The bichon frise, sometimes referred to as one of the teddy bear dog breeds, is a beautiful and affectionate dog that requires regular grooming. Her white coat is hypoallergenic and doesn't shed, but she has long, curly hair and a double coat that can tangle and mat without proper care. Groom your bichon frise daily, taking care to clean her face and comb her ears. You can also trim her hair as needed if you opt not to take her to a professional groomer.
Brush out tangles
Use a soft slicker brush to brush out your dog. Since the bichon frise needs regular grooming to prevent tangles in his coat, it is a good idea to brush his entire body as well as his face and ears. After brushing with the slicker brush, comb through the hair, making sure you get down to the level of the skin. This ensures that mats don't form close to the skin.
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The ears are especially prone to knots and tangles. Comb it out in small sections and don't forget to check the underside and behind the ears for knots. As you brush your dog, watch out for any skin problems, such as rashes and cuts, that may need veterinary attention.
When brushing your pup's face and ears, take care not to injure his eyes, nose, or mouth. If your dog doesn't sit still for grooming, ask a friend to help hold him.
Bathe your bichon frise
Bathe your dog every week or two using a hypoallergenic shampoo. Make sure you brush out tangles first. After shampooing, rinse your dog thoroughly, as any dried product may cause itchy skin. Check the water temperature to ensure it isn't too hot or cold. Since this breed needs such frequent grooming, it is important that it is a good experience.
If you have a laundry sink, this is an ideal location for bathing, as it is high enough that you don't have to stress your back by bending over and small enough to contain your dog.
Towel dry your bichon frise and then blow dry her hair. Brush her as you dry the fur to help straighten the hair and prevent tangles. Make sure to use a low-temperature setting so that you don't burn your dog's skin.
Trim the face and ears
The bichon frise needs to be trimmed about every four weeks. Using a professional groomer is recommended, but you can trim the face and ears on your own if necessary. Start by trimming the eyes with blunt-edged scissors, removing the hair from the inner corner of the eyes. Then, comb the hair on the forehead toward the eyes and trim the fur. This removes any hair that may interfere with your dog's visibility.
Comb the hair on your dog's cheeks and chin downward and the fur on her head upward. Then, use your scissors to trim the fur to create a rounded shape. This creates the trademark powder-puff appearance for which the bichon frise is known.
Bichon ears and eyes
The white coat of the bichon frise is prone to stains that can mar its appearance. Wipe away discharge from your bichon's eyes with a moist cloth. Do this regularly to prevent stains from forming around his eyes. You can remove stains by applying a paste of baking soda and water for one hour. Consult your vet if your dog has a constant eye discharge or severe staining.
Examine the ears daily for wax, mites, or signs of infection. Take your bichon to the veterinarian if the color of the insides of his ears is different from the rest of his skin or if they give off an unpleasant odor. Clean the ears at least once a month. Pour a few drops of a dog ear cleaner on a cotton ball and gently clean the visible inside areas of the ears to remove wax and other dirt.
Finally, brush your dog's teeth weekly. Use a toothbrush and toothpaste designed for dogs. Consult your veterinarian to determine whether your dog needs a professional cleaning.