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Beloved for their friendly nature and puffy look, bichons frises are one of the most popular breeds nowadays. They love attention, are playful, and undoubtedly will cheer you up even on your gloomiest day. However, just like any other pet, bichons frises are not right for just about anyone.
In the next sections, we will cover the pros and cons of getting a bichon frise and how to get one.
4 Reasons Why You Should Get a Bichon Frise
Are you still considering if a bichon frise is the perfect companion for you? Check out the following sections to find out!
1. Friendly and Social Breed
Bichons frises are very sociable and friendly not only with the rest of the family members, but also with other dogs and even with cats. They can adapt quickly and become a trustworthy member of your family, even if you have kids around.
2. Hypoallergenic Coat and Apartment-Friendly
Bichons frises are known for their hypoallergenic coat, so you may want to consider this breed if you have allergy issues. This is because the hair loss is minimal, unlike many other breeds. This also means that you won’t have to clean up the pet hair all the time.
Additionally, given the small size, bichons frises are ideal for any household. You can keep them in a spacious house or a small apartment – it doesn’t matter because they are adaptable, but they still need regular walks outside to stay healthy, just like any other dog.
3. Encourages You to Be More Active
Not only true for bichons but any other dog, having a pet that needs regular walks also means that you’ll be more active. If you want some more motivation to go out frequently, a dog will help you increase your physical well-being and stay fit.
4. Improved Mental Health
Did you know that petting your pup reduces your stress by diminishing the level of cortisol in your body? Also, another study shows that your body also produces more dopamine when you look at your dog, which means that you will feel happier.
In short, the academic research on the mental health benefits of having a dog is extremely broad, supporting the idea that you will be happier and less stressed if you own a dog, so you boost your mental well-being.
3 Reasons Why You Should Not Get a Bichon Frise
As always, everything is double-sided, so these may be some aspects to consider before getting a bichon frise.
In general, pure bichons frises can be quite expensive rather than, for instance, rescuing a mixed breed.
Just like with any other dog, maintenance can also be expensive in the long term. Regardless of your chosen breed, you need regular health check-ups, high-quality dog food and toys, and high-quality dog products, such as shampoo and conditioner. It’s important to make sure you can afford to have a dog in the long term, so thinking about all of these costs is a good start.
2. Time-Intensive and Attention
This is usually valid for any breed, but bichons are quite sensitive and don’t enjoy being alone for too long. Thus, if you plan to leave your dog at home alone for long hours, bichon frise may not be the right choice for you.
If you leave your bichon at home for too long, they will develop separation anxiety and most likely negative behaviors – such as destroying items in your home, excessive barking, and these are generally damaging to your pup’s mental and physical health.
Apart from love, attention, and care, bichons can also be quite sensitive. You should not treat them negatively or punish them – unless you want to break their little hearts. Careful training based on rewards rather than punishing is necessary to make sure your bichon frise is well-behaved. If you don’t have experience, you may need to attend obedience classes or even contact a professional.
3. Grooming Needs
Despite its small size, a bichon frise can be quite high-maintenance when it comes to grooming needs.
It is important to brush their coat very frequently, cut the hairs, and wash your pooch as often as necessary. The curly coat can easily get tangled, forming mats that can be extremely painful to comb. There are many health problems associated with a lack of grooming, including permanent tear stains, ear infections, and skin problems.
Should You Buy or Adopt Your Bichon Frise?
Buying from a breeder or adopting from an animal shelter? Below, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of each, so you can make an informed decision.
Buying a Bichon Frise
The key to responsibly buying a bichon frise is to find the right breeder. This may be expensive, but it will end up with a purebred dog and you will have full access to its background information, parents, and medical history, including what genetic diseases you should be ready for. This will also help you get an idea of what your puppy will look like as an adult.
While some breeders are reputable, many are not. Puppy mills are, unfortunately, very common in the U.S. Even though some pet shops may claim that their puppies are not from such places, in fact, they might be. Poor breeding does not only mean that you are encouraging illegal activities or cruel practices, but also that your bichon frise may have congenital health issues – especially if the breeder does not care about the litters or mothers but is simply interested in making a profit.
Adopting a Bichon Frise
Adopting a bichon frise from an animal shelter has a strong ethical factor to it. In the U.S., about 4 million dogs are put to sleep each year because there are not enough people to adopt the stray ones. If you adopt one, you’ll also enjoy a few other benefits:
- Free up space for another dog in need of shelter, so you’re helping two animals at once;
- It’s cheaper than buying a bichon frise;
- Your adopted pet will most likely be a mixed breed, and these are usually healthier than pure breeds;
- You won’t support puppy mills;
- Adopted dogs are as smart, love-worthy, and loyal as bought pets;
- Choose bichons of any age, including dogs that are already housetrained, for instance.
On the bad side, your adopted bichon frise will perhaps be a mixed breed, so may end up looking slightly different compared to what you’d expect. Some shelters may even wrongly label a small dog as a “bichon.”
Also, some dogs may end up in a shelter after going through trauma or abusive households, so they may need more patience and care to adapt to a new, loving environment, but they surely deserve it just like any other pet.
Lastly, the bichon frise might already have a name (check this list if it doesn’t to get some inspiration).
4 Things to Keep an Eye on When Choosing a Bichon Frise
Here are some of the main considerations you should keep in mind:
1. Choose a Good Breeder
If buying, make sure you choose a responsible breeder. Irresponsible ones will not allow you to see the breeding place, the puppy’s parent, will not be interested in how you will care for your new pooch, and cannot provide any proof for vaccinations and genetic health.
2. Meet the Parents
Seeing the parents will provide extra assurance that your pooch will be healthy. You will also get to make an idea of what it will look like when it grows up.
3. Choose the Right Gender
Decide whether a male or a female bichon frise is more suitable for you. For instance, males are bigger than females and sometimes more playful; females will be best if you want to have puppies in the future, but they tend to be more stubborn than males.
4. Current Pets
If you already have pets, make sure your new pooch will match the existing environment. For instance, dogs of the opposite sex can get along better, but you need to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
All in all, bichons frises are suitable for nearly any family or household. They are adorable, playful, and extremely smart. Now that you are better equipped to make a decision, do not forget to choose your pup from a reputable place.
If possible, adopting a bichon frise will help you play your part in saving two animals at once, but good breeders will also help you ensure you get a happy and healthy pup that will be part of your life for a long time to come.