Foods to Avoid for Bichons

by Amy M. Armstrong, Demand Media Google
    Drinking alcohol can cause coma and death in bichons.

    Drinking alcohol can cause coma and death in bichons.

    The adorable bichon works his cuteness to the limit in begging for human food he considers to be a treat. Yet in feeding him, it is best to stick to cuisine recommended for canines. Select a doggie treat of high protein and low fat and spoil him with that instead.

    Anything Containing Caffeine

    Your canine friend doesn't have a sweet tooth or an addiction to java. He doesn't need caffeine to rev his engine in the morning. Furthermore, he shouldn't have caffeine as it contains methylxanthines -- a stimulant -- which cause vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and urination, abnormal heart rhythm, seizure and death. Its wake-up effect on humans is dangerous for small dogs such as bichons whose nervous systems are not designed to process such stimuli, as per the ASPCA. This also means sharing your chocolate bar is a health-oriented faux pas no matter how cute Fighto looks when he begs. As the seeds of the cacao plant are roasted to make chocolate, the bitter alkaloid theobromine is created. It metabolizes slowly in the canine digestive system easily reaching poisonous saturation levels, as per Vetinfo. Tea and cola -- both products that can contain caffeine -- should be avoided when feeding bichons.

    Grapes And Raisins

    Might seem like a super cute idea to watch your pup catch grapes or raisins tossed up in the air, but chances are you won't think so after paying the veterinary bill for the care necessary due to digestion gone wrong. Grapes and raisins both contain a yet-to-be identified toxin causing liver damage in dogs, as per the Veterinary Centers of America. The disheartening news about this food poisoning is that acute liver failure isn't indicated until one to three days past the incident, whereas the most effective treatment with the highest survivability rate should begin within two hours of exposure.

    Macadamia Nuts

    While all nuts in general are a challenge for any dog -- especially smaller dogs such as bichons -- to digest, macadamia nuts pose a specific threat. The specific toxin in macadamia nuts has not been identified by veterinary researchers, but clinicians know it is there as they have seen the effect it has on dogs that have ingested it. Neurological symptoms such as an overall weakness, vomiting, drunken walking, tremors and lameness -- particularly in the hindquarters -- are well-documented signs of macadamia nut poisoning in a dog.

    Artificial Sweetener

    Most likely you aren't pouring sweetener on your pup's food, but he could still be in gastric danger from it if you like to chew gum, according to PetMD. Most gums, hard candies, some baked goods and even toothpaste contain the artificial sweetener Xylitol. It triggers an excessive insulin release in dogs that aren't supposed to chew gum or suck on hard candy. While you aren't going to share a stick of gum with Fighto, small dogs such as bichons are notoriously nosy sticking their noses in purses -- where gum is often stored -- left unattended.

    Cat Food

    Seems pretty straightforward but the answer to why dogs shouldn't regularly dine on cat food goes beyond the fact that dog food is for dogs and cat food is for cats. Dogs are omnivores needing food sources from both plant and animals products. Cats being carnivores opt only for the latter. Cat food formulated for the specific nutritional needs of felines won't meet a dog's needs. An occasional dip to the other side of the pet buffet won't hurt a dog -- their taste buds are pleased with the additional protein and fat content of kitty's food. However, too much of that good thing will give a dog -- especially a smaller one such as a bichon -- a tummy ache and diarrhea, as per Pets.

    About the Author

    Amy M. Armstrong is a former community news journalist with more than 15 years of experience writing features and covering school districts. She has received more than 40 awards for excellence in journalism and photography. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Washington State University. Armstrong grew up on a dairy farm in western Washington and wrote agricultural news while in college.

    Photo Credits

    • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images