Guide / What to Look for in a Bichon Coat
Just like coats for people, dog coats have two jobs: they keep the wearer dry and they insulate heat. These two factors working together help make sure your Bichon Frise is comfortable in the elements. Bichon Frise’s small size and her puffy white hair leave her susceptible to extremely cold temperatures and precipitation. Staying dry is half the battle when considering how to protect your dog against frigid temperatures. Finding an adequate Bichon Frise raincoat will help keep your little puffball warm through the rainy and snowy seasons.
The value of a winter coat goes up if your Bichon is elderly or prone to illness. A dog coat can help prevent the perils that accompany harsh conditions and make going for walks and to the bathroom safer for your pet. Dog coats can be an absolute necessity in the winter months. Without a dog coat, your pooch is uncomfortable at best and in danger of getting frostbite or developing hypothermia at worst. It should be noted that a coat for your Bichon Frise is not a fashion statement, but a matter of health and as with any health concerns you should consult your veterinarian if you have additional questions. A winter coat for Bichon Frise is highly recommended, but with all the options available, it can be hard to decide which is the best option for you and your pet.
What to Look for in a Buying a Bichon Frise Coat?
When finding the right coat for your Bichon, there are several factors you may want to take into consideration.
Size: To find a dog coat that fits your pet appropriately you should measure your Bichon Frise from the base of the neck to the base of the tail. For a Bichon this usually means purchasing a small dog coat. The coat should fit your dog snuggly without restricting her movement. A little space between your dog and the coat she is wearing is not a bad thing.
Material: Wool and fleece are the most common materials found in a Bichon Frise winter coat. These materials do an excellent job of trapping heat. However, if you live in an especially snowy or rainy area you may want to look for more water-resistant materials.
Washable: You will thank yourself for purchasing a dog coat that is easily washable. Like people, dog clothes can develop a funk after prolonged use. Finding a dog coat that is easy to care for is a key component when considering which dog coat for Bichon Frise.
Body coverage: A dog’s belly is the most sensitive to the cold because it is both the lowest part of the body to the ground and doesn’t have any hair. Finding a coat that covers up the tummy will help keep your dog warm and try.
Waterproof: Finding a dog coat that will keep your Bichon Frise warm and dry can be difficult. Protecting your pooch from precipitation will make sure your dog stays warm and dry. Alternatives that overlook waterproofing end up making your dog colder as moisture soaks up into the coat’s porous material. Raincoats for Bichon Frise are key to keeping your dog healthy and safe. These are just a few important considerations to help you find the right product for your pup. You should always consult your dog’s veterinarian for a professional opinion before using a new product on your dog.
Taking Care of Bichon Frise in Winter
Keep your Bichon Frise Warm
Some dog breeds are blessed with thick fur that keeps them warm naturally, even in very cold temperatures, but dogs like Bichon Frise with thin coats may need to wear a sweater or coat when out for winter walks. A good coat should reach from the neck to the base of the tail and protect the belly. But remember that coats will not prevent frostbite on the ears, feet, or tail, so even with a cozy coat, don’t keep your short-haired dog out too long in freezing temperatures.
Go Outside when the Sun Shines
If your Bichon Frise feels the cold, try to walk her in the late morning or early afternoon hours when temperatures are a little warmer, and avoid early morning or late evening walks. Spend time playing outdoors while it is sunny; sunshine brings the added benefit of providing both you and your pet with vitamin D. Play fetch with toys, not sticks, which can cause choking and other injuries. So, if your dog likes to chew and chase, pack a Frisbee, ball, or other safe toy and play together in the sun.
Limit Outdoor Time in Winter
Your Bichon Frise may love to spend time outdoors but in winter even the furriest dog can get cold. Ears, paws, and tails are all susceptible to frostbite. Take your dog out frequently for walks, exercise, and play but when the temperature drops, do not leave him outdoors for long periods of time. A good rule is to go out with him and when you are ready to come in, he probably will be too. If he is outside in your yard by himself, check often to make sure he is not showing signs of feeling cold.
Cozy Bedding for Bichon Frise
In addition to limiting your dog’s time outdoors on cold days, do not let your pooch sleep on a cold floor in winter. Choosing the right bedding is vital to ensure your dog stays warm. Warm blankets can create a snug environment; raised beds can keep your dog off cold tiles or concrete, and heated pet beds can help keep the stiffness out of aging joints. Place your dog’s bed in a warm spot away from drafts, cold tile, or uncarpeted floors, preferably in a favorite spot where she sleeps every day so that the area doesn’t feel unfamiliar.
Protect your Bichon Frise from Heaters
Bichon Frise will often seek heat during cold winter weather by snuggling too close to heating sources. Avoid space heaters and install baseboard radiator covers to avoid your pet getting burned. Fireplaces also pose a major threat so please make sure you have a pet-proof system to keep your heat-seeking pal out of harm’s way!
Moisturize Your Bichon Frise
Dry and cold weather can do a number on your pet’s skin. Help prevent dry, flaky skin by adding a skin and coat supplement to her food. Coconut oil is a good natural moisturizer that can help keep your pet’s skin and coat healthy. If you find your pet’s paws, ears or tail are dry or cracking, you can also apply coconut oil topically as needed.
Avoid Overfeeding your Bichon Frise
Although Bichon Frise may need an extra layer in winter, make sure it comes from a coat and not a layer of fat. Cold temperatures may even bring on lazy behavior and the need for fewer calories. Be attentive to your dog’s activity level and adjust her calories accordingly. A high quality, whole foods, preferably raw meat-based diet will help ensure a healthy coat and good energy for the cold winter months.
Keep your Bichon Frise Hydrated
Bichon Frise can dehydrate just as quickly in winter as summer. Although many dogs eat snow, it is not an adequate substitute for freshwater. If your dog spends time outdoors in your yard, make sure she has access to a water bowl, check it often and break the ice that forms on top.
Groom your Bichon Frise
Your Bichon Frise needs a clean, well-groomed coat to keep her properly insulated. This is especially important if your dog spends a lot of time outdoors. After bathing, dry your dog thoroughly, especially before allowing her outside.
Paw Care for Your Bichon Frise
Just as we tend to develop foot cracks in winter, Bichon Frise can also suffer from cracked pads. If your dog has furry feet, trim the hair that grows between her pads to prevent ice build-up between the pads.
If your dog shows signs of discomfort when walking outside on frozen or salted surfaces, consider using dog booties to protect her paws.
Bichon Frise Resource Links
|Bichon Frise Club of America||United States||Link|
|Bichon Frise AKC||United States||Link|
|Bichon Frise United Kennel Club||UK||Link|