Bichons are prone to staining on their white coats. Stains may appear under the eyes, around the mouth and around the feed. In most cases, the stains are the result of bacteria growing in those warm, moist places. Control the bacteria and you can control the staining. Read this helpful article on tear stain prevention and CALL US if you have challenges or want guidance. Also, remember that often puppies will start staining during the time they are teething. As with any potential bacterial outbreak, getting on top of the problem early and using daily cleaning and maintenance techniques should help nip the problem in the bud. Most of these products (sterile eye wash, cotton rounds, corn starch, etc.) can be obtained at your local Walmart. They are shown here just to give you a list and examples. All of our puppies go home with an eye cleaning starter kit.
To pluck or not to pluck ear hair? You will find differing opinions. Inner ear hair is dead hair and should be removed if your dog grows a lot of it and it starts to plug up the ear. Excess hair can also harbor dirt and wax and could lead to infections. We lightly pluck ear hair and clean the ears with a natural liquid during each bathing session. Here are some of the products we use.
Our bichons undergo non-anesthetic dental cleaning twice a year. In between visits, their teeth are brushed during each grooming session (about twice a month) and in between that, they get a daily dental chew and we sprinkle some organic kelp on their food. Sometimes at night we apply an oral tooth gel using a finger tip gauze pad before they go to bed. When selecting a tooth brush, use a soft bristle. We use an inexpensive battery operated children’s toothbrush for our dogs. We also have some older rescue dogs that we give a supplement called TDC that helps with oral health.
We DO NOT use a specific brand of dog toothpaste. Our dental hygienist recommended just dipping their toothbrush in plain old Listerine (no double dipping) and using that. That’s what we do and even out oldest dogs have great teeth with litter or no plaque buildup between doggie dental visits. Also, we don’t recommend you brush puppy teeth. Instead get them used to the toothbrush by giving them a sturdy one with some cream cheese as a chew snack. Let them play with it for about 5 minutes. That gets them used to the feeling. Once their adult teeth come in, it’s time to start a regular tooth brushing routine.
Watch this video of some of our bichons brushing their own teeth before bedtime. We teach our puppies this before they go to their new homes. All of our puppies go home with a dental starter kit that includes a non-edible chew, some edible chews, and a soft toothbrush.