Health Testing and Food for Health
We strive to obtain CHIC (Canine Health Information Center) numbers for each of our dogs. The required tests for the Havanese breed for a CHIC number are:
- Eye -- Annual CERF (Canine Eye Registration Foundation) exams performed by a veterinary ophthalmologist to check for juvenile cataracts and other eye diseases
- Knee -- Performed once after 12 months of age by a family or specialty vet and recorded with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals -- read more about patellar luxation here
- Hips -- To test for hip dysplasia. By x-ray, performed after 24 months of age for OFA or anytime after 16 weeks of age for PennHip -- OFA or PennHip
- Hearing -- A BAER test - -brain stem auditory evoked response test performed by an audiologist -- to test for congenital deafness. Read more here
Our dogs also receive cardiology exams and are always up to date on their vaccinations. They get a lot of exercise, running and playing on an acre of grass, and travel often to dog shows and agility trials.
We do not remove dewclaws at birth. There is the occasional chance that one may get injured later in life, but the downside of removing them routinely is an increased chance of arthritis in the front legs and shoulders. Here is link to an article by Dr. Chris Zink, a world renown canine sports veterinarian on the subject.
What to feed for the best health?
We also feed the best quality diet science, and our experience, tells us will benefit our dogs with excellent health and long life. I recommend Mulligan Stew pet food. This food is formulated significantly differently from every other dog food made today, and our Havanese have thrived on it! Please visit their web site by clicking here and read up on it yourself.
There are many other excellent foods today, including Pinnacle, Natural Balance, and Blue Buffalo that have the lower calcium levels recommended especially for toy breeds, but also for dogs of all sizes. Many dog foods have high levels of calcium that research is showing lead to kidney problems in later life.
Carita Havanese also receive fresh cooked meats, eggs, vegetables, fruits and grains such as rice, oatmeal and barley. I make homemade treats from beef liver (chipped and dried, ground and baked with flour, exotic meats such as emu and venison made into dog jerky, etc.). And all my dogs love these treats and learn behaviors with these treats as their rewards.