We feed a combination diet of lightly cooked real food, dehydrated or freeze dried raw food and sometimes a kibble product. We occasionally add “toppers” in the form of one of the following: steamed and diced yams, boiled and diced beef liver, hard boiled eggs, canned sardines in water, and raw extra lean ground beef. For treats we like freeze dried organ meats (hearts, gizzards, liver, etc.).
Note: We prefer “cool” or “neutral” proteins for bichons. Cool proteins include white fish, rabbit, and duck. Neutral proteins include turkey, beef, tripe, mackerel, salmon, sardines and tuna.
My Perfect Pet Food, (Buckaroo Blend for puppies) …Real Food, Lightly Cooked, Frozen, and comes in convenient “bars” (like little meat loaves) so it’s easy to keep fresh and to divide into proper portions. ALL HUMAN INGREDIENTS…but perfectly balanced for a dog’s daily nutritional requirements.
Make your own cookies from the same REAL FOOD INGREDIENTS. Just thaw out several bars of My Perfect Pet Food (we prefer using the Hunter’s Blend) and cut into 8 pieces. Roll like a meatball. Place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes. They will look and smell a bit like tater tots. Cool and freeze. Adults may want to dip them in catsup or bbq sauce when they are still toasty. These make a great device for administering medication too. Just insert a pill or squirt in the liquid medicine into a thawed cookie and your dog will gobble it down.
Fresh, Steam-Cooked Refrigerated Food — Freshpet
Freshpet uses fresh, whole ingredients, gently cooked without preservatives, and kept refrigerated where meats belong. They start with fresh ingredients and end with fresh pet food. Their products are steam-cooked to preserve nutrients that are often lost in over-processed pet foods. We use this product:
VITAL® Grain Free Turkey Recipe with Cranberries and Blueberries
This high protein, grain free roll is made of fresh 100% natural turkey with a medley of antioxidant-rich blueberries and cranberries. Verified Non GMO. INGREDIENTS: Turkey, Cranberries, Blueberries, Turkey Broth, Spinach, Carrageenan, Natural Flavors, Potassium Chloride, Celery Powder, Salt, Inulin, Fish Oil
It is available in a 2 lb. roll and can be found locally at PetSmart, Petco, and other specialty locations.
Raw Food Products We Like
If you want to try a raw diet, there are many great products on the market today. We like the dehydrated or freeze dried raw products made by I And Love And You or Stella & Chewy’s. Try to stay with cool or neutral proteins. Our bichons do best with Fish, Turkey and Beef.
Please try to feed kibble only on occasion or for convenience like when you are traveling. Our choice for a high quality kibble would be the I And Love And You brand made in Boulder Colorado. For puppies and adults we feed their Simply Sea Recipe. Other high quality kibble manufacturers that usually get good reviews are Carna4 and Stella & Chewy’s brands. Those company’s make a “baked” kibble.
PLEASE DO NOT BUY LARGE BAGS OF KIBBLE. Like cereal, it will go rancid faster. Buy smaller bags and keep them air tight or even frozen to preserve freshness.
Use filtered water and NOT tap water. Most tap water contains excess minerals and can lead to tear stains and urinary issues (excess minerals may build up which can contribute to oxalate stones and struvite crystals). If buying bottled water, look for purified water (most minerals are removed). Spring water generally contains lots of minerals, but not as many as tap water. Distilled water should only be used occasionally and can serve as a beneficial detoxification. If you want to test the water you have in your home, you can buy a simple tester that will show you the Total Dissolvable Solids (TDS) count for your various types of water. You generally want to use a water that has less than 10 TDS. See the product image below for an inexpensive TDS water tester on Amazon.
Food and Water Dishes
We prefer stainless steel (with anti-slip bottoms) and Ceramic dishes. Please do not use plastic for food or water dispensing. Notice the low edges on the stainless steel food dish. That helps to keep less food from clinging to their muzzle hair. For the slow feeder bowls, the Extra Small is too small for an adult bichon but the Small size is just right.