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How to Bathe and Dry a Bichon Frise: The Essential Guide

How to Bathe and Dry a Bichon Frise

How to Bathe and Dry a Bichon FriseBichon Frises are a popular breed of a small dog. They have exceptionally fluffy fur that makes them soft and aesthetically pleasing but somewhat difficult to bathe. If you bathe them improperly or infrequently, their fur can develop knots or shed excessively. Because of their unique hair, you will want to bathe your Frise about once every other week. By getting the right materials and bathing it properly, you will have a squeaky-clean puppy in no time.

Gather Your Supplies

Find the right tub and hose; Bichons are small so you can bath them in a deep sink. You can also use a regular bathtub or a kiddie pool if you prefer. Bichons have a lot of fur so make sure it is a surface you can easily clean afterward.

How to Bathe and Dry a Bichon Frise: The Essential Guide 1
How to Bathe and Dry a Bichon Frise

I normally bathe ours in the kitchen sink, using the sprayer to help wash them thoroughly. I have also used our Mop sink (Which Darlene Prefers). I have also taken them into our swimming pool, which works very well.

The maneuverability and water pressure of a hose will all you to saturate the pup’s dense coat more thoroughly. It will be especially difficult to remove the shampoo and conditioner without it.

Lay down a rubber mat; If you are using a tub with a slick surface like a sink, your bichon may slip and slide around during the bath. Since the pup will likely try to run away during the bath, they could slip and hurt themselves or end up inhaling water unless you have a rubber surface underneath that will prevent this. You can find a viable rubber mat at any.

All Our Dogs are different, some love baths, and we currently have one female that i am as usually as wet as she is. She is not a willing Participant.

Place cotton balls in the ears; Bichons have a lot of hair in their inner ears. It will act as a sponge during the bath and be difficult to dry afterward. If water leaks into their ear canals, it could cause an infection. Gently place a single cotton ball in each ear before the bath begins and remove them after you dry the pup off.

Use Bichon-friendly shampoo and conditioner; Bichons are prone to dry, sensitive skin so you will want a shampoo that is specifically designed for dogs like this. Most shampoos will include a list of breeds that they are ideal for on the label. The dense fur on Bichons tends to get tangled and bristled so use a dog conditioner that moisturizes. You can find these shampoos and conditioners at any pet store and some major retailers like Walmart. We use Tearless/ Oatmeal Shampoos.

Consider a professional groomer; A professional groomer will bathe your puppy for you. They will also offer services to trim its hair, pumice its paws, and brush its teeth. Professional groomers will vary widely in price, but the bath will usually cost at least $30 – $50 for a small dog like a Bichon with additional charges for other services.

How to Bathe and Dry a Bichon Frise: The Essential Guide 2
How to Bathe and Dry a Bichon Frise

We always have used professional groomers. I Tried a couple of times, but Darlene saw the result and said NO.

Giving the Bath

Fill the tub; Lift the dog and place it in the tub. Fill the tub with lukewarm water. Fill it so that the water rises to the top of the dog’s legs. Wet all its fur before you apply shampoo.

Apply shampoo; Hold your dog with one hand so it doesn’t jump out of the tub and apply the shampoo directly to the fur. Place a dollop on each side of the torso to start and rub it in so that it lathers and covers all the dog’s fur. Try to massage the shampoo deep into the fur. Apply more as needed.

How to Bathe and Dry a Bichon Frise: The Essential Guide 3
How to Bathe and Dry a Bichon Frise

Rinse the shampoo out; Use either a hose or a jug to pour warm water over the pup. Do this several times until all the suds are out. You may need to hold the dog tight as it may squirm and try to getaway. You can wash your dog’s fur a second time with shampoo as well. While the first shampoo will lift dirt out of the fur, shampooing again will make your dog’s coat pop.

Apply conditioner and dry the fur; Apply the conditioner the same way as the shampoo. Start with a small dollop and add more until you thoroughly saturate the fur. Leave it in the fur for about five minutes before rinsing it out thoroughly. Wrap the pup in a soft towel and rub it all over to dry the fur. You can also use a blow dryer on a low heat setting to create a puffy look.

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How Often Should you Bathe a Bichon Frise?

The Bichon Frise is a high maintenance dog that requires regular bathing and grooming.  This white, powder puff dog with its merry, joyful temperament has a double coat that needs to be bathed as frequently as every week and no longer than every 3 weeks. 

The frequency of baths depends on you and your dog’s lifestyle. The care and maintenance of the coat set the foundation for maintaining healthy skin and coat.  Regular baths promote coat growth.  A dirty coat will mat and tangle much easier than a clean coat. 

Show Style Bichon Frise

When the coat is dirty and breaks, the hair shaft becomes rough and eventually breaks down, which will lead to further damage to the coat.  Therefore, keeping the coat clean and healthy is of utmost importance to maintain the powder puff look of this double-coated dog.

Selecting the appropriate products and using them correctly is necessary to maintain the coat, which is the hallmark of the breed.  A properly cared for coat contributes to the glamour of the Bichon Frise’s every step.  Keeping the coat clean, conditioned, and mat-free is the key to a beautiful coat.  The most important thing when bathing this breed is to be very thorough. 

Sink your fingers deep into the coat while massaging the shampoo into the coat making sure every part of the coat is shampooed and rinsed well.  If you choose to use whitening shampoo, do not use it every time you bathe.  If you do so, the hair shaft will open up causing the coat to stain more easily.  Every time you use a whitening shampoo, make sure to condition the coat to seal the hair shaft to produce the efficacious result you were striving to achieve. 

How to Bathe and Dry a Bichon Frise: The Essential Guide 4
How to Bathe and Dry a Bichon Frise

A good rule of thumb is to use a whitening shampoo, every 3 or 4 baths to keep the coat a nice crisp white color. Condition the coat every other bath being careful not to add too much weight to the coat. Do this on a maintenance bath day, rather than a full grooming day, to achieve a beautiful result.

Do They Require a Lot of Grooming?

Bichons do require routine grooming

As a young dog, it is imperative that you get the dog used to regular grooming A full brush out 2 to 3 times a week is best with baths every 1 to 2 weeks.  Never brush a dry coat, always lightly mist with a hydrating spray.  If the Bichon is kept in a shorter trim, weekly brush outs are still preferred. Routine baths ranging between 1 to 3 weeks is desirable.  This is a breed that requires their caring owner to stay on top of routine maintenance.

Top 10 Bichon Designer Breeds / Parents /Size / Video

Designer MixParentsSizeVideo
MaltichonBichon / MalteseHeight / 8-11 inches
Weight / 8 - 13 lbs
Bichpoo Bichon / PoodleHeight / 9 - 14 inches
Weight / 6 - 9 lbs
Shichon Bichon / Shih TzuHeight / 9 - 12 inches
Weight / 10 - 15lbs
Yorkie BichonBichon / YorkieHeight / 9 - 12 inches
Weight / 6 - 8 lbs
Bichon Yorkie
Chi Chon Bichon / ChihuahuaHeight / 8 - 10 Inches
Weight / 6 - 10 Lbs
Chi Chon
KashonBichon / Cairn TerrierHeight / 9 - 15 Inches
Weight / 10 -18 Lbs
Goldichon Bichon / Golden RetrieverHeight/15 - 20 inches
Weight /20-40 Lbs
ChonzerBichon / Miniature SchnauzerHeight /10-16 inches
Weight / 25-35 lbs
Glechon Bichon / Beagle Height /15-16 inches
Weight / 15-35 lbs
Corgi Bichon / CorgiHeight /11-13 inches
Weight / 31-37 lbs
List of the Designer Breeds from the Bichon Frise
Name - Link for Research
Parents - Breeds of Dogs
Size Height / Weight
Video - Video of the Bichon Designer Breed

Chart of Bichon Birthing Accessories

Breeder BoxDo Not used Wired Dog cage
HeaterWe use space heater for whole Room
scaleTo Weigh Puppies make sure they are Gaining Weight
Clean towelsChande during Birthing to clean up
Protected SpaceKeep Mother away from other Dogs to avoid Distress
Draft ProtectionDrafts can chill and kill a Puppy
Squash protectionMothers can accidently squash a puppy
clean bedding to replace after birth - will be wet
SeclusionNeeds her Privacy - she can get Hyper
Rubber GlovesKeep things Clean and from Blood
Scisorrs & ThreadFor Cutting Cord
List of Needed Items to Have Prepared For Puppy Birth

Puppy Birthing Complications

If UnsureTake to Vet If Time allows
Keep Mother IsolatedIf Other dogs around she could get defensive and accidently Hurt Puppies
Puppy Accidentally CrushedMake sure Not Giving Birth in Dog cage - puppies can work themselves through mesh and get Damaged
Not BreathingGently Give it Mouth to mouth
Not breathingMassage Puppy trying to gently force fluid from his lungs
Puppy StuckGently Pull
Puppy BreechHelp Guide legs out
Puppy ColdRaise Enviorment to 85 degrees
Puppy ColdChange Wet Bedding
Puppy ColdWarm Puppy up put on Your body till body heat warms him
Puppy ColdNo drafts - No metal Floor Pan on Cage
Puppy not going on NippleHelp Guide him to nipple till he gets hand of it
Puppy not feedingTry Small baby Bottle
let him suck - do not force him - can drown him with milk going in lungs
Puppy not feedingUse puppy Milk Supplement
Puppy Not feeding check for Cleft Palate
Puppy Not FeedingTake to Vet - he can show you Catheter Feeding
Puppy Not GrowingMake sure Mother has plenty Food Water
Puppy Not GrowingYou can check on scale
Labor stops or is prolonged over 24 hours Take to vet - C section can save litter and Mother if needed
Mother does not Remove MembraneYou will Need to Manually remove it
Mother does not chew through Umbilical CordYou will need to cut it 1/2 " away from puppies body tier with thread
Here is a List of Puppy Birth Complications you might Encounter
And Recommended Steps

Expense Table for Owning Bichons Frise

Average Cost of AKC PuppyPuppy ShotsFoodGrooming 4 / per yearCage / Accessories / Bowls / Brushes / Leash / CollarAKC - Registration
Within 6 Months of Purchase
Micro ChipYearly Meds
Heart Worm
Dog LicenseTotal InvestmentPuppies Possible / Year
$ 450 - No Breeding Rights$ 120$ 10 / Wk
High Quality Food
$ 45 ea / $180 YrCage - $50
Rest - 50
$ 35$ 45 - One Time Cost
By Vet
Heart Worm Meds - $60 / Yr
Worming - $ 30 / YR
$ 35 / Yr$ 1575 / Dog1-6 Puppies
Average 3
$ 750 - $ 950
Puppy with AKC Papers and No Restrictions
Total Investment
This Table just shows you the Expenses in Keeping a Bichon That we have found in Owning a Bichon

Breeds Descended from Water Dogs

Name of BreedCountry of Origin
American Water SpanielUnited States
Cantabrian Water DogSpain
English Water SpanielEngland
Irish water SpanielIreland
Lagotto RomagnoioItaly
Portuguese Water DogPortugal
Pudelpointer Germany
Spanish water DogSpain
Tweed water SpanielEngland
This a list of Breeds that have Descended from Medival times Water Dogs- used by Hunters

Bichon Frise Resource Links

Bichon Frise Club of AmericaUnited StatesLink
Bichon Frise AKCUnited StatesLink
Bichon Frise United Kennel ClubUKLink
Resources for Bichon Frise Owners and Breeders