Tools & Supplies
Grooming Your Havanese Companion
From Puppy to Adult your Havanese needs regular grooming.
Daily: Comb under the eye to remove any eye discharge. The coat should be brushed daily or at least every other day always making sure you get to the skin to distribute oils. Always follow it up with a comb to ensure any matts are removed. These can be gently picked at with the corner of the comb and then combed through.
Teeth: Daily Massaging or wiping of the teeth is encouraged but at least a weekly brushing is suggested. Check with your vet about his suggestion. Also there are biscuits and chew toys that help the dog do some of the dental cleaning themselves.
Every 2 weeks: You'll want to start with a good solid work surface. A grooming table is ideal but you can pretty much lay a towel down on a counter, dresser or table. After you've completed your daily brushing....
Ears: Use a tiny bit of ear powder to grasp the small hairs inside the ear canal and pull with your fingers. Nothing should ever be put into the ear canal. Some like using forceps, but you must be very careful with them. Your dog may not like this at first but be calm, reasurring and they will grow to tolerate this part of the procedure.
Feet: Using scissors trim off the hair on the bottom of the feet to reveal pads (think of them as the rubber on your sneakers). They ensure good footing and are a must. After the bath you should also trim the excess hair around the foot for clean/neater appearance.
Nails: Trim – a good easy rule is to hold the pup on it's back and lay the clippers up against the pad as a length guide (blade pointing towards you and away from pup) MAKE SURE you cut 5 on each front and 4 on the back. The 5 th in the front “dewclaw” can curl and cut into the skin if left uncut. NEVER cut nails if you don't have styptic powder or quick stop!!! Some owners prefer to trim nails after the bath as they feel they are softer and easier to cut.
*Note: For good hygience you can also trim the hair on the “private parts” at this time as well.
Every 2 week grooming should be followed with a bath. Although you can bathe with more frequency (and many bathe once per week) it does wash out the oils in the coat. If you are trying to grow coat you will want to bathe with more frequency. Show dogs are usually bathed 2 - 3 - even 4 times a week - never allowed to matt - dirty hair breaks - clean hair grows... now on to the bath...
Always have your supplies ready: Shampoo, Conditioner, Towel, Ear Flush & Blow Dryer. You may want to place your shampoo bottle & conditioner inside a bowl of warm/hot water to make these more comfortable for your Havanese when applying.
*Make sure the room is not cold and there are no drafts. Turn off any fan!
The first and most important part after brushing (don't bathe a matted dog!) is to rinse to remove any loose dirt before applying shampoo. Shampoo should be diluted (follow manufacturer recommendation) so that it rinses out easier. Lather well working in one direction (to avoid tangling hair) and rinse out VERY well. When you think you are done – rinse again! If your dog was specially dirty you may wish to repeat with a second shampoo. Conditioner is applied the same way (diluted) and do not worry about rinsing it all out.
Note: If you have a hard time keeping the shampoo out of the dogs eyes, or are using a flea shampoo product you should place mineral oil drops in the eyes before the bath for protection.
Squeeze out excess water and wrap a towel and hold your darling so the towel absorbs as much as it can before you ask them to “shake”
To avoid any ear infections caused by moisture in the ear it's good to use a little ear flush after each bath. The flush works as a drying agent; be sure to massage into the ears and wipe them clean on the inside.
After a good squeeze and shake you are ready to blow dry. If your dog is shivering it's OK to start with warm but as soon as they are not soaking switch to cool which is better for their coat.
Follow the bath & blow dry with a comb - this is a perfect time to do any trimming to neaten up the feet and privates. If you waited to trim nails, you can do them now. Be sure to follow up every bath with a tasty treat and go grab the camera! Quick, so you can send us pictures!
Flea Topical: If using Advantage or Frontline, medication should be applied 24-48 hours AFTER a bath. The oils in the skin need to build up in order for it to properly distribute. (otherwise you are just throwing it and the protection away). We DO NOT suggest the use of Advantix, as we've heard of several Havanese having very bad reactions from it.