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My Havanese Won’t Eat: 6 Reasons Why & What You Can Do

If your Havanese has started refusing her food it can be confusing and concerning for all owners.

Whether it’s due to boredom, fussy eating, or there is actually something wrong, this article will explain the likely causes and what you can do.

The 6 Reasons Why Your Havanese Won’t Eat:
1. She’s Not Agreeing With Her Food
She’s Become Bored With Her Food
She Isn’t Sticking to Set Mealtimes
She’s Uncomfortable In Her Environment
She Hasn’t Received Enough Exercise Throughout The Day
She Has Underlying Health Conditions

alone havanese

6 Reasons Why Your Havanese Won’t Eat

Below I will run through the six most common reasons why Havanese refuse to eat their food. After reading through each of the reasons one of them may instantly stand out to you. If it does, that’s great and you’ll know where to focus first. Let’s get into it.

1. She’s Not Agreeing With Her Food

All dog food is made differently and there isn’t any specific food or diet that will work well for every Havanese. One kibble may work well for one Havanese and the same kibble may make another sick.

Sensitive stomachs:

Havanese are not strangers to food intolerances either. Many Havanese have sensitive stomachs and are intolerable of a wide range of ingredients and common allergens.

Havanese are not a gluttonous breed so when a certain kibble makes them feel sick, they will be quick to refuse the same food the next time around.

Food intolerances:

After speaking to countless Havanese owners about this topic, many of them revealed their Havanese to be intolerant of common allergens such as beef, chicken, pork, or lamb. Many owners are unaware that these “normal and common” protein sources are the cause of many upset stomachs.

There are still many more ingredients that your Havanese may not get on with, including wheat, soy, corn, eggs, and dairy, as well as other additives and preservatives. You would be surprised just how many kibbles contain these culprit ingredients.

Not getting on well with the kibble is the most likely reason why your Havanese isn’t eating her food. I will cover below the best practices to follow when trying to find a “quality” kibble.

2. She’s Become Bored With Her Food

Boredom is another common reason. And admittedly, this one is harder to diagnose than the others.

There may not be anything wrong with the food or diet your Havanese is currently eating, she may just be bored of it. This can also be considered fussy eating.

Typically with boredom, food refusal will happen gradually over a longer period of time as opposed to instantly overnight. Slow food refusal may develop over the period of a few weeks to a few months.

One way to distinguish boredom from other reasons would be a lack of other negative symptoms. If your Havanese is not experiencing diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and seems completely fine up until dinner time. It may suggest that she’s just being fussy.

Some owners believe that fussy eating can be caused by receiving too many tidbits throughout the day. As our food is often tastier and more valuable to dogs, making their own food continuously less appealing.

3. She Isn’t Sticking To Set Mealtimes

Sticking to set mealtimes is very important for a range of reasons. It’s common among owners of small breeds to fill the bowl and keep topping it up throughout the day.

Mealtimes are important for all breeds as it trains their body and digestive system to have an appetite and be hungry at given times.

Like us, if we eat breakfast every day at 8 am, we will always be hungry and ready to eat at 8 am. The same applies to dogs.

If she’s receiving top-ups of the food bowl throughout the day, you’ll never really know how much she has or has not eaten.

So if your Havanese isn’t currently sticking to two strict mealtimes, once in the morning when your household wakes up, and once again in the evening, then please try doing this from now on.

4. She’s Uncomfortable In Her Environment

Dogs are very sensitive to their environment and survival instincts are heightened at critical moments like eating.

Your fluffy Havanese may not look like a wolf, but she has got vaguely similar survival instincts that are still prominent in all dogs today.

Dogs in the wild will only eat their food in a safe place where they feel secure. They even go to the extent of hiding their food to come back to if the current moment is too high-risk.

Although a little different, the principle is the same for your Havanese. If something or someone around her in the environment is making her feel uneasy, it could certainly put her off eating.

It could be something inside your home but usually, it will be something from outside in your neighborhood. Certain smells or noises of other animals including your neighbor’s pet are the typical reasons.

I have had friends whose dogs would refuse to eat in a specific room because it was located too close to the backdoor to the yard. Simply moving her food bowl may be enough to resolve this issue. It’s certainly worth keeping in mind.

5. She Hasn’t Received Enough Exercise Throughout The Day

Although Havanese don’t require a huge amount of dedicated exercise, It’s still important they receive their recommended amount.

If your Havanese is particularly stationary or doesn’t play or exercise throughout the day this can eventually affect her metabolism and her appetite.

Aim for 30-60 minutes of dedicated exercise for your Havanese daily. This excludes general playtime you may have throughout the day.

Without being active and burning calories, her body will require less and less fuel to keep going, resulting in a lowered appetite.

Although this mostly affects larger breeds, it will still affect small breeds after a prolonged period of time.

6. She Has Underlying Health Conditions

In more unfortunate cases, your Havanese may have an underlying health issue.

There is an extensive range of health conditions where food refusal is one of the symptoms. It will be extremely hard for you or me to diagnose this correctly from an article.

If you see your Havanese to have other accompanying symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, or she is generally not acting her usual self it’s time to visit the veterinarian for a full health check-up.

You should also consider visiting the veterinarian as a precaution, especially if you can’t resolve the issue at home.

How To Get Your Havanese To Start Eating Again

As always, the precautionary advice would be to first rule out health conditions with your veterinarian before potentially wasting time trying things at home that may not eventually work. After having done that, the following tips should certainly help.

1. Use a Specific Premium Kibble

As I mentioned earlier, kibble is never made equal. And there won’t be one particular kibble that will work for every Havanese. But there are some basics you should consider.

Correct Macronutrient Breakdown:

Opt for a kibble that has a higher ratio of protein and fats compared to carbohydrates. In fact, the lower the carbohydrates the better. Carbs often irritate the digestive system and don’t always digest how they should do.

Not only that, but a high protein and fat diet mimic that of a wild diet which is known to digest better and improve overall health.

It just so happens that the vast majority of cheap brands have high carbohydrate content, and the more premium you go, the fewer carbs are contained. Worth remembering!

Avoiding Common Allergens:

You could also opt for a kibble that avoids the use of common allergens like beef, chicken, pork, or lamb. This will give your Havanese another shot at digesting the food better.

You may be better off trying a kibble that uses duck, turkey, or salmon as the protein source. These often work well for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

Recommended Options.
Orijen Premium Dog Food Six Fish
Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Stomach Salmon Flavor
Taste of The Wild Pacific Stream

2. Stop Tidbits or High-Calorie Treats

It’s another good idea to stop tidbits from leftover dinners, as well as dog treats that have a lot of calories.

A simple pork sausage could have as many as 150-250 calories in it. For some small breeds, that may even be a third of their daily calorie intake. This can significantly take away from their desire to eat their own food.

The same goes for high-calorie dog treats. Certain jerky sticks or fatty chews may also contain upward of 100-200 calories. Again, for a small breed, this is way too high.

If she’s receiving tidbits or high-calorie treats, it’s time to stop that and resort to a low-calorie dog treat like Zukes Mini Naturals. These little morsels contain less than 3 calories per treat.

Zukes Mini Naturals will allow you to continue rewarding your Havanese without adding too many calories or compromising her appetite.

3. Rotate Her Kibble Every Two to Three months

This is a great way to tackle boredom. The only downside is that it involves finding two different kibbles that work well with your Havanese.

All you do is rotate between two different kibbles every two or three months. Going two or three months on the same kibble is not a long time for a dog, most go years eating the same brand and even flavor. So this will be a welcomed change.

By switching flavors you keep things exciting for your Havanese. Most people have the best luck sticking to the same brand and just changing the flavor. This way you know that most ingredients are the same, which should avoid upset stomachs from the change.

Even if your Havanese has no bad eating habits, the rotation diet is still a very good idea to practice.

Just ensure you gradually phase each kibble in and out when you switch over.

4. Consider Adding Wet Dog Food To Her Kibble

Following a split between dry kibble and wet dog food 80% to 20% respectively is frequently recommended by veterinarians.

This is an awesome way to encourage your Havanese to finish her meals. Wet dog food is not only far tastier and more palatable, but it’s also much more nutritionally dense than dry kibble.

It contains a higher content of protein, calories, the meat is generally less processed, plus wet dog food contains far fewer preservatives and additives than dry kibble.

Wet dog food will also add a difference in texture and make her food moister. All of which will make her meals extremely appealing.

Some owners do this each mealtime, but others only once a day or every two days due to the richness of the wet food. If you give this a try, be sure to keep an eye on the calories she is consuming, and split the mix appropriately.

5. Create Mealtimes and Stick To Them

As mentioned earlier, dedicated mealtimes are really important. So if you are letting her day graze, try to stop that as soon as possible.

Set a mealtime that suits your household, usually 7 or 8 am when everyone wakes up, then again at around 6 pm for dinner.

Whichever hour you set, stick to it every day! Shortly, your Havanese will learn to become hungry at these times and her appetite will increase naturally as you get closer to each mealtime.

If she refuses her food for 10-15 minutes after you put it down, pick her food bowl up and wait until the next mealtime. But always give her fresh kibble. This technique is known as time-restricted eating, and should only be done once or twice consecutively.

But this fits in nicely with dedicated mealtimes. Your Havanese will learn that she needs to eat and finish her meal when you give it to her.

Popular Havanese Articles:
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When To Call The Veterinarian?

If your Havanese refuses to eat her food completely for 2 days, you should visit your veterinarian as soon as you can. By this point, she will need to receive some nutrients and undergo further checks.

Another very important point. Food consumption is very different from fluid intake.

Food refusal is one thing, but not intaking any fluids is far more serious in the short term. You should call your veterinarian right away if your Havanese isn’t drinking.

The only wrong moment to call your veterinarian is too late. If you are unsure about why your Havanese isn’t eating, you don’t have to wait and try to fix the situation yourself. Ruling out health concerns is always the best thing to do first.

Last Thoughts

So there you have it, you now know of the six most common reasons why Havanese refuse to eat their food, and you have five ways to encourage her to start eating again.

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Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. For the FULL disclaimer Visit Here

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