Although it may seem like a walk in the park at first, owning a Bichon Frise comes with a lot of responsibilities, especially when it comes to knowing how much to feed this endearing dog breed.
The Bichon Frise is one of the most celebrated toy dogs due to its compact, adorable appearance and magnificent coat.
However, maintaining this breed’s stunning looks depends a lot on the quality and quantity of its food.
To help you with this daunting task, this comprehensive Bichon Frise feeding guide will give you information on how much to feed a Bichon Frise, the best types of dog food, when to feed your pup, and so much more.
Bichon Frise Feeding Chart by Age: How Much to Feed Your Bichon Frise?
Considering your Bichon Frise’s age and size is the most reliable method to calculate how much to feed it. Bichon puppies only need around ¾ to 1 cup of food, while an adult Bichon Frise should be eating around 1 cup daily. Senior Bichons, on the other hand, should have about ¾ cups of food daily.
While these two play a big role in determining a meal plan for your Bichon Frise, it should not end there.
Knowing your dog’s activity level and health condition gives you a clearer idea of your Bichon Frise’s daily caloric needs.
Most Bichon Frise should be fed dog food with ample amounts of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients will significantly aid in their growth, healing, and energy supply.
Lastly, fresh and clean water should always supplement their meals, especially in hot weather. Some Bichons might turn up their nose if the water provided to them is stale and unclean.
Take a look at the following feeding charts to help you get a clearer idea of how to feed a Bichon Frise puppy well into adulthood and old age.
Bichon Frise Puppy Feeding Chart (3 to 12 months)
In the first three months of its life, a Bichon Frise puppy should ideally be nursed by its mother. The nutrients from a Bichon Frise mother’s milk play a significant role in developing the puppy’s health and growth.
Bichon Frise puppies less than six weeks old may also be given puppy milk replacement, which is a specially formulated milk substitute that ensures your pup still receives ample nutrition.
As early as three weeks old, you should start weaning your puppy from milk and transitioning into puppy food. You may begin this process by introducing small increments of puppy food and mixing them with warm water or milk.
Once it has fully transitioned to dog food, refer to the table below to see how much food you should feed a Bichon Frise puppy:
|Age||Daily Food Quantity|
|3 – 5 months||0.7 – 0.8||272 – 311||22% – 27%||15 – 18%|
|6 – 12 months||0.9 – 1||350 – 389||22% – 27%||15 – 18%|
If these feeding quantities appear too little, remember that puppies’ appetites and metabolisms are still developing.
These recommended servings are only here to give you a baseline of how much to feed your Bichon puppy.
Adult Bichon Frise Feeding Chart (1 to 8 years)
A Bichon Frise typically reaches adulthood at ten to twelve months of age, as it differs between each dog.
At this point, you have to transition your Bichon Frise dog food to something more appropriate for an adult.
Take a look at how much to feed your adult dogs in the detailed breakdown below:
|Age||Daily Food Quantity|
|1 – 8 years||0.9 – 1||350 – 389||18% – 22%||15 – 18%|
An adult Bichon dog’s weight should be anywhere between 12 and 18 pounds. To maintain this ideal weight, stick to the general rule of serving 0.1 cups per pound. For example, a 10-pound Bichon should be given one cup of food daily.
An adult Bichon’s diet should have more calories and ample amounts of protein, which may be obtained through chicken, beef, or pork. If you’re making homemade meals, add vegetables, fruits, starches, and healthy oils,
Senior Bichon Frise Feeding Chart (9 years and above)
The average lifespan of a Bichon Frise dog is around 12 to 15 years. Therefore, at 9 years old, this toy breed is considered to be in the senior stage of its life.
Compared to other dog breeds, many Bichons actually maintain a high activity level and energy requirement even as older dogs. Still, it is recommended to serve reduced portions of dog food to aid their weakening metabolism.
Check out the table below for the recommended amount of food to feed a Bichon Frise in its senior stage of life:
|Age||Daily Food Quantity|
|9 years and above||0.7 – 0.8||272 – 311||18% – 22%||15 – 18%|
Senior dogs require more protein to avoid weak muscles, boost their immune system, and fight the aging process. Because of this, many dog food formulated for senior Bichon Frise contains high protein levels.
At this stage, owners should be vigilant in keeping a Bichon Frise healthy and nourished. As the body starts to weaken from aging, maintaining proper nutrition is the key to resisting body degeneration.
Bichon Feeding Frequency: How Often Should You Feed Your Bichon Frise?
A Bichon puppy aged 0 to 12 weeks should be fed four times a day. As it nears adulthood at 2 to 12 months, reduce this number to thrice per day. For adult Bichons, two meals a day should be enough. This will decrease to one meal a day once it reaches senior age.
Refer to the summary of the feeding frequency of a Bichon Frise in this table:
|0 – 12 weeks||Four times a day|
|2 – 12 months||Three times a day|
|1 – 8 years||Twice a day|
|9 years and above||Once or twice a day|
A new puppy that has been weaned off its mother’s milk should be given a meal at least four times a day to satisfy its growing appetites. This method also supplements the development of their bodies.
However, as it approaches adolescence at 2 to 12 months, you should limit the meals to three times a day. Bichon Frise dogs are a very food-motivated breed, which means they may be prone to overeating.
This is also why adult Bichon Frise should only be fed twice a day. This routine is a great way to prevent obesity and other potential health problems.
Finally, to accommodate the low metabolism and activity levels of senior Bichons, one meal a day may be enough. You can also opt to continue serving two meals a day, just with reduced food portions.
When it comes to giving treats, take note that dog treats should be used for training purposes and not as a part of your Bichon Fries’s daily diet. If you’re looking for high-quality dog treats for your pup, check out this article.
Optimal Feeding Times for Bichon Frises
For a Bichon Frise puppy, three to four meals should be spread out in even intervals throughout the day every five to six hours. When it enters adulthood, once in the morning and once in the evening is enough, while for seniors, once in the morning or in the evening will suffice.
Refer to the table below to get an idea of the optimal feeding times for your Bichon Frise:
|Age||Optimal Feeding Times|
|0 – 12 weeks||6:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., 11:00 p.m.|
|2 – 12 months||7:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 7:00 p.m.|
|1 – 8 years||7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.|
|9 years and above||7:00 a.m. or 7:00 p.m.|
Most owners opt to feed their dogs at the same time they eat their own meals throughout the day, which is why these feeding times usually coincide with breakfast, lunch, and dinner times.
However, you always have the option to tweak these feeding times according to your routine as long as you do not feed your Bichon Frise too early or too late in the day.
Best Dog Foods for Bichon Frises
A balanced and nutritious meal means your Bichon Frise has a high-functioning immune system, more energy, and fewer health problems — overall, a completely well-rounded and healthy dog!
Still, a Bichon dog’s food should not only be healthy and of good quality, but it should also be palatable and appealing to the Bichon Frise itself.
This might prove to be a challenge, especially when some Bichon Frises are picky eaters that might refuse to be fed low-quality kibble.
Luckily, this Bichon Frise feeding guide can give you an idea of the best food to feed your pup.
Here is a list of potential foods, ingredients, and/or diets to help your Bichon Frise get in the best condition:
- Dry Food: Feeding your Bichon Frise quality dry kibble offers several benefits to your pup’s health. Most good quality dog foods are packed with nutrients to aid your dog’s digestion, reinforce skin and coat health, and even control your Bichon Frise’s body weight. Furthermore, dry kibble scrapes plaque off of dogs’ teeth, which is great for their dental health.
- Wet or Canned Food: Wet food is typically more expensive than dry food, but for a picky eater, it is a saving grace. Canned food is a great source of proteins and vitamins. Furthermore, because it is made up of around 75% water, it can help combat the development of bladder stones.
- Raw or BARF Diet: With the support of dog supplements, a raw diet or a Biologically-Approved Raw Food (BARF) Diet strengthens the natural immune defense of a dog. Piling on appropriate meat sources, healthy fats, ground bones, and raw vegetables can lead to an improvement in skin, coat, stool, and teeth quality.
These different diets have their pros and cons. Kibble is the least expensive, most convenient option, with a variety of healthy products for dog owners to choose from.
For best results, look for dog food with ample amounts of protein and good sources of carbohydrates and fiber, such as corn gluten meal, wheat, or rice.
However, dry kibble may be a little less palatable on its own.
On the other hand, wet food and raw diets may be a good source of protein, but it might add a bit more to the overall costs of owning a Bichon Frise, especially considering the high costs of meat products.
Check out this video about dog foods for more information:
If you choose dry food, wet food, or a mixture of both, you can ensure that the pet food of your choosing is packed with the necessary nutrients if it has been approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Bichon Frise
Avoiding foods that may contribute to or lead to poor nutrition is a must for any Bichon Frise dog owner because this toy breed has a relatively more sensitive digestive system than most dogs.
One of the most common food items to avoid is chocolate. Although these gooey treats may be a delight for humans, chocolate negatively affects the metabolic process of dogs and may cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even death.
Similarly, there are a lot of fruits that are toxic to dogs especially when consumed in large amounts. Stay away from avocados, raisins, and grapes to keep your Bichon Frises’ hearts and kidneys safe.
You should also be vigilant when it comes to the quality of the dog food you feed your Bichon Frise. Always make sure to read the food label of any store-bought dog food you serve to your pup.
Do not feed your Bichon Frise food that contains improper amounts of fillers, additives, and preservatives.
While a small amount of these may benefit your Bichon Frise, it is best not to feed your dog any of these in large amounts.
For instance, beet pulp, potatoes, and beans are considered fillers because they do not add any significant nutritional value to a meal.
However, the fiber that comes from these ‘fillers’ is beneficial for your Bichon Frise’s colon.
It is also best to consult a veterinarian to identify if your Bichon has any food allergies. If certain foods are causing inflammation, skin problems, or digestive disturbances, it is best to stay away from them.
How to Transition Your Bichon Frise to a New Food
Throughout the years, a change in your Bichon Frise’s diet is inevitable. There are two main reasons to explore a different diet as your pup grows and develops.
First of these is age. Like most dogs, maturing from puppyhood, adulthood, and eventually, senior age also brings forth physical and lifestyle changes, especially concerning dietary needs.
New health conditions can also significantly impact what your Bichon Frise should be eating. If your dog is pregnant or inflicted with an illness, additional nutrition might be needed to reinforce its physical well-being.
Transitioning your Bichon Frise into a new diet should be a gradual process to avoid stomach upsets and other negative effects, especially considering how sensitive a Bichon’s digestive system can be.
Take a look at the table below for a more detailed breakdown of how to introduce your Bichon Frise to a new diet:
|Day||Old Food||New Food|
|Day 1 – 2||75%||25%|
|Day 3 – 4||50%||50%|
|Day 5 – 6||25%||75%|
|Day 7 – 8||0%||100%|
If the transition process goes well, you should see improvements in their weight, skin condition, coat health, and stool quality. In this case, you should continue to serve the new dog food as your Bichon Frise’s daily meal.
However, if your pup experiences negative symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite, or stomach upsets, try introducing the new food in smaller amounts. If conditions worsen, contact your local veterinarian.
Feeding an Overweight Bichon Frise
While a chubby Bichon Frise may be adorable, obesity negatively affects your dog’s overall health.
There are plenty of risks that come with obesity, particularly in a Bichon Frise. Due to their long backs and short legs, obesity worsens intervertebral disc diseases. It may also contribute to the development of urinary stones.
To combat this, a high-quality diet plan is needed. Reducing food portions while still maintaining its daily caloric requirement is usually the first step. You should also avoid food filled with preservatives, hormones, and antibiotics.
Dog treats should also be limited throughout the day if not avoided entirely, especially if they are not used for training purposes. Owners should also refrain from serving table food to their Bichon Frise dogs.
You should also consider incorporating ample amounts of daily exercise to help your Bichon Frise organically lose weight. For example, lengthy walks at a nearby dog park are a great way to get exercise and fresh air.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Is My Bichon Frise Not Eating?
If your Bichon Frise is not eating, it may be due to several factors. A sudden change in environment may be the problem, such as an abrupt change in dog food or eating schedule.
Not eating may also be a sign of an undetected health problem, including cancer, liver problems, and kidney failure. If your pup’s loss of appetite continues, consult a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Do Bichon Frise Eat a Lot?
Although small in stature, a Bichon Frise can be a very food-motivated breed that tends to eat a lot. This is why owners of this toy breed should be extra cautious about what and how much they feed their Bichon Frise.
Can Bichon Frise Eat Bones?
A Bichon Frise can eat certain kinds of bones, but not all. Do not give your dog cooked bones, especially from rabbits, poultry, and lamb. These bones are too brittle and may break apart and wound the dog’s digestive tract.
The best type of bone to give a Bichon Frise is a large, raw beef bone because there is a reduced risk of it breaking apart and puncturing the dog’s digestive tract. Plus, it is both nutritious and delicious!
Can Bichon Frise Be Vegetarians?
Dogs are omnivorous, so a Bichon Frise can definitely adapt to a vegetarian or even vegan diet. Just make sure to add supplements that provide taurine, L-carnitine, and vitamin B-12 so that their diet remains well-balanced.
Knowing how much to feed a Bichon Frise is only half of the battle. As you have learned in this article, there are a lot of important things to consider in creating a nutritious diet plan for this beloved toy breed.
This cute, magnificent toy dog may have a sensitive stomach at times, so knowing the best foods and establishing a good feeding routine is key in building a proper, healthy meal plan for your beloved fur baby.
For all the Bichon Frise owners out there, what kind of dog food does your pup like best? Feel free to share your Bichon Frise feeding experience with us in the comments below!
My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially cats and dogs. I’ve got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.