How Much to Feed a Bichon Frise (Feeding Chart & Guide)

Feeding Bichon Frise dog food in the kitchen

The Bichon Frise, categorized as a non-sporting dog by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and primarily serving as a companion dog, has specific dietary needs based on its age and lifestyle.

For a Bichon Frise puppy, feeding around ½ to 1 cup of dry food or kibbles daily is generally suitable. As the dog matures into adulthood, this amount should be adjusted to about 1 to 1 ¼ cups daily. Senior Bichon Frises, on the other hand, typically do well with slightly less, around ¾ to 1 cup of kibbles per day.

This article will provide comprehensive insights into feeding a Bichon Frise. You’ll not only learn about the right amounts but also about the feeding frequency and other important details of their diet.

What Factors Impact How Much to Feed a Bichon Frise?

Bichon Frise enjoying his food

Feeding a Bichon Frise involves understanding a range of factors that affect their dietary requirements. Mastering these factors is key to ensuring your Bichon Frise’s health and well-being.

Consider these factors when determining the amount of food for your Bichon Frise:

  • Age: Each life stage of a Bichon Frise has specific nutritional requirements. Puppies need food that supports their growth and development, while adults need a diet that sustains their energy and bodily functions.
  • Weight: The ideal weight for a Bichon Frise varies with age and is a crucial indicator of how much to feed them. This helps you decide whether to adjust their meal portions, depending on whether your dog is underweight or overweight.
  • Activity level: Active Bichon Frises require more calories to support their energy expenditure. However, most Bichon Frises are companion pets, with the exception of those training for conformation shows.
  • Reproductive Status: Pregnant or lactating Bichon Frises need a diet rich in specific nutrients and calories for the health of both the puppies and the mother. On the other hand, altered (spayed or neutered) dogs typically require less food due to a slower metabolism.

If you are a first-time owner, partnering with a veterinarian is beneficial. They can provide valuable insights into how these factors influence your Bichon Frise’s feeding volume, especially concerning their health.

How Much to Feed Your Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise waiting for food indoors

To start, giving your Bichon Frise dog food or kibbles is the most efficient way to feed them. It is easy to prepare and is formulated to contain the right nutrients to support the proper development of your dog.

There are a lot of different dog foods available, but it is best to look for brands that have the AAFCO or Association of American Feed Control Officials seal. This guarantees that the dog food is complete and balanced.

The following sections will provide you guidance on how much to feed your Bichon Frise depending on its age.

Bichon Frise Puppy Feeding Chart (2 to 12 months)

Upon the birth of a new puppy, the best food to give is its very own mother’s milk. The colostrum component is full of nutrients and will give the baby its initial set of natural antibodies and boost its immune system.

As the Bichon puppy reaches 3 to 4 weeks, it enters the weaning phase. This is where soft food can be gradually introduced until it is able to switch completely to dry food.

Check the Bichon Frise feeding chart below to know how much puppy food to give until your dog reaches a year old:

AgeDaily Food Quantity (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
3 – 4 months½ – ¾270 – 311
5 – 6 months½ – 1253 – 396
7 – 9 months¾ – 1287 – 440
10 – 12 months¾ – 1303 – 468
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup

A good quality, high-protein dog food is recommended for Bichon Frise puppies to support their needs for rapid growth and development. This should help them achieve their ideal weight and prevent stunting as well.

Also, note that this dog breed has a reputation for being picky eaters. This is a problem I used to have with my own female Bichon Frise, Zoe.

Hence, I kept feeding time interesting as early as puppyhood so that Zoe could develop proper eating habits that could be carried all the way to adulthood.

I did this by preparing different types of meals for Zoe, including wet food, home-cooked meals, and even a raw diet.

Adult Bichon Frise Feeding Chart (1 to 6 years)

A Bichon Frise reaches adulthood by the time it is a year old. During this stage, it must say goodbye to puppy food and be introduced to adult food. 

For adult dogs, the metabolism is reduced a bit, and the focus is shifted to maintaining normal bodily functions. Hydration is also equally important for this and prevents the risk of bladder stones, which the breed is prone to.

Ensuring a steady supply of clean drinking water for your dog will also help prevent the risks of dehydration, especially in hot weather. 

The Bichon Frise feeding guide below is for older dogs aged 1 to 6 years: 

AgeDaily Food Quantity (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
1 – 6 years1 – 1 ¼399 – 541
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup

Most owners of Bichon Frises also explore other types of dog food during this stage to make feeding interesting. 

Aside from dry food or kibble, preparing wet food, trying a raw diet of meat, fruits, and vegetables, or creating a homemade meal plan can also work.

However, even as adult dogs, Bichons can have sensitive tummies. Always observe their stool quality and any physiological indications of allergies or intolerances when giving them their meals.

Senior Bichon Frise Feeding Chart (7 years and older)

When your Bichon Frise reaches its senior years, expect its metabolism to be even slower. Along with an even lower activity level, it has a higher tendency to put on more body weight if its diet is not monitored closely.

You may refer to the senior Bichon Frise feeding guide below to keep track of your aging dog’s food volume:

AgeDaily Food Quantity (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
7 years and above¾ – 1319 – 433
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup

One cup a day of nutrient-dense, complete, and balanced dog food should be enough to boost your dog’s immune system, promote dental health, and prevent skin problems and other age-related illnesses.

Further, the ability of dogs to metabolize proteins decreases with age. Due to this, senior Bichon Frises require more protein that is highly digestible to prevent muscle wasting and weakness.

How Often Should You Feed Your Bichon Frise?

Bichon Frise eating from bowl

How often to feed a Bichon Frise will also depend on its age. A puppy up to 8 weeks may be fed freely under close monitoring, then reduced to three times daily from 3 to 12 months old. Meanwhile, an adult dog may be given two meals a day, then reduced to a single meal as it reaches its senior years.

Feeding Bichon Frises at the right frequency for their age should give them enough energy content for their activity levels throughout the day while maintaining their regular bodily functions.

The table below should help you determine how often to feed a Bichon Frise:

AgeFeeding Frequency
0 – 8 weeksFree feeding or four times a day
3 – 12 monthsThree times a day
1 – 6 yearsTwice a day
7 years and aboveOnce a day

As observed, younger dogs will need more frequent feedings, which is eventually reduced as they grow older. This is primarily due to the lower energy requirements and rate of metabolism in older dogs.

How to Transition Your Bichon Frise to a New Food

In an instance where you need to switch your Bichon Frise to a new diet, such as entering a different life stage or just simply avoiding the dog from getting bored with its current diet, this needs to be done gradually.

The AKC recommends a seven-day diet transition to prevent any health issues arising from an abrupt change in the dog’s digestive system.

The table below shows the appropriate ratio of transitioning a Bichon Frise from its old diet to a new one:

DayOld FoodNew Food
1 – 275%25%
3 – 450%50%
5 – 625%75%

During the transition to a new diet, closely monitor your dog for any signs of allergies or observe their stool for changes in color or consistency.

If you notice anything unusual, it’s advisable to pause the transition and consult your veterinarian for guidance on how to proceed safely.

As earlier mentioned, my Zoe has always been a picky eater from her puppyhood days — a behavior common among Bichon Frises. Hence, there is a need to switch to different types of food regularly.

This required a lot of transition diets, and ensuring that every switch is done properly is essential to avoid any problems with Zoe’s sensitive stomach.

Pro Tip: When bringing your Bichon Frise puppy home for the very first time, it is a good move to ask your puppy’s breeder about its current dog food brand and dietary habits. This will aid you in transitioning to its new diet.

Tips on Feeding an Overweight Bichon Frise

As a companion dog that mostly stays at home, the Bichon Frise has a high risk for obesity. When your dog’s weight is already above ideal, as diagnosed by your vet or based on its body conditioning score, you must act quickly.

Below are some practical tips on getting your overweight Bichon Frise back to having a healthy weight and a well-toned body:

  • Closely monitor your dog’s diet. Monitoring your dog’s diet would mean religiously following the recommended Bichon Frise feeding chart. Since the guide is based on the ideal weight of a healthy dog, you can be assured that you are using the right volume of food to get your Bichon Frise back to its proper weight. 
  • Avoid giving too many treats or table scraps. Some dog owners can’t resist the urge to give dog treats or table food to their dogs outside of regular meals. Take note that these pile up as additional calories and must be avoided.
  • Increase daily exercise. Even as a companion dog, the Bichon Frise still has a moderate energy requirement. This means that you still need to provide your dog with an adequate level of physical activity, like walking, running, and playing with other animals. This will help burn off its excess energy.
  • Switch to a healthier diet. Instead of the usual dry dog food, you can try preparing healthy meals and treats for your dog. A high–fiber diet composed of fruits, vegetables, and lean meat can provide your dog with complete and balanced nutrition. This can also make them feel satisfied without adding too many calories.

Remember that in order for an overweight dog to lose weight effectively, discipline, consistency, and patience are necessary, especially from the dog owner’s end.

Frequently Asked Questions

Woman feeding her Bichon Frise dog food

How Do I Know If I’m Feeding My Bichon Frise Enough?

You can use the body condition score system to check if you are giving your dog enough food. 

If you can feel your Bichon Frise’s ribs and they are highly visible from the sides or the top of the dog, then you are not feeding your dog the right amount.

Further, you can also check with your vet for an accurate diagnosis of your dog’s overall health condition. Your vet will be able to determine the level of undernutrition in your dog and if additional supplements need to be given.

Why Is My Bichon Frise Not Eating?

A Bichon Frise puppy or adult dog may not eat temporarily if it gets bored with its current food, is adjusting to a new environment, or is currently stressed.

If these are the causes, you can try switching to more palatable or aromatic dog food or comforting your dog to relieve it of its stress. It should begin to eat again automatically after some time.

However, if the lack of appetite is associated with weakness, vomiting, or diarrhea, it can signify an underlying health issue. It is best to bring your dog to the vet immediately if this is the case.

Can I Feed My Bichon Frise With Human Food?

Due to its omnivorous nature, a Bichon Frise can thrive with human food. In fact, it will find a lot of human food delicious and very flavorful. 

However, take note that many of these human-grade foods can be toxic for dogs. It is smart to always research all the ingredients of your dog’s meals before serving them to avoid any particular health problem.

Do Bichon Frises Eat a Lot?

Bichon Frises have a reputation for being picky eaters, so they might eat just enough to satisfy their hunger. Hence, it is very important to build their eating habits from puppyhood so that this will not be an issue as they grow older.

Further, being innovative with their meals is also necessary for them to maintain hearty appetites. This might entail trying new foods occasionally or doing an activity that will encourage them to eat properly.

Can Bichon Frises Eat Bones?

Raw bones are actually healthy for a dog’s dental health. These are also excellent sources of calcium and phosphorus that benefit your dog’s bones and joints.

However, never give your Bichon Frise cooked bones. These are brittle, can crack into pieces with sharp edges, and possibly injure your dog’s digestive tract.

We’d love to hear about your experiences with feeding your Bichon Frise! Please feel free to share your stories or ask any further questions in the comments section below!

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