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Home > Dogs > How Much Food Should My Havanese Eat Per Day? Vet Reviewed Guidance

How Much Food Should My Havanese Eat Per Day? Vet Reviewed Guidance

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Dr. Amanda Charles

Veterinarian, BVSc GPCert (Derm) MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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A lot goes into feeding a dog, so if you’re stumped on how much to feed your Havanese, you’re not alone. The truth is, there is no set answer on how much to feed your Havanese. Each dog requires a different amount based on four factors: activity level, breed, age, and body condition score. As a very rough guide, most Havanese require between 200 and 400 calories per day.

We’re dissecting each of these factors in this post so you can better understand how much to feed your Havanese. Let’s get started.


The Problem With Scoops

Many dog owners like to measure their dog’s meal portions in “scoops.” Admittingly, it’s convenient, but there are a few problems with this method.

First, the biggest issue with this method is consistency. “Scoop” can mean two totally different things from one household to another. Is it leveled? Are the scoops accurately measured? No one scoop is the same. Second, your dog’s needs will change throughout its lifetime. Your dog could need two scoops daily but may need fewer scoops as it ages.

Lastly, each dog food brand contains a different caloric measurement. One scoop of dog food can have 300 calories. The same scoop can offer 425 calories with another dog food brand.

Do you see the problem here?

Several factors, not just scoops, determine a dog’s overall nutrition, so we can’t rely on scoops alone to keep our Havanese dogs happy and healthy.

How Much Food to Feed Your Havanese

Havanese dog eating from a raised bowl
Image Credit: alfredhofer, Shutterstock

Let’s get into the nitty gritty of Havanese nutrition, shall we?


Havanese dogs are small, ranging between 7 and 13 pounds. They don’t require as many calories as large dog breeds and can be prone to being overweight. For this reason, every bite needs to be packed with nutrition.

Usually, about 200 to 400 calories daily will do the trick, but this number can vary greatly as we’ll discuss below. The WSAVA have produced a guidance chart for the rough amount a healthy adult dog at ideal body condition will require but it’s important to talk to your veterinarian about the healthiest amount of calories for your Havanese.1

Activity Level

Havanese dogs are moderately active. This breed will do fine with a nice brisk walk around the park or a rigorous play session in the backyard.

If you don’t exercise your Havanese, it could gain weight, so watch how much you feed, especially if you can’t get your dog outside as much as you’d like.


Dogs become more sedentary as they age, so we must consider this when offering food and treats. A less active dog will gain weight if fed too many calories.

Likewise, puppies and young adult dogs are much more active and can get away with eating more food if they burn the energy quickly.

Body Condition Score

Not all dogs weigh the same, so veterinarians use a body condition score (BCS) to help compare the ideal weight of a breed to its current weight.2

A score below four is considered underweight, and a score of six and above is considered overweight.

Ideally, you want your Havanese to score a four or five. This means:
  • The ribs are easily felt with a small fat layering
  • The waist is detectable from above
  • The abdomen is tucked behind the rib cage when seen from the side and above

Your veterinarian can give you a weight goal after assessing your dog’s BCS.


Havanese Feeding 101: Puppy to Adulthood

Havanese puppy about to eat his food
Image Credit: Boryana Manzurova, Shutterstock

Feeding puppies is different from feeding adult dogs because they aren’t used to dry food initially and need frequent meals of a special puppy food formulated for growth.The below guidelines give a rough idea of how to transition your puppy through weaning.

Havanese Age Food Type Daily Number of Meals
1 – 8 weeks old Breast milk N/A
3 – 6 weeks old Breast milk with wet food 4 – 6
8 – 12 weeks old Wet food and dry food (moistened with water) 3 – 4
5+ months Dry food 2

Puppies’ stomachs are relatively small so they need several small meals each day. Remember, these are meals, not just scoops. Feed your Havanese puppy a good quality complete puppy food and measure the amounts for accuracy.

Follow the 10% Rule

What’s the 10% rule you ask? It’s simple, really. Treats should comprise only 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake.

So, if your Havanese only needs 300 calories daily, 30 can come from treats. That’s it. It’s a good rule to follow since Havanese dogs are prone to obesity. Plus, treats don’t contain all the essential nutrients a balanced meal contains.

Tips to Help Your Havanese Stay Healthy

Combine these tips with a healthy diet, and your Havanese will live a good life.

  • Start Small: Dogs needing a lifestyle change shouldn’t experience such drastic change right away. You’re more likely to form habits if you focus on one thing at a time. Take baby steps.
  • Exercise Daily: Get outside to get active, and take your Havanese with you. You don’t need to run a marathon. A daily walk or playing ball in the backyard is perfect.
  • Limit Treats: It’s worth repeating. Limit treats to the 10% rule to prevent obesity.
  • Frequent Weigh-ins: Keep an eye on your dog’s weight and body condition score. You can easily weigh a Havanese on the scale or go to your local vet. Weight checks at vet clinics are usually free.

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Wrapping It Up

It’s important not to get caught up on a number. Who wants to live by all of these rules anyway? Make adjustments based on your Havanese needs and do your best. You will see positive results when you combine intentionality and consistency. The rest will follow suit.

Featured Image Credit: Boryana Manzurova, Shutterstock

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