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All about your Bichon Frise

Happy and energetic, while forever loyal to his family.

Bichons Frises are small and friendly, with a natural talent for learning tricks. Find out more about this peppy, pint-sized dog, from his temperament and how he should be groomed, to his health and exercise needs.

White Bichon Frise Running Through Grass

Breed information & advice

With his friendly, affectionate nature, fluffy white hair and petite stature, the Bichon Frise makes a wonderful family pet. As part of the toy breed group, he is well-suited to apartment living, but still needs plenty of exercise and play time.

  • This dog loves company and needs to be in homes where there is usually someone around.
  • Unlike some long-haired breeds, the Bichon will shed very little, making him an ideal pet for people with allergies.
  • On average, he will weigh between 3kg and 5kg, when fully grown.
  • A healthy Bichon Frise will usually live for over 12 years.

Typical size of a Bichon Frise

Small: 23cm-28cm

Despite being small dogs, Bichons Frises are energetic little characters, so will still need at least half an hour of exercise per day .Taking your puppy for regular walks will help socialise him so he is more settled around strangers and unusual noises.

Bichon Frise puppies grow quickly and reach adulthood in less than a year, so they need to be fed at least four times a day. Once they reach maturity this can be reduced to once or twice a day. The amount you feed him will depend on his age, size and activity levels, and always remember to read the packet.

At least half an hour of exercise per day

A cheerful, playful dog that loves company and exercise, your Bichon Frise will also enjoy the stimulation and attention that comes with agility training.

Bichon Frise Dog Running Through A Field
White And Cream Bichon Frise Looking Straight At You

Common health problems & illnesses

Bichon Frises are generally healthy dogs but they’ll need regular check-ups and vaccinations to stay in good shape. There are some conditions that this breed may be more prone to, and it’s worth being aware of the main symptoms, so you know what to watch out for.

1. Lameness

Bichons Frises may be prone to joint and ligament issues which can result in lameness. While causes do vary, they may include injuries such as torn ligaments, dislocation of the knee or hip dysplasia, where the hip joint doesn’t fit properly. Look out for any stiffness in your dog’s back legs and take care not to overfeed him, as extra weight can make these conditions worse.

Cruciate ruptures accounted for just over 7% of all Tesco Pet Insurance claims for this breed in 2015.

2. Skin conditions

This breed may experience dermatitis and irritable skin conditions which can be brought on by contact with chemicals or pollen for example, or by food allergies and flea bites. Watch out to see if he is excessively licking his paws, or repeatedly scratching and rubbing his face. Your vet will be able to prescribe medicated treatments to soothe the more common conditions.

3. Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is a risk for Bichons Frises, especially in older female dogs that haven’t been spayed, or dogs that are overweight or taking steroid medication. Symptoms include weakness, lethargy, excess thirst or urination and an increased appetite without putting on weight. It’s easily controlled with medication if treated quickly.

4. Cushing’s Disease

The Bichon Frise breed is more prone to this condition, which causes the overproduction of cortisol, and can affect the organs. Common signs of Cushing’s disease include hair loss, a swollen tummy and an increased appetite. While this condition isn’t curable, it can be managed with oral medication.

5. Warts and growths

Papillomas are generally harmless, benign growths on a dog’s body, and are more likely to be a nuisance rather than painful. You may notice these while grooming your dog or he may become irritated with them so he’ll continuously lick the affected area. In most cases, a vet will recommend surgical removal, but it’s always worth checking up on these as soon as possible.

Dog name popularity

If you’re struggling to think of a name for your Bichon Frise, take a look at the most popular ones at Tesco Pet Insurance for inspiration.

Dog name popularity
Alfie
Daisy
Poppy
Bella
Molly

Average treatment costs

Wondering whether pet insurance for your Bichon Frise is worth it? We’ve put together the top five conditions and problems claimed for by Tesco Pet Insurance customers in 2015, and the average cost of treatment.

ConditionAverage treatment cost
Cruciate rupture£793.89
Cushing's disease£282.77
Diabetes£298.16
Lameness£342.89
Warts and growths£406.91

Tesco Pet Insurance claims data from paid treatments including excesses from 01/01/15 to 31/12/15.

Considering Bichon Frise insurance?

We know your dog is an important member of the family so give them the protection they deserve.

Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc.

What owners say

“Radley's favourite spot to sleep at night is across the pillows above our heads at night. He loves to be close to us. And he has a wonderful relationship with my 3 year old daughter. Always snuggling up to her in the chair or following her every move. He is definitely one of the family.”

Grooming advice

Regular daily brushing and a bath every 6-8 weeks will keep your dog’s snowy white coat looking its best. He will love the attention and it will be a great bonding experience for you both.

Although your Bichon's curly white coat doesn’t fully develop until he is about one year old, it’s a good idea to still brush him daily so he gets used to the routine. Training him to sit still while grooming will make both of your lives easier in the long run, and means you can pay attention so his coat is free of matting and skin infections. Once he is matured, you may also want to take him to be professionally groomed every few months.

Every few weeks you should trim his nails to prevent them cracking or splitting, clean his ears of dirt or debris, and brush his teeth regularly. Like many small breeds, Every few weeks you should trim his nails to prevent them cracking or splitting and clean his ears of dirt or debris. Like with other small breeds, you should brush his teeth regularly to avoid teeth and gum problems.

Fun & interesting facts

  • Bichons Frises soared in popularity thanks to a starring role for Snowy in Hergé’s Adventures of Tintin.
  • Ozzie the Bichon Frise has his own Facebook account with more than 5,000 followers.
  • The name Bichon Frise comes from the French for curly-haired dog, and the breed is also sometimes referred to as the ‘Tenerife Dog’ due to its alleged Canary Islands origins.
  • The Spanish painter Goya featured Bichons in several of his famous artworks.
  • This dog breed may well have disappeared over the centuries if it hadn’t been for his ability to learn tricks that kept him popular and busy with circuses and organ grinders.

Important information

KEY INFORMATION

The content on this page aims to offer an informative introduction to pet breeds, but does not constitute expert veterinary advice. If your dog or cat falls ill or has an injury, contact your vet immediately. Tesco Bank Pet Insurance has a partnership with vetfone™ which means that as a customer, you can benefit from their advice as part of your policy.

Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. The vetfone™ service is provided by Vetsdirect Ltd.

All facts and figures were correct at date of publication and were compiled using a range of sources.

WHAT IS VETFONE?

Vetfone™ is a 24/7 helpline that provides expert advice from nurses qualified with the RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons). If your pet has a medical emergency, or you need reassurance on grooming, feeding or general advice, vetfone™ is there to help.

As a Tesco Pet Insurance customer, you can access expert veterinary advice provided by RCVS registered vet nurses as a standard benefit with your policy, and the service is provided at no additional cost. A quick call could answer any questions you have about your pet, give you peace of mind and could even save you an expensive trip to the vet.

Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. The vetfone™ service is provided by Vetsdirect Ltd.

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