The bichon is notoriously finicky when it comes to their eating habits. It will take time and effort on your part to figure out what food they will eat, but talking with your breeder or vet will help solve this problem. Another important process is determining when and how much food to give. Although they will generally need the same amount of food in a given day, bichon puppies will need to eat more frequently than adults. In this article we will look at the best practices for feeding a bichon.
The first step in establishing an eating routine is finding a good spot in the home to put the dog bowl. This place should be out of the way of human traffic and preferably a little quieter. This will prevent your bichon from becoming distracted while eating. Once this location is established it should not be changed. Once the puppy is in the habit of finding their food in the same place for every meal they will be much more comfortable.
Whether they are a young puppy of a full-grown adult, bichons need about two cups of dry dog food each day. The main difference between puppies and adults is the number of meals per day and the spacing between each meal. Dry dog food is best because it is also able to clean their teeth as they eat, and clean teeth are a major issue for bichons. Also, avoid generic dog food brands. Bichons have sensitive stomachs and can have allergic reactions to some ingredients in generic brands.
Puppies under three months of age should be fed about four times a day, starting with an early breakfast around 6am. It is important that each meal is equally portioned, so if you are feeding four times a day with a total of two cups, each meal should be half a cup. From there, space each meal about four hours apart for the rest of the day.
From three to six months you can reduce the number of meals to three. Again, begin with an early breakfast at 6am, but this time space the meals about six hours apart. It is still important for each meal to be as equal as possible, so each meal should be about two-thirds of a cup.
Finally, from six months on, further reduce the frequency of meals to twice a day. At this point your bichon should be eating a full cup at breakfast and a full cup at dinner.
One thing to keep in mind is that your bichon may not always be hungry when you feed him/her. Do not force them to eat. Leave the food out for them to eat for about fifteen minutes. If after fifteen minutes they still show no interest in eating then remove the bowl of food and save it for the next meal. In this case you should still stick to the schedule. If you are feeding every four hours, but your puppy does not eat one meal you should still wait four hours before the next meal. Changing the meal frequency will only confuse the puppy and make it more difficult for them to eat when it is time.
If you are willing to put in a little time and effort, you will be able to find the right food and develop good eating habits for your bichon. Feeding your bichon is an important step in training and will help you along the way to having a healthy, happy puppy.