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Bichons frises are adorable playmates and friendly companions. One of the very few drawbacks of this breed is that the plush, soft coat takes time to attain the trademark look. If you are a bichon owner, you are probably already used to daily maintenance and care.
However, time is not all it takes to keep your pooch happy and healthy – quality care products are equally important. This is why we’ve decided to introduce you to the best shampoos and conditioners on the market. These do not only pamper your pooch, but also make grooming a lot easier.
Top Pick: Cloud Star 2-in-1 Dog Shampoo + Conditioner
Cloud Star shampoo and conditioner has all it takes to make your bichon’s coat truly shine. It contains several natural ingredients, such as sage, aloe vera, rosemary, and coconut. Apart from these pure botanical extracts, the product is alcohol-free.
As a bichon owner, you need to pay extra attention to bathing products because alcohol-based ones dry out the bichon’s already sensitive skin. The Cloud Star 2-in-1 mix has a gentle touch. Apart from cleaning the coat, it is also specially designed to moisturize the skin and imbue it with a calming scent thanks to lavender and mint.
Things I Like About This Product: This product is enriched with vitamin E and C, which helps to keep your pup’s coat healthy and smooth. The shampoo has a coconut base, which smells delightful in combination with lavender and mint.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: While the scent is a great feature of this product, it may be worth keeping in mind that it doesn’t last a very long time after the bath.
Runner-Up: Veterinary Formula Solutions Snow White Shampoo
If you have a purebred bichon, you may know the struggles of keeping the coat bright white. Fortunately, the Snow White shampoo was created especially for owners with white dogs. It has a whitening effect on the coat while nourishing and cleaning it at the same time.
Similar to the previous product, it is enriched with vitamin E to keep sensitive skin healthy. In addition to this, the shampoo contains green tea extract and is pH-balanced.
It’s worth keeping in mind that, despite the whitening effects of this shampoo, the product doesn’t contain bleach or peroxide that may affect your bichon’s health. It cleans, brightens, and softens the coat while keeping it white and healthy.
Things I Like About This Product: It’s a great, well-rounded shampoo for white bichons. It doesn’t affect colored patches either if your dog has any. The scent of the shampoo is very pleasant and long-lasting.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: While this shampoo is great for white bichons, owners need to make an additional purchase as it doesn’t come with a conditioner.
Budget-Friendly Option: Burt’s Bees 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner
If you are on a tight budget, you may want to consider Burt’s Bees 2-in-1 pack. It provides an all-in-one solution made with natural ingredients, such as oatmeal and shea butter, which leave your dog’s coat clean, soft, and shiny.
The product is gentle enough to be used even on puppies, so your pooch’s sensitive skin will definitely stay healthy and moisturized with this product. Just like the previous option, it’s pH-balanced for all dogs and even puppies.
Things I Like About This Product: Burt’s Bees is an affordable solution for busy pet owners. Despite the affordability, the product doesn’t miss on quality. It is made of natural ingredients, including lavender, avocado, and honey, it is cruelty-free and doesn’t contain added fragrances, colorants, or sulfates that may impact your dog’s health.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: This product works better with trimmed coats that are kept fairly short.
Premium Option: Earthbath 2-in-1 Conditioning Shampoo
Earthbath 2-in-1 conditioning shampoo is one of the best products for bichon owners who want to pamper their furry friends. Smelling of tropical mangos, free of parabens and phosphate, and 100% biodegradable, the Earthbath 2-in-1 shampoo leaves the coat clean and soft.
In addition to this, the shampoo is designed for bichons with longer coats. Grooming and maintenance can be troublesome, but this shampoo facilitates brushing and combing, so it is easier for you to take care of your pup. You don’t need a conditioner because the shampoo has a conditioning effect.
Things I Like About This Product: This shampoo contains high-quality, premium ingredients. It is free of damaging parabens, alcohol, and soap. The brand also provides refunds in case you are not happy with the results.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The conditioning effect is not as powerful as when you use a separate conditioner. It is not suitable for pups younger than 6 weeks old.
Best for Puppy: WildWash Dog Shampoo
If you’ve recently welcomed a bichon pup into your home and heart, you should know that puppies have very sensitive, delicate skin. Choosing the right care products is more challenging than for adult dog owners.
The WildWash dog shampoo was specially formulated for puppies. It is pH-balanced, free of fragrances, and contains natural, puppy-safe ingredients like aloe vera and soybean oil.
The product contains Cocamidopropyl betaine, which is derived from coconut oil. This substance enhances the feel and texture while ensuring that your pup is clean and free of residue and build-up.
Things I Like About This Product: The WildWash shampoo is specially formulated to take care of puppies’ coats. It contains essential oils that have cleansing properties and a beautiful scent.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: It’s recommended to leave the shampoo on for 5 minutes to let the essential oils do their magic – this could be difficult if your puppy is energetic and restless during the bath. Also, the product is concentrated, so you need to add water to it before use.
Best for Senior: 4Legger Organic Dog Shampoo
If you are the proud owner of a senior bichon, you may be looking for products that ease the maintenance routine. The 4Legger organic dog shampoo is a high-quality product, USDA-certified organic, and contains all-natural ingredients, making it a great option for the most discerning customers.
One of the best highlights of this product is its ease of use. You can easily rinse it off your dog, and the result is nothing short of impressive, leaving the coat clean, smooth, and velvety soft.
One of the main ingredients is oatmeal, which has anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties, making it a great care product for your pup’s aging skin. It is also enriched with lavender oil, which can reduce skin irritation and is recommended for pups that have very dry skin or environmental allergies.
Things I Like About This Product: This brand has received many accolades, including the Eco Excellent Award for Best Grooming Product.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The shampoo initially has quite a strong scent, but it fades out after the bath.
What Should You Consider When Choosing Shampoo and Conditioner for Your Bichon Frise?
Shampoos and conditioning products are extremely varied. They come with different scents, ingredients, and uses. Not all shampoos and conditioners are suitable for your bichon’s sensitive skin and coat. Below, we’ll have a look at some of the most important aspects you should consider when choosing the right products for your pup.
This is perhaps the most important feature you need to consider. Bichons frises are known for their sensitive skin prone to irritations and allergies.
The term “hypoallergenic” means that none of the ingredients are likely to cause an allergic reaction. This is very important to avoid health problems and complications later on. Not all dog shampoos are hypoallergenic, so you need to check the ingredients on the label.
Some pups love to be pampered and take a nap with you, but the moment they are outside, they will most likely find the muddiest puddle to roll in. If your bichon tends to play outside for a long time, you need a shampoo with strong deodorizing properties.
These shampoos remove the unpleasant odors and replace them with fresh scents. Not all shampoos have a long-lasting scent, so you need to pick the product that suits your needs, especially if you want your pup to smell nice for a long time.
Although it may seem intuitive, a good shampoo and conditioner should contain only natural ingredients. This means that they are not harmful to your pup. An all-natural product is less likely to cause an allergy, itchy patches, or any other skin issues compared to an average shampoo.
Bichon’s skin is sensitive and dry. To avoid issues, the chosen shampoo and conditioner should have moisturizing properties. In some cases, the climate or even the diet can cause skin dryness, so you should pick the appropriate shampoo. In the case of dry skin, your bichon can suffer from painful, cracked skin or itchy patches.
You should also consider if you want a 2-in-1 product or if you want to buy the conditioner separately.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both, some of them being that a combo saves time – since you only need to apply it once. On the other hand, the conditioning effect is a lot weaker when using a 2-in-1 product. Buying two separate products may be quite expensive, and may take a lot longer than the 2-in-1 product, but you’ll definitely notice the results.
Aloe and Oatmeal
Many of the products reviewed in the previous section contain aloe and oatmeal. The main reason behind this choice is that these two ingredients soothe dry skin and hydrate it. Aloe has a long reputation for healing cuts and minor wounds while moisturizing the skin. Oatmeal is added for the same purpose, so, if your bichon frise has any skin issues, these two ingredients should be included in your purchased products.
Purebred bichons are usually bright white. Maintaining this color is very difficult, especially as time passes. Fortunately, there are many shampoos with whitening properties. One note of caution is to thoroughly verify the label – the product should not contain any bleach or harmful chemicals.
Are There Any Ingredients You Should Avoid When Choosing Shampoo and Conditioner for Your Bichon Frise?
There are quite a few ingredients commonly added to dog shampoos and conditioners. Most of them are used to prolong the shelf life of the product, others may be included because the manufacturer didn’t do their due diligence. Nonetheless, there are a few common ingredients you will find on some labels that you need to be aware of.
First, it should be noted that some manufacturers may not even disclose the ingredients altogether. Some brands state on the product that the product is made using a proprietary blend, which should be a warning sign. It’s best to choose products whose ingredients are clearly listed on the label.
Two common ingredients added to such products are artificial fragrances and phthalates – the latter being used to bind the fragrance to the rest of the ingredients. Artificial fragrances can cause cancer, while phthalates are hormone disruptors. While the product may smell nice, this can have a long-term negative impact on your pup’s health.
Isothiazolinone preservatives are linked to allergic reactions, so this ingredient should not be listed on your bichon’s shampoo bottle either.
Mineral oil should also be avoided. Some claim that mineral oil protects the dog’s skin by providing a protective barrier. While this is true, the mineral oil also prevents the release of skin’s natural oils and toxins. The only safe form of mineral oil is pharmaceutical-grade one – the rest are contaminated by other substances, such as benzene.
Unfortunately, dog grooming products do not have to adhere to specific safety regulations. Thus, there is no authority tasked with checking the safety, purity, or trustworthiness of the manufacturer.
The best products that you can find for your bichon are certified organic ones. To obtain this certification, the manufacturer must go through different checks, including how and where the ingredients were grown, harvested, and processed. Organic certification is also a guarantee that the product is free of pesticides, herbicides, artificial fragrances, and artificial colors, among others.
Can You Use Human Shampoo and Conditioner on Your Bichon Frise?
Some people state that human shampoo and conditioner are safe for dogs, while others are relentlessly arguing that these are not safe for pooches. The main thought behind it is that, while human shampoo and conditioner clean and soften the coat, they may contain numerous ingredients that are harmful to your dog.
First, it’s important to understand how a dog’s skin and coat work. The top layer of the skin is covered in a thin layer of “acid mantle” – this prevents the dog’s skin from getting in contact with contaminants, bacteria, parasites, and viruses. The acid mantle also reduces evaporation and absorbs water, keeping the skin hydrated.
When we wash our bichon frise, the acid mantle is eliminated. Because of this, dog shampoos and conditioners contain special ingredients to moisturize and protect the skin until the acid mantle is renewed. For the acid mantle to protect the skin, acidity and alkalinity must be balanced, which is known as pH balance.
Humans and dogs have different pH balances (5.5 to 5.6 for humans, while dogs have a pH balance between 6.2 and 7.4). Consequently, human shampoos are created for a more acidic environment.
Using products with the wrong pH balance on your dog will seriously disrupt their skin health, leaving them vulnerable to viruses, bacteria, and even parasites. Human shampoos can further make their skin too dry, and prone to cracking and itching, which eventually lead to abrasions and wounds – that can eventually get infected.
Thus, while human shampoos and conditioners will clean their coat and skin, it’s not recommended to use them. It’s important to find dog-friendly products to have a healthy, happy bichon.
The bichon frise requires time and high-quality products to look neat and stay healthy. Owners should be aware of this breed’s heightened skin sensitivity. It is very important to choose care products from trustworthy, reputable brands that protect the bichon’s coat and skin against excessive dryness, itchiness, and allergies.