Pet Insurance for Havanese

Find out all about Havanese and their common health conditions, and then compare pet insurance options from some of Australia’s leading insurers.

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, updated on September 21st, 2023       

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Price range

$4,000–$5,500

Height

20cm - 28cm

Weight

3kg - 6kg

Personality

Affectionate, gentle, responsive

Coat length

Long, silky, hypoallergenic

Exercise needs

Low

Kid-friendly?

Yes

Life expectancy

12 - 15 years

Havanese

Overview

The Havanese is a delightful and affectionate little breed possibly originating from Tenerife, in the Canary Islands. They are closely related to the now-extinct Tenerife Bichon, and it is believed they are also related to the Bichon Frise. They were taken on board ships in the 1600s as rat-catching dogs, and made their way to Cuba, which is the country they are most associated with. As they were popular pets in Havana, the capital of Cuba, they became known as the Havanese, but they were little known outside of Cuba until the 1800s. However, they were introduced into England, and Charles Darwin made the breed very popular, with Queen Victoria owning two Havanese.  

Their numbers have grown in the past two decades and they are now a very popular breed of miniature dog world-wide. They were introduced into America in the 1960s, and into Australia in 2000.  

They are tiny companions that have a beautiful long silky coat that’s hypoallergenic. It requires regular grooming and attention to ensure it doesn’t become matted. Havanese are known for their friendly and playful nature. They love to do tricks and have a great sense of humour. They are highly adaptable and make great companions for individuals or families in smaller living spaces, and the elderly, and they are totally suited for apartment living. Havanese are intelligent and eager to please, making them relatively easy to train. They get on well with other dogs and can enjoy the company of cats. 

Common diseases and conditions of Havanese

  • Hypoglycemia: Low blood sugar is a potential issue with all toy breeds of dog, as they don’t have the fat reserves to supply adequate glucose in times of stress.
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease: This is a condition where the dog’s hip joint starts to degenerate, which can cause pain when moving.
  • Luxating Patella: Luxating patella is a condition where the kneecap (patella) dislocates from its normal position. It can cause lameness and discomfort. 

Breed-specific issues:

Their affectionate nature makes Havanese sensitive to being left alone for long periods, and they do suffer separation anxiety. They may require a companion dog or cat if their owner has to leave them alone for several hours during the day, as they are ‘velcro dogs’ and don’t like to be left alone. 

How much does pet insurance cost for a Havanese?

Most Australians can expect to pay between $20 and $60 a month for pet insurance. There are many factors that can influence the cost of pet insurance for your dog, which is why it's important to compare pet insurance policies. Factors affecting the cost of your insurance include: 

  • Age: The older your dog is, the more pet insurance is likely to cost. This is because senior dogs tend to have more physical health conditions and illnesses due to age, and so present a higher insurance risk.    
  • Type of insurance you choose:  There are three basic types of pet insurance available in Australia; accident-only, accident and illness, and comprehensive insurance. An accident-only policy is the cheapest type of insurance available, with comprehensive coverage costing the most.  
  • The policy annual limit: Each pet insurance policy has an annual limit, which is the maximum amount that will be paid out on the policy in one financial year. Annual limits range from around $10,000 up to $25,000 or more.   
  • Sub-limits: In addition to an annual limit, there may also be sub-limits that apply to the policy, for example, a $300 sub-limit for consultation fees, or a $5,000 limit for cruciate ligament conditions.   
  • Benefit percentage: Pet insurance does not cover 100% of the cost of your vet bill. Instead, it may pay a percentage of the total bill. This can range from 50% for cheaper policies, up to 90% for the best policies available.   
  • Excess amount: This is the amount you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket each time you make a claim on your policy. Some pet insurance policies do not come with an excess amount, whilst others do.  
  • Any add-ons you choose: It’s possible to add on more cover options to a basic policy, such as emergency boarding fees, routine care and dental care. These add-ons extend the scope of your pet insurance, but do increase the overall cost of the policy.  
  • Discounts: some insurers offer discounts of between 5% and 15% if you have multiple pets insured together, if you pay your premium annually, or if you bundle your pet insurance with other forms of insurance with the same company.
  • Gap-only insurance options: Some insurance companies offer a gap-only insurance option, which means when you go to the vet you'll only be required to pay the gap amount, not the cost of the whole bill. This is similar to the Medicare system of health insurance for humans in Australia, where gap payments can be made at HICAPS terminals at the time of treatment. 

Types of pet insurance you can choose from

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Common questions about Havanese

Are Havanese the same breed as the Shih Tzu? 

No, they are not the same breed, although they can be hard to tell apart, as they were both bred for the same purpose and look very similar. They share many similarities in terms of size, coat, appearance, and temperament. However, Shih Tzus trace their roots back to Tibet, with a history dating back centuries. In contrast, Havanese dogs hail from Cuba, although they were originally from the Canary Islands.  

Are Havanese yappy dogs and do they bark a lot?

No, Havanese dogs are not typically considered yappy dogs; their barking tendencies are only moderate, and they can be trained to bark less often if they are too vocal. When home alone with their owners they tend to bark very little.  

 
Do Havanese make good lap dogs?

Yes, Havanese are known for their affectionate nature, and they often make excellent lap dogs due to their small size and loving temperament. They are very happy to sit on their owners’ lap and be petted for hours on end.  

Are Havanese a rare breed of dog?

Yes, they are a comparatively rare breed which were once almost unknown outside of Cuba. However, it is thought they were taken to England in the 1800s and were once fashionable dogs for wealthy European ladies. However, they were not taken to America until the 1960s and are still considered a rare breed.  

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