Dream Bichons Puppy Packet & Owner's Manual© 2001-2009 Dream Bichons. All rights reserved.
You are about to begin an incredible journey, one that will probably last 15 years or maybe even longer.
Say hello to your tour guide. Yes, it's that little white furry creature, on his or her way to finding excitement and adventure and possibly even a little trouble!
Because we have shared our lives with dogs for so many years, it is very easy for us to overlook important information when it comes to questions that you may have. So, to help you on your journey, Dream Bichons has put together a wealth of information in a single place. Do take the time to read it carefully; you are bound to learn many new things.
Also, do not hesitate to phone us if you have a question or concern. As knowledgeable and experienced dog owners and breeders, we have a great deal of information to help you.
Two comprehensive collections of frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the Bichon Frise have been archived. One is the Bichon Frise FAQ compiled by the BFCA and the other, Bichon Frise FAQ is compiled by Janice Sheehy-Metz. Both are worth your review and are mandatory reading for those new to the Bichon Frise breed.
Be sure to review the BFCA's excellent Puppy Proofing your Home and Yard.
Reprinted from American Kennel Gazette, August 1989, written by Julie K. Elliott for the Lhasa Apso Breed Column.
Part of preparing your puppy for a well-trained well-socialized adult life is keeping it safe from hazards while it is still young and vulnerable. As soon as your puppy is old enough to start exploring its environment, it's old enough to get into trouble. Here are 10 tips to help you make sure your new puppy's inquisitive nature doesn't get it into any real trouble.
Small objects can choke curious animals. Be sure your floor is clean, and check it at least once a day to make sure it is free of items a vacuum cleaner might miss: pieces of children's toys, hairpins, rubber bands, paperclips, dental floss, etc.
Electric wires can mean instant death to a puppy that exercises his natural chewing instinct. Unplug anything that you're not planning to use--like old radios--and put them out of the pup's reach. Tape the wires of necessary appliances to the wall or buy a commercial pet repellent (Bitter Apple) and spray that around the dangerous area.
Garbage cans are another source of potential danger. Most dogs love to root through the contents. Make sure the lids are tight and that they don't come off if the container is tipped over. (Or put your garbage bins up on a counter.)
If you keep detergents or bleach under the sink, place a piece of wood between the handles to "lock" the cabinet. Don't place insect (or rodent) poisons where your dog can get at them. If a poison container isn't childproof, it's not dogproof.
Keep toilet lids closed. Some people think it's cute to see a dog drink out of the toilet. It is definitely not healthy, and it is not cute when the pup falls in, gets his head stuck, or consumes a poisonous toilet bowl cleaner.
Check your yard and gate to make sure your little puppy can't get out. Enterprising puppies can dig their way to freedom in a matter of minutes, so watch for signs of loose dirt around the fence.
If you want to protect your home as well as your pet, remember that housebreaking takes time. You can train a puppy within a few days if your are consistent, but excited or nervous pups are still apt to have "accidents" for months afterwards. If you leave your pup alone for any length of time, you are liable to come home to a stained carpet and heaven knows what else. Would you leave a toddler alone? Confine the puppy to a small area, or better yet, a crate.
Teething is something all puppies have to go through. If you don't want your puppy chewing on your furniture, but something safe for the pup to chew. Both Nylabones and rawhide bones are wonderful, and they won't splinter. Some puppies like to chew even when they're adults, and a lonely or bored dog will gnaw on just about anything, including his own feet or coat.
Provide plenty of play toys: rubber balls (large enough so they won't become lodged in the pup's throat, yet small enough for him to carry around in his mouth), old socks tied in knots, latex squeaky toys (watch the squeakers; they come loose easily.)
Before bringing your new dog home, select a veterinarian and set up an appointment. A new puppy will need a series of shots, and a grown dog also needs regular, thorough checkups. Both your breeder and veterinarian can assist your with feeding advice and can give you tips on general care.
Your new puppy will bring you a lot of happiness throughout the years. One of the best ways of giving him happiness in return is by making sure your home is safe before adding this new, very special family member.
Your puppy has been fed a diet high in protein and calcium. During this period of very fast growth, we have provided an appropriately balanced diet. Your puppy currently eats 1/2 to 3/4 cup of dry dog food moistened with hot water, supplemented with a teaspoon of canned food.
Your puppy will eat 3 to 4 times per day. Be sure that one of the meals consists of 1/2 to 3/4 cup of low-fat small curd cottage cheese and 1/4 cup plain or vanilla yogurt. We feed this easily digested meal in the early afternoon.
Around four months of age gradually changed your puppy's diet from puppy to adult food. This process should take at least 3 to 4 weeks. Mix in a higher proportion of the new food each day. Impulsively altering your puppy's diet can cause digestive upset.
We recommend multi-vitamin supplements for both young and old dogs; if you choose to supplement, we recommend Pet Tabs.
Feed a high quality dog food. We like these high-quality foods -- find the foods that work for your dog and remember to occassionally (and always gradually) switch foods to prevent nutritional deficiencies and food intolerance/allergy.
Though it may cost a little more per bag, your puppy will digest a high-quality dog food better, thus requiring a smaller amount per feeding and producing less stool that other brands. If you can't find the brands above at your local pet supply store, many are sold online direct by the manufacturer, from Waggin Tails Pet Essentials, or at Pet Food Direct.
Please use stainless steel or lead-free crockery dishes for food and water -- feeding your dog from plastic dishes may not only cause skin pigment loss, but also may create other health problems.
Always have fresh clean water available for your dog.
A printout of Cindy Tittle Moore's Your New Puppy FAQ and the BFCA's Creating a Puppy You Can Live With will be invaluable to the new puppy owner. While Dream Bichons used to include the contents herein, we are now linking to the source files to honor copyright and versioning guidelines.
Quality grooming supplies are essential and can be expensive, but should last the lifetime of your dog. Investing in a good quality pin brush, slicker brush, and steel combination comb are a must. I like #1 All Systems pin and slicker brushes. I also recommend Four Paws Tender Touch small size slicker brush. And a Belgium Greyhound comb will last for years.
You'll also need a standard Millers Forge nail clipper, scissors or shears, and a variable heat/speed hair dryer.
As far as shampoo goes, Bio Groom and Lambert Kay are two good brands. Both product lines contain a tearless shampoo that can be used on just about any dog, at any age, without worry. We also recommend Kelco Industries (Natural and Organic) Plum White shampoo but it can be a bit more challenging to find.
There are several great resources for information of Bichon Frise grooming on the web. (Eventually I will get around to compiling our own set of instructions.)
Unless you are commited to learning how to hand scissor your Bichon yourself, plan on taking you Bichon to a professional groomer every 6-10 weeks. Between professional stylings, you will need to comb and brush your Bichon every few days to remove tangles and prevent matting. Utilize these one-on-one sessions to perform a hands-on examination of your dog and detect health issues before they become problematic.
Ask your breeder to show you how to comb and brush, trim nails, and can demonstrate how to bathe and dry.
A printout of Cindy Tittle Moore's Crating Your Dog FAQ and the BFCA's Crate Training will be invaluable to the new puppy owner. While Dream Bichons used to include the contents herein, we are now linking to the source files to honor copyright and versioning guidelines.
We recommend that you purchase a Vari Kennel crate for your Bichon. Your Bichons puppy will already be accustomed to playing around and sleeping in a kennel and should transition well to being confined when needed. Vari Kennels come in various sizes, with some Bichons preferring the smaller 100 size (burgundy color in the Deluxe line) and bigger Bichons preferring the larger 200 size (pink).
If properly trained, your Bichon will retire to his/her crate willingly when he needs a nap or even a respite from a stressful situation. My Bichon Iffy spends her downtime in the crate beside my desk in my home office while I am working.
Reprinted from Dogs USA, Annual 1992
Every male dog has the capacity to father hundreds of puppies. Often, intact dogs are allowed to wander at will, and they manage to find bitches in season with whom they mate. Unwanted puppies are born, many of which are abandoned or euthanized. The ranks on unwanted pets include purebreds, approximately 30 percent. Birth control for animals is a necessity and a kindness.
A sexually active dog can become infected with, and in turn become a carrier of, brucellosis. This virus is a canine social disease which can go undetected by the dog's owner.
Neutered male dogs are not only less aggressive, but they are also more sociable. They are also less likely to become attack victims of other male dogs.
Spaying your female dogs eliminates the chances of uterine cancer and drastically reduces the chances of mammary cancer. Pyometra, a life threatening disease of the uterus, cannot attack a spayed bitch. Spaying a female can make life with her much easier. Twice-yearly heats and attendant problems are eliminated. Amorous males are not attracted to spayed bitches. This will keep males from camping on your doorstop and howling beneath your window.
Spayed females and neutered males will not become fat and lazy unless they are overfed or under-exercised.
In short, spaying and neutering animals adds years to their lives and pleasure to yours.
Dream Bichons requests that your pet be spayed or neutered for the health of your pet and the health of the breed overall.
Personally, I recommend that you purchase at least one pet first aid kit for your home and, if you travel with your dog, one for the car. You can make your own, or purchase one of the many commercial kits available. We like the kits made by Creative Pet Products.
Purchase and read a book on pet first aid before an accident happens. Pay attention to what is normal for your pet so you can detect signals when something is wrong. The American Red Cross Pet First Aid book can help you learn more about caring for your pet in an emergency. To purchase the Pet First Aid book, contact your local Red Cross, or ask for it (ISBN 1-57857-000-X) at your local bookstore. The Red Cross also offers a course on pet first aid -- contact your local chapter for more information.
Create a information sheet that contains your pet's health and medical information and a recent photo, secure this in a plastic sheet or laminate and attach it to her crate.
Many supplies may be obtained through us or you can order from a good wholesale catalog. Do avoid pet shops and grocery stores--they often sell high priced, low quality products.
The wholesale companies that we do business with are as follows. Be sure to order free catalogs from each of these companies and compare prices.
Books and videos are often available from your local library for free. For purchase, contact Direct Book Service at 1-800-776-2665, your local bookstore, or an on-line book store.
Call us if you have any questions about what is best for your Bichon. We'll be sure to steer you in the right direction, saving you both money and time.
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