Best Dog Food For Havanese Dogs In 2020 (Top Brands)

Mike PowellEdited by: Mike Powell
Abby TexasReviewed by: Abby Texas

Last Update:

These fluffy little toy breeds are affectionate and relaxed. That and their almost non-shedding coat make them the best lap dogs! 

Fun fact: the Havanese is the national dog of Cuba! 

These small breed dogs don’t generally have health issues, but you still need to make sure they’re eating the best dog food for Havanese to keep them happy, healthy, and strong. 

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Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
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CANIDAE PURE Real Lamb, Limited Ingredient, Grain Free Premium Dry Dog Food
Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Real Meat Recipe High Protein Dry Dog Food With Real Cage Free Chicken Protein 40Lb
Merrick Lil' Plates Grain Free Real Lamb + Sweet Potato Small Breed Dry Dog Food, 12 Lbs.
Rating
Our Rating 92 / 100
Our Rating 91 / 100
Our Rating 90 / 100
Pro 1
All recipes have great nutrient counts
Higher than average Omega fatty acids
Extremely high levels of Omegas
Pro 2
This range contains some of the highest Omega counts
All recipes contain beta carotene
Wide range of nutrient counts
Best Overall
Rank
Ranked #1
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CANIDAE PURE Real Lamb, Limited Ingredient, Grain Free Premium Dry Dog Food
Rating
Our Rating 92 / 100
Pro 1
All recipes have great nutrient counts
Pro 2
This range contains some of the highest Omega counts
Best Budget Option
Rank
Ranked #2
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Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Real Meat Recipe High Protein Dry Dog Food With Real Cage Free Chicken Protein 40Lb
Rating
Our Rating 91 / 100
Pro 1
Higher than average Omega fatty acids
Pro 2
All recipes contain beta carotene
Best For Havanese With Allergies
Rank
Ranked #3
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Merrick Lil' Plates Grain Free Real Lamb + Sweet Potato Small Breed Dry Dog Food, 12 Lbs.
Rating
Our Rating 90 / 100
Pro 1
Extremely high levels of Omegas
Pro 2
Wide range of nutrient counts
Sources researched
19
Sources researched
Customer reviews
16,980
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
16
Hours spent testing
Products tested
10
Products tested

10 Best Dog Food For Havanese Dogs

Canidae PURE Real Grain Free Dry Dog Food 

Best Overall: Limited ingredients with high levels of protein and omega count

Overall Score92%
Animal Protein90%
Adequate Fat Count90%
Omega Count95%
Useful Supplements95%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • A variety of flavors makes it easy to avoid certain ingredients 
  • All recipes have great nutrient counts 
  • This range contains some of the highest Omega counts 
  • All recipes are grain-free 

CONS

  • Slightly pricey

Havanese dogs are prone to food allergies and intolerances. A limited ingredient diet can be highly useful for these dogs and provide all the nutrients they need while avoiding ingredients that may be problematic. 

This pup food range is high in protein and fat, but each recipe is different. That makes it easy to choose one for each and every dog according to their lifestyle and activity level. 

The protein counts range from 25 to 30%, with fat counts from 12 to 19%. If your Havanese is less active, a lower-fat food would be great. If they’re very bouncy, a higher fat one would work really well. 

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Limited But Quality Ingredients 

Each recipe contains fewer than 10 ingredients. Check the ingredients carefully, as some allergy-inducing ones may come in later down the list. 

Most contain a real meat, a meat meal, and a few high-quality, healthy vegetables. They also have recipes especially for small breeds, seniors, and weight management. It’s totally okay to feed your Havanese any one of the recipes, though, as long as they’re active enough to use the fat in the food. 

High Omega Fatty Acids 

Most of the recipes contain more than 3% Omega-6, which is higher than most other foods on this list. This is fantastic for dogs with hair like the Havanese, and will keep their coat nourished and soft. 

Omegas are also wonderful for keeping the brain healthy, so this is a big plus in a food. These recipes might be limited ingredient, but they cover every dog’s nutritional needs. 

Diamond Naturals Adult Dry Dog Food

Best Value For Money: Affordable with high quality recipe

Overall Score91%
Animal Protein90%
Adequate Fat Count90%
Omega Count90%
Useful Supplements90%
Affordability95%

PROS

  • Various recipes available, to suit every Havanese 
  • Higher than average Omega fatty acids 
  • All recipes contain beta carotene 
  • No corn, wheat or soy

CONS

  • Some recipes don’t contain glucosamine

Havanese parents on a budget, Diamond Naturals is the best food for you and can’t be more highly recommended. No matter your adult Havanese’s diet or lifestyle, you’ll find a formula that will suit them. 

For energetic Havanese, the Extreme Athlete food formula is super, with a fat count of 25%, protein of 32%, and a fantastic Omega count, at 3,5% Omega-6s and 0,5% Omega-3s. 
Less active dogs would benefit from the Adult Dog food formula (although it’s a little more pricey), or the Small Breed recipe (which doesn’t contain glucosamine).

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High-Quality Dog Food For Lower Price 

Although this is our budget pick, the quality of this food is quite amazing. It’s on-par with most of the expensive foods here, so you can feel good about feeding it to your Havanese. 

Some recipes contain real meat and meat meal, while others contain only meat meal. Either way, they’re of good enough quality and all have an animal protein as the first ingredient on the list. 

One of the best things about these recipes is that they contain super-healthy fruits and vegetables. Kale, chia seeds, pumpkin, blueberries, spinach, and carrots are just some of the vitamin and mineral-packed ingredients that your dog will be getting in each lot of food. 

Right up there with the pricey dog food, these recipes all contain beta carotene which is great for Havanese eye health. Some of them don’t have glucosamine in them, so you may need to supplement with a separate glucosamine tablet. 

Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain Free Small Breed Recipes

Runner-Up Option: Fantastic for Havanese dogs with allergies

Overall Score90%
Animal Protein90%
Adequate Fat Count90%
Omega Count95%
Useful Supplements90%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • All recipes contain DHA 
  • Extremely high levels of Omegas 
  • Wide range of nutrient counts 
  • Various recipes, one for every adult Havanese

CONS

  • Slightly pricey 

If our premium choice is too low in protein for your very bouncy Havanese, they may do better with this dog kibble. 4 recipes, ranging from 30 to 38% protein, and between 14 and 17% fat, this range covers all dogs, no matter how active they are. 

Every recipe contains DHA and glucosamine and chondroitin. This variety is also fantastic for dogs with allergies. It’s easy to avoid any ingredient by simply choosing a different flavor – none of them contain hidden ingredients. 

Choose from Lamb, Beef, Chicken, and Salmon. There are also options for seniors and puppies, and a couple of the flavors have the option of standard, or with freeze-dried raw bites added. 

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High in Omegas 

This recipe range features some of the best Omega levels around. They serve a multitude of purposes, from coat and skin health to brain health. 

The recipes contain high-quality real meat ingredients, which contribute to the high count. They’re all grain-free, and each also contains probiotics and prebiotics for easier digestion. 

The kibbles are also sized for small dogs, and are designed in such a way to help promote tartar removal and a healthy mouth. 

Stella & Chewy’s Stella’s Solutions

Best Kibble Topper

Overall Score91%
Animal Protein95%
Adequate Fat Count95%
Omega Count85%
Useful Supplements95%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Various recipes available to aid different health conditions 
  • Every recipe is grain-free, potato-free, and legume-free 
  • Fairly limited ingredient – easy to avoid problem ingredients 
  • Plenty of vitamins and minerals in each 

CONS

  • High-calorie, so be careful to fit it properly into your Havanese’s calorie count 

This range of raw kibble toppers is raw, so introduce them to your Havanese slowly! They’re designed to be added on top of normal dry kibble, so be aware that they need to be factored into your dog’s calorie count. 

They’re all packed with amazing wholesome ingredients, vitamins and minerals, and specific supplements. 

These recipes are designed as supplemental dishes to round out your dog’s nutrition. You can choose the one recipe that your adult Havanese really needs, or you can feed them a different one every day – it’s up to you! We recommend only beginning raw feeding after the age of 12 months.

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Something For Every Dog 

There are 5 amazing recipes in this range, and each one is formulated to provide essential nutrients for a particular health condition. 

Digestive Boost (beef) is high in both soluble and insoluble fiber and contains digestive enzymes to keep your dog’s digestive system going smoothly. 

Healthy Heart Support (chicken) is made with high levels of EPA and DHA, as well as L-carnitine. 

Hip & Joint Boost (chicken) is dosed with extra Omegas and glucosamine and chondroitin for an extra joint-fortifying effect. 

Skin & Coat Boost (lamb & salmon) is high in Omega fatty acids, vitamin E, and biotin. 

Immune Boost (lamb) adds antioxidants, beta-carotene, and vitamin E to your dog’s diet.

Zesty Paws Omega Bites

Best Treat

Overall Score90%
Animal Protein90%
Adequate Fat Count90%
Omega Count90%
Useful Supplements90%
Affordability90%

PROS

  • Low-calorie treats 
  • 90 servings per container 
  • Added EPA and DHA 
  • High crude fat count for extra energy

CONS

  • Too many in a day can add some pounds to your dog’s weight!

Every good boy and girl deserves a treat, and these ones will not only taste great, but they’ll also add an extra splash of Omegas to your Havanese’s diet. 

Havanese need fur-nourishment, so for dogs with luscious hair, a treat containing Omegas is wonderful for keeping their skin and coat smooth and well-nourished. 

With 90 treats in a bottle, it should last your Havanese a little while. There are 30 calories in each bite, so make sure not to feed your small breed too many in a day. It could up their calorie intake too much and lead to an increase in weight.

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Omega-Rich and Healthy 

The main source of Omegas in these chews is Alaskan Pollock oil, which is rich in healthy fats. There’s also added EPA and DHA, which helps keep Havanese’s eyes as healthy as possible. 

The crude fat count is 27%, which will be a little energy booster for a small breed. You’ll also find biotin on the ingredient list, which helps skin and coat as well as digestion. 

These little bites are packed with great stuff, and are naturally preserved using mixed tocopherols and ascorbic acid. 

American Journey Chicken & Brown Rice Puppy Kibble

Best For Havanese Puppies

American Journey Chicken & Brown Rice Puppy Kibble
Overall Score90%
Animal Protein90%
Adequate Fat Count90%
Omega Count90%
Useful Supplements90%
Affordability90%

PROS

  • Contains DHA for healthy eye development. 
  • High levels of Omegas. 
  • Added joint supplements. 
  • Very affordable.

CONS

  • Although there are other flavors, they’re not suitable for Havanese puppies with a chicken sensitivity. 
  • Slightly lower in protein than the average puppy food. 

It can be difficult to find a puppy kibble for toy breeds that contains all a growing Havanese puppy needs. American Journey Chicken & Brown Rice is a great choice for a small puppy up to 12 months to get off to a healthy start. 

It contains a plethora of wholesome ingredients, added vitamins and minerals, and puppy-specific additions like DHA and glucosamine. 

DHA is particularly important for Havanese puppies, as they tend to be prone to eye problems later in life. 

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High-Quality Puppy Food 

If your Havanese puppy has an allergy to chicken, none of these flavors will be suitable for them. Every recipe contains chicken meal, even if the flavor is something different. 

If your pup can deal with chicken, they will enjoy this dog food. 25% protein and 15% fat is quite suitable for a moderately energetic puppy. If you feel 25% is not enough for your puppy, the large breed formulas have 30% but only 12% fat (which may not be enough for an active puppy). 

The addition of DHA is essential for any puppy food, but even more so for breeds who are susceptible to eye issues. This food also contains glucosamine and chondroitin, which can be difficult to find in some puppy foods. 

Nutro Ultra Senior Dry Dog Food

Best For Havanese Seniors

Overall Score88%
Animal Protein90%
Adequate Fat Count85%
Omega Count90%
Useful Supplements90%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Specific to senior dogs 
  • Contains superfood antioxidant ingredients 
  • Contains DHA and high Omegas 
  • Joint-strengthening supplements 

CONS

  • Not suitable for Havanese seniors sensitive to chicken ingredients 
  • Slightly low in fat for still-active seniors 

Senior Havanese need a high-quality food as much as the younger ones do. This food is made especially for seniors, and features some great additions to keep your older Havanese happy, healthy, and active. 

With two formulas, one for seniors and one for small breed seniors, you can decide whether your Havanese needs a lower fat count (for less active older dogs) or a higher one for more active dogs.

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The small breed senior dog food contains 13% fat, which is a little lower than average anyway. If your dog is extremely active, it’s worth pairing this food with some high-fat treats. 

The senior food option contains 11% fat, which is even less, so it’s best for inactive senior Havanese dogs. 

It’s packed with wholesome real food ingredients that have super antioxidant properties, to keep your oldie’s immune system healthy as they age. 

Great Additions for Seniors 

Your senior will be getting a dose of joint-fortifying supplements, a splash of brain-sharpening DHA, added vitamin A and vitamin E, and impressive Omega levels in this food. 

All of these supplements help your seniors to age happily and healthily. The ingredients are health-promoting and have antioxidant properties, so your oldie will age gracefully and with the eye-catching Havanese hairdo.  

Blue Buffalo Small Breed Life Protection Formula

Premium Option

Overall Score87%
Animal Protein85%
Adequate Fat Count85%
Omega Count90%
Useful Supplements90%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Added LifeSource Bits for a vitamin and minerals boost 
  • Three flavors available (one without chicken) 
  • Small-breed specific 
  • Small-bite kibble promotes tartar removal

CONS

  • Lamb recipe is not suitable for dogs sensitive to chicken (contains chicken meal)

These dog foods from Blue Buffalo are great middle-of-the-range dog foods that would suit just about any breed, age, or lifestyle. 

Havanese who are moderately active will do well on this dog food. It contains between 24 and 26% protein, which is on the lower end of the spectrum but it’s still quite adequate. The fat count ranges from 14 to 16%, which is right where it needs to be for moderately active dogs. 

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Added Vitamins and Minerals 

Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection food is sprinkled with their unique LifeSource Bits, which are cold-formed vitamin and mineral bombs. 

This is helpful for an immune boost and to round out your dog’s nutritional needs. There’s a decent amount of Omegas and a dash of joint supplements in this food too. 

There are three flavors available, and although the lamb flavor contains chicken meal, the fish and brown rice recipe steers clear of chicken entirely. If your Havanese has food sensitivities, choosing this food range will provide them with the supplements they need, an extra immune boost, and the chance to avoid problem ingredients. 

Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Dry Dog Food Recipe

Best For Skin & Coat

Overall Score87%
Animal Protein90%
Adequate Fat Count85%
Omega Count85%
Useful Supplements85%
Affordability90%

PROS

  • High Omegas plus DHA 
  • Contains superfood fruits and vegetables 
  • Rich in antioxidants 
  • Salmon and fish meal contain Omegas and protein

CONS

  • Doesn’t contain joint supplements

Havanese have a luscious coat, and it’s essential to keep it well-maintained. They don’t tend to shed, thankfully, but if their coat is looking a bit sad and ragged, feeding them a dog food for skin and coat is a good idea. 

This food from Diamond Naturals is designed to nourish your dog’s skin and hair. It’s salmon-based, which starts it off with a great protein count and Omega fatty acid number. 

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The Omegas are at a good level and DHA is also added, which is always great for dog breeds who have eye problems. 

Remember, skin and coat dog food for your Havanese won’t fix all your dog’s hair problems. You still need to make sure they’re getting brushed regularly and use the right shampoo! 

Antioxidant-Rich 

For a very affordable food, this recipe is packed with high-quality superfood ingredients. The main veggies are potatoes, lentils, and peas, but the impressive ones come in a bit further down the list. 

Kale, chia seeds, kelp, coconut, and blueberries are all loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They’ll give your dog’s immune system a nice boost. 

Probiotics have also been added to make digestion easier. It’s also grain-free, so Havanese’s with a sensitive stomach can eat this food worry-free. 

The only downside is that there’s no glucosamine in this food, but that can be easily remedied by buying a glucosamine supplement.

Stella & Chewy’s Dinner Patties

Best For Raw Food

Overall Score85%
Animal Protein95%
Adequate Fat Count85%
Omega Count85%
Useful Supplements85%
Affordability75%

PROS

  • Very high in protein and fats 
  • Easily digestible. 
  • A variety of flavors, suitable for any dog. 
  • Minimally processed.

CONS

  • No added supplements 

A raw diet can reduce allergies drastically, or even eliminate them in some cases. If your dog is quite active, gets regular exercise, and suffers from allergies, it’s worth trying raw food. 

The numbers on these recipes are very high, which is why it’s recommended to only feed this to your dog if they are active enough to burn it off.

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With 11 flavors to choose from (plus 2 for puppies), your dog won’t get bored, even if you are avoiding problematic ingredients. 

Raw food tends to be easy to digest, and this has been minimally processed so there’s little chance of causing digestive trouble. 

High in Protein and Fat 

The protein counts range from the late 30s to the late 40s, which is significantly higher than other foods. Organ meat and muscle meat are responsible for this level, and they’re also rich in iron and essential amino acids. 

The fat counts range from late 20s to late 30s. This is incredibly high, which is why we’ve recommended this food for active dogs who will make use of those calories for energy. Inactive dogs are in danger of putting on too much weight eating this food. 

There are unfortunately no added supplements in any of these foods. We can assume, based on the ingredients, that the Omega count is fairly high. 

You’ll need to add a joint supplement at the very least.


ese dog with a black and white coat

Testing Protocol & Criteria Used For Evaluation

Criteria #1: Animal Protein

The best dog kibble always has a high-quality, named animal protein as the first ingredient on the list.Multiple additional proteins are all right as long as they’re all of great quality. 

Animal protein provides essential amino acids that plant ingredients don’t, which is why a quality dog food should contain it rather than being plant-based. 

Real meat or meat meals are both acceptable. We’ve made sure to avoid animal by-products at all costs! 

We’ve included single-meat source dog foods and multi-source dog foods on this list. Some dogs will be fine with a variety, but others may need a single source to prevent allergies. 

We’ve picked dog foods with a count between 25 and 30%, unless we’ve specifically stated that it’s a low-protein option.

Criteria #2: Adequate Fat Count

Toy breed dogs need more fat than most dog owners realize. Fat is what dogs’s bodies utilize for quick energy, so they definitely need a good amount of it! 

We’ve reviewed foods that contain between 10 and 20% fat. If your Havanese is fairly active, they’ll benefit from a fat count closer to 20%. If they’re a less bouncy dog and prefer hanging out on the couch, between 10 and 15% will be good. 

All the fat sources in the dog foods we’ve reviewed are of high quality. It’s important to note that even if a dog is sensitive to chicken meat, most of the time they can still consume chicken fat without any bad effects.

Criteria #1: Omega Count

Havanese dogs have silky, flowing hair that needs maintenance. You can get a head start on keeping their coat healthy by choosing a dog food that contains high levels of Omega fatty acids. 

Omegas nourish both the skin and coat, keeping them soft, supple, and healthy. They’re essential to look for in any dog food, but especially for a breed that has hair as opposed to fur. 

We’ve reviewed dog foods with good Omega counts that would benefit a dog with a luscious coat. If your dog is getting enough of these in their dog food, there’s no need for separate supplementation!

Criteria #1: Useful Supplements

Toy breeds are not always predisposed to joint issues, but the Havanese does seem to be prone to dislocating hips, knees, and elbows. 

A dog food with a good dose of glucosamine and chondroitin is the best option for these kinds of dogs. 

We’ve made sure the dog foods we’ve mentioned  here contain them, unless otherwise specified. If you do choose a dog food that doesn’t contain glucosamine and chondroitin, it’s not the end of the world – you can feed your dog separate supplements. 

Other things that are helpful for a Havanese include DHA and beta-carotene which both promote eye health. Biotin is good for skin and coat, as well as digestion. 

It’s always easier to feed your dog all the supplements he needs in one easy meal, though, so we recommend choosing a dog food that contains supplements already! 

Criteria #1: Affordability

We make a point of always including this criterion when reviewing dog foods. We all want our dogs to get the healthiest nutrition possible, but there can be a misconception that healthy dog food is expensive dog food. 

Thankfully, that’s not true. Of course, there are some pricey options, most of which are super quality and are worth buying if you can. But, if you’re looking for something more affordable, we’ve got you covered too. 

We’ve reviewed a variety of foods here that contains something for every budget. No matter what your financial situation, you can rest assured there’s a healthy, high-quality food for your dog on this list! You can feed your dog the best food no matter what.


Questions & Answers

What ingredients should I be looking for in the best dog food for Havanese dogs?

A great food for your Havanese should have a high-quality animal protein as the first ingredient. Plant proteins are okay to see on a list as long as they’re preceded by an animal protein. 

A great quality fat source is also essential! Chicken fat is suitable even if your dog has a sensitivity to chicken meat, and pork fat and salmon oil are also superb ingredients. 

In terms of carbs, gluten-free grains (brown rice, oatmeal, millet, sorghum, quinoa) are completely acceptable. Fruits and vegetables are wonderful, and provide vitamins and minerals and long-lasting energy. 

You’ll also want to see good Omega fatty acid numbers and a dose of glucosamine and chondroitin.

What are the nutritional needs of a Havanese?

A Havanese dog needs 30 to 40 calories per pound of body weight, depending on his age, activity level, and weight. 

A good protein count is important for maintaining muscle mass. 25% and upwards is good for moderate to highly active dogs. 

Toy breeds also need a decent amount of fat to provide them with energy. If your Havanese is quite bouncy, they can do with 15 to 20% fat in their dog food. If they’re a little more chilled, between 10 and 15% is great.

What are common health concerns for Havanese?

These toy breeds are generally very healthy and can live up to 15 years. They are prone to certain health conditions, though. 

  • Eye Problems 

These little dogs can suffer from entropion (inward-folding eyelids) which is a genetic condition. Other common issues are retinal dysplasia, cataracts, and tear stains (which aren’t dangerous themselves but could be a sign of an underlying issue). 

  • Joint Problems 

Toy breeds don’t often struggle with joint problems, but the Havanese can be prone to knee, elbow, and hip dysplasia, as well as Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. They can be caused by obesity, so it’s essential to keep your dog slim and trim. Feeding them a dog food containing glucosamine is also a good way to keep their joints strong. 

  • Allergies 

The Havanese can be prone to food allergies that affect their digestion and their skin and coat. This is why the best dog food for Havanese tends to avoid grains, animal by-products, unidentified meat, and artificial flavors and colors. 

  • Other 

These toy breed dogs can also suffer from a heart murmur or other cardiovascular diseases. Portosystemic shunt is a condition that affects the liver.

How do I make sure my Havanese has a good hair day every day? 

Havanese have hair rather than fur. Their fluffy coat needs constant looking after, so be prepared to put in some work to keep your pup looking sleek! 

Choosing a dog food for your Havanese with a good amount of Omega fatty acids is a good start. It should also be packed with nutritious whole-food ingredients and contain no artificial flavors. This will ensure your dog’s coat is well-nourished and fed only good stuff. 

You’ll need to invest in a good brush that is tough but not hard enough to hurt your pup while you’re brushing. A great shampoo is also essential, and some of these are fortified with extra Omegas too! 

Brush your little dog regularly and make sure to keep them knot-free.