With every dog breed and size having different needs, it can be hard to know where to start with feeding your Bichon Frise.
Can you just feed them any dog food, or does it have to be small dog food or Bichon Frise food only? Do they prefer wet food or dry food? How many meals should they have every day? Feeding any dog can be a daunting task. So, we’ve put together our Bichon Frise Feeding Guide to make things a little easier!
How often should I feed my Bichon Frise?
In most of the world, humans have around 3 or 4 meals a day, with some snacks in-between. However, some larger dogs should only be fed twice a day, while other, smaller dogs do better with a more human-like amount of daily meals.
But what about the medium Bichon Frise? Should your adult Bichon Frise eat when you eat or do they need more or fewer meals a day?
Well, if you feed your Bichon Frise dry food or kibble, most owners go for ¼ cup of small breed or Bichon-specific food in total, split into four meals a day. You could feed a similar amount split into a different amount of meals, but four small meals a day for this small dog is thought of as optimum for the Bichon Frise’s digestion.
A different plan could cause health problems for your Bichon Frise.
What should I feed my Bichon Frise?
All dogs need different nutrition, whether drastically or just a little so. After all, there have to be hundreds of breed-specific dog foods out there for a reason, right? What about the Bichon Frise? What kind of nutrition suits their body, and how well can this flat-faced breed eat?
If you’re going to be feeding your Bichon Frise dog food, dry food is an advantageous option. This is because dry food helps to clean a dog’s teeth as they eat, as well as boosting digestive health. Maintaining tooth health is especially important with the brachycephalic Bichon Frise’s propensity towards tooth decay and other oral health issues.
If possible, go for dry food that’s been developed especially for the Bichon Frise. But, if this is not possible, dry food for small breed dogs is perfectly fine. Check out our list of the best foods for Bichons for more on this.
Equally, some Bichon Frises are at risk of developing bladder stones. For this reason, the more palatable wet food can sometimes make a better option if you’re struggling to get your Bichon Frise to drink enough water. Most Bichon Frises do naturally drink enough, though.
How much should I feed my Bichon Frise?
Above, we recommended that you feed your Bichon Frise around ¼ of dry food or kibble every day. However, did you know that your Bichon Frise’s recommended feeding amount can vary drastically due to a variety of lifestyle factors?
Your Bichon Frise probably weighs somewhere between 10 to 18 pounds, right? Well, a less active, sedentary, or elderly Bichon Frise within this weight gauge requires anywhere between 296 to 495 calories from their food every day. Depending on the kibble brand and any optional extras (we’ll talk more about this later) you put in your Bichon’s bowl, this usually corresponds to ¼ to ½ a cup of dry food.
Whereas if your Bichon Frise is a more active pooch – maybe they accompany you to work or school, they have a job of their own, or maybe they even participate in canine sports like obedience or attend dog shows – they’ll instead need to get anywhere from 404 calories to a whopping 663 calories in their food each day.
Your Bichon doesn’t have to get all their calories exclusively from their food, however. Training treats, little extras, and teeth-cleaning chews all factor into a Bichon Frise’s daily calorific total, sometimes to quite a significant extent. This is fine, as long as you keep track of these treats and try to stick to nutritious options.
When should I feed my Bichon Frise?
Like any Bichon Frise, you can likely find your pooch dancing exuberantly and frenetically at your feet any time you eat so much as the tinest snack, right? So, your Bichon probably wants to eat any time you are eating. But should you feed your Bichon Frise at this time? Or should you only feed them before activity or something?
As we touched upon, four small meals a day is optimum for your Bichon Frise’s long-term digestive health. Ideally, you should space these meals out as much as possible. But, be sure not to feed your Bichon Frise just before or after particularly strenuous activity, like playing fetch or tug of war together. That being said, do make sure your Bichon has sufficient fuel for long, gentle walks.
What treats can I give my Bichon Frise?
There is a myriad of treats for dogs on the market, all with different advantages and nutrition. Some are designed to keep a dog occupied for hours, while others make great, easy to digest training treats. Others help to keep your Bichon Frise’s teeth clean.
Treats that keep your Bichon’s teeth clean and healthy are a good idea. Go for ones that suit the Bichon Frise’s small, brachycephalic jaws.
Training treats are also great for their small size and excellent digestibility and softness. However, many training treats contain an excessive amount of fat or grain, which all dogs find difficult to digest. So, avoid these types of treats. You could always use your Bichon’s own kibble for a more nutritious training option, just be sure they won’t choke on it.
Did you know that many human foods are also appropriate for Bichons? If my own Bichon Frise is reluctant to eat their own food, for example, carrots are a big hit with him. He’ll happily settle down to gnaw a raw one, or I toss him slices as training treats. You should cook carrots for maximum digestibility.
When I feel my Bichon Frise needs some extra calories and nutrition, I think it’s a great idea to add a little cooked potato or rice to his bowl. Potato or rice are carbohydrate sources that a Bichon usually has no problem eating and digesting. They have a little extra nutrition of their own too, in the form of certain minerals. Just make sure you cook them thoroughly for this small dog.
Did you know that Bichon Frises can eat certain fruits too?