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Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is a very popular, sweet and adorable dog breed.  They have cute, little compact bodies with fluffy white fur and are sometimes thought of as poodles.

Bichons are related to many other small breeds such as the Bolognese and the Havanese.

Bichons are thought to have originated in the Mediterranean.  Some believe that the Bichon Frise breed descended from a dog called a Barbet, which is a water dog with wooly fur.

The earliest recordings of the Bichon Frise date back to the 14th century when the dogs were taken by traders and then brought to Italy, where they were bred.

Whatever myth is accurate, we do know that Bichons arrived in the United States in the 1950s and have gained great popularity since then.

Bichon Frise Breed Characteristics

Bichon frise hypoallergenic dogBichons, unlike other dogs, always have a white coat with black eyes and cute, little black button noses.

Bichons have adorable plumed tails that curve towards their back and an arched neck that gives them a confident look.

Bichons are small dogs, great for apartment living, but still need to be exercised properly.

The average size of both male and female Bichons are 8 to 11 inches tall and 8 to 13 pounds in weight.

Grooming is a must for these cute dogs as their curls and fur can accumulate dirt readily.

Bichons are considered hypoallergenic pets.

They’re sometimes called a white cotton ball because of their little compact bodies among a thick coat of white fur.

Bichon Frise Personality

Bichons are one of the most affectionate dogs with big hearts in their little bodies.

They are great family pets because they love to play, have a wonderful, happy demeanor and are gentle and affectionate.  How’s that for a combo!

Known to be abundantly cheerful, the Bichon loves anyone and everyone.  They even get along great with other pets and people, but that doesn’t mean they won’t alert you if a stranger arrives at your house.

While they can be independent, it is important to keep the pup active as they do enjoy playing.

Bichons have developed a reputation of having separation anxiety due to their love of being around people.  Therefore, if you are away a lot, it is important to have a dog walker or make sure someone is looking after your Bichon.

Bichons can become destructive if they are left alone for too long, which is why a family who is not a way for long periods of time is preferable for his pup.

They are very intelligent dogs, but like all dogs, need to be taught to behave.  However, Bichons will learn quickly and can also be taught a variety of tricks if that’s something you like to do.

Like all dogs, they need daily exercise to keep their bodies lean and give them the chance to enjoy the outdoors!

Common Health Problems in Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise is a typically healthy breed, but similar to any pure-breed, they are prone to some common health problems.

Of course, not all Bichon Frise will develop any or all of these health issues, it’s just important to know what they are.

If you are purchasing your Bichon from a breeder, any reputable breeder will show you the health of the puppies parents and whether they have any of the below conditions.


Allergies of any kind can affect Bichons for many different reasons, either food or even fleas.  Bichons are known for being particularly sensitive to develop fleas.  Keep an eye on your pup to see if he is scratching or licking his fur more often.

Regular, preventative flea medication can help if the scratching is caused by fleas.

Bladder Issues

Bladder Stones are common to Bichon Frise.  Bladder stones are caused by an excess of protein, phosphorous or magnesium in the diet.  They are sometimes caused by a viral or bacterial infection.

If there is blood in your pup’s urine or your Bichon needs to urinate often, make sure to take your pup to the vet.  Medication and diet can usually help with bladder stones.

Hip Dysplasia

While most dogs with hip dysplasia tend to be larger dogs, the Bichon has been known to also become afflicted with the condition.

Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition when the hip joint is unable to function properly.  The leg bone and hip don’t fit as they would in a healthy dog. Dogs might have the inability to walk properly while others don’t show any symptoms. Arthritis can develop over time.

Surgery might be necessary if the dysplasia is severe.

Juvenile Cataracts

Juvenile cataracts can sometimes occur in Bichons that are one to six years old.  This is assumed to be a hereditary condition since it cataracts usually occur in older dogs.

Makes sure that your Bichon, if buying from a breeder, has been checked for cataracts and has the proper paperwork to certify that he or she has healthy eyes.

Patellar Luxation

Patellar luxation is a common health condition in small dogs. Patellar luxation occurs when the knee joint slides in and out of the knee socket which results in a lame walk and a lot of pain for your pup.

Depending on the severity of the condition, patellar luxation can be crippling to your pup or just a little irritating.

Vaccination Sensitivity

Some Bichons are very sensitive to being vaccinated, even from merely routine vaccinations.  The symptoms that might result are hives, lethargy, soreness and even swelling on the face and neck.

Just make sure to watch your Bichon for a few hours after he or she has been vaccinated. And, of course, take your Bichon to the vet if you notice any type of reaction.

Is Pet Insurance Important for Your Bichon Frise?

The answer is an unequivocal yes.

If you adopt or buy a Bichon Frise, you can now see the numerous health conditions that might occur with your Bichon.

Pet insurance will allow you to give your Bichon the best medical care if something were to happen with your pup.

Health issues and veterinary treatment have become really expensive.  It is not unusual for any of the conditions that are mentioned above to cost up to $15,000 to treat.

Pet insurance will cover the treatment, testing and lab work from 70% to 90% of the vet bill.

And, even if you are lucky enough to have a completely healthy Bichon Frise, your pup is likely to develop a serious illness or accident during his life.  And you want to know that you can always have the financial ability to care for your pup.

Look for a pet insurance plan that offers a good, well rounded comprehensive plan.  This can assure you that your Bichon will be covered for whatever illness or accident occurs.

Make sure to enroll your Bichon when he or she is a puppy and before any condition becomes pre-existing.

Companies like Healthy Paws, Embrace and Figo all have great, comprehensive plans.

You want your Bichon to live a long, healthy life and pet insurance can help you achieve that goal.

If you are looking for a new pet insurance policy for your Bichon, our top 10 pet insurance companies is a great place to start!

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