The Havanese is a small dog breed, but that doesn’t mean grooming them is easy. These smart little dogs require regular grooming, which includes brushing, bathing, and maybe even hair cutting. You could always take your Havanese to a groomer, but doing it yourself at home is a great way to bond with your beloved pet while saving money. Here are several awesome tips that can help make grooming your Havanese effective and stress free.
The 6 Tips on How to Groom a Havanese
1. Make Brushing a Priority
The Havanese has a long, luxurious double coat that must be thoroughly brushed several times a week; daily is optimal. You should protect your pet’s coat by spraying it with water via a mist-spraying bottle before brushing. Not doing so can cause breakage during the brushing process.
Work in sections, and spray a small area of the coat, then brush through it to remove tangles and get rid of stuck debris. Make sure to brush all the way down to the skin without scraping it, as mats tend to develop right above the skin. You will likely have to separate the hair and work in small batches to ensure that each area of the coat receives efficient attention.
2. Commit to Bathing Every 1–3 Weeks
To keep your dog’s coat healthy, soft, and luxurious, you should bathe them every 1–3 weeks, depending on how often they go outside and the type of environment that they are exposed to. If they spend time outside frequently or are exposed to a dusty yard, weekly bathing or at least using a dog-safe dry shampoo might be necessary.
Bathe your Havanese right after a brushing session to ensure that their coat is free of mats and tangles. Follow the bathing directions on whatever quality shampoo you choose for the best results. Dry their coat as thoroughly as possible with a towel, and allow them to finish drying in a kennel.
3. Deal With Tear Staining
Havanese are prone to tear staining. Their eyes leak tears that stain the hair around their eyes. You can use a damp cloth to clean around the eyes daily to minimize the staining. If the staining is excessive, it could be due to a blocked tear duct, so it’s a good idea to consult with your veterinarian.
4. Clean Out Those Ears
Before giving your furry family member a bath, drop ear-cleaning liquid into their ears so it can soften and loosen any wax that has built up inside them. After the bath, you can use a cotton ball to clean out the ears. This will help minimize the risk of ear infections and keep your dog from excessively scratching their ears. Keep in mind that any hair in your dog’s ears will grow like the rest of their coat, so you may occasionally have to use clippers to carefully trim the ear hairs.
5. Don’t Overlook the Teeth
If possible, you should brush your dog’s teeth every day. The less often you brush their teeth, the more likely they will develop plaque buildup and possibly even gum disease as they age. A meat-flavored toothpaste made specifically for dogs is a great option; most Havanese find treats irresistible, so it should make brushing easier for everyone involved.
Place a tiny amount of toothpaste on your dog’s toothbrush, and lightly brush each tooth in a circular motion. Choose a long-handled toothbrush to ensure that you don’t get injured if your dog resists and tries to close their mouth and teeth around the toothbrush. Be gentle and patient but stern while working.
6. Carefully Tackle the Toenails
If you walk your Havanese outdoors daily, you likely will not have to trim their nails often, if at all. The ground outdoors should naturally keep the nails trimmed. If your dog does need nail trimming, go slow and be careful. Trimming too much of the nail can result in bleeding because the “quick” in the nail is what gets severed. The quick is pink tissue that harbors a blood vessel. If your dog’s nails are white, you should be able to see the quick, which makes it easy to avoid.
If they have black nails, you should trim their nails a tiny bit at a time. If you do accidentally trim the quick, the bleeding should subside quickly. However, you can treat the affected nail with styptic powder or a silver nitrate stick if available at home. If not, try dipping the nail in baking powder to slow the bleeding.
Havanese are small dogs with big personalities and even bigger grooming needs. They do most of their grooming on their own, but they rely on their human companions to take care of the rest. The tips outlined here should provide you with a clear idea of how to properly keep your dog’s physique and health in great shape as time goes on.
Featured Image Credit: Boryana Manzurova, Shutterstock