The bichon frise is a small breed, with adults weighing between 10 and 20 pounds, yet these hardy, active dogs need plenty of regular exercise. A bichon's coat grows constantly but does not shed, so you must groom him regularly to keep his coat neat and unmatted. The absence of shedding makes the bichon frise a good breed for people with allergies, and their playful, happy nature makes bichons a good choice for families with children. The intelligence and loving nature of a bichon frise makes him easy to train, but bichons can suffer separation anxiety if they are left alone too long.
Keep your bichon frise healthy. Discuss her immunization schedule with your veterinarian, and alter it as necessary if your bichon is sensitive to the vaccines. Bichons can suffer from a variety of genetic diseases, including bladder troubles, allergies and hip dysplasia. Take your dog for regular checkups, and keep watch for symptoms that may indicate a medical condition. Discovering and treating a health problem early can bring about faster recovery or slow progression of the disease.
Feed your bichon frise a high-quality dry food. Give him between one-quarter and three-quarters of a cup of quality dry food twice a day, and adjust the quantity as necessary for your dog's activity level and age. Check his weight by running your hands over his sides and feeling for his ribs. You should feel them with little trouble. Reduce his daily ration if you can't feel his ribs.
Exercise your bichon frise daily. Take her for a daily walk, and give her toys to entertain herself when she's indoors. Let her run and play outside under supervision or inside a securely fenced yard. Bichons are great with children and other pets, who can serve as playmates for good exercise. Use a dog crate to contain your bichon frise when you're going to be away for a time. A bichon frise left alone is a miserable bichon frise, so it's best not to own one if you're going to have to leave her alone a lot.
Brush your bichon frise daily to prevent tangles or mats from forming. Pay extra attention to the legs, where your dog may lick or chew on himself, causing mats to form. Using the pin brush, brush upward, not down. Finish the session with the slicker brush to completely remove as much of the natural curl as possible from your bichon's coat.
Check your bichon's nails and eyes. Trim her nails twice a month. Take great care to avoid cutting into the quick, which will cause pain and bleeding, and could cause infection. Check her face for signs of eye irritation, tear stains and infection. Bichons tend to suffer from eye problems such as eyelids or lashes that turn in and irritate the eye. Use a warm washcloth to wipe any discharge or mucus from around the eyes, and remove any tear stains.
Brush his teeth regularly. Use a toothbrush and toothpaste specifically formulated for dogs to brush your bichon's teeth at least two or three times a week. Bichons can suffer from tooth-related health issues, such as gingivitis and early tooth loss. Regular brushing and professional cleaning can help keep your dog's teeth strong and healthy.
Introduce grooming sessions early in your bichon's life to help him become accustomed to the routine.
Because of the bichon frise's unique hair type, grooming is a time-consuming procedure, and may be a more difficult task than a typical owner will want to undertake. Seek the help of a professional groomer who has experience with bichons to handle grooming responsibilities.
Items You Will Need
- Food and water dish
- Dog toothbrush and toothpaste
- Dog crate
- Dog shampoo
- Dog conditioner
- Coarse comb
- Pin brush
- Slicker brush
- Dog coat scissors
- Nail clippers
- woman and bichon dog image by Pierrette Guertin from Fotolia.com