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New puppy kit: what do i need to buy?

As a future puppy owner you are likely wondering what you will need to have when your new baby comes home. There are so many puppy things being marketed out there. Which ones will my puppy like? What is necessary and what isn’t? Where is the best place to get what I need? Who has the best prices?

We have tried to answer these questions below. The answers are written with the Havanese in mind but are really applicable to any breed of dog one gets.

Here is a list of the items we recommend for new puppy owners as well as helpful links to the items so you can see what they look like and purchase them if you decide to buy online. Be sure to scroll to the end to find out how to get the best price on everything you need.

  • Puppy Food – There are a lot of good dog foods out there but the one we recommend is Castor and Pollux Organix Puppy food. This is the food we feed our puppies. Organix has top quality nutritious ingredients and does a good job at eliminating the artificial preservatives, flavors, and colors that are so commonly found in dry dog foods which can negatively effect your dogs health in the long term. Another thing we like about this food is that the pieces are small enough that puppies can easily eat it dry without needing to wet it down to soften it while their molars are coming in.

You can find it here:

Castor & Pollux Organix Healthy Grains Organic Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food, 10-lb bag

  • Collar/Harness and Leash – If you plan on taking your puppy out and about this is a must have. Havanese are very good about listening and coming when called but there are a lot of places and settings where the safest thing to do is to have your baby on a leash. The options here are almost limitless. Some people prefer a harness over a collar as it puts less pressure on your puppies neck. Almost any small collar will do for a puppy. Here are a couple links to the type of leash and harness we like:


Flexi Comfort Nylon Tape Retractable Dog Leash, Grey, X-Small: 10-ft long


Li’l Pals Comfort Wrap Step In Back Clip Dog Harness, Neon Pink, 8 to 14-in chest

  • Dog Bed/ Crate – Dogs are den animals. They like having a small cozy personal space they can curl up in and sleep at night or retreat to rest in during the day. A wire crate with a pillow liner is a great option. When choosing a crate size it’s important to keep your house training as well as the eventual adult size of the puppy in mind. If the interior space in a crate is too large a new puppy might decide that one half of it is OK to use as a rest room. A good size for a crate is one which the puppy can stand up, turn around, and lay down in comfortably. A good crate hack for a growing puppy is to get a crate large enough for an adult dog with a removable wire divider to adjust the interior space as your puppy grows. If your crate you have doesn’t have a divider you can always put a paint can or something else that the puppy isn’t able to chew in the back of the crate to lessen the space while it is still small.

Here is a great crate option that comes with a liner and divider:

Frisco Fold & Carry Single Door Collapsible Wire Dog Crate, 24 inch & Frisco Quilted Dog Crate Mat, Ivory, 24-in

  • Dog Treats – Havanese can have sensitive stomachs and some dog treats as well as table scraps may cause vomiting or loose stools. We like using Redbarn Naturals Dog Food Rolls in place of traditional dog treats. Havanese LOVE them and they’re easy on the stomach. Redbarn has good ingredients, including liver, which is very good for your dog. Just don’t go too overboard giving your puppy huge amounts at once. Its important to note that Redbarn makes actual dog treats as well but from our experience your puppy will like the roll just as much as the treats and you can get 4 lbs of roll for roughly the same price as 9 oz of treats.

You can find it here:

Redbarn Naturals Beef Recipe Dog Food Roll, 4-lb roll

  • Chew Toys – Havanese are not chewers but all puppies of all dog breeds chew while they are teething. As far as I know there are no exceptions. Human babies do the same thing for that matter. The best thing to do is to have some dedicated chew toys or bones that are theirs for the chewing while you puppy is growing. These help your puppies teeth development as well as help them keep their teeth clean and off of the things you DON’T want them to chew on.

Here are a few options:

Chew toys for puppies

  • Brush – Yes, you will need a brush. If you keep your puppy in a short coat a brushing usually takes less than 5 minutes. If you decided to keep your Havanese in full coat you will spend a little bit longer We recommend brushing out as needed (usually about once per week).

Here is a good brush to use:

Safari Wire Pin Brush for Dogs, Large

  • Other Things – If you want to go completely ham when getting set up here are some potentially useful and fun suggestions!

Doggy gates can be helpful when you want to keep your puppy in a certain area. Here is one example:

Regalo Easy Step Extra Wide Dog Gate, 49-in, Black

Puppy shirts and sweaters can be cute and downright handy in the cold when you want to be outside:

Puppy clothes, shirts, and sweaters

A good Havanese Book can be helpful in getting familiar with the breed and with basic care. This is a good one sold on Amazon that features one of our family’s dogs.

Click here to see the book we recommend

So how do I get the best price on what I need?

HERE’S THE “TRICK:” Chewy.com has a deal where you get 30% off your first autoship order plus Free 1-3 Day Shipping on orders over $49.

Chewy’s prices are already very competitive compared to other stores like Amazon and Petsmart but when you add this 30% discount on top of an already good price it gives you an unbeatable deal! We recommend that you place everything in your autoship cart, place your 1st autoship order getting 30% off everything you need, then cancelling your autoship online or by phone. You can also keep it going if you chose with just the items you will regularly need like your puppy food and dog treats. There you have it. New puppy owner life hack!

Click the link below for the discount:

Save 30% on your first Autoship Order with Chewy!

How Do Emotions Effect Havanese Behavior?

Havanese are highly intelligent dogs who love their people and are very eager to please.  One aspect of their temperament that makes them so easy to live with is their sensitivity to the emotional state of those around them.  Havanese have a high degree of emotional intelligence and are aware of what their people are feeling.  This, combined with their desire to please, creates a dog who is ready and willing to do whatever you are ready and willing to do.  If you are happy, your dog is happy.  If you are sad, your dog tries to comfort you.  If you want to play, your dog is ready.  If you want to chill and relax, your dog is more than ready for some lap time.

Black and white Havanese puppy licking face

This temperament trait is one big reason many people decide on a Havanese as their breed of choice.  They are therapy dogs and many people purchase them to help them move past the loss of a pet or loved one, to be a companion in times of loneliness, or to help them heal from something else.

Most positive traits, however, also have their negative counterpart.  With the Havanese, this shows up when there are long-term or extreme negative emotions displayed in the dog’s home environment.  Havanese dog owners need to be aware that anger, bitterness, long-term sadness, excessive stress or panic, and other negative emotions can have negative effects on the personality or behavior of your Havanese, and in some cases, can cause your havanese to become physically ill.  Havanese will use their emotional energy to try to help you feel better and doing this long-term can drain your dog of its emotional resources resulting in negative emotions or behaviors from your dog.

As Havanese dog breeders we have had several cases where people have called us with concerns over negative personality displays or behaviors in their dog that are uncharacteristic of the Havanese breed.  After talking with the owners we usually find that there is something else that has happened in the home that is putting a high degree of emotional stress on their dog.  For example, lots of anger in a household can create a skittish Havanese.  If the dog’s owner is very stressed or upset for a sustained length of time you might find a dog who becomes depressed and lethargic until the circumstances change.  These are just two examples and are by no means exhaustive.

The biggest reason we find for negative personality or behavior changes in a Havanese is when the owner has changing circumstances in his or her life and begins leaving the dog alone regularly for long periods of time.  Havanese are companion dogs and have a need for another social being whether that be a human or another social dog or animal.


Havanese and children

Havanese owners need to think of their dog kind of like a human child.  If there is stress in the home it will upset the child. Children are good at bouncing back under normal circumstances but in an environment with regular and sustained stress the child may suffer in personality and behavior.

With this being said, people should understand that Havanese are very good at rolling with life with its ups and downs and most people have absolutely nothing to worry about when it comes to life’s stresses and the personality of their dog.  They roll with stress and recover very quickly.  They are amazing therapy dogs and help people heal.  I am writing this so that Havanese owners can be aware of this trait in their Havanese so that in cases of extreme or prolonged stress they can be sensitive to the emotional state of their dog.

10 Reasons To Get A Havanese Puppy

10. Havanese are Not hyper.

Any puppy will have more energy and be more rambunctious than an adult but a good quality Havanese dog should have a “chill” temperament and will not be bouncing off the walls.

9. Havanese are Not “snappy.”

A quality Havanese puppy or adult should never be aggressive, growl, or snap at children or adults.

8. Hypoallergenic

Many people with dog allergies can have a Havanese dog because of their hypoallergenic qualities.

7. Healthy with long life span

As far as dog breeds go, Havanese is one of the more healthy, exhibiting less overall health problems than other popular breeds.  It is normal for a Havanese to live 14-16 years.

6. Easy to housetrain

Little dogs are usually harder to housetrain than big dogs.  That being said, Havanese are one of the easiest of the toy breeds to housetrain.

5. Adorable in looks and in temperament

small sable and white havanese puppy for sale sticking tongue out

Need I say more?

4. Great with kids and other animals

Havanese are very gentle and easy-going dogs.  A quality Havanese should be very good with kids, other dogs, cats, and other animals.

3. Self exercise

Havanese make great apartment dogs because of their laid back temperament. They do not require the strenuous exercise that many other breeds do.  Havanese will self-exercise on their own if needed to meet their needs. Of course they will always enjoy a walk or lots of room to run.

2. Quiet

Havanese are a quiet breed.  They do not bark for no reason and usually only bark to let you know if someone comes to the door.

1. Take on your mood

Havanese are very emotionally sensitive and eager to please.  They are bred as companion dogs and will take on your mood.  If you want to play they want to play.  If you want to walk they want to walk.  If you are sick or want to chill with a movie they want to chill with you.  If you are down they want to comfort you.  If you are excited they get excited too.