Your Purebred Puppy, Honest Advice About Dogs and Dog Breeds

Sensible advice for raising your Bichon Frise puppy so he lives a long healthy life and seldom needs to visit the vet. Learn about the most common health problems and issues in Bichon Frise, the best dog food diet for feeding Bichon Frise puppies and adult dogs, the truth about vaccinations, spaying and neutering, and natural health care.


11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, my best-selling dog health book

Bichon Frise dog breed

Bichon Frise Health Problems and Raising a Bichon Frise Puppy to be Healthy

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2014

Quiz – How Long Will Your Dog Live?
How To Raise a Healthy Dog
Feeding the Best Dog Food
Feeding the 2nd Best Dog Food
Vaccinations: Needed or Not?
Are You Sure Your Vet Is Good?

The most common health problems in the Bichon Frise:

The major health issue in the Bichon Frise is severe chronic allergies, which cause horribly itchy skin and can lead to bacterial skin infections (pyoderma).

Urinary infections and urinary stones are also a serious concern in Bichons.

Orthopedic health issues are surprisingly common for such a small dog, especially luxating patella (loose knees). At least 7% of the breed has loose knees – the 7th worst rate of 57 breeds evaluated by the OFA. Hip dysplasia has been evaluated at 6%.

Ear infections are extremely common in the Bichon Frise due to profuse hair in the ear canals. Keep that ear hair trimmed short.

Cataracts can appear anytime between 6 months and 3 years old in the Bichon Frise and can progress to blindness. Other eye diseases include progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), corneal dystrophy, and entropion.

Four diseases related to the endocrine system have been reported regularly enough in Bichons to cause concern: pancreatitis, diabetes, Cushing's disease, and hypothyroidism.

Heart disease (patent ductus arteriosus) occurs in Bichons, and a serious blood-clotting disease (hemophilia B).

Neurological diseases include seizures (epilepsy) and white shaker dog syndrome.

A rare immune system disease called immotile cilia syndrome (or Kartagener's syndrome) can occur in Bichons. Symptoms include frequent respiratory infections.

Like many small dogs, Bichons are prone to harmless episodes of reverse sneezing. It's not a health problem, so don't worry about it.


You probably want to know if you can prevent those health issues from happening to YOUR Bichon Frise.

Yes, often you can.

  1. Some health problems are genetic, which means inherited from parents. Genetic health issues are common in the Bichon Frise today because of unwise breeding practices. My book, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, shows you how to find a Bichon Frise puppy who is genetically healthy.
  2. Other health problems are environmental, which means they're caused by the way you raise your dog. My best-selling dog health book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to prevent environmental health problems by raising your Bichon Frise puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways.

Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy Bichon Frise puppy or adult dog:

Dog lifespan quiz How Long Will Your Dog Live? – Take This Quiz!
Based on your dog's breed and how you're raising him, this personalized quiz will help you understand how long your dog might live – and most importantly, how you can increase his life expectancy.


Obedience instructor and author Michele Welton Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your Bichon Frise lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet.


Real homemade dog food The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your Bichon Frise
The best diet for feeding your Bichon Frise is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, bison, venison, fish....This is not "people food" and I'll tell you why.


Natural dog foods for your Bichon Frise. The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Bichon Frise
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.


Information on booster shots for your Bichon Frise. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Bichon Frise puppy really need? Does your adult Bichon Frise need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed. Find out what some vets aren't telling you....


Information on choosing the best vet for your Bichon Frise. The Type of Veterinarian I Recommend
Is your veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Learn about the differences between vets who practice conventional, holistic, and alternative veterinary medicine.


Information on spaying your Bichon Frise. Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female Bichon Frise.


Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of neutering your male dog.