The years that you will spend caring for your Bichon Frise would seem like a swift, but pleasant breeze that blew through your life. From the very beginning that you picked up your fluffy white furball at the breeder or kennel and through the time that passed as you loved and cared for it as it grew up, you cherished every single minute that you spent caring and loving your precious dog. Your Bichon, on the other hand, learned to love you as well and did everything to please you and make you happy.
Now as the years have passed, you would soon find yourself looking down at your Bichon and notice that it has grown a lot older. No longer is it the small bundle of energy it once was. Despite it has slowed down with age, none of its affection for you has diminished. In the same way, neither should you lose the love you hold for your dog, just because it has grown older. Just as it is important for you to care for your Bichon during its formative years, it is equally vital that you care for your dog during its twilight years.
The Hard Facts
A Bichon Frise has an average life span of fourteen years, although there have been some causes wherein dogs of the breed have lived for 20 years and even longer. Some Bichons live for only around ten years, and this may be due to poor health or the development of a fatal disease. Now that the Bichon Frise is older, it is more important to give it care, since – like human beings – they are more prone to diseases as well as other conditions that accompany aging. Also, since your Bichon has been a loyal companion through the years, it is vital to show how much you love it especially during this period when you are unsure of how long it has left on this earth.
While your Bichon may still have the vibrant heart of a pup, its body is now being ravaged by a host of medical conditions that accompany the aging process, including poor eye sight and hearing. Especially for Bichons who are prone to the Bichon Blitz (the sudden bursts of energy that the dogs of the breed often exhibit) it may cause you great alarm if it suddenly runs, only to stumble and fall. Since Bichons are prone to skin diseases even as a puppy and adult, this risk is increased two-fold with aging as their skin becomes drier and more sensitive. Also, you must remember that your aging Bichon no longer has the hardy constitution that it once has. So do not be rough with it. Instead, give it loving, tender care.
Aging Bichon Frise Care
If you have an aging Bichon Frise at home, here are some tips that you should take note of so that you can give it proper care. Continue to give it a healthy, balanced diet, while taking a close eye on its consumption. Much like in human beings, obesity in dogs can predispose to several health conditions, especially heart problems.
If your home has floors made of marble, tile or hardwood, it may cause soreness in the joints and muscles of your dog. You may place an old rug in the places where your Bichon frequents. You can also give it an old pillow or buy it a soft bed for it to sleep on. Good grooming is just as important for aging Bichons, as you would need to remove any fleas and ticks, which may cause serious infections, especially now that your dog’s immune system is not as strong as it once was.
Don’t get angry with your pet if you find puddles of urine in your home. Incontinence is another sign of aging in a Bichon. If incontinence is a problem, you might consider giving it more frequent walks or you can resort to using puppy or dog diapers.
By observing proper diet and nutrition, as well as a daily exercise regimen, you can help ensure good health for your Bichon Frise during the twilight years of its life.