How to Take Care of Bichons

Caring for your bichon frise requires a lot of grooming.

Caring for your bichon frise requires a lot of grooming.

Your bichon frise is a happy, mischievous little personality wrapped in a puffy, cotton ball-like package. This playful pup is as good-natured as they come and offers his family lots of affection. His needs are fairly simple, but his coat requires more grooming and attention than you might expect.

Feed your bichon a high-quality dog food twice a day. Full-grown bichons range between 7 and 12 pounds on average, meaning they generally don't need a huge amount of food. Depending on how active and old your perky puffball is, he'll need between ½ and 1 ½ cups of food per day. Adjust his food as necessary so he doesn't turn into a roly-poly puffball.

Keep him well groomed. Claims that bichons don't shed are untrue -- the cast-off hair just gets caught in the dense white coat instead of landing on your furniture and clothes. Brush your pooch regularly, at least two or three times a week, to remove the shed hair and prevent tangles and mats. Apply a pin or slicker brush to get through his thick coat and all the way down to the skin.

Wash your perky pup as necessary to keep his coat clean and white. Dead hair holds dirt, and any dirt or stain on your bichon stands out glaringly from his otherwise white coat. Apply a whitening dog shampoo to get him all squeaky clean and make his coat look its whitest. Rinse him thoroughly and apply a conditioner to make his hair soft. Towel away excess water and finish the job with a hair dryer on a low setting.

Walk and play with your bichon every day. Although he may look like a dog who'd rather sit and watch the action instead of participating, your little curly-top is a rough-and-tumble pooch who loves to be active. Take him for a daily walk and play with him to release some of that energy. The more he plays, the more calories he burns and the less likely he is to become overweight.

Train your bichon to behave properly. Your little puffball is a smart dog who will walk all over you if you let him. Don't let him. Start training as soon as possible to instill proper behavior. Place him in a crate to assist in housebreaking and to provide a safe place for your little guy when you're heading out without him.

Items you will need

  • Food and water dishes
  • Dog food
  • Pin brush
  • Dog shampoo and conditioner
  • Dog crate
  • Leash

Tips

  • Place cotton balls in your bichon's ears to prevent water or shampoo from dripping inside and possibly causing an infection.
  • If the grooming routine for your bichon is too intensive, have a groomer clip him short to reduce the amount of brushing necessary. A visit every month or two keeps him clean and looking trimmed and neat.

Warnings

  • Bichon's ears don't promote good airflow, meaning moisture and dirt can get caught inside and cause problems. Check his ears once a week for signs of something amiss and clean them with a cotton ball and ear cleaner.
  • Regular vaccinations are recommended to keep your dog healthy, but some bichons have a vaccination sensitivity that can cause physical symptoms such as soreness, lethargy and hives. Speak with your veterinarian about the necessary vaccines for your pet and create a plan to deal with this possible
 

About the Author

Jane Williams began her writing career in 2000 as the writer and editor of a nationwide marketing company. Her articles have appeared on various websites. Williams briefly attended college for a degree in administration before embarking on her writing career.

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