Carefully planning your next best friend with great love and dedication.

Puppy Shopping List

We are often asked what products we recommend.  Below we have provided links to our favorite products.  These are items we feel are essential for the health of our dogs or  for the ease of grooming.  

We feed all our dogs
 NuVet Plus all-natural human grade vitamins i n the powder form for small dogs and puppies. Some adult dogs like the 'treat' variety, but the treat is a little firm and some dogs don't like it and everyone seems to like the powder.  We have found our dogs have lovely coats, are full of energy, and are extremely healthy. NuVet Plus can help heal and protect against the ravages of free radicals that attack your pet throughout its life. It  is fully safe and affordable! In addition, if your dog suffers any ailments it can also be helpful for:

 * Allergies
* Skin and Coat Problems
* Scratching, Itching, Biting
* Hot Spots
* Arthritis and Joint Problems
* Premature Aging
* Low Energy Levels
* Diabetes and Liver Problems
* Cataracts and Tumors
* Digestive Problems
* Tearing
* Heart Disease

These vitamins are made in the USA of US  human grade, all natural ingredients, which makes me feel better using them. Other vitamins I don't know if the ingredients came from China or are of usable form  to benefit health.

**Saving JUST ONE major trip to the vet could pay more than a lifetime supply of NuVet Plus®  I have heard personal testimonies of dogs who have had major positive changes in their health by using NuVet vitamins.  We personally use them as a supplement and preventative.

We recommend starting these slowly, giving only 1/4 dose for the first 6 months, then 1/2 dose until a year old, then you can move up to a full dose.  

To order, click on the logo to the left or the link above.  Use order code 54281.  NuVet Plus is not available through stores. You can also call 1-800-474-7044 ID Code 54281.

Most of our shopping we do through Amazon unless it is a specialty item only available through one supplier, however, Revival Animal has many of the essential doggie items also, so feel free to shop around. I have tried to find the best value for each item and attached a link for easy shopping.  Have fun shopping for your new puppy!

- ***this is REQUIRED to pick up your puppy****.  Nutrical is a vitamin and nutrition supplement.  It is in a gel form and very easy to administer a dab to the puppies tongue.  It is very common for puppies to not want to eat for a short time during stress, such as during travel or the transition to a new home.  I always have some of this on hand.  It will be necessary for you to bring this with you when you pick up your puppy.  Puppies can easily get hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) during stress, and if not eating regularly.  The nutrical will supplement them during the transition with both nutrition and help regulate sugar levels.  I will show you how to give it before you leave with your puppy.  Other vitamins requite the puppy to eat/chew in order to administer. This is applied directly to the tongue and is quickly absorbed, so no eating is required.

Benebac or  Endurosyn   or  Fastrack Gel  *** this is also required****, make certain to get the gel tube, which is very easy to administer and doesn't require the puppy to eat it, it just wipes on the tongue. These are probiotics in gel form.  This is very helpful for times of stress and can help your puppy from developing loose stools during stress, such as the transition to a new home. It is also useful to restore intestinal flora if your puppy has loose stools.  Very helpful to always keep on hand.  Both the benebac and endurosyn work well, but I must say, the Fastrack is by far the superior product.  Just one dose took away soft stools.  I was truly amazed.  It is a bit more expensive but is so fast acting, in a sick dog, this is an important consideration.  On the down side, Fastrack needs refrigerated and the other two do not.  For basic stress of travel, maybe not so critical, but still helpful.  For basic stress, benebac or endurosyn both do the job nicely.  ****You will need to bring this with you when you  pick up your puppy****.

Kayolin Pectin Anti-diarrhea - *** this is also required***  a safe and effective treatment for loose stools caused by stress or dietary upset.  An essential for your puppy medicine cabinet for home and travel.  

Egg Yolk - one tsp powdered egg yolk or 1/2 boiled egg yolk per day.  Powdered egg yolk can also be given  at one teaspoon per day. This will make a one pound bag last about three months. This stores easily (about a one year shelf life if stored in a dry dark cupboard) and is easy to give while traveling. You can also add a bit of water and microwave to make scrambled egg yolk. This will help their bones, eyes and coat. Consider which method best works for your lifestyle and be prepared before your puppy comes home.  We get ours at

Crate: Your puppy will need a crate. This will be his safe place. It will also help you in training your puppy. You may decide you would like to have a larger
metal crate 24L x 16 W x 21 H for at home and a plastic for travel which gives much more safety to your pet, 21 L x 16 W x 15 H, we prefer the Petmate Sky kennel s ize small. The metal crates will collapse under impact, so the sturdy plastic crates such as this one provide your pet with the best protection in the event of an accident.

You may also choose to travel with a soft-sided 'Sherpa' style bag, we prefer the Snoozer Roll Around size Medium. These look a bit like a duffel bag. They are small and convenient, but do not leave your puppy alone in one, they can easily scratch their way out.  These are great for around town, or for travel in an airline under your seat.  Amazon has a large selection.

Crate Pad - you will need at least two blankets, towels or crate pads since puppies are messy and may have accidents, have at least one extra.  Personally we like to use satin or cotton pads for the summer as they are cooler and fuzzy ones for the winter when it is cooler, so we have several pads in our closet.  For travel I use beach towels as they fold smaller and are easier to wash out if necessary, and they are multi purpose on trips.  :)

Snoozer  -  The Snoozer Roll Around  our FAVORITE travel bag, size Medium will fit your pup for life. It is airline approved for traveling under the seat with you in the cabin.  It works wonderfully for going around town. Our dogs use this bag all the time and love it.  I can take them into stores without any fuss.  Since it has wheels it is easy to tote them around without having to carry them. We have used this bag going to parades and other busy areas, so the dogs do not get stepped on but we do not have to carry them.   While it is an investment, I wouldn't be without one.  I use it all the time when we travel and when we are out around town.  This bag however, you cannot leave your puppy alone in, as the puppy can easily damage the mesh and escape.  But it works perfectly for vacations or trips around town.  I often have full seats so I place it on the floor of the vehicle.  If I have empty seats I put it in backward, buckling it in with the dogs facing the back of the car seat. This way, in the event of an accident, the puppy would not fly through the netting but would instead go up against the back of the seat. However, this bag did not score well on crash testing, so if you really want a puppy safety seat, I would check out the pup saver car seat of the sleepy pod bag, both of which have good safety ratings. However, neither has the convenience of the roller bag, which I find very useful so I don't have to carry the bag so it's easier on my body.

Safest puppy car seat
 - safety in the vehicle is a BIG deal.  New crash testing reports have shown most crates and restraint devices have failed in a 30mph crash. This is VERY disturbing. Your puppy sitting on your lap is in danger of being thrown around the vehicle and could be injured or injure others as a 10lb object at 30mph becomes a 300lb force projectile.  Ouch!  Please protect your furbaby.  While there are no guarantees, and the needs of each family are different.  We take too many dogs to give each their own seatbelt, so we place ours in the Snoozer with the soft harness attached to the harness latch on the bag or in a skykennel and belt in or place it at our feet in the vehicle if we don't have any extra seatbelts.  (with a family our size, this happens often).  For those who have room for a doggie car seat, these have the highest ratings as being crash tested and approved to hold your pup in place. I have not personally used these, but they do look nice.

Pupsaver car seat  I have families that have this seat and love it. They feel it is very safe for their puppies and easy to use.  It is however rather bulky if you are trying to fit dogs and kids both in the car.

The  sleepypod air   also had a good score for crash testing, as it held in place and the dog was contained inside.  The benefit of this is that is can double as a car seat and a travel bag for airline use or simply around town use.  This bag looks like a worthy investment.  I have families who have used this bag and really like it.  I think this is my new favorite  non-rolling bag and favorite care seat.  The crash testing was excellent, it's roomy enough for them to lay down or turn around, it is collapsable to fit any and all airline regulations, it's made of luggage quality to sustain much use.  Available directly through sleepy pod or on Amazon or Chewy for a savings of about $10.

X-pen:  These come in plastic, metal, or fabric varieties. They can be purchased at a pet store or in the baby department sold as baby play yard. They allow your puppy to get exercise while you are away or at home but unable to have direct supervision of your puppy. They can also be used outdoors to contain your puppy to keep him safe while you are busy doing other things. They are NOT to be used as an outdoor unsupervised confinement for your puppy. Havanese are house dogs and must live in the house with you!!  The metal and plastic are appropriate for home use while you are away from home and your dog is unsupervised.  The fabric variety is perfect for travel, light weight and easy to fold and take with you, but is not designed for unsupervised use as your dog could make a hole in the mesh and get out while you are away..  Amazon had a nice selection.

Comb: You will need a metal fine/medium tooth comb for grooming your puppy. The comb is the easiest way to make certain you have gotten all tangles out of his coat. This is the comb I use for stubborn tangles. The very best comb is the  Chris Christensen Buttercomb, it has rounded teeth that make combing less painful for your dogs.  It is quite expensive, but many love it.  

A very nice every day grooming comb with extra long teeth to go through the coat to the skin and with rounded teeth to be gentle on the skin that I really like and actually rivals the CC butter comb is extremely economical and comes in a two pack.   This may be my new favorite comb, for it's function and value. If you can only get one comb, I would recommend this comb. We have one for show days and it makes a wonderful finishing comb to smooth the coat.  

Another go-to comb for every day combing and grooming is a  rotating, rounded tooth comb.  It does most jobs well, the dogs don't mind it and it's not as expensive.  


  Wooden bristle oblong Chris Christensen brush. It is good for smoothing the coat, finish brushing or daily brushing, but can also miss tangles so should not be used as the sole grooming tool. This is my favorite brush.  It may be a bit expensive upfront, but it will give a lifetime of wonderful grooming that is much more comfortable for your dog. It is great for a daily once over.   This is a very nice every day brush.

Chris Christensen 27mm oval pin brush - this is a very nice grooming brush, it has longer pins to allow it to go through the coat. The pins are rounded at the ends to help it be more gentle, but because the pins are very thin they can still be a little abrasive with heavy brushing, however, this brush really goes through the coat to the skin and breaks out smaller tangles and is excellent for basic brushing before and after bath or between baths as  needed.  I am very impressed with how well this brush works to get out basic tangles and leave the coat nice and smooth. This brush is best for using on a dry or just slightly damp coat, not for after bath wet brushing.  You do have to be careful as the pins can be a bit scratchy to sensitive skin.

Chris Christensen dematting brush - this brush works very nicely for larger tangles and matts.  The larger pins are very gentle on the skin but work through bigger tangles gently.  This is also a very nice all purpose brush as it is still gentle on the skin.  If I could only buy one brush, it would probably be this one.

Dematting Rake - This is an essential item, especially during coat change, but really any time your dogs coat gets a little 'out of control' and you get some tangles in the coat.  This is like taking 9 razor blades and dragging it through the coat at one time.  You do have to be careful not to cut yourself or the dog.  One side is sharp and will cut through the matt, the other side is smooth and will go against the skin of the dog and be gentle.  This will allow you to easily get those tangles out without too much damage to the coat and no bald spots and not too much complaint from your dog.  This dematting rake is for right handed use, if you are left handed you will have to search for one that is left handed.


We use the  Chris Christensen Spectrum 10 shampoo and conditioner  for all our grooming needs. This is a very conditioning shampoo and conditioner and makes the coat extra soft and silky, it can be diluted down or used full strength depending on your needs.  We have tried many other shampoos and conditioners and always come back to this.  We use it for all our grooming needs, diluted for daily use and full strength for show days.  We have never had our dogs have dry or itchy skin using Spectrum 10 and the fragrance is very mild but smells fresh and clean.

Laser Lites SILK - this is a wonderful product that helps your Havanese coat lay smooth and silky. It is a spray on leave-in conditioner/treatment. It helps avoid tangles or get tangles out.  I really LOVE this product.  It's a bit pricey but lasts a long time.  You dilute it into a spay bottle (I use just a small 2oz cosmetic spray bottle so it's easily portable and easy to keep near me with a comb or brush for inbetween bathing.  Follow dilute instructions on the bottle, then add a little more or less depending on your needs.  This makes a really nice brushing spray.

Dilution bottles:  While you can easily use any bottle to dilute your shampoo and conditioner (we dilute 4:1) using these bottles is just plain easier.

Ear Cleaning -
TrizUltra + Keto  to be used after bath time, a few drops in each ear and rubbed in.  This will help to keep the ear clean, and also help to avoid ear infections caused by water getting in the ear canal.  It re-balances theph of the ear to help avoid the growth of bacteria and yeast.

Nail Trimmers:   trim your pups nails every time you bathe him to help keep them neat so he can walk properly

Scissors:. you will want a small pair of hair scissors to trim to pads of your dogs feet. This will help keep them from slipping and also keep dirt from collecting on the feet.  Long hair on the feet can also be itchy to the dog and cause them to chew on them.

Spray bottle:  Fill with 1 part conditioner and 10 parts water. Spritz on the coat whenever you are going to comb or brush your puppy. This will help keep the coat from breaking.  Can also be purchased at the dollar store of any discount store.

Collar/Leash: Your puppy will need a collar and leash for whenever you take him out. 1/2" width works well, pick a very soft nylon so it will tangle the coat less. A collar that measures 10" and can be adjusted smaller will fit for the life of your puppy.   Lupine 1/2" 8-12" will fit for life. A 4' or 6' lead will work best. Retractable leads are not recommended. They do not encourage proper leash training nor are they especially safe for puppy or human in congested areas. Another option than a collar is to get a soft harness. This will prevent your puppy from pulling too hard and damaging his esophagus, but you will need to brush out his coat after wearing it to avoid tangles.   Our favorites are from Lupine, and best yet, they  have a lifetime guarantee, even if chewed.  A step in dog harness will prevent your puppy from pulling and damaging their sensitive esphogus and trachea while walking.  Lupine is our favorite company, they offer a good quality product that has a lifetime guarantee, even if chewed.  Gooby also makes a nice escape-proof dog harness , but it does not come small enough for puppies, but is a nice upgrade once your puppy grows a bit then it will fit into the small once closer to adult size.  The chest must measure 13" before this harness will fit, that is approximately 6-7  pounds.

Dog tags - your pups will be microchipped, however, it's also good when out in public they have a dog tag with your number on it just in case they get loose so you can be contacted immediately.

Food dish: Stainless steel dishes are the best as they are not porous and are cleaned easily.  You will need a larger one for water and a smaller one for food.  We have some like this for travel.  Ceramic or glass is also fine for home as long as you inspect for cracks, once it has cracks it will harbor bacteria.  Wash dog bowls daily to avoid bacteria in their dish which can lead to illness.

extra small stuffed toys  (the small stuffed kong toys are a favorite, and the duck is the ultimate favorite),  crinkle toys,  kong bell that fits treats or peanut butter, blue nubby nylabonekoosh balls,   LambChop,  these are some of our dogs absolute favorites.

Dental Care:  We like  Petz Life gel  for tooth brushing. If you don't prefer to brush, we like  Petz Life spray, which is just sprayed between the cheek and the teeth a couple times a week.   We also like  VitriScience Perio Support a s a daily supplement to avoid tartar.  This can just be sprinkled on top of the food.  *****  while these items may seem expensive, compared to the price of a dental, it is very inexpensive.  I would recommend beginning to use the perio support after all the adult teeth are in, around 6-9 months. You can begin using the gel and spray any time to get them used to brushing teeth or mouth cleaning.  The Perio Support is the most effective means of keeping the dogs teeth clean and avoiding dentals that we have found.  I HIGHLY recommend it for the oral health of your dog.

Snuggle Puppy - to help comfort your puppy in their new home. I've heard excellent reviews of this puppy from a previous puppy buyer, who thinks all puppies should have one.  I'll leave that up to you, but it may be comforting and helpful to make the transition without mom and litter mates.

treats -  Our favorite treats are cheerios, carrots, and green beans.  These are the best treats as they do not add much to the calories your dog takes in.  Our dogs love veggies!    However, for doggie treats, we use Cloud Star Grain Free Buddy Biscuits, Cloud Star chewy tricky trainers,  they also like Pure Bites freeze dried liver treats, we cut them into smaller pieces.

potty box  - The puppies have been trained to use a potty box.  This helps them distinguish that there is a proper place to go potty.  You may want to use one of these in the puppy xpen or at your preferred potty station in the house, even if you plan to train your puppy to go outside, this will give your puppy a safe place to potty while you are not around. Available on Amazon or at Tractor supply.

Potty pads -  The disposable Members Mark pads at Sams club are the best, as they are heavier woven, so shredding is more difficult.  The square size fits the box better, but the rectangular pads can be used and folded to the correct size. Whatever kind you buy, make certain they are unscented, as the puppies tend to shred and tear up any brand that is scented.   We prefer the Members Mark Pads from Sams Club , either the puppy pads or the adult incontinence pads work well, thankfully they are now available on Amazon for those who do not have a Sams Club membership.  Though, they are cheaper if you have the membership, but on Amazon they are priced the same per pad as other brands.   Amazon Members Mark Pads  Sams Club Members Mark Pads     Just may be worth a membership if you plan to keep your puppy using potty pads.  Another option, for those who prefer waashable potty pads is to get cloth incontinence pads to use for your puppy instead of the disposable variety.  There is a company who makes 'pooch pads'  or 'pup pee pads', however, I find it's much less expensive to get the human grade cloth pads.

High Power blow dryer - makes blow drying faster and easier and the coat more anagable.  Regardless if you keep your dog in a long coat or puppy cut, blowing dry completely is a MUST in order to keep the skin healthy.  A high powered blow dryer helps make this quick and easy compared to a human blow dryer.  A bit of an investment, a BIG time savings.  Your puppy will already be used to being blow dried with this dryer.

Grooming Table - makes grooming easier if you are doing any trimming or using clippers.  There are many options, you don't need a big one, just one big enough for your pup to stand on full grown.  If you plan to always use a groomer and only do baths at home it is likely you will not need a grooming table.  It's easy to bathe, blow dry and trim feet on your lap. However, if you are going to do full show grooming or clip into a puppy cut you will need a grooming table.

Elevated pet tub - place this inside your bathtub for a quick and easy elevated bathing experience if you don't want to use the kitchen sink and don't have a utility sink.  This tub will help keep you from bending over the bathtub.  It's a good option for those who need it.  I personally bathe my dogs in the kitchen sink.  :) 

Tick Remover - cheap and small, but handy to remove a tick should you or your dog encounter one.

-  elk antlers are our dogs favorite chew toy and they help get the puppy teeth out during teething time. We do not recommend the split antlers as they dogs really go crazy chewing them and could potentially damage their teeth. We have not had any issues with the whole antlers.
Nylabone blue nubby bone. This is our dogs favorite chew bone.

Doggie beds and crate pads  - our dogs love doggie beds of all varieties.  The very nicest dog beds we have had are  Le Purple Puppy They are home made, high quality and she will make them personal to match your decor.  She also makes the cutest little doggie clothes, belly bands for boys and panties for girls.  She has satin, cotton and fleece dog beds. She also makes wonderful little doggie blankets to match the bed, which can be put in the bed and the dogs love to dig their perfect nest.
She also makes the most plush doggie crate pads.  I will never purchase any other dog beds or crate pads, as these are such a wonderful quality.  They are designed for toy dogs. I simply LOVE her home made pads and beds. They quality is amazing and she will even customize them to match your decor.  Amazon, pet stores etc also have a large variety of beds and crate pads.  

Doggie Stroller  - very handy to travel with your pup and take your pup just about anywhere.  We love ours!  This is the stroller we have.  I never thought I would be 'that' dog mom, but I have learned this is a great way to take the dogs on long excursions or into places like malls and stores where dogs are not allowed to go unless in a carrier.  I now love the doggie stroller.

Doggie stair or ramp  - if you plan on your dog/puppy to be getting on and off your bed or furniture, you will want to invest in a set of doggie stairs or ramp to help them on and off so they don't injure themselves jumping off.  In some of the pics you should be able to see our simple pair of stairs which we use for our dogs, they are inexpensive and fold up if not needed and are non-slip and easy for them to use.

Doggie jackets and boots.   Your pup may appreciate a jacket or coat this winter.  Boots may also be useful if you take winter walks. Always be careful their pads don't get too hot on concrete in the summer or too cold in the snow in winter.  There are many suppliers, but 
Cherrybrook  has a nice selection this fall.

Puppy-proof: Make certain to puppy proof your home BEFORE your puppy comes home. Remove electrical cords, hazardous plants, cleaning supplies, plastic bags, potpourri, grapes/raisins, chocolate, coffee grounds and xylitol (found in sugar-free candy, power bars, and gum; causes life threatening low blood sugar from a single stick).

​Dog Food:

Dog food is always a struggle for puppy owners.  We also stress about assuring to give our dogs the very best nutrition possible.  With pregnant moms and growing puppies there are even more concerns.  We prefer a food that is ALL LIFE STAGES, and only recommend ALS dog foods so you will not have to change your dogs food just because they turned a certain age. Having the correct protein/fat/calcium/phosphorus ratios is also important for growth and development.  Our dogs generally do better on lower protein and fat foods, we try to keep about 26% protein and 16% fat.  Our dogs are eating Pro Plan All Life Stages Small Bites Lamb and Rice.  

​Important to know about AAFCO feeding trials:  

All Life Stages feeding trails are for a whole year or longer. They must nourish multiple pregnant females, multiple litters, and then the puppies growing up.  If even ONE fails, the trial then the food fails.   This is the reason why it is so important that a food not only be made to meet the AFFCO recommendations of nutrition, but also undergo FEEDING TRIALS that substantiate that the food is PROVEN to provide complete and balanced nutrition.  This is also why I prefer an All Life Stages food, as it provides complete and balanced nutrition for at minimum an entire year of testing.  Specific adult or puppy based foods are completed over a minimum of 26 weeks, which isn't bad, but over an entire year, including pregnancy, childbirth, nursing, weaning, puppy growth and development is a whole lot more inclusive in proving it is a wholesome food.  

I have spent many years feeding boutique foods and I have my own stories to tell about how this food did not provide MY dogs with complete and balanced nutrition, causing an assortment of issues.  However, every time I have fed Pro Plan ALS food, which is also proven through feeding trials, my dogs have done amazingly well. Why did I continue changing?  Simple, marketing kept making me think I was not feeding my dogs the best.  Thus, I have sacrificed my dogs due to marketing. No more.  The proof is in the results.  My nearly 16yo has been on Pro Plan Sensitive Skin Salmon for almost her entire life due to some sensitive skin issues. She has been in perfect health.  The others I would change around due to no sensitivities, and they have suffered. I will not do this to my dogs again.  They will eat Pro Plan with pride, as I know the results, I trust the scientific feeding trials, and I have seen how well my dogs have done on this food.  Yes, there will be those who say otherwise, but I will no longer be fooled by creative marketing and fancy words to make me think I am feeding a better food because it is sold by a smaller company, has unique ingredients, is marketed as holistic or otherwise. I will trust science, research, and a company that spends time and money to research dog health and the food they sell.  My dogs are worth it.

Important information to know about dog foods:

1.  The FDA has issued a warning about grain free foods and foods made by boutique companies who do not have staff veterinary nutritionist, as many dog foods on the market today do not provide a complete and balanced diet.  This is causing many dogs to develop Dilated Cardio Myopathy (DCM), enlargement of the heart which can lead to heart failure and death. This is due to a taurine interruption in the balance of the diet. The exact details are still being investigated and studied by UC Davis.  High levels of peas, legumes/bean is one implication, unbalanced food is another even for non-grain-free foods. You can check out the facebook group Taurine-Deficient Dilated Cardiomyopathy for  more information. Or you can check out the associated website for TD- DCM, which has all the information from Dr. Stern without all the conversations, just the facts.

2. At this time we do NOT recommend any grain free diet or foods with peas, lentils, chickpeas, beans or other legumes such as alfalfa, soy etc, or potatoes or sweet potatoes in the first 5 ingredients.  We do not recommend any food that has not undergone AAFCO feeding trials. (Formulated to meet AAFCO standards is NOT the same thing.)

3.  Just because it has good marketing and sounds good to humans, does not mean it is well balanced for the health of our dogs.

*****If you are one of our puppy buyers, please feel free to contact me about more information regarding this issue and for suggestions on feeding  your personal dog.

Currently we are recommending:  Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach Salmon,   Pro Plan Sport 27/17 Turkey and Barley ,   Pro Plan Small Bites Lamb and Rice   or   Pro Plan 26/16 Chicken and Rice We are not a fan or the 'savor' varieties which have chewy bits, but we know many dogs love this and do well on it. We feel the 30/20 formulas have too much protein and fat in them for the Havanese and do not recommend this formula.  We also are not a fan or the toy dog variety as it aslo has increased protein and fat which our more seditary dogs simply do not need, it can cause them to be overweight and can also be hard on their liver and kidneys to process that much fat and protein.  Our vet recommends  no more than 28% protein and 18% fat with preferred at 26% protein and 16% fat for most toy dogs.  The Pro Plan Bright Minds varieties for older dogs also would be recommended, though I have personally never fed it. Pro Plan weight management may also be a good option if your dog tends to carry extra weight.

We will keep you updated when new scientific information becomes available about the DCM issue.

If your dogs has been on a food long term that is suspect in DCM, it is recommended you get your dog to see a veterinary cardiologist for an ECHO of it's heart.  There is also a taurine blood test, however, toy breeds appear to be susceptible to nutritional DCM even if the blood taurine is considered normal, but they are also being treated with a change of diet, taurine supplement and other heart meds and finding good results to return to normal heart function as long as the damage is not too severe.

If the food has not undergone FEEDING TRIALS do not feed that food.  Insist your dog get the best, a food which has been proven by feeding trails to be balanced and nutritious.   Pro Plan is our personal choice.  Just because it is holistic, made in the USA, made by a small family company, human grade ingredients etc DOES NOT mean it is healthy for your dog!  It's all marketing.  Feeding trials and research determine if a food is actually healthy for your dog.


Here are some articles you can read regarding this issue.

Nutritional DCM fact website hosted by a Veterinarians and other professionals who are coordinating information from Dr. Stern, the Cardiologist who is studying this issue.  This website is designed to provide the facts about the issue.  It also will be featuring some real testimonies about dogs that have suffered this terrible and preventable heart disease.  Please be patient as they are constantly updating the questions section. The question may be added but the scientific and accurate statement from the DVM's and scientist have not yet been added.  Be patient and check back often.

It's Not Just Grain Free: An Update on Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy  -  Tufts second report on the problem of Nutritional DCM.

A Broken Heart: Risk of Heart Disease in boutique or grain free diets or exotic ingredients
This is THE MOST IMPORTANT article to read on the subject of dietary DCM.  It is written by a veterinary nutritionist at TUFTS.  Her primary research is in the nutritional aspects of canine heart disease. She is arguably THE world expert on the subject.  If you only read one thing, read this.  If any other information from any food company makes a statement, refer back to this.  She is the expert, trust the expert.  

Debunking the Myths around Corn Gluten Meal  You may find this very interesting. I have avoided corn in food for years and believed many other false things about dog food based on clever marketing.  Now I am getting my information from veterinary specialist only and re-training my thinking about many things, including corn.  As it turns out, few dogs are actually allergic to corn, and corn gluten meal contains the amino acids necessary for dogs to create their own taurine. Who knew? Thus far our dogs have been on corn and have had no reactions, no skin issues, no yeast in the ears, etc.  I guess they are doing just fine on a formula containing corn.  However, ProPlan offers varieties without corn should you prefer a formula without corn try the Turkey and Barley or the Sensitive Skin and Stomach formulas.

Flea and Tick:  I do not use any chemicals on my dogs. We treat our yard with Diatomaceous Earth (feed grade) and that takes care of these pests.

FDA Warning on Flea and Tick medications.   These have been linked to neurological events, including seizures in all breeds of dogs, including Havanese.  Do not take the risk.

While I never use chemicals on my dogs, those with the least reactions appear to be Frontline and Revolution.  Always talk with your vet and watch your pet carefully and discontinue at the first sign of a reaction.

My final word about dog food:  Is it worth risking your dogs HEART and HEALTH in order to feed any  food which has not been researched and proven through feeding trials not to cause nutritional DCM or other nutritional diseases?  Do you want YOUR dog to be their feeding trial? There are dogs dying every single day from eating expensive, small family company, holistic, home grown, human grade foods, grain free foods, gluten free foods and so on that make YOU feel good about what you are feeding your dog, as if you are feeding yourself.  However, stop to think, the wonderful sounding food you are feeding your dog may very well kill your dog of organ damage years early.  Your dog may present with DCM, Congestive heart failure, liver failure, kidney failure etc. as you continue to feed a food which has not been tested or verified as providing complete and balanced nutrition and you dog will simply die of organ damage way too young. This is not a scare tactic, it's REAL dogs, owned and loved by REAL families who are loosing their pets way too early. (Check out the facebook group Taurine Deficient (Nutritional) DCM and read the heartbreaking stories of real dogs being fed these popular boutique foods.  Is it really worth the risk?

As for me and my dogs, I WILL NOT risk their HEALH just so I can 'feel good' about feeding them a highly and quite geniously marketed dog food.  I will take all the boo hooing from othersabout the 'junk' dog food I feed and continue to feed my dogs a very well tested and proven dog food that I can feel good about feeding, knowing I am feeding them a balanced and nutritious DOG food that will meet the nutrtional needs of their unique body systems for a long and healthy life.  That I can feel GOOD about.