Caring For A Bichon Frise In Singapore: Diet, Health And Grooming Needs

A non-sporting breed, the Bichon Frise is known for its affectionate personality and fluffy, cotton-ball-like curls. This breed enjoys basking in the presence of people and isn’t afraid to socialise with other dogs and humans.

Read on to learn more about a Bichon’s temperament, how to care for one and the cost of owning this dog below!

*Disclaimer: This article should not be used in place of professional advice from vets – it’s only meant for general knowledge. You’re recommended to consult a vet for a reliable and accurate diagnosis of your pet’s medical condition.

Infographic of the key traits and care needs of a Bichon Frise

Key Physical Traits of a Bichon Frise

Weight5.4 - 8.2kg
Height24.1 - 29.2cm
Life expectancy14 - 15 years
Fur coatDouble-coated
  • Undercoat: Thick and soft
  • Outercoat: Curly and coarse
  • Common coat colours
  • White; may have slight variations of apricot, cream or buff
  • Common Personality Traits of a Bichon Frise

     Playful

    Bichons are playful in nature and have high levels of energy to expend. In addition, they’re highly intelligent dogs capable of performing tricks and circus acts.

     Friendly

    The Bichon Frise relishes being the centre of attention and is great around children and other dogs. Due to the breed’s people-pleasing nature, they’re also often friendly to strangers.

     Affectionate

    Dubbed as one of the best therapy and lap dogs, the Bichon Frise isn’t afraid to show its affection. It also enjoys basking in the presence of its human companions.

    Caring for a Bichon Frise in Singapore

    While Bichons make for great companions, it’s important to ensure that you’re able to provide for their needs. Learn about their grooming and exercise needs below!

    Residing in a HDB Flat

    As Bichons are small in size and often quiet in nature, they’re great for apartment dwellers. In fact, they’re one of the breeds approved for HDB flats!

    These dogs are highly adaptable and can live well in smaller spaces. However, they still require daily walks to stay happy and healthy.

    Grooming a Bichon Frise

    Groomer brushing a Bichon Frise

    Bichons are known to be a hypoallergenic breed as they shed minimally. However, they require regular brushing to prevent matting.

    You can bring them to a professional groomer every 4 to 6 weeks or do it yourself at home! This table shows the frequency of each grooming activity:

    Grooming activityFrequencyReason (if any)
    BrushingDailyShed hair often gets caught in a Bichon’s undercoat. Brushing his coat can, therefore, help to prevent matting.
    Face cleaningDailyDue to their white coat, Bichons are likely to develop tear stains. Hence, daily cleaning of their faces and flushing of eyes is recommended.
    Teeth brushingDaily or at least 2 to 3 times every weekBichons are prone to dental and gum problems. Thus, it’s ideal to brush their teeth daily.
    Ear cleaning
  • Gentle cleaning: Once a week
  • Thorough cleaning: Once a month
  • BathingOnce every 2 to 3 weeks
    Nail clippingAt least once a month

    Exercise Needs of a Bichon Frise

    Bichon Frise running on a grass patch

    Recommended duration: 30 minutes of outdoor exercise per day

    Did you know that apart from helping to manage your Bichon’s weight, daily exercise is helpful for your pet’s sleep and digestion? In fact, it can also strengthen his body and keep his joints flexible!

    There are 2 main types of activities that you can do with your Bichon:

    Daily walks
    Taking your furiend on daily walks of about 30 minutes around the neighbourhood or park can allow him to release pent-up energy. Plus, it’s a great way to bond with your pet!

    If your Bichon is suffering from joint problems, you can take him to a dog swimming pool for a low-impact exercise option!

    Playing with toys
    Many cases of behavioural problems in canines result from boredom. Hence, it’s important to keep your pet’s mind active by playing with him and providing mental stimulation through toys such as chew toys and puzzle games.

    Diet of a Bichon Frise

    Types of dog food and treats

    Recommended calorie intake: 404 to 663 calories per day

    Bichons are relatively active dogs. Ensuring that your pet gets the right amount of nutrients each day is key to keeping him energetic and healthy. Depending on his age, weight and activity level, the number of calories he needs may differ.

    On average, an adult Bichon will require 404 to 663 calories daily. While adults can be fed twice a day (once in the morning and once in the evening), it’s recommended to feed Bichon puppies thrice a day.

    You can speak to a vet if you’re unsure about your dog’s diet or want some recommendations on his meals.

    How to Train a Bichon Frise

    Bichon Frise with a harness lying on the grass

    While the Bichon Frise can be challenging to housebreak, they generally enjoy learning new tricks. Here are some tips on how to train your canine friend:

     Choose a quiet place for training

    Bichon puppies tend to have a short attention span. As such, they can easily become distracted.

    To tackle this, it may be a good idea to choose a quiet place with few distractions. This will allow your furiend to focus better!

     Repeat and master

    Consistent repetition has been found to be useful in training many dogs. Thus, when training your Bichon Frise, it’s important to repeat the command until he gets it right before moving on to the next one.

     Reward your pet with a treat

    As with most, if not all dogs, Bichons respond positively to rewards rather than harsh methods. So whenever your furiend masters a new command or does something right, try giving him a delicious treat!

    You may even want to make this treat special so he knows it’s specifically for training 😉

    How to Socialise a Bichon Frise

    Bichons can be friendly and affectionate dogs if socialised well as puppies. Here are some ways you can go about it:

     Expose your pet to new sights, sounds and people

    Allowing your furiend to be exposed to as many people, sounds and items as possible is helpful in his socialisation. You can start by letting him explore the house and interact with various members of the family.

     Expose your pet to new places

    Once he has become accustomed to the different sights and sounds around the house, try bringing him to explore the neighbourhood or a friend’s house. You can also take him to a dog park once his vaccinations are complete.

     Take it slow

    As it can be overwhelming for your furiend at the start, it’s important to allow him to take in these new experiences at his own pace. If too much is done too quickly, a negative response can be triggered and your pet may become fearful.

    Common Health Conditions Found in a Bichon Frise

    Bichon Frise lying on the floor

    Bichons are prone to certain health conditions such as hyperadrenocorticism and patella luxation. They may also suffer from other conditions such as canine hip dysplasia (CHD).

    Note: This list is non-exhaustive and Bichons may face other health conditions aside from those listed.

    Hyperadrenocorticism

    Hyperadrenocorticism, otherwise known as Cushing’s disease, is a condition that occurs when excessive amounts of stress hormones are released by the adrenal gland.

    This disease typically affects middle-aged and senior dogs, and can result in high blood pressure and ​​kidney disease among other conditions.

     Symptoms
    • Increased appetite and water consumption
    • Urinating more frequently
    • Recurring infections (skin and bladder)
    • Bloated abdomen
    • Panting
    • Lethargy
    • Blindness
    • Thin skin
    • Hyperpigmentation
    • Poor skin healing
    • Skin mineralisation (firm and irregular plaques on skin)
     Treatment
    • Medication
    • Surgery

    Patella Luxation

    Patella luxation is a common condition that occurs when the kneecap shifts out of position. It can also be known as a dislocated kneecap.

     Symptoms
    • Inability to bend the knee
    • Limping
    • Hunching
    • Weakness in legs
    • Bow legged stance in the hind limbs
    • Reluctance to exercise, run or jump
     Treatment
    • Weight loss
    • Exercise restriction
    • Medication
    • Surgery

    Canine Hip Dysplasia

    CHD is a painful condition whereby the ball and socket of a joint fail to fit together properly. They rub against one another, causing deterioration over time.

    This condition can be hereditary or a result of factors such as weight, nutrition and exercise.

     Symptoms
    • Drop in activity levels
    • Pain
    • Limping
    • Lameness in the hind legs
    • Reduced range of motion
    • Swaying
    • Decrease in thigh muscle mass
    • Grating of the joints
    • Reluctance to exercise, run or jump
     Treatment
    • Weight loss
    • Exercise restriction
    • Physical therapy
    • Medication
    • Surgery

    Price of Owning a Bichon Frise in Singapore

    One-off Costs

    Buying a Bichon Frise in Singapore can cost up to $12,800 while adopting one can cost anywhere from $0 to $400.

    Licensing

    To own a dog in Singapore, the first step is to apply for a license with the Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS). The cost varies depending on the type of license and the sterilisation status of your dog.

     1-year license2-year license3-year licenseLifetime license
    Cost of license for sterilised dogs$15 per dog$25 per dogN.A$35
    Cost of license for non-sterilised dogs$90 per dog$165 per dog$230 per dogN.A

    Sterilisation

    Sterilising your furiend can help to protect him from certain health conditions and diseases. The cost of this procedure will depend on your dog’s gender and the clinic you’re visiting. In general, the price ranges from $100 – $350.

    Microchipping

    Microchipping can be helpful in locating your dog in the event that he goes missing. The price of this procedure ranges from $50 – $90.

    Recurring Costs

    Some common costs that you may incur on a regular basis include:

    • Food: Up to $120 per month
    • Medical and dental: ~$50 per month
    • Vaccinations: $30 – $60 per vaccine
    • Grooming: ~$50 per session
    ​​

    Did you just get your Bichon Frise puppy? Pet Lovers Centre is offering a free Puppy Pack (worth up to $85) when you sign up for our Puppy Bonus Plan*. Sign up now and receive free gifts from brands such as Trustie, Fish4Dogs and Pronature!

    Pet Lovers Centre Puppy Bonus Plan

    The Puppy Pack contains gifts such as wet and dry dog food, treats, odour and stain remover, shampoo and a poop bag. New members can also receive a 1-year VIP membership!

    *Puppy has to be younger than 12 months.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Owning a Bichon Frise

    The Bichon Frise is generally quiet by nature. This breed doesn’t bark often, though there are certain exceptions. For example, your dog may bark to get your attention or when he's being left alone for some time.

    The Bichon Frise is an affectionate creature that enjoys companionship and attention. As such, it's not recommended to leave your furiend alone for extended periods of time.

    If left alone for long hours, your dog may display destructive behaviour.

    The main differences between a Bichon Frise and a Poodle include their size, colour and ease of training.

    • Size: The Poodle comes in 3 different sizes – toy, miniature and standard. The size and weight of a Bichon are typically more similar to that of a miniature poodle.
    • Colour: While the Bichon Frise is generally white with some variation in colour, the Poodle comes in a wide range of colours from white to black, cream and even brown.
    • Ease of training: The Poodle is an intelligent breed that is often easier to train as compared to the Bichon Frise.
    Emilia Wong
    Article by:
    Emilia Wong
    Contributors:
    Vivian Quek
    Bubble tea and sleeping are two of Emilia's favourite things. She also enjoys cooking and loves to experiment with new recipes for different cuisines.
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