Important Bichon Information
The puppy will need his/her next set of shots in a week or so from the time you take your puppy home. Please make an appointment with your Veterinarian for the second set of shots and they will also be wormed at the same time. Your puppy will then need shots again 3 weeks later, in which he/she will be all set for a year. The shot schedule goes as follows: 6 weeks, 9 weeks & 12 weeks. When you go in for your 12 week shots, Then you will get a rabies vaccine. Never let your Vet give more than one vaccine age a time!!! I recommend you make the appointment to have him/her spayed or neutered when you go in for your rabies vaccine.
Parvovirus is a HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS virus that attacks the intestines and causes sloughing of the inner layers of the intestine. The most common symptoms of this disease (the “intestinal form”) are vomiting and diarrhea. Another less common form, the “cardiac form”, occurs in very young pups (less than 8 weeks of age) and attacks the heart muscle, often resulting in sudden death.
Parvovirus is contagious to dogs only—not to cats or people. Any age, breed, or sex of dog could be affected by parvovirus. However, infection with parvovirus does not automatically mean illness. Several factors such as age, environment, stress, parasites, and general health status of dog infected, could affect the severity of the disease. The degree of illness could range from unapparent, very mild, to very severe, which could lead to death. The disease is usually more severe in young dogs (less than 6 months of age), old dogs, Rottweiler’s, and Dobermans. The younger and smaller the dog, the greater the chance that he/she will not recover.
Parvovirus is resistant to extreme temperatures (i.e., it survives freezing and extreme heat) and is unharmed by detergents, alcohol, and common disinfectants. Direct transmission occurs when an infected dog comes in contact with a healthy dog. The virus is found in heavy concentration of the infected dog’s stool. Because dogs will usually sniff where another dog has eliminated, this fecal-oral transmission is the most common method of transmission. The virus particles can be easily spread by hands, shoes, clothing, or other inanimate objects (fomites)—this is an indirect source of transmission.
As many as 30 billion parvovirus particles can be shed from the intestines of an infected dog in every ounce of stool. The highest concentration of virus, in the stool, is seen when the infected dog is showing signs of illness. A dog can, however, be a source of infection to other dogs without it having observable signs of illness (the disease may be incubating). Transmission can occur for at least 3 weeks after a dog becomes infected with the virus. Chronic “carriers” are not known to exist in other viral diseases. Parvovirus in the environment can infect susceptible dogs for as long as 6 months once shed in the stool.
Clinical signs include vomiting, fever, and loss of appetite, depression, and bloody diarrhea with a very foul odor. Infected animals rapidly dehydrate and severe cases progress to shock and death. Early, vigorous treatment of this illness can save lives.
Cardiac form (less than 8 weeks of age):
· Sudden death
· Crying, difficulty breathing, gasping for breath
· Extreme depression
· Unwillingness to nurse
· Irregular heartbeat
Intestinal form (any age dog affected, but more severe in puppies):
· Loss of appetite
· Fever (usually above 103F)
· Vomiting with or without blood
· Diarrhea with or without blood (more serious if blood present)
· Low white blood cell count (due to immunosuppression)
Please only take your puppy outside in an area where you know there is no possibility of any disease. No dog parks, no city sidewalks, no public areas, until your puppy gets his 12 week shots and the Vet okay’s him to go to parks. I suggest you research Parvo a bit more and if you have any questions please contact me.
Please read through all your paperwork once again and return the puppy application as soon as possible, I like to keep this information on file. When you pick up your puppy to take him home please bring the Puppy Sales Contract, so I can make sure it is signed and we both have a copy.
The goal of ear care is to keep the ear canals clean and dry, which is difficult for Bichons whose ears fall over the ear canals leading to build up of moisture and debris, plus hair grows in their ear canals. Yeast, bacteria, and ear mites thrive in areas that are moist, alkaline and dirty, and flourish in areas that contain hair. All of these factors make Bichons more susceptible to ear infections and/or inflammation. Proper ear care can reduce the incidence of ear infections.
Ear care includes inspecting the ear canals frequently for signs of irritation; preferably each time you brush your Bichon. A healthy ear is light pink in color, clean except for small amounts of wax, and is odor-free. Signs of infection/inflammation include frequent scratching the ears and shaking the head, scratching the ear while crying and reddened ear canal, odors, and exudates (yellow, brown, or black discharge) from the ear canal. Bichon ears need to be cleaned weekly with a liquid ear solution that contains soothing herbs in an acidic solution. You can ask your veterinarian to advise you on which brand to chose.
In addition to cleaning and inspecting the ears, the hair needs to be plucked from the ear canal monthly to prevent excessive growth of bacteria or yeast. This can be done with a tweezers or a forceps, being careful not to grasp the skin and removing the hair a little at a time. If you do not feel comfortable doing this, a dog groomer should include this with their service. Some groomers use forceps and grab all the hair in it, twist it, and pull it all out with one yank. This causes major irritation and pain in the ear canal and may lead to infection and/or inflammation. Pulling hair out of a Bichon's ear is controversial. Personally I do not pull hair. When I am grooming i just take the clippers and go across the ear canal, that keeps the hair in the ears nice & short. I have some Bichon's that never have ear troubles and I have some that have chronic ear problems. Whenever I groom I always put in a all natural ear cleaner in the ears and gently rub the ears so it gets down in the canal. Your Bichon is going to have an ear infection at some time. You can count on it!!! Even when the hair is pulled out a little at a time, the ears can become irritated. Also, groomers and owners need to avoid getting soap and excessive water in the ears during the bath.
If your Bichon exhibits signs of ear infection/inflammation, which persists despite cleaning the ears, consult your veterinarian since antibiotics may be required.
Things to get ready for your puppy
I recommend you put your puppy in the kennel whenever you leave home so he/she is always safe. I once lost a puppy because I did not use a kennel. Now whenever I leave home, the dogs go in the kennel. If your puppy cries just give him a favorite toy, a dish of food or a treat. He will get used to being in a kennel & eventually stop crying. They will eventually learn to love their kennel and they will want to spend time in it even when you are home. Just please do not give into the crying. I promise it will stop. I use the wire type kennel that is 24 x 18, you may also use the hard plastic kennel if you choose.
Food dishes & food
I have always fed my dogs the best food available. I have researched and tried many dog foods and am quite happy with the food I am now using. It is called Chicken Soup for the Puppy Lover’s Soul. It is available from Parmer’s Market. I get a 35 pound bag and it cost about $43, which is very reasonable for such a good food. Dry food is better for your puppy’s teeth. If you choose to use a different brand, please make sure you read the ingredients on the side of the bag. The first ingredient should always be a meat (lamb, chicken, beef and/or rice.)
This can be kept in the kennel if you like. This makes them feel more secure and it then is a safe place for them to go.
Provide a wide variety of toys for your puppy to play with. Soft chew toys, bones, ropes, and many other varieties. Having toys keeps the puppy active and he/she will be less likely to chew on cords or other items they are not supposed to. You can find toys at any of the local stores in town.
Comb for grooming
It is very important to have a good comb on hand for your Bichon. Your puppy should be combed daily to keep from getting mats in their hair. A comb with the bristles close together is great for making his/her hair puffy and “Bichon like” It also helps with the mats. Never pull on a mat, try to comb it gently out and eventually, it will be gone. Some mats need to be cut out.
If you get your dog used to being combed daily, he/she will use that time to bond with you. They will begin to look forward to the time spent while you brush their hair.
Collar & leash
A good collar and leash is a must. When your puppy goes home he will need a 8 inch collar.A collar should be kept on your Bichon at all times. It is very important they have their name tags on, along with their rabies shot tag. This is important if your Bichon gets out of the house, someone will be able to identify him/her and safely return your puppy to you. A leash is important for when you take your Bichon for a walk. They love to walk and spend that time with you. They are very friendly animals to take out in public, and may people will stop and ask you about your beautiful Bichon.
Your puppy will probably have some tear staining while he/she is teething. This may last as long as 8-10 months but should be completely cleared up by a year old. In the meantime there are things you can do to help the staining go away. Keep the hair trimmed very short around the eyes, carefully do this with a pair of scissors. You can do this when your puppy is sleeping or very tired. You can also buy some premoistened pads at Walmart or any pet store. Use these pad daily & wipe under the eyes to keep the area clean. If you absolutely cannot stand tear staining.....like me there is a product out there that will remove most staining within a couple weeks. It is called Eye Envy, here is the link
It is only $20 and it will make a world of difference. When it arrived you poor the small bottle of liquid in the jar that contains the cotton pads. This MUST be kept in the refrigerator. You take the moisten pad and wipe under the puppy's eyes, don't forget to keep the hair cut short. After you wipe under both eyes really good you open the small jar of powder. Using a small makeup brush dip it into the powder and brush it on under the eyes being careful not to get any in the eyes. Brush it in really good and that is it! If you do this every day for 1 week the staining will be gone by 50%. This stuff is amazing. It took me awhile to find it & I have tried everything else on the market and nothing worked as good as this and it is not expensive at all. It will last you a long time but I think it expires after 6 or 8 months. After you get the staining nearly gone you will only have to apply it once or twice a week. If you have any questions on the Eye Envy just email me. Dont forget to keep the moistened pads in the fridge, you dont have to keep the powder in the fridge.
At Home with Your New Puppy!
Your puppy may cry for a few days once you get him/her home. Within a week or so, he will adjust to your routine and be a happy puppy once again. Just watch out for the box of tissues or any other paper products. Make sure he can’t reach them as he will have a wonderful time tearing up the whole box. Also, make sure there are no small things lying on the floor, your puppy will find it and may chew on it and it could be harmful to him. This is just like taking care of a baby. You would not let a baby chew on something small that he/she may choke on. Also your puppy will cry if he gets stepped on or hurt in some way. Just hold him close to you and comfort him, and within a few minutes he/she will stop crying. When he gets his shots he may cry or yelp, and that area where he got his shot will be sore for a few days.
Last few things for you to know……….
Your puppy needs lots of toys to stimulate his/her mind. Your puppy is going to already be pre-spoiled. I must apologize for this, but I think they are so adorable I can’t resist a little squeak or cry. I will go and pick him/her up to see what the problem is. Your puppy will soon be starting to go through a fear phase. Like when someone comes to my door and all my dogs start barking and all 5 puppies head for the end table next to my chair as they are afraid. If your puppy gets scared just hold him/her close to you and whisper in his ear and reassure him/her that they are safe. This fearfulness stage will not last too long especially if he/she is comfortable in there own home and with you.
Just remember to socialize your puppy with lots of different things, going for car rides, noise, and many different people. Whatever you do not socialize your puppy with; there is a chance he/she could become fearful of it. Sara was not socialized around small children, so now she is afraid of them, which is very unfortunate, but we just did not have any small children around during that time. Your puppy will be socialized for the first 8 weeks with 3 little boys who love to come over and play with the puppies. This is great experience for your puppy, and when he/she goes home, they will not be afraid of young children.
Also, around this time the puppy’s teeth will be coming in. I have no problems with puppy’s chewing on my things, but occasionally they have found my laptop power cord interesting. If your puppy has enough toys to play with and chew on, then there is no reason for him to chew on things he shouldn’t. His teeth are very sharp and he will try to chew on your fingers or toes, I use a distraction method. If your puppy is chewing on something he shouldn’t be I would give him a bone or a toy to play with. Never hit your puppy but a firm “no” is useful.
Have you chosen a Groomer?
Your puppy will need to be groomed at 4-6 months and then again every other month or so. I use Eagle Eye Grooming; Stephanie Eagle does a wonderful job with all my dogs. She charges $25 per dog. You must make the appointment well in advance, as she books up very quickly. Stephanie’s number is 632-6862.
Have you chosen a Veterinarian?
I go to Sault Animal Hospital at 2867 Ashmun Street M129 906-635-5910. I am very happy with this Vet but any Veterinarian in town would be great.
In between grooming appointments, it is important for you to comb your dog. He/she will learn to like it, but as a puppy they can’t hold still long enough to get them completely combed. I do use a dog comb. They are very useful in getting down to their skin to help prevent mats. Brushes are handy for fluffing the dog hair, but they do not get down in the coat to get the mats out. You will also want to check their toe nails so they don’t get too long and sharp. They could scratch and actually hurt someone. Be especially careful around children, as your puppy is going to be happy to see someone around their own size, and with the excitement comes licking/kisses and jumping up to see this little person.
As far as the rest of the grooming, I keep the hair trimmed around their eyes but you may not be comfortable aiming a pair of scissors near your pup’s eyes. Not a big deal, you can always call your groomer and ask to just get his/her eyes trimmed and nails clipped. Lastly, it is unpleasant, but we must do it. You will need to keep the hair trimmed under his/her tail. If you don’t keep this hair trimmed, a piece of poop could get stuck on their coat, and when it is dried, the next time they go to the bathroom, they may not be able to go because there is no clear path for it to come out. I can’t tell you how many times we have been “backed up” on my little ranch, and it always happens in the middle of the night. When this happens, you will know it! First, your pup will not smell as beautiful as usual. Second, they are acting weird, running around, and scooting their bum along the floor, and eventually you will notice that he/she is trying to go to the bathroom, but just can’t. Now if your puppy does get backed up I have found a very easy solution, I take my dog and put him in the kitchen sink and just hold the water right under his butt. The poop will soften up after a few minutes, and then I just pull the poop gently out of their coat, or you can use your dog comb. Just keep rinsing with warm water until the entire stool is out of his coat, this is not a bath, and you don’t shampoo him/her. You are just rinsing him/her with warm water to get the nastiness out of their coat. Then I towel dry him, trim the hair back and let him/her go! Your puppy will not like any of this, so you will need to teach him/her that you make the decisions not the puppy. Also, they don’t like you to mess with their rear end but you must get him cleaned up they have no choice. If you didn’t get this problem solved he would keep backing up and it could be a real health issue. The easiest things to do it keep the hair trimmed. When you get your pup look at his adorable rear end, as I will have it trimmed the way it needs to be kept.
Another important item is, your puppy is going to get stepped on, he/she will take off running and then turn around really fast and crash head first into a wall, and look up at you as to why did you hurt him? You may also close his head in the kitchen cupboard; he may get nipped at by one of your other dogs. When any of these things happen to your baby you will know about it because he will cry his/her little heart out. Please remember you are taking home a newborn baby!!!! When your puppy gets hurt, this is what I do. I am very guilty of running after whoever is hurt. I wrap him/her in a blanket and hold him/her until the hurt goes away, which is just a few seconds. They usually will fall right to sleep in my arm. So please provide a safe place for your puppy, but they are going to get hurt. So please don’t get too worried when he is crying buckets of tears.
Your puppy has been going outside to explore the yard, but please remember only take your puppy to disease safe areas as to avoid Parvo. Your puppy will need another set of shots/wormed when he/she is 9 weeks old, then again at 12 weeks. The shots are given in a series of 3 and each has to be 3 weeks apart. Your puppy will get his last set of shots and he will also get his Parvo shot. After he receives his Parvo shot, your puppy can walk where ever you want to take him. But please, until he receives his Parvo shot, keep your puppy out of public areas where diseases are prone to be. Also when you take your puppy for his/her 12 week shots you should schedule the spay/neuter that you puppy will need.
I have already started your puppy with “No” command. If your puppy is doing something that is not acceptable, you need to immediately tell your puppy in a firm tone, and touch his nose and say NO! He/she is not going to learn much in the beginning, but in a few weeks the touching of the nose should turn into a tap on the nose, as you are trying to get his attention. I never hit my dogs, ever! I hope you won’t hit your dog also. If you need a time away from your pup because you are busy, or just need a break, simply put him/her in there kennel with a few toys and a bone and your puppy will be just fine. Your puppy is learning right now about being in the kennel. Your goal should be that you can say “kennel” and all the dogs come running down the hall, they each know whose kennel is whose and the first one in their kennel gets the first bone. I always reward for good behavior and this is how I have trained all of my dogs.
Alright, I think we are getting to the end. Let’s talk about dog food! I love talking about dog food. My family hates it. They think it is boring and that I am crazy for researching dog food as much as I do. I feed my dogs Diamond Natural. It is all natural and grain free and very reasonable prices. My German Shepherd was a very finicky eater as a pup, and I tried many dog foods on him which is when I decided to start researching it. He went through a stage where he was gangly looking, like he was anorexic. I had to stop walking him because people would say “oh, is your dog sick”? I felt horrible. Anyway, I would suggest an all natural dog food. Read the ingredients, the first 5 ingredients should be things you would eat. Also these ingredients should be human grade.
The following is the ingredients’ on the food I use Diamond Naturals Puppy Formula
I order my food from PetFlow. It is free shipping and you can set up auto ship and it comes right to your door. A 40 pound bag of food costs $48.00
- Ideal for puppies and nursing adult dogs
- Tiny kibble for tiny teeth
- DHA for proper brain and vision development
- Balance of fat, protein and other essential nutrients for proper growth
- Enhanced with superfoods and probiotics
- No corn, no wheat, no soy
For pregnant or nursing adult dogs, we recommend free-choice feeding.
As you can see this food is grain free, after all you are feeding a dog not a pig or cow! There is no wheat or corn in the first 5 ingredients and this food is digested so well that there is not as much stool as other dog foods. Feel free to buy whatever dog food you think is best for you and your puppy, but remember your dog is an investement and you want to give him/her the best life possible. I will enclose enough dog food that I have been feeding for you so you can change over to the new dog food you will be feeding him/her. Although I must say that my dogs have been on this food for over 4 years. All of my dogs look fantastic and I believe it is because of the wonderful food I have chosen to give my dogs. But if you plan on using a different brand of dog food, it is quite simple to get your dog used to the dog to the food you choose. When feeding your pet a new dog food introduce it slowly. If you feed too much too soon, your pet could suffer from stomach upset, vomiting, excess gas, constipation, or diarrhea. I also feed the puppy’s Iam’s puppy bones, in the yellow box. It takes them forever to eat them right now but they really like chomping down on them. These bones are also a great training tool. You can teach your Bichon to sit, stay, “Come”, and they are also very useful when potty training. They are the perfect size for your young puppy.
Intestinal Bacteria: Play an Important Role
Normal bacteria in the intestine help your dog digest food. A sudden change in food can result in changes to the number and type of bacteria and their ability to help digest food. These changes can lead to intestinal upset. Therefore, your pet must be switched to a new food slowly.
A Gradual Change is Best
I recommend switching to a new food gradually over the course of 7-10 days. For example, make a mixture that contains 25% of the new food and 75% of the old food and feed that for three days. Then make it 50-50 for three more days, then 75% new food and 25% old food for three more days. If your pet seems comfortable with this progression, you can start feeding 100% new food.
If at any time your dog starts vomiting, has loose stools, or appears constipated, slow the rate at which you are switching the food. And as always, if problems continue to occur, consult your veterinarian.
As always if you ever have a question, concerns or just want to talk about your new baby please do not hesitate to call me or send me an email. Your puppy is going to be your new best friend. He/she is going to grow quickly so please take lots of pictures and stay in touch.
Oh I almost forgot a very important thing! When I call the puppies to go outside or eat, I say “puppy, puppy, puppy” in a louder, high pitched voice. And they all come just running!!! It really is way too cute. But anyway, when you get your puppy, if you want him/her: just call puppy, puppy, puppy, and he/she will come. After a few days of him/her getting used to his new surroundings you can start calling your puppy like this; puppy, puppy, “his name”. Just start leaving off one “puppy” and use his name instead (puppy, Kati, Kati) and as time goes by you will be surprised how quickly they learn their name. Within 2 weeks or sooner your puppy will come running to you when you call his/her name!
Also, when you first get your puppy I would suggest only giving him/her a room or two at a time. If you have a big house, it is very easy for a puppy to find just the right place to take a nap, and when you can’t find him it can become very scary. This has happened to me with a couple pups in the past. So this is how I solve this problem but you must be very careful. Until the puppy really knows his name, I put a long, light weight leash on him/her, and when he crawls behind the couch, you can still find him because the leash is sticking out. You must be watching you pup constantly with this leash on because the puppy can get tangled around something and choke, so please, if you use this method be very careful.
If at any time you have any questions about your puppy, please do not hesitate to call me, I would like us to stay in touch.
Congratulations on your new baby!!!!!
If for some reason you are not able to keep your puppy/dog, I will take the puppy/dog back regardless of age. It is important to me that none of the pups I breed end up in a shelter. Please contact me and we will make arraignment for you to return the puppy, and of course there will be no refund.