or soy.
  • First ingredient is deboned chicken.
  • 415 Calories per cup.
  • 29% Protein, 17% Fat, 5% Fiber.

Blue Buffalo has created this recipe with small breed pups in mind, and the kibble pieces are perfectly sized. The life protection range provides a well-balanced diet. The protein content is 29%, and deboned chicken and chicken meal are the first two ingredients on the list. This recipe uses gentle oatmeal as the main grain, and this option provides a high-fiber diet which is great for his gut.

Menhaden fish meal, fish oil, and egg product are also listed, which provides plenty of DHA and ARA for his developmental needs. This option also has the highest omega-three fatty acid content on this list. Reviewers loved how shiny it made their pups’ coats. Dried kelp is rich in calcium which supports strong and healthy bones.

We love that this recipe contains LifeSource Bits, which are kibble pieces optimized for small-breed puppy development. They contain seven superfoods, including fats, probiotics, and antioxidants.

Solid Gold Small Breed Puppy Food

Merrick Lil Plates Senior Formula Food
  • Grain-free recipe.
  • Made for toy and small breeds.
  • Single meat protein source.
  • Contains pumpkin for healthy digestion.
  • Chicken is primary ingredient.
  • 450 Calories per cup.
  • 30% Protein, 18% Fat, 4% Fiber.

The pieces in this kibble are small enough for toy breeds, making this an ideal pick for your pup. This is the only grain-free option on this list, and instead uses chickpeas and peas to provide slow-release energy. Sweet potato and pumpkin are also listed, which is great for his fibrous needs and gut health. The protein content is 30%, and chicken and chicken meal are the first two ingredients.

Eggs, ocean fish meal, and salmon oil supply the DHA and ARA needed for his cognitive development. And they also nourish his skin and coat from the inside out. An optimized blend of vitamin and mineral supplements keeps your pup fighting fit. As well as 20 superfoods to boost his immunity.

We love that this recipe is the best option for those wanting to feed their extra small pup a grain-free diet.

Wellness Complete Small Breed Puppy

Blue Buffalo Small Breed Puppy.
  • Designed specifically for small dogs.
  • Does not contain meat by-products.
  • No corn, wheat, or soy.
  • No artificial fillers or preservatives.
  • Made in the United States.
  • 489 Calories per cup.
  • 28% Protein, 19% Fat, 4.25% Fiber.

Wellness is a well-known brand that produces top-quality foods. This option is from their complete health range, which takes care of all your pup’s nutritional needs. This is a grain-inclusive recipe that uses gentle oatmeal and wholesome brown rice. The protein content is 28%, and chicken and chicken are the top two ingredients. Salmon meal and menhaden fish meal supply an extra boost of protein and DHA for his cognitive development.

Carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, blueberries, and apples provide the antioxidants he needs. Each piece is covered in Wellness’s exclusive acticoat solution, a mixture of omega fats, more vitamins, and probiotics. Reviewers loved how this kibble impressed their fussy eaters.

We love that this recipe has a long list of probiotic ingredients. Making this a great option for pups who need extra digestive support or excessive gas.

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient

American Journey Limited Ingredient Formula Salmon Recipe
  • Budget-friendly.
  • Gluten free.
  • Made for all breeds.
  • Pea, soy, corn and wheat free.
  • Made in the United States.
  • 370 Calories per cup.
  • 22% Protein, 12% Fat, 4% Fiber.

This kibble is not specifically made for small-breed puppies. But it checks all the boxes, and the pieces are small enough for most small breeds. We like to include a limited ingredient diet for most breeds because it is often the best pick for sensitive pups. Made with only a handful of key ingredients, you can be sure that everything listed benefits your pup’s health. Without any fillers or unnecessary ingredients.

Lamb and lamb meal are the only meat protein ingredients that are easy to digest proteins. Brown rice is the main grain without corn, wheat, or soy. Flaxseed takes good care of his coat health, and fish oil provides the DHA and ARA for puppy development. The recipe is fortified with vitamins and minerals to ensure he receives all the goodness he needs.

We love that this recipe is a limited-ingredient diet that is also chicken-free. This is the top pick for any Havanese who is intolerant of this ingredient.

Best Food For Havanese Adults

Your Havanese’s adult diet is all about being well-balanced and meeting his dietary needs. Always pick something that suits your budget and requirements, and you can’t go far wrong. Here are our top dog food picks for adult Havanese and their nutritional needs.

The Farmer's Dog

  • Cooked fresh, flash-frozen, and shipped to you.
  • Personalized meal plans.
  • 4 healthy, vet-designed options: beef, chicken, turkey, or pork.
  • Made with human-grade ingredients (no fillers or preservatives).
  • Manufactured in the United States.
  • Calories and nutritional values vary based on recipe.

Your Havanese deserves quality food as an adult. That’s why The Farmer’s Dog is our top pick for this stage of life. Not only is The Farmer’s Dog made with high-quality ingredients, but their four fresh options are delicious and nutritious. Its human-grade recipes are developed by nutritionists that ensure a balanced diet.

The Farmer’s Dog is made with a variety of fresh produce and vegetables. The ingredients will vary depending on which meat recipe you go with. All of these fiber-rich superfoods pack a lot of nutrients, maintaining a robust immune system. They are AAFCO-certified for all life stages, and the meal plan is customized for your unique Havanese, so you can feel confident that your dog’s next meal meets all of his needs to keep him healthy and strong.

We recommend that you add grains to their meals by mixing in kibble or rice.

We love that these recipes are cooked fresh based on a personalized meal plan for your best friend. And since every ingredient is human-grade, you can be sure that your dog is getting the very best dog food possible.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Adult

  • Budget-friendly.
  • Made with high-quality ingredients.
  • Glucosamine for joint health.
  • DHA for brain development.
  • No corn, wheat, or soy.
  • 397 Calories per cup.
  • 26% Protein, 15% Fat, 4% Fiber.

This pick follows directly from the Blue Buffalo puppy option that we recommended for Havanese pups. So if he liked that kibble, this one would surely be a big Havanese hit. It has a protein content of 26%, starting with protein-rich deboned chicken and chicken meal. Blueberries, cranberries, and dried kelp are rich in antioxidants for his overall wellness and strong bones.

This grain-inclusive recipe includes wholesome brown rice and gentle oatmeal as the main grains. Menhaden fish meal and eggs provide healthy omega-three fats and DHA for his cognitive health. Flaxseed is rich in omega-six fats, and it is a top ingredient for his coat health. Dried chicory root is a great source of natural prebiotic fiber. There is a long list of probiotic ingredients to promote healthy bacteria in his digestive tract.

We love that this recipe has packed seven superfoods into their LifeSource Bits. These are extra-optimized pieces tailored to the needs of small-breed adults.

Solid Gold Wee Small Breed

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Lamb & Brown Rice Formula Small Breed Bites
  • Crafted for toy and small breed dogs.
  • Probiotic support for gut health.
  • Made with nutritious whole grains.
  • Formulated with 20 nutrient-rich superfoods like pumpkin, cranberries, blueberries, carrots, broccoli, almond oil, kelp, and lentils.
  • No corn, wheat, or soy.

This recipe is a different flavor compared to the puppy option that we chose. This pick is a grain-inclusive recipe that lists nutritious peas and gentle oatmeal as grain replacements. Yummy bison and tasty ocean fish meal are the first two ingredients that supply adults with various amino acids. All are important for continued muscle maintenance and energy.

This formula is enriched with 20 superfoods that are highly nutritious and beneficial for your Havanese’s immunity, digestive support, and overall wellness. Pumpkin is soothing for his gut, and the long list of probiotic ingredients keeps his digestive system regular and healthy. Reviewers loved the digestive support it gave their pups compared to others they’d tried.

We love that this recipe has the highest omega-three content. This means your Havanese’s coat looks healthy and feels lovely and silky.

Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ Small Breed

  • Features enhanced botanical oils to promote alertness and mental sharpness.
  • Specially made for dogs age 7+.
  • Chicken is the first ingredient.
  • Bite-sized kibble makes chewing easier for small dogs.
  • EPA, an omega-3 fatty acid, and glucosamine for joint health and mobility.

This option follows the limited-ingredient puppy option that we recommended. So if your Havanese did well on this recipe, there is no reason why he shouldn’t do well on this one. It is also better because the shapes are designed for smaller breeds. This recipe is fortified with vitamin and mineral supplements.

Lamb is the first ingredient here, which is a gentle meat to digest. This option has a lower protein content compared to our other picks too. Making this a great choice for those dogs who find highly meaty recipes too rich to process. It still exceeds AAFCO guidelines, so you can be sure that your Hav gets everything he needs from this recipe.

We love that this recipe is a limited-ingredient diet, ideal for those with sensitive stomachs.

Merrick Lil' Plates Small Breed Adult

American Journey Active Life Formula Salmon, Brown Rice & Vegetables
  • Grain-free dry food with chicken for small dogs.
  • Real deboned chicken as the first ingredient.
  • Formulated with prebiotic and probiotic fiber.
  • Made with a crunchy texture in a small kibble size to help reduce plaque and keep teeth clean.
  • Cooked in the USA.

This recipe is full of high-quality meats that are lean, nutritious, and super tasty. The protein makes up 38%, one of the highest contents on the market. If your Hav is a fussy pup, he is sure to love this recipe. Deboned chicken, turkey meal, and chicken meal are the first three ingredients. This kibble is fortified with vitamins, minerals, and probiotics for better immunity and digestion.

Salmon meal and salmon oil provide DHA for continued cognitive support and high levels of omega-three fats for his coat health. Plus, plenty of glucosamine too. Glucosamine is great for energetic pups who need extra joint support. Reviewers commented that they noticed a real difference in their dog’s coat after changing to this food.

We love that this recipe has the highest protein content. Making this ideal for energetic adults and super fussy eaters who crave a big, meaty taste.

Best Food For Havanese Seniors

Senior Havanese are still as hungry in their senior years. But they need much less energy, fat, and protein compared to what they needed in adulthood. Otherwise, they’ll become overweight and be at a higher risk of weight-related health conditions. So, it’s super important to make the switch to ensure that you meet his aging needs. Here are our top choices for senior Havanese.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Senior

Science Diet Lite Small Bites
  • High protein content for muscle maintenance.
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin boost.
  • No corn, wheat, soy, or chicken by-product.
  • Super 7 package of antioxidant-rich ingredients.
  • Deboned chicken is the first ingredient.
  • 371 Calories per cup.
  • 23% Protein, 13% Fat, 6% Fiber

This senior option completes the Blue Buffalo Life Protection trio that we have chosen for the Hav in each of his life stages. If he thrived on these formulas before, you can be sure that this is the one for him. Like before, deboned chicken and chicken meal are the first two ingredients. And at 23%, the protein content is high enough to keep him healthy, but it’s not too rich for his aging digestive system.

The LifeSource Bits made from seven select superfoods are now optimized for his senior years. With more glucosamine, his joints and overall mobility are supported. Dried kelp is rich in calcium to support his bones too. This formula is fortified with probiotic ingredients to make the digestive process smoother.

We love that this recipe has a high fiber content that will surely fill their belly and help with a healthy stool.

Science Diet Small Bites 7+ Years

  • Veterinarian endorsed brand.
  • Made with natural ingredients.
  • Easy-to-digest formula.
  • Formula promotes dog vitality.
  • Made in the United States.
  • 353 Calories per cup.
  • 15.5% Protein, 10.5% Fat, 4% Fiber.

Hill’s Science diet is formulated by scientists and canine nutritionists. They studied the needs of small senior dogs and put it all into their recipes. This kibble is made for toy and small breed dogs. Chicken meal is the first and only meat protein ingredient, so it is easy to digest for older stomachs. Plus, chicken meal is a great source of glucosamine for his aching joints. And added l-carnitine helps to keep him trim.

This grain-inclusive recipe relies on barley, rice, and wheat as the secondary energy sources. Flaxseed, biotin, and folic acid nourish his skin and keep his coat looking youthful and silky. The pieces are fortified with vitamin and mineral supplements for stronger immunity. And apples, broccoli, and carrots add that extra antioxidant boost.

We love that this recipe is made by scientists based on their scientific research into small senior breeds. Everything in the recipe is beneficial, and there aren’t any nasty fillers.

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Small Breed Bites

Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ Small Breed
  • Real lamb is the first ingredient.
  • Complete and balanced recipe.
  • Grain-inclusive brown-rice formula is gluten free.
  • Essential amino acids help maintain strong muscles.
  • Smaller kibble is formulated especially for small breeds.
  • Produced in the USA.

Purina Pro Plan is well-known for its high-quality formulas. We have chosen this option for your senior Hav because it contains healthy omega fatty acids. These keep his silky coat healthy and his cognitive function supported. And botanical oils such as arginine are scientifically proven to enhance cognitive function and keep your Hav alert well into his golden years.

This recipe’s first ingredient is chicken, which offers a protein content of 29%. This recipe is fortified with vitamins and minerals. Calcium ensures that his bones and teeth remain strong. This formula is developed with optimum protein-to-fat ratios to ensure that your Hav maintains his lean body.

We love that this recipe has the highest omega-three fatty acid content. And alongside botanical oils, his cognitive function is well cared for with this recipe.

Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Senior

Simply Nourish Senior Food
  • Low sodium for heart health.
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin boost.
  • Omega 3’s and 6’s for skin and coat.
  • Lower calorie for less active dogs.
  • No fillers or by-products.
  • 437 Calories per cup.
  • 25% Protein, 12% Fat, 5% Fiber.

Wellness has created this recipe with your small breed’s senior complete health in mind. The protein content keeps his muscles strong and ready for action while ensuring he stays lean and healthy. The first two ingredients are deboned turkey and chicken meal which are both tasty and nutritious. This is a grain-inclusive option, using brown rice and oats for energy.

This high-fiber diet also keeps him full of low-calorie prebiotic fiber. Probiotic ingredients further support his gastrointestinal health with friendly bacteria. Nutrient-dense ingredients, including carrots, spinach, and blueberries, keep his oxidative state in check. Flaxseed nourishes his coat, and taurine supports his heart.

We love that this recipe lists many superfoods, vitamins, and minerals. All of which boost your Hav’s weakening immunity in his senior years.

Merrick Lil' Plates Senior

American Journey Senior Formula Grain Inclusive
  • First ingredient is real deboned chicken.
  • Grain-free recipe.
  • Gluten-free, no artificial colors or flavors.
  • Added prebiotics and probiotics.
  • Made in the United States.
  • 348 Calories per cup.
  • 32% Protein, 12% Fat, 3.5% Fiber.

This recipe is the only grain-free option on our senior recommendation list. So, if your Hav has always done well on a grain-free diet, this is probably the best pick for him. Instead, it lists sweet potatoes and peas, which are also highly nutritious. These and other prebiotic fibers provide enough digestive support. As does the long list of probiotic ingredients guaranteeing live microorganisms with every bite.

The protein content here is 32%, which is relatively high for a senior kibble. But with deboned chicken and chicken meal listed as the first two ingredients, he should love the taste. Salmon meal and salmon oil provide DHA and ARA for his slowing cognitive function to keep him alert. Plus, it also contributes to leading levels of glucosamine. So, if your Hav has joint problems, this is a great choice for him.

We love that this recipe has a very high protein content. Meat-seekers and fussy pups go mad for this senior recipe.

Final Thoughts

There is more to a dog’s dinner than just meat. By sticking with high-quality dog food made by a trusted brand, you can be sure that your Havanese’s nutritional needs are met. Pick a food designed for small breeds, and always stick to an age-appropriate recipe to be sure that he is getting everything he needs.

Havanese love their humans, they love to make people laugh, and they really love their food. But just because your canine eats anything you put in front of him does not mean you should feed him any old product. Why not maximize his health by choosing one of the recommendations we reviewed above? Not only will you notice a difference in his health, but you’ll probably also see a difference in his Havanese happiness too.

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The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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