Havanese Lifespan: How Long Do Havaneses Live?

Havanese Lifespan: How Long Do Havaneses Live?

Havanese is a national dog of Cuba. It was developed or bred from the breed called “Blanquito de la Habana.” It is also believed that Blanquito was eventually crossbred with other bichon types such as poodles to create today’s Havanese. How long can these cute and adorable dogs live?

A healthy Havanese can be expected to live between 13 to 16 years. Havaneses have an average age of 14.5 years old if their passing is due to natural causes. Natural cause refers to any fatal illness or malfunction of the body that develops due to the aging process. Female Havenses tend to live about one year longer than male Havanese on average.

In this article, we will go over how long do Havaneses live, leading causes of death, common health issues for this breed, and things you can do to make them live longer.

Havanese Average Life Expectancy

The overall lifespan of Havaneses is around 13 to 16 years with an average age of 14.5 years which is fairly enough lifespan for small size dogs. However, it is not uncommon for a Havanese to reach 16 or even 17 years old. They can live longer with you with proper care and exercise.

This cute and cuddly little companion can live longer than its average lifespan with the right amount of your care and love. They are very affectionate companion who loves to get cuddle up and get attached to the pet owners.

Female Havenses tend to live a bit longer than male Havanese, usually 1 year longer. Due to their small size, the Havanese breed alone has a longer average lifespan than dogs on average. This is because small dogs grow and age slower than large dogs.

According to the 2004 breed health study initiated and conducted by the UK Kennel Club, the median age at death of Havanese was ten years and three months.

However, according to the study, the oldest Havanese dog reportedly dead at the age of 18 years and two months. It proves that they can live much longer than their average lifespan.

We will discuss all the factors which can determine and influence the lifespan of Havanese later in the sections below. Of course, there are multiple factors which as a Havanese owner, you should consider for its longer lifespan. 

Leading Causes of Death for the Havanese Breed

A statistical study conducted by the University of Georgia, involving over 74,000 dogs of all breeds, reveals the leading cause of death for a large majority of purebreds including Havanese.

The reasons of death for puppies are different from adult dogs. Adult dogs usually die due to age-related diseases such as cancers and cardiovascular diseases.

On the other hand, the death of puppies usually caused by trauma, infection, and congenital disease. Puppies refer to dogs that are under one year old.

For Havanese puppies, the leading causes of death are:

  • Trauma: Trauma includes severe injury of the body as well as the mental distress caused by the traumatic experience. This includes being dropped from heights, stepped on, hit by cars, and other severe injuries.
  • Infection: This includes bacterial infections and parasitic diseases that occur in young puppies when their immune system is not fully developed and strong enough to fight them off.

For adult Havanese dogs, the leading causes of death are:

  • Cardiovascular Disease: Based on the study, cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death for Havanese dogs. In fact, most types of heart diseases in dogs cannot be prevented except for heartworm disease. Good diet and exercise are not found to be preventing heart diseases in dogs. But early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to improve and extend the dog’s life expectancy.
  • Congenital Disease: Congenital diseases include all diseases that are inherited genetically from parents such as Colitis and Degenerative Myelopathy.
  • Cancer: The likelihood of Havaneses to develop fatal cancers increases significantly with age. An Italian study, BioMed Central Veterinary Research, estimated that out of every 100,000 dogs, around 800-900 will develop cancer in their life.

Common Health Problems of Havaneses

Every breed is susceptible to some health problems and concerns. Some breeds are greater prone to an inherited or genetic disorder, and some are less prone to it. Let’s discuss some of the health problems related to Havanese which you should be aware of.

The common health issues for the Havanese breed are:

  • Canine Distemper
  • Canine Parvovirus
  • Heartworm
  • Rabies
  • Lyme disease
  • Kennel Cough
  • Leptospirosis

Canine Distemper

Canine distemper is one of the contagious diseases, which is also known as hard pad disease. It hardens the nose of Havanese and even its footpad. It is an airborne disease that can be spread through the air, but it is mostly transmitted through the sharing of bowls with the infected one.

The common symptoms of canine distemper include fever, vomiting, running eyes, coughing, and even paralysis. If you have a puppy of Havanese, be extra careful as puppies are more prone to this disease.

The most effective way to prevent Havanese puppies from getting this disease is by having it vaccinated by your vet.

Canine Parvovirus

Just like the canine distemper, Canine Parvovirus is another contagious disease, which means that it can easily infect the Havanese by direct contact with the fecal matter of another infected dog.

This disease is very easy to spread out and difficult to control. It directly hits the internal organs of a dog.

Havanese can be treated with plenty of fluids and electrolytes. Some other measures also are taken to prevent its secondary disorder. Fortunately, the vaccines are available in the market, which prevents Havanese from getting this disease.


As the name of the disease says, heartworm is caused by parasites spread into the heart, and then it moves to the blood vessels to the wreak havoc in the lungs.

Heartworm is spread by mosquitos, which is not only widespread in cold and humid states, but they are also rampant in the dry states.

The main symptoms of heartworm are severe. The symptoms include respiratory problems, weight loss, lethargy, coughing, and heart diseases. Treatment consists of the use of antibiotics, steroids, or in some conditions, arsenic injections.


Rabies is an only disease which is considered to be in the saliva of the dogs naturally. Rabies is caused by the virus with the same name as the disease rabies from wild animals. So, be careful and keep your Havanese away from rabid wildlife.

The main symptoms include fever, burning, hyperactivity, tingling on pain, and wounds. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for rabies except to keep your Havanese vaccinated.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is one the bacterial disease which is not caused by the virus, such as in the case of rabies. The bacteria are originated from tick bites. Deer tick bites are the most common cause of this disease.  

Once it enters the bloodstream, it quickly travels to the joints, which makes the movement of Havanese difficult. It can only be prevented by vaccination.

Kennel Cough

Kennel cough is a coughing disease that makes Havanese coughs a lot, sometimes coughs for hours.

The veterinaries called it Kennel Cough because it can easily be transmitted to another dog in contact with the infected one. Antibiotics and cough suppressants are the treatments of Kennel Cough.


Leptospirosis is also one of the bacterial diseases which is caused by a bacterium usually found in the water of rivers, lakes, and streams.

However, it can also be found in the soil. The treatment includes antibiotics and supportive care of your Havanese.

Factors That Affect the Lifespan of Havanese

How can we determine the lifespan of any breed is one of the common questions dog owners often ask. In fact, the life expectancy of any animal is hard to predict and depends on many factors such as their lifestyle and family history.

Following are some factors which can affect Havanese life expectancy:

  • Size
  • Exercise
  • Diet 
  • Family history


We know that Havanese is a smaller designer breed, which is usually bred for pet purposes. The weight of adult Havanese is around 7 to 13 pounds while its height is 8 to 11 inches tall at the shoulders, which is considerably smaller than many other dog breeds.

Their small body enables them to live longer and contributes to one of the lifespans determining factors. Small dog breeds usually live longer than large dog breeds because they grow slower. Large dogs tend to develop age-related diseases such as cancers earlier and therefore live shorter.


Exercise is a must for every dog, whether it’s a small or a large size breed. Every dog needs a handsome amount of exercise to keep its mind and body active in the activities happening around them.

Havanese has a tendency to gain weight because of the smaller size. It is easy for them to become overweight by eating too much and not having enough exercise. So, make sure to take him on a walk daily.


Diet plans for your Havanese helps you determine its lifespan. The more it intakes a balanced diet, the more it can be protected from other health concerns, excluding genetic or inherited disorders. Always give your Havanese the diet that best suits its health.

High quality and balanced food diets increase the longevity of the dogs, what they eat matters a lot for a healthy and prolong lifespan.

Family History

This is a pre-factor which can help you determine the lifespan of your Havanese. You can get a pretty good idea of your new four-leg little friend by asking the family history of the breed from the breeder. 

They have the proper history of every breed’s lifespan from birth date to death date of the ancestors, which will help you to determine the lifespan of your little pup more easily.

How to Extend the Life Expectancy of Havanese

Now the question is how we can improve or increase the lifespan of Havanese so that we can enjoy its loyal companionship for more years.

There are some of the best ways to enhance the life expectancy of your Havanese, which are as follows;

  • Keep in touch with the vet
  • Balanced diet
  • Your love and care
  • Keep your Havanese up-to-date with vaccinations

Keep in Touch With the Vet

It is recommended that you visit your nearest veterinary or which you like once in a year. However, if you can bear the expenses of monthly or weekly vet visits, then you should consider that.

Veterinaries are one of the essential sources which can enhance your Havanese lifespan. They can help you diagnose diseases or disorders of your Havanese at an early stage. Early diagnosis and treatment are important to improve their quality of life and make them live longer.

Balanced Diet

A nutritious, balanced diet is essential to keeping your Havanese healthy and fit. There is no exact formula for how much you should feed your Havanese. This is because nutritional requirements vary by size, age, and health.

We recommend visiting the vet to figure out the best food and amount for your dog,

When it comes to wet or dry food, both of them have their own benefits. Dry food is found to be better for a dog’s teeth while wet food provides more moisture, which is good for dogs that are not drinking enough water.

Your Love and Care

Havanese are the dogs that don’t like to be alone for an extended period, and they get easily upset because of it. Your cute little furry loves to hang around people.

They develop a sense of attachment more quickly. Being loved and attached enables them to live happier, healthier and longer.

Keep Your Havanese Up-To-Date With Vaccinations

As we have discussed in the health concern section, most of the diseases which Havanese is susceptible to can be easily prevented by the vaccines. Therefore, make sure your pup is appropriately vaccinated. 

Final Thoughts 

Havanese is a small size dog, which is also the national dog of Cuba. Their life expectancy is between 13 to 16 years with an average age of 14.5 years.

They can easily manage to live more than 16 years with proper healthcare, exercises, diets, being vaccinated, and deeply attached to the family members.


Fred Moresco April 5, 2022 - 4:01 am

Great article. Fully agree. My Havanese is four months old, registered with the AKC. Her parents are also registered. I have all the papers as the mother won different awards. She could be an ambassador for the breed. She loves everybody and everything. The world falls in love with her. I hear her being called the cutest puppy all the time. But she does eat her own poop if I don’t get there first. A little gross, but should outgrow it. I usually get there first. She pees and poops on blue pads. What a blessing that is!

Tom Wenig June 21, 2022 - 6:03 am

Our Ricky is currently 17 years and 2 months old. He is 13 lbs. Sleeps a lot but still runs and jumps.

Deb Lomonaco July 12, 2022 - 6:39 am

Excellent information! Appreciated all of it! My Havanese is currently 15 years old. We enjoy every moment with her. She is very much a part of our family and amuses us with all of her antics. Hoping she can live to be one of the longest Havanese pups!


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