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The bichon frise is a toy breed that is known for its adorable demeanor, fluffy white coat and amicable personality. Cuddly and affectionate, bichon frises will suit most households, even those with inexperienced owners, young children, and seniors, making them the ideal companion dog.
However, they are not without their health issues. Notorious for their stomach problems, bichons frequently fall prey to tummy troubles like diarrhea, vomiting, and gas.
Are Bichon Frises Prone to Suffering Stomach Problems?
Yes, unfortunately, bichon frises are prone to having sensitive stomachs and food allergies. While most bichons frises are associated with dental complications, gum and periodontal disease can lead to stomach problems if left untreated. In addition, bichons are little cheeky buggers that can get into trash and dig into something they aren’t supposed to, giving their sensitive tummies a hard time digesting doggy-unfriendly food like onions and garlic.
Thankfully, most, if not all, stomach problems faced by the bichon frise are issues that can be prevented and remedied in a timely manner. If the problem seems too serious to sit and wait out, off to the vet’s you go!
Of course, all dogs are at risk of parvovirus, bloat, distemper, and rabies, all serious diseases that can be prevented by keeping up with your pooch’s vaccination schedule.
How to Tell If Your Bichon Frise Has a Stomach Problem
A bichon frise’s sensitive little tummy is easily upset. While most problems are minor and will pass, like some light diarrhea or the occasional puke, always head to the vet if in any doubt.
1. Constipation and Diarrhea
If a bichon frise’s diet is not nutritious enough or if there is a sudden change in their diet, they can develop diarrhea or constipation.
When switching out your bichon’s food, try mixing the new kibble in gradually increasing amounts with the old food. Try to avoid an abrupt switch in diet, and always feed high-quality food without any fillers like grain or corn. Bichons frises don’t eat that much, and the slight increase in cost for higher quality food might be worth knowing that your buddy is being fed top-notch nutrition.
If your bichon has diarrhea, try to feed a bland diet before slowly transitioning back to their normal diet. Diarrhea will also dehydrate your dog, so it is important to keep them drinking water in small amounts.
Constipation can be caused by eating objects or low-quality food that the bichon’s little stomach struggles to digest. If either symptom persists despite efforts to help, it is good to go see a veterinarian. Food allergies are always a possibility with stomach issues, but are somewhat difficult to diagnose.
2. Loss of Appetite
If your bichon frise stops eating, or is less inclined to eat, there may be a variety of reasons. If your bichon is not being exercised regularly, they can become more prone to developing stomach issues alongside other health problems common among the breed.
The bichon frise is also prone to dental issues, which can lead to tooth pain and the reluctance to eat. Regular teeth cleaning with a meat-flavored toothpaste and canine toothbrush should help stave off tooth and gum problems.
Similar to the reasons your bichon frise may become constipated or have diarrhea, vomiting can be caused by eating something harmful or something that they can not digest easily. Not all vomiting is a sign of illness, sometimes a dog just ate too quickly or just ate something that its stomach does not agree with.
To remedy this, avoid feeding your dog until they are done vomiting, and then feed them foods that they can easily digest.
3 Common Bichon Frise Stomach Problems
Stomach upsets are part and parcel of life, and are caused by minor factors the majority of the time. Here are some common causes of tummy upsets in bichons.
1. Eating Food Not Appropriate for Dogs
Bichon frises are little sneaks that have a tendency to go exploring in the garbage, along with using their adorable eyes to trick humans into giving them table scraps, both of which can lead to irritating their sensitive tummies.
Dogs cannot eat many human foods like onions, garlic, and yeast, so stick to doggy-food and treats and your pooch should be fine. In addition, bichons should avoid fatty foods, as they tend to sit poorly with their stomachs and can result in vomiting or diarrhea. Fatty foods also can lead to weight gain, especially if not getting adequate exercise. Obesity can lead to further health problems like heart disease.
2. Food Allergies or Food Intolerance
Food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances are all more common than you think, especially for pooches with sensitive little stomachs like bichons frises. If you suspect your bichon has a food intolerance, try switching to a hypoallergenic diet like plant-based kibble or lamb and rice.
Food allergies can be fairly difficult to diagnose and are frequently disguised as skin problems. Symptoms of allergies include:
- Excessive licking and scratching
- Biting and gnawing at paws or tail
- Chronic ear infections
- Loss of appetite
- Patches of fur missing
- Skin rashes
3. Abrupt Change in Food
A sudden change in the diet of a bichon can result in gut irritation, especially if switching from a diet that’s blander to a richer one. Rather than switch them over completely, try mixing their old food with the new, starting with small quantities of the new food and gradually increasing it until completely switched over.
A slow transition can help their sensitive tummies get used to a new food or alert you to any potential allergies before jumping into the deep end and having an unhappy pooch with a tummy ache.
3 Tips to Minimize the Risk of Your Bichon Frise Having Stomach Problems
Though bichons frises have sensitive stomachs, with some care, they can get away with their dietary restrictions relatively unscathed.
1. Keep Their Diet Consistent
Consistency is key when it comes to caring for dogs of all sorts, but especially with the diet of a bichon frise. Once you find a type of food that your dog likes, that is good for them, and that does not upset their sensitive tummies, try and maintain that.
2. Don’t Give Them Human Food
While bichons were once performing dogs that probably ate whatever scraps they could find at the circus, people’s food is not something that should be given to them often. Certain types of human foods can be toxic to dogs in general, and even non-toxic human food can upset their stomachs.
3. Exercise Regularly
By creating a healthy consistency of diet and exercise, the chances of your bichon developing stomach issues are greatly minimized.
Bichons frises are pint-sized dynamite sticks in a little body. Unfortunately, their digestive system is as sensitive as they are.
With some proper care, you can help your bichon avoid tummy aches and have a healthy, happy appetite.