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The bichon frise is a popular breed amongst dog show enthusiasts. Their primary feature is their large, fluffy coat of fur. However, that large coat can make it tricky to gauge how big a bichon is and whether they are at a healthy weight. Therefore, it is necessary to weigh them to ensure that they are in good shape.
But how much should your bichon weigh? Are there differences in ideal weight between genders? Does age play a role? Join us today as we discuss everything you need to know about bichon frise’s ideal weight.
Ideal Bichon Frise Weight by Age and Gender
Knowing the weight of your bichon is important. It is an important metric in understanding your bichon’s health and development. If your bichon pup is overweight, you may need to adjust their diet. The same is true if your pup is underweight.
Knowing your pup’s ideal weight can also help identify underlying health concerns like diabetes and gastrointestinal problems. Weight problems can also indicate seemingly unrelated underlying health problems. These include liver and kidney problems, problems relating to bone health, and cancer.
Unfortunately, many dogs suffer from being either over or underweight, and the risk is much higher in dog breeds like the bichon frise that have puffy coats that conceal their bodies.
The bichon frise is one of few breeds in which there is a minimal size difference between the male and the female. While females can be smaller, the discrepancy is so slight that it falls within the regular margin of error for measuring weight.
The same is true when it comes to their growth rate. Females may grow slightly slower than males, but the actual numbers are negligible again. By 34 weeks old, both genders of bichon frise will have reached at least 95% of their full size.
Newborn pups tend to go through periods of normal growth, with intermittent growth spurts. Their weight becomes more predictable at around three months old. Your bichon pup should weigh between 3 and 6 pounds between the ages of three and four months.
That goes up to 4 to 7 pounds at 20 weeks. It is one of the most active phases your puppy will go through, which means they will require extra nutrition to keep up healthy development. Your bichon frise pup should weigh 6 to 9 pounds at 30 weeks old.
By 40 weeks old, a bichon pup should weigh between 7 and 10 pounds. By this time, your bichon is very nearly fully grown. Your bichon will reach young adulthood between the ages of 40 and 60 weeks. At that point, it should weigh between 7 and 11 pounds.
Why Is It Important for Your Bichon Not to Be Overweight or Underweight?
Just as with we humans, weight plays an important role in the health of your bichon frise. Their weight can indicate underlying health concerns or dietary deficiencies.
An underweight dog could be suffering from a range of health problems, such as parasites, malnutrition, or organ-related concerns. An overweight bichon might suffer discomfort, including stress pain in their joints, caused by the body carrying the extra weight. It can also indicate health issues such as diabetes or gastrointestinal and digestive disorders.
Underweight Bichon: Reasons and Solutions
An adult bichon frise is underweight if they weigh less than 6 pounds. However, that does not apply to bichons that suffer growth defects that impact their size and to teacup bichons frises. There are several reasons why your bichon frise might be underweight, each with its challenges.
The simplest reason that your bichon might be underweight is their diet. It does not mean that you, as a pet owner, are not doing your best to offer your dog a healthy diet. Instead, nutritional problems can arise from the specific choice of dog food you are feeding your bichon. The dog food industry is poorly regulated. Hence even a ‘premium’ brand of dog food might not be all it’s cracked up to be, nutritionally speaking.
It is also possible that the guidelines you are following are not sufficient for your bichon. In this case, you might accidentally be underfeeding your dog.
Before changing anything in your dog’s diet, take them to a vet for a professional diagnosis. Discuss your bichon’s diet with your vet, and seek their advice on what changes you should make. You must seek professional help because your dog’s weight problem might not be a dietary issue at all.
Dogs seem to be particularly misfortune when it comes to the frequency with which they are affected by parasites. Unfortunately, the kind of parasite we are talking about is usually some worm-like parasite that makes itself at home in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract.
Fortunately, we have the intestinal parasite issue solved thanks to various “deworming” medications. However, it is still best to consult your vet about what your dog is experiencing and keep a keen eye on your bichon’s recovery. If they don’t start gaining weight after being dewormed, there might be some other reason to lose weight.
Diabetes is a health concern that can manifest in weight gain and weight loss. Depending on your bichon’s physiological response, your dog’s weight can take a sharp turn in either direction.
The main reason diabetes can cause weight loss in dogs is its impact on your dog’s insulin resistance. As a result, the body struggles to use the energy provided through normal dietary means. That leads to the body breaking down muscle tissue and fat for energy, leading to weight loss.
Unfortunately, there is no easy solution to diabetes. Once diagnosed, your vet can assist you in creating a diet plan. Managing your bichon’s diabetes will require numerous lifestyle changes, such as exercise and cutting down on most kinds of snacks.
Dental problems, such as inflamed gums, can make eating a painful experience. If your bichon is losing weight while avoiding their food, this could be the cause. In addition, dental problems can lead to more severe health concerns like liver and heart damage.
Overweight Bichon: Reasons and Solutions
Just as with being underweight, there are several reasons your dog could suffer from being overweight. It is important to note that being overweight is not necessarily the same as obesity. Being even a little overweight can impact your bichon’s quality of life.
It can be challenging to develop a perfectly balanced diet for your bichon. Every dog is unique and requires individualized care. In addition to large portions of food, snacks contribute to your dog’s weight. It is also important to remember that your dog might be scavenging food elsewhere, meaning that their caloric intake exceeds their ideal diet plan.
On that note, there are human foods that the bichon frise cannot eat, so be careful about leaving it out in the open.
Consult your vet on revising your dog’s diet. You may need to cut down on some foods or completely revise its diet. However, please don’t make any changes until you have professional confirmation that your bichon’s weight problem is related to their diet.
Exercise is an important part of any dog’s routine. Although the bichon is not a high-energy breed, they still require minimal daily exercise.
If your bichon is gaining weight, try increasing their exercise time by five to ten minutes per day. If you don’t notice a difference within a couple of weeks, ask your vet about alternative, more intensive exercises for your dog.
As your bichon frise gets on in years, they naturally start slowing down. An older bichon can’t exercise as much as they once did, and this alone can lead to weight gain. In addition, there are conditions such as hypothyroidism, hyperadrenocorticism, and osteoarthritis. Such conditions can contribute to weight gain.
While there is no antidote to aging, providing your bichon frise with a healthy lifestyle can help avoid some of the more unpleasant aspects of aging. In addition, when it comes to the medical conditions that might accompany aging, your vet can provide you with treatment options and advice on managing the effects of weight gain.
There is little difference in the weight and development of male and female bichon frises. That said, it isn’t easy to gauge the weight of an adult bichon frise just by looking, as their iconic fur coat obscures their body. The ideal weight for an adult bichon frise is 7 to 11 pounds.
If you are concerned about your bichon’s weight, consult a veterinarian for a professional diagnosis.