Bichon Frise Diet & Meal Plan Advice
By Hungry Bark | June 21, 2021
Playful and peppy are two of the distinctive traits of a Bichon Frise. Overly friendly, Bichon Frise is known for being energetic to meet new friends and doesn’t have much aggression in them.
The combination of friendly demeanor, size, and confidence make the Bichon an ideal dog for small spaces and city environments. They are highly trainable, and their engaging personalities make them one of the more popular of the smaller breeds.
Daily cleaning rituals and monthly grooming are essential to a Bichon’s overall health and proper diet and exercise.
To ensure that you’re providing the best opportunity for a quality of life for your Bichon, provide only the best food you can at mealtime. Know that not every meal plan is the same, so keep reading if you’re curious about what to provide your Bichon for its excellent health.
The Importance Of Getting Enough Exercise
Another benefit to daily exercise is that it allows for your Bichon to socialize and explore its environment. Dogs instinctually will sniff and explore their environment to discover sources of food and potential threats.
Dogs rely heavily on the sense of smell, and a daily walk or another outdoor activity allows them to engage with other animals, stimulate their mind, and aid in digestion as well.
Depending upon where you live, we have a few suggestions about the types of activities you can plan for your Bichon.
The key to any activity is that you are playing and bonding with your Bichon Frise.
Daily activities are something that both you and your dog can look forward to and create opportunities to teach and reinforce proper social behaviors.
Walks: Daily walks are a must to engage your Bichon’s curiosity and get some exercise in the process. Walks also serve as a great way to reinforce the bonds and work together on good behaviors.
Hikes: Depending on where you live, take your Bichon on a short hike if you have the opportunity. Keep in mind the terrain and weather as they may negatively impact your Bichon, but you expose your dog to new smells and surroundings by getting out of your immediate neighborhood.
Dog Park: Dog parks are great for socialization skills and get some quality exercise. As Bichon are hyper-loyal, a dog park only scratches one part of their exercise needs.
What plays a significant role for Bichon’s is bonding with their owner, so if you go to a dog park, expect to be engaged in their fun.
Swimming: Swimming is a great low-impact activity for older Bichons that may experience joint issues. It is a full-body workout that has significant cardiovascular benefits as well.
The Type Of Nutrition Your Bichon Needs
Even though they are friendly and peppy, your Bichon does have its personality, likes, and dislikes.
When deciding on the type of meal plan that is ideal for your dog, you must consider its age, weight, activity levels.
One more thing to consider is if there are foodborne issues that may cause allergies and intolerances.
Keep in mind that not all dog foods are manufactured with the same attention to optimal nutrition, and some subpar foods may impact your Bichon’s optimal health.
Also, at different stages of your Bichon’s life, they will have different nutritional needs.
Before we discuss the type of nutrition ideal for your Bichon, let’s discuss some other crucial factors in making your meal plan decision.
Your Bichon’s Age And Weight
Striking the right balance of nutritional and caloric needs can be a little overwhelming at first. We suggest you factor in your dog’s age first and foremost, then consider its weight and overall activity level.
Meal plans that focus on the suitable types of calories and nutrition and serving size will maintain the ideal weight for your Bichon.
How Active Is Your Dog
As you evaluate different foods, your next consideration is your Bichon’s overall level of fitness and activity levels.
Some dogs are prone to overeating or being heavier than others, and knowing your dog’s ideal weight, as well as its activity levels, are primary factors in choosing your meal plan.
Active dogs need much more protein than sedentary ones. A good meal plan should prioritize a single protein source such as turkey in the labeling as the primary ingredient before any carbohydrates or fats.
Does Your Bichon Have Allergies Or Food Intolerance
Food allergies and intolerances can appear randomly. That’s why it’s important to know what type of food your dog is eating.
Dogs who develop a food-borne allergy become more susceptible to additional allergies over time. This process happens because the immune system becomes over-stimulated and aggressively attacks other potential allergens located within the body.
Symptoms of food-borne allergies usually include digestive issues and/or excessive itching. Excessive itching can spiral quickly as it increases skin irritation caused by bacteria getting under the skin triggering the body’s itch response.
Food intolerance occurs when your dog can digest a type of food. It may be due to an allergy or a toxic food source and can’t be digested.
The best way to avoid potential food-borne allergies is to choose clearly labeled, high-quality dog food.
Why Your Bichon’s Food Ingredients Are Important
The type of food you feed your Bichon is crucial to its overall health.
Avoiding foods that have a lot of fillers, additives, and preservatives is ideal. It is also essential to look for ingredient lists that show high protein levels, carbohydrates, and fats in that order.
Proteins are the primary energy source for your dog. They build muscle and help the heart perform its function effectively. Proteins also offer quick bursts of energy.
Carbohydrates break down into sugars in the body and provide a delayed energy source for your Bichon. One of the functions of sugar in the blood is that it serves as the primary energy source for mental function.
Fats provide long-term energy stored in reserves. Too much fat in the diet can lead to many health concerns, but every diet needs some fat levels for delayed energy, and fats aid in minerals and vitamins being absorbed by the body.
How To Read The Ingredients Label
When you read the food label of dog food, there are a few things you need to understand.
Dog food is listed by weight, making the first ingredient the heaviest and most prominent in the list. That means that a protein source should be the first ingredient listed followed by a specific type of carbohydrate such as “brown rice,” to be followed with a source of fat before anything else such as vitamins and minerals are listed.
Reading a food label can also be misleading.
The FDA requires manufacturers to list the types of protein in a way that details the percentage included.
They have four different classifications, and understanding what each term means will inform you of the quality of food you’re providing.
These terms you want to look for are “the 95% rule, “the 25% rule,” “the ‘with’ rule,” and finally, “the flavor rule.”
The 95% Rule
Any ingredient listed, such as “chicken,” must include 95% of that protein source in the ingredients.
The 25% Rule
Food descriptions such as “turkey dinner or salmon entree” mean that food manufacturers only need to include 25-94% of the total protein in the ingredients list by FDA standards.
The “With” Rule
“With” is another misleading term if you don’t know. For example, “dog food with chicken” sounds healthy, but it means the product must have only 3% of chicken in the ingredient list by FDA standards.
The “Flavor” Rule
“Flavor” is another tricky way that subpar manufacturers make their foods seem more nutritious than they may be.
The “flavor” rule basically states that this term is used to describe the food. It needs just enough of the protein source to be traceable. In other words, the protein doesn’t even need to have to be included; it just must have enough that could reasonably find it.
Looking for the correct type of meal plan can be tricky, so we’ve created the Hungry Bark Custom Meal Planner as a great place to start!
In as little as 2 minutes, the meal planner will customize your Bichons meal plan taking into account characteristics such as breed, age, weight, and activity level to provide a custom meal plan for a quality, healthy life.