Feeding your Bichon: A Step By Step Guide
Bringing home a squirming, licking new Bichon pup can bring joy and energy to your home. However, just enjoying its company is not enough…you need to take very good care of it so that it continues to be its vivacious and bouncy self and a source of constant happiness to you. And one of the most vital aspects of Bichon pup care is feeding. You just can’t afford to take chances with it!
Here is a step by step guide to help you go the right way about feeding your Bichon pup!
First step: Feeding a newborn puppy
- As you might know, mother’s milk is the best food for any newborn. However, if you need to bottle-feed your puppy, try not to use cow milk as it may upset his tender tummy. Use either goat’s milk (fresh or canned), or dog milk substitute in its place.
- Make your pup drink some distilled water as well. Tap water might make him sick.
- Feed your newborn puppy every 2-3 hours.
- You can use a newborn human nipple/ milk bottle to feed your puppy. That’s because the nipples on pet bottles often don’t deliver milk sufficiently.
- By the 3rd week, you can start feeding him once every 4 hours.
Second Step: Weaning the puppy
- By the time your puppy becomes a month old or so, you can start adding a little baby cereal to his bottle and feed him.
- Use a nipple with a larger hole to feed your Bichon.
- Every day, add a little more baby cereal to the milk.
Third Step: Introducing solid foods
- When your pup gets familiar with solid foods, you can make a mixture of baby meat, cereal and milk and let him try it.
- Pour the mixture into a small dish.
- Carefully hold your puppy in one hand, and the dish in the other.
- Encourage him to suck up the gruel from the dish. In a few days, he will take to lapping his food rather than sucking it.
- However, at this stage, you need to hold your puppy while he is eating until he is able to stand firmly on his legs.
Fourth Step: After 6 months
- A six month old pup can be fed twice a day.
- However, if you live in a hot place, your puppy might only want to eat at night time, when the weather is cooler.
- Consider giving occasional treats to your Bichon
- You can cook yummy foods for your dear furry friend right at home. For an array of delightful recipes, consider consulting the Three Dog Bakery Cookbook: Over 50 Recipes for All-Natural Treats for Your Dog [Hardcover].
If you have a pregnant bichon at home, you can feed her on puppy food until the puppies are weaned.
Moving on to:
Factors to consider while choosing pup food:
Keep these pointers in mind while choosing pup food for your Bichon:
- Consider feeding your pup with breed-formulated food. You will find separate puppy formulas for large-breed, small-breed as well as medium-breed dogs.
- Make sure that you choose an appetizing flavor. Dogs being carnivores, puppy foods with flavors like salmon, lamb, chicken or beef could be good choices for your Bichon.
- Check out if any of the ingredients can lead to allergic reactions.
- According to vets, a healthy dog’s diet should contain meat and vegetables in equal ratio. Moreover, it should not contain any “fillers” like grains or wheat.So, the puppy food you choose should have more meat protein than grain protein.
- The puppy food needs to be fortified with essential nutrients for growth- such as fats, vitamins and minerals.
- Commercial puppy foods need to comply with the nutrient standards for growth set by AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials).
- Finally, you should understand that Bichon puppies need to drink plenty of fresh water daily. This will help prevent the formation of urinary stones (urolithiasis), a common health issue with Bichons.
Moving on to the list of foods which you should avoid feeding your puppies.
Foods To Avoid
Vets mention that certain foods can be extremely harmful for dogs. These include:
- Coffee, tea
- Onion/ garlic
- Grapes and raisins
- Milk products
- Macadamia nuts
- Candy/ gums
- Peaches/ plum
- Raw egg/ meat/ fish
- Salt/ sugary foods
- Yeast dough
- Table scraps
So avoid giving them to your Bichon.
Try these tips and see your Bichon glow with health!