Havanese are just so cute that we often treat them like our babies, even when they are grown up already. Just like a lot of moms, we often fear that we haven’t fed enough to our babies so there is at least a slight tendency to overfeed our Havanese for a lot of use. Today, I am going to talk about some of the better advices about how much to fee Havanese. While many so-called experts would suggest the answer to be “not to much and not to little”. Let me explain what that means in a more easy to understand and quantitative way.
Havanese is a Small Dog that Doesn’t Need to Eat That Much
First of all, even though the Havanese is a dog with above average level of energy, they don’t really need that much food. While every Havanese is different, I am going to summarize some of the most common approaches.
Two Meals a Day
The common way to feed them is to do that twice a day, roughly speaking once AM and once PM. In each meal, it is ideal to give them some meat and vegetable that adds up to be roughly half a cup. Add another tablespoon of sweet potato to make the meal more tasty and keep them full longer if they seem to enjoy it. Of course you don’t want them to gain weight forever so you should measure their weight regularly and adjust the size of the meal.
Snack inbetween Meals
Inbetween meals, you may want to give your Havanese some snack partially to make the happy and partially to make them not go hungry as fast. Just like the way we like snack, dogs love snack too. Be careful that you do not give them way too much snack. That could cost both overweight problem and make them not finishing their real meals properly.
Tasty Food is the Source of Overweight Problem
I don’t know about you, if I am on a trip and enjoying those breakfast buffet that comes as part of the hotel room purchase, I seem to overeat, by a lot. I am talking about doubling or tripling my normal breakfast size and even more. When I feel that I am full but when I see something delicious and so available, it is human nature, or animal nature, to simply eat them. Havanese and a lot of other dogs are like that too. They won’t tell you they are full if they are over fed by chicken and cookies. Have you ever seen your Havanese turning down your cookie offer? I bet you haven’t. Although the Havanese generally don’t have too much overeating problem, but if they are keep being fed by excessive tasty food regularly, they can have weight problem.
At Ideal Weight, Havanese’ Ribs Should Feel Like Washboards
Havanese has thick coat so it is difficult to see whether they are overweight or whether they are underweight. You must use your hands to touch them in order to tell. What “ribs feeling like a washboard” means is that you can touch your dog and the ribs should be able to felt easily because they are not covered by too much fat. On the other hand, you still want to feel their fat and muscle while you touch them so that they are not too underweight. That may sound like something more or an art than a scientific measurement. Yet, just like we know what our ideal body shape are, it is really not that difficult to tell whether your Havanese is within an ideal range.
A Slightly Better Understanding of What a Washboard Feels Like
For those of you who want to have a slightly more accurate understanding of what it means to have your Havanese’s ribs feels like a washbroad. There is an approach that has been suggested. The method is like that. For a right-handed person, you can take your left hand and put it on the table with the fingers touching each other gently, side by side. Now, use the right hand to touch your left hand’s fingers and the bums between fingers. That’s what a washboard or a lean and fit Havanese should feel like.
Havanese with Well-Managed Weight May Have a 10 Percent Longer Lifespan
The big question you may have is that why not just let your Havanese be happy and allow them to eat freely. The answer is not to look good, at least that’s only a small part of the answer, unlike we human like to control overweight mainly for looking good. The answer is that having them in the range of their ideal weight allow them to be healthy. Studies suggest that having Havanese and other dogs at their ideal weight make them live 10 to 15 percent longer. That’s like the biggest gift we can have as Havanese owners. There’s no reason to be lazy and not taking care of their weight.
What to Do When Your Havanese is Overweight
If your Havanese is overweight, what is the right approach to reduce the problem? Let me start with what not to do. For some of you, you may think that cutting back the portion of their proper meals would be the way to go. But in most cases, the two proper meals are not the source of the issue and they are more of source of nutrient. It can still be possible that the proper meals are too big but snack is the problem most of the time. As a simple rule, snack should not be larger than 25 percent of the total amount of food that your Havanese eats.
Making Changes to Your Snack
If you don’t think the amount of snack your Havanese is eating is too much, you may want to simply look for healthier snack to replace your current one. Learn how to read the nutrient labels and look for healthier food for them.
If there is one idea to take away from this blog post, it is that we should take responsibility to keep our Havanese at a reasonably healthy weight. That will increase their chance of living longer which is something priceless.