Bichon-Poo
Health Info
  Questions & Answers
The following is based solely on experiences that I have had personally and with my veterinarians.
 

Sensitive Stomachs?

Perhaps. I really haven't had a problem with stomach sensitivity with either my Bichon-Poo or my Bichon Frise. However, I really don't vary very often from the normal diet that I feed them.

What Am I Feeding My Bichons?

I feed my Bichon's Hill's Small Bites Puppy Dry or Hill's Small Bites Adult Dry food. I mix this with some wet food such as Pedigree Puppy or the wet "packets". I also often mix in hamburger, chicken, or turkey and even occasionally cheese. During the course of the day, until "dinner time", they munch on dry food -- and I catch them in our cat's dry food also.

Can dogs have cheese? I hear different opinions.

Well, I won't lie. My dogs LOVE cheese -- any kind of cheese! My vets recommend not giving them cheese or at the very least, in very limited quantities.  I will say that I have not so far experienced any bowel problems or any other obvious problems related to feeding them cheese. I do overall limit their "people food" however.

Diarrhea/Upset Stomach? What about hamburger and rice?

I have read differing opinions on the hamburger and rice mix for diarrhea -- particularly on the Internet. One popular Bichon Frise site is adamant that you shouldn't feed them hamburger and rice. However, all three of my veterinarians don't support that opinion and recommend it any time they have upset stomachs and/or diarrhea -- and for any breed. We also have a Golden Retriever puppy and they have all had diarrhea from time-to-time. Each and every time we have used the hamburger and rice, it has worked and quite quickly.  Be sure to check with your own veterinarian, of course, before you make a decision. I have been told though that hamburger and rice won't harm them in any way.

What about Pepto-Bismol?

I have been told by one of my veterinarian's and also have read that owner's frequently use Pepto-Bismol on their dogs. This is very wrong and can be very harmful. According to my veterinarian, there is an ingredient in Pepto-Bismol that is aspirin-based. This can be lethal to dogs. Under no circumstances should you ever give a dog an aspirin. 

Are there particular foods that our dogs should not eat?

Yes, there definitely are. Here are some of them that can lead to death in dogs:      Chocolate, Onions, Garlic, Raisins, or Grapes
 

Allergies?

My Bichon-Poo seems to be sensitive to a few things...for instance, I can't spray hairspray anywhere around her or she sneezes repeatedly for several minutes.  My Bichon Frise had a reaction to licking off some flea medication. My Bichon-Poo has had one episode of a "hot spot" also. It was easily cleared up, however, with a cream from our veterinarian. Your vet can test for allergies and give you plenty of options to help minimize symptoms.  My Bichon-Poo also had an episode of excessive biting at her paws and itching -- she did have a few fleas (not a lot) -- and my vet recommended using the flea medication monthly and until the excessive itching subsided, using Benadryl 2x per day for 10 days. 

Please be sure to check with your veterinarian before using any type of allergy medication -- including the Benadryl. Dosage needs to be administered according to the weight of your dog. The wrong dosage can also make your dog sick or can cause death. Caution is of the utmost importance so please don't try to self-diagnose!

What about Bichon's eyes?

Neither of my Bichon's have really ever had excessively runny eyes. However, in December of 2004, my Bichon-Poo did start running a reddish discharge from her eyes, around her mouth, etc. Upon visiting our veterinarian, I found out that she had a slight eye infection -- which I had to treat with an antibiotic ointment -- that normal secretion in a Bichon will show up a reddish color against the white fur. The color is common and of course, won't go away until the hair has grown out and been clipped away. 

I also found out from reading and from my vet that a Bichon can suddenly develop runny eyes at any age. I was pretty alarmed at first because she had never had that as an issue and suddenly there it was -- but it's actually common. Again, be sure to check with your vet -- ease your mind and just to be sure something else isn't going on with your Bichon.

Does the weather bother Bichon's?

Yes, the weather does bother the Bichon's. Well, actually, let me clarify -- the temperature can bother the Bichon. The heat doesn't seem to bother them as much as the cold -- but, the heat does bother them like any other dog and, of course, keeping them hydrated if they are going to be in the heat for any length of time is necessary. 

Winter cold does bother the Bichon's as their coats just aren't heavy enough to be outside for very long -- a brief walk at the most. I highly recommend using sweaters, sweatshirts, etc., on your Bichon if you are taking them outside or even if they are traveling with you.

What about fleas?

Bichon's are a bit more susceptible to flea infestation than some other breeds basically just because they are white and fleas are attracted to white.  I highly recommend using a prescription flea treatment monthly OR (not both) using a flea shampoo every couple of weeks.

What shampoos/soaps can I use?

My vet strongly recommends the use of Oatmeal based shampoos. These come in all types, including flea shampoos.  They are great at whitening the Bichon's coat and are gentle on their delicate skin.

Additional questions and information will be posted here as it crosses my mind, visitors ask questions, etc.

Please be sure to only take the above as my personal experience. Having a good veterinarian available to you is your best bet!

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