You should be bathing a Bichon Frise once a month, with occasional emergency baths when your dog is especially dirty.
Bathing your dog is part of an overall good grooming program. With Bichon’s sensitive skin, it’s important to keep your dog clean and healthy.
Food allergies, common in Bichon Frises, can lead to skin irritations and sore spots. For this reason, skin care for your Bichon also includes making sure she has a healthy diet. And watching for signs of food allergies.
Bathing a Bichon Frise Made Easy
Of course, if you have a puppy, a bath every day or two might be necessary depending on how messy it gets.
Because of the Bichon’s relatively small size, bathing is a pretty simple task. A bathtub or even your kitchen sink will suffice in most situations.
Always remember to use warm water on a Bichon’s sensitive skin and keep water levels several inches below her mouth.
Many Bichon Frise owners also prefer to use a gentle spray nozzle to wet and rinse the coat as well.
What if your Dog doesn’t Like His Bath?
I know this comes as a surprise to you, but some dogs don’t like to be bathed. If your dog is one of these bath-avoiding babies, there is a solution to your dilemma. Distraction.
There are several ways that you can approach this.
- Essential Oils – Try rubbing some calming essential oil on his ears to help settle him down. Massage the oils into his ears for this to work. Using essential oils in a diffuser is not as effective. This calming product is made especially for dogs. You can also use it to calm your dog during thunderstorms, fireworks, when you travel and for separation anxiety.
- Calming Treats – If your dog is always on edge, you might want to try giving her some dog treats with ingredients that calm her. Some dogs seem to need them daily, others only during stressful times, like dog bath time. Quite a few pet owners are pleased with the results of using Zesty Paws Lil’ Zesties calming treats.
- My Favorite Distraction – This is the one that I like best! It’s called the Aquapaw Slow Treater Silicone Lick Mat. Here’s how it works. You put one of your pet’s favorite treats on the lick mat. Peanut butter works well, but treats like yogurt can also be used. If you freeze the lick mat with the treat, it will take your dog longer to get all the peanut butter. You stick the lick mat onto a hard surface (like the shower wall), and your dog happily licks away while you bathe her. You can get an Aquapaw Slow Treater lick mat here.
- Set the Mood with Music – Believe it or not, there are studies that prove that certain tones and tunes actually are very calming to dogs. Clinically proven and veterinarian-approved, this dog speaker plays music that calms nervous dogs. Play it while you bathe your nervous pup, and you can also use it to calm your dog when you are not home or during times when your dog is especially anxious.
Before you Start the Bath
The last thing you want to do is leave your dog in his bathtub to go find something that you need. Gather everything that you’ll need before you get your dog.
Next, give your dog a good brushing before you start his bath. Brushing your dog helps remove and prevent tangles and it removes dead hair. You’ll want to get rid of any tangles or mats before you begin to bathe your dog.
Brushing also stimulate sebaceous glands and blood circulation in the skin, which is healthy for both your dog’s skin and his coat.
Now you are ready to start your dog’s bath.
Shampoo for Bichon Frises
After thoroughly wetting the coat, apply a generous amount of gentle dog shampoo and work it into a good lather, covering the entire head and body. You should never use people shampoo, as it is the wrong pH for dogs, and it will irritate your dog’s skin.
Start your puppy’s bathing with Tropiclean All Natural Puppy Shampoo, a gentle and tearless shampoo made with natural ingredients.
You’ll also find that using a dog coat conditioner will help you comb and brush your dog’s thick hair more easily.
The popular Earthbath All Natural Oatmeal and Aloe Conditioner is a safe and gentle dog conditioner, and it includes both oatmeal and aloe vera.
Even though you can get shampoo and conditioner in one–I recommend that, for Bichon Frises, you should get the conditioner separately. Their hair gets so tangled and is so hard to keep nice–the conditioner will make your life SO much easier!
Bathing a Bichon Frise with Allergies
During the washing process, concentrate on keeping shampoo and water out of the inner ears. Keeping your dog’s ears dry will help prevent ear infections. After your dog’s bath is over, make sure you dry your her ears thoroughly.
When rinsing the shampoo out of your Bichon’s hair, it is very important to rinse thoroughly and then rinse thoroughly again.
This must be done because of the sensitive nature of the Bichon Frises’ skin. Any remaining shampoo residue could cause irritations or result in a skin allergy.
After the rinsing process, carefully lift and hold your Bichon Frise off the bottom of the tub or sink for about 15 seconds to let the water drip from him.
Of course, if your dog has allergies, you should consider using a hypoallergenic dog shampoo.
Dry Your Dog after His Bath
Then you will want to towel dry their entire body for a few minutes paying close attention to the ears, making sure that they are not excessively wet.
The next step, and one that many Bichon owners fail to do when bathing a Bichon Frise, is blow dry your dog’s coat with warm or cool air. This is usually a lengthy process and could take up to 30 minutes depending on the length of her hair.
This step is so important because dry hair has less opportunity to become tangled and matted as opposed to wet hair.
When we blow dry our Bichon Frises, we like to use a slicker brush at the same time. Brushing while blow drying will shorten the amount of time needed to dry your dog’s coat.
When your dog’s hair is dry, you’ll need to comb and brush her entire body.
Bathing a Bichon Frise is not that difficult. Like everything else, you can make it a fun and pleasurable experience for your white fluffy companion.