A healthy dog diet is important for your Bichon Frise. Diet is especially important because this sensitive dog breed easily develops allergies to its food.
While some people advocate using raw dog food (the BARF diet) with their dogs, there are still many who prefer to buy good quality commercial dog foods
Keep in mind that every Bichon Frise dog is different, so a diet that is right for someone else’s Bichon Frise, may not be the best diet for your dog.
Commercial Dog Foods
If you are like many dog owners, you probably just picked a well-known brand and purchased dog food without reading the bag.
After all, there are so many ingredients listed, and it is confusing and complicated to know what each one does.
However, for many of us, times have changed. After so many dog food recalls (not all from Chinese dog foods), it’s hard to know what is safe and what isn’t.
That’s why it is important to take responsibility for your Bichon Frise’s healthy dog diet.
Choices are critical. In fact, every time you buy dog food for your dog, you are making a statement about how important her health and longevity is to you.
Surprise Additives in Dog Food
Big dog food companies add harmful chemicals, questionable grains and meat by-products to dog’s food. Most of us just assumed that popular dog food brands included a balanced and healthy food for our dogs. Veterinarians assumed that, too.
Unfortunately some of the most popular dog foods contained some questionable ingredients like sawdust (powdered cellulose), ground bird beaks and feathers (crude protein).
Big company pet foods were designed to be inexpensive to manufacture, and they needed to survive long periods of storage. Nutrition was secondary.
That all changed when, in 2004, a national study reported that obesity among our dogs and cats was becoming common. The report indicated that dog foods needed to be reformulated.
Without pressure from the public, major dog food companies did not see the need to change their formulas. And so they didn’t.
Fortunately there are some smaller dog food companies who have developed some excellent and healthy small breed dog foods for a healthy dog diet.
Homemade Healthy Dog Diet
You may want to do this differently. Many dog owners now prefer to make homemade dog food for their Bichon. You can make your own healthy dog food with these recipes.
Dogs are not like people in that they are perfectly content with having the very same food, day after day.
You don’t have to search for a variety of recipes to keep your dog interested. Once you’ve found a good one, you can make that one all the time.
How to Change Your Dog’s Food
When you change dog foods, whether to another commercial dog food or to a homemade dog food, make the change gradually.
Every day for a week, add more new food and subtract some old food. At the end of the week, your dog should be eating all “new food”.
If you change your dog’s food too quickly, she could develop diarrhea.
Watch Your Dog for Changes
How will you be able to tell if a new dog food is good for your dog? Be alert to any changes in your dog.
Keep an eye out for these things:
- Coat – Does it look shiny and healthy?
- Eyes – Your dog’s eyes should be clear and bright, without a lot of matter or tear stains. Yes, tear stains can be caused by poor nutrition.
- Ears – Clear without infections.
- Energy level – I don’t have to tell a Bichon Frise owner that your baby should have lots of energy!
- Mood – Does your Bichon dog seem happy?
- Bowel movements – A normal bowel movement is neither diarrhea or constipation.
- Skin – Bichons have very sensitive skin and are prone to skin irritations and allergies. In many cases, an improper diet causes dog skin allergies.
Finding the Best Healthy Dog Diet
Most of us struggle with our first dog’s diet–but we eventually do find a dog food that works well for that dog.
Finding the best Bichon Frise diet for your dog will give you the best chance to avoid food allergies in your dog.
Sometimes something as simple as putting your dog on a gluten free diet is all you need to do to calm your dog’s allergies.
The dog skin allergies so frequently seen in Bichon Frises do dictate that we really watch what our dogs eat.
And with each new Bichon Frise dog that we have, our knowledge grows–and we get a little better at understanding what each individual dog needs.
In addition, there are some people foods that dogs should never have. These foods include raisins, walnuts and chocolate.
Visit my other website, Best Dog Treat Recipes, where you’ll find dozens of recipes that you can make for your dog at home…