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Our furry best friends getting old and passing away may not be a topic we like to consider or even think about. Unfortunately, dogs live much less than humans and a dog’s senior years are not always lacking challenges.
Below, we will see how much we should expect our bichon frise to live and how to help our buddy become the oldest pooch in the world.
What Is the Oldest Bichon Frise?
In the United Kingdom, a pooch called Nellie surpassed the oldest bichon frise and turned 17 years old in 2017. The previous oldest bichon frise was 16 years and a half, while a survey in North America discovered a bichon frise that lived as long as 21 years.
How Long Do Bichons Frises Typically Live?
The average lifespan of a bichon frise is about 12-13 years, and, in a few cases, up to 15 years old. This lifespan is similar to other dogs of this size, but bichons tend to live longer than purebred pooches.
How to Increase the Odds of Your Bichon Becoming the Oldest?
There are a few things you can do to increase your chances of your bichon becoming the oldest one in the world.
1. Food Quality
Just like with humans, the quality and amount of food you give your dog over its entire life are extremely important for health and longevity. If unsure, you can also discuss with your vet what options you have. As dogs are omnivores, they need to eat both plant-based nutrients and meat, so providing these two sources are important to extend the dog’s life and support its health.
2. Food Quantity
An important matter that leads to shorter lifespans and disease is how much you feed your bichon frise. If you have always used the instructions on the package to decide the amount, you may be making a mistake. In general, those guidelines are based on a male adult dog, which has a faster metabolism than females or neutered/sterilized dogs. To help you establish the right amount of food, you should check with your vet to avoid overfeeding as the extra weight will shorten your dog’s lifespan.
3. Training and Mobility
Exercising is highly recommended, but overdoing it can also decrease your pup’s lifespan. This is because moderate amounts of physical activity will keep the muscles in good shape, but too much exercise can put pressure on limbs, muscles, and joints, thus damaging them. It will be up to you to know when your bichon frise should slow down – especially when they become a senior dog and may struggle with arthritis or stiff joints.
4. Mental Health
Just like with humans, mental health is extremely important. You should provide your pup with mental stimulation to keep its mind sharp. It’s never too late to train your pup, help it learn a new trick, and explore the environment. For instance, buying a new sensory toy, or simply taking your pup out to discover new smells is enough to keep their brain active.
5. Vet Schedule
Even though your pup looks healthy and happy, you should never skip your regular vet visits. You should take your bichon frise for a check-up at least once per year, even if it looks healthy. This is because a few tests or checks will help you diagnose any possible disease before it becomes very severe and may lead to death.
Your vet should examine your pup physically, perform blood tests, and make sure that everything functions as it should. When your dog is a senior, you need to go to the vet every six months as it is more prone to illnesses and diseases. It’s always best to prevent rather than treat.
All in all, you can help your pooch live a long and healthy life.
You should always be careful with your pup and take it to a vet as soon as you notice any abnormalities. A regular vet schedule is also recommended to make sure that your pup gets treatment as soon as possible – even before any symptoms show up. With healthy food, care, love, and physical exercise, your pup has all the chances to become the oldest bichon frise.
The next thing you might want to read is my article about the most common reasons bichons frises die – knowing that will help you prevent them and extend your bichon’s life as much as possible.