Diet & Health Testing
For many, many years now I have ONLY fed my Havanese a very high end holistic healthy kibble, canned and raw meat diet. I have some of the healthiest Havanese puppies and adults available anywhere. Now with the very unsafe diets in the commercial dog foods in the market killing and making our dogs very sick, PLEASE switch your dogs and puppies to a non-wheat or corn holistic dog food. I have said for years that if you don't spend the little extra it costs for a better diet, you will PAY for it in vet bills and in sick animals. Please read the info below and check out these excellent dog foods available.
All of my Havanese are raised on a holistic health food type diet of Orijen Six Fish, Acana Grasslands,Orijen Tundra Freeze-Dried, Wellness Core Grain Free Puppy kibble, Nature's Variety raw beef patties, and Steve's Real Food . If you want your dog to live a long life without many, many of the health problems you see in dogs today, do feed a high quality health food diet. Would you like your dog or cat to live a longer, healthier life, with lower vet bills? Dogs die sooner than they did 50 years ago. Dogs and cats commonly suffer from cancers, kidney disease, liver problems, thyroid disorders and other problems starting in mid-life. Much of this is due to their poor quality diets.
*Dogs and cats did not evolve to eat grains… so why include grains in pet food?
Grains first appeared in pet foods about 70 years ago when consumers wanted the convenience of pet food in a bag and manufacturers wanted to reduce costs with inexpensive calories from grains. Although grains such as rice or wheat provide low-cost calories, their high carbohydrate content contributes to obesity, diabetes, kidney stones/struvite crystals, behavior problems, allergies, skin/coat problems and a host of other health problems in cats and dogs.
There is a myth that high protein diets are harmful to kidneys. This probably started because, in the past, patients with kidney disease were commonly placed on low protein (and thus low nitrogen) diets. Science has since shown that for patients with kidney disease the concern is rather protein quality, not quantity. High quality protein is digestible and produces fewer nitrogen by-products.
Cats and dogs are simply not evolved to eat processed cereal grains. The relatively short gastrointestinal system of dogs lacks the enzymes needed to efficiently digest carbohydrates and is naturally evolved to metabolize a diet high in protein, which is why grain-free, reduced-carbohydrate diets based on human-grade meat, vegetables and fruits most closely matches the diet nature intended for your dog or cat.
Indeed, veterinarians are increasingly citing grains and carbohydrates as primary causes of health problems common to dogs and cats. In addition, as we all sadly know, the majority of pet food recalls over the past 10 years have been due to contaminated grain products: glutens, corn, wheat & rice.
And although it overlooks the most fundamental purpose of pet food (to provide nourishment) the “grain-and-carbohydrate” approach to pet nutrition is still widely practiced due to the lower cost, ready availability and long shelf life that grains provide. Unfortunately, dogs and cats suffer as a result of this. We believe that you should spend your money on your pet, not your vet. Here is a link to a website with ratings on pet food that is on the market. Please choose the best grain free dog food for your pet Dog Food Advisor
Pet food manufacturers often use poor quality ingredients that are not fit for human consumption, such as 4D meat (dying, dead, diseased, disabled), by-products (feet, heads, beaks, hides, hooves) and moldy or contaminated grains. The food may then be preserved with BHA, BHT or ethoxyquine, which can cause cancer. (For more information, see "What's Really in Pet Food" by the Animal Protection Institute.)
The premium brands of pet food typically use better-quality ingredients but if you feed kibble, even premium brands, it is grain or starch based as that keeps it from falling apart. Dogs and cats are carnivorous (meat-eating) animals. Look at your brand’s label. Meat or meat meal should be the first ingredient, not wheat, corn, soy, by-products or other non-meat items. Look specifically for the words beef, lamb, chicken, liver, etc., by themselves in the list of ingredients. The manufacturer can count the protein in non-meat ingredients towards the total protein of the food even though it is difficult for your pet to digest and absorb.
Even if you buy a high-quality pet food, by the time you buy it at the store, it could be anywhere from 6 months to 2 years old, due to the long distribution channel. Your brand could have the best ingredients on the label but their nutritional value could be severely decreased and the oils could be turning rancid by the time you buy the bag in the local store. Therefore, consider buying food from manufacturers who package it to mitigate this problem (and from a store that quickly turns over its stock) or purchase from a company that ships direct from the factory to you.
So, what can you feed your pet to keep it in optimal health? Many holistic vets now recommend a raw food diet for both dogs and cats (provided they are not immune compromised). Dogs and cats are carnivores, designed to eat a diet high in raw meat and bones, with some vegetable matter. The raw food provides the natural enzymes they need to digest the food and raw bones act as natural toothbrushes. It is now possible to buy pre-made raw food diets (frozen or freeze-dried) at many natural pet stores or on the internet if you don't have time to prepare it yourself.
The next best diet would be a super-premium canned food, with added enzymes and supplements. For pet owners who like the convenience of kibble or can't afford the time and cost to feed an all-raw or canned diet, please feed a high end holistic kibble with human-grade meats, no by-products, no corn or wheat and no artificial preservatives.
All of our Havanese dogs are examined (Cerft'd) by a board certified Ophthalmologist yearly. We provide cerf certificates from the sire and dam with each of the puppies. All our Havanese dogs at two years of age are screened for hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia and patella luxation and are registered with OFA. Havanese puppies receive all current vaccinations and we provide a five year written health contract with each Havanese puppy sold. We also continue to provide help and assistance many years after the puppy has gone to your home.