How To Tell If You Have an Overweight Bichon Frise

By John Martin - May 3, 2021

Overweight Bichon Frise sitting in grass

Chubby doggos definitely make excellent cuddle-buddies, but you must remember that being overweight is a significant threat to your dog. It is vital to identify whether your dog has an unhealthy weight at an early stage.

The Bichon Frise is a frisky little breed, but obesity is a common health concern for these dogs. Their fuzzy white coats can make it harder to tell whether they’re overweight, so you need to be extra vigilant!

What Is The Ideal Weight Of A Bichon Frise?

A healthy, fit, and active Bichon Frise should be around 10 lbs. to 16 lbs. Keep in mind that this range caters to adult dogs, and the weight of a puppy is bound to fluctuate.

The first evident indication that your Bichon Frise is overweight is the number you see on the weighing scale. If your dog measures more than 10% to 20% above the ideal weight, it would be best to visit a veterinarian.

What Are The Common Indications Of An Overweight Bichon Frise?

If your Bichon Frise is overweight, there will most likely be some visible indications to help you recognize the problem. In addition to the weight, you must look out for the symptoms below:

  • Unnatural, heavy breathing
  • Inability to jump
  • Quick exhaustion
  • Reduced levels of activity

Another way to check on your dog’s flab is to feel all the ribs without probing too much. At a healthy weight, you will be able to feel them without a thick layer of fat and skin obstructing them.

The chest of your canine companion should ideally be wider than the abdomen. There will be a clear fold from the chest to the tummy, a distinction that an overweight Bichon Frise will lack. You should check the base of your dog’s tail as well.

One of the most charming traits of the Bichon Frise is the breed’s spunky and energetic demeanor. If you notice any changes in your furry friend’s energy levels, you should check the weight.

A stout and chubby Bichon Frise is bound to be less playful and prone to getting tired quickly. Your dog may also be unable to jump onto couches or the bed.

Also Read: Can Bichon Frise Be Left Alone?

What Are The Factors That Can Cause Obesity In A Bichon Frise?

More than a single quality makes the Bichon Frise the popular, lovable breed it is! One of the most admirable qualities is the easy-going, low-maintenance nature of these dogs.

Despite this, the breed is prone to becoming overweight, with a few breed-specific factors contributing to the risk. Read on below to find out more about the likely causes of obesity in a Bichon Frise.


As a dog ages, it is natural for the lean body mass to decrease exponentially. It also results in a reduction in the total daily energy requirements of the dog.

Your Bichon Frise’s food intake may remain the same, but the amount of voluntary activity may become significantly lower. If this happens, your dog will naturally become overweight.

According to observations, the daily energy requirements of a Bichon Frise go down by as much as 20% by the age of 7 years. It is far lower than what a young adult doggo would need, with greater levels of activity.

While you must keep the aforementioned in mind, remember it is natural for elderly dogs to become stockier and weigh slightly more.

Medical Issues or Diseases

Sometimes, the root of a dog’s obesity lies in another medical condition. Diabetes mellitus, as well as hypothyroidism, can cause your Bichon Frise to become overweight.

When the adrenal glands produce too much of a hormone called cortisol, it can cause Cushing’s disease. If your doggo develops this disease, the fat will be redistributed to the abdominal area- making your dog appear fat. It comes with a weakened state of the ventral abdominal muscles as well.


It can be heartbreaking and emotionally stressful if your dog has underlying medical conditions. Often, such health issues call for medication that can have adverse effects on the weight of your Bichon Frise.

Phenobarbital, a common anticonvulsant, is notorious for causing polyphagia when the dose’s serum concentrations are high. Due to this, the amount of food your furry friend will consume will most likely increase, thereby causing weight issues.

Spaying or Neutering

When dogs are spayed or neutered, several hormonal and other kinds of changes take place in their bodies. Your Bichon Frise may develop a slower metabolism due to these changes- especially the hormonal variations.

According to some veterinarians, you must reduce the energy intake by around 30% after neutering or spaying your dog. Consult with a specialist before making changes in your Bichon Frise’s diet since each dog has unique requirements.


There is no doubt that a suitable diet and nutrition play a super important role in a dog’s wellbeing. What you feed your doggo is often a deciding factor in whether your furry friend will become overweight.

The nutritional requirements of dogs evolve as they grow. You must not feed your dog excessively in the form of multiple servings each day or in portions that are too large.

Many people habitually feed table scraps to their dogs while having their food at the table. While the puppy-eyes of your Bichon Frise can certainly be irresistible, you must refrain from doing so!

Also Read: What Are the Most Common Bichon Frise Health Issues?

Ideal Nutrition For A Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is a little dog, but this breed’s energy levels are through the roof for that size! Due to this, a high-quality diet plan is critical to avoid malnutrition or overfeeding.

A healthy, active adult Bichon Frise generally needs between 404 calories and 663 calories each day. In the initial years of a growing doggo, this intake may be higher.

As you know, an elderly or senior Bichon Frise needs lesser calories than an active adult. So, the daily requirement is between 296 calories and 496 calories.

Make sure you keep track of your furry friend’s daily caloric intake and not cross it.

If your Bichon Frise is overweight, you will need to alter your rascal’s diet and nutrition. You must make sure you do not take any steps without thoroughly consulting with a veterinarian first.

It will be best for your dog’s weight if you avoid dog food laden with preservatives, hormones, and antibiotics. Try to go for brands that can assure you of veterinary nutritionist-approved ingredients and recipes.

Food rife with excessive vitamins and dense in nutrients can be beneficial for overweight Bichon Frise symptoms. Include lots of fresh leafy fruits and vegetables- and monitor the quality of carbs your doggo eats.

The Risks That Come With Obesity

It is a fact that being overweight comes with a range of health issues and risks. It brings an increased apprehension, especially for breeds such as the Bichon Frise.

A couple of extra pounds on these small dogs’ petite frames can cause or aggravate other health issues. They have long backs and relatively shorter legs, making them susceptible to the painful intervertebral disc disease- worsened by obesity. If your Bichon Frise is overweight, there is a chance your dog may develop urinary stones too.

According to a study, the lifespan of overweight dogs is shorter by almost two years and six months on average.

There is a common misconception that fat is an inactive tissue and element. However, the reality is that it secretes harmful and inflammatory hormones, causing oxidative stress in your dog’s body as well.

What Is The Best Way To Treat An Overweight Bichon Frise?

If you have noticed that your fuzzy little Bichon Frise is overweight, your first step should be to visit a veterinarian. Only a canine health professional can guide you safely and effectively, aiding in creating a unique weight-loss plan.

A veterinary may also devise a special weight-loss diet for your dog if necessary. In addition to this, make sure there is enough physical exertion to help your rotund doggo shed the extra weight.

Also Read: Do Bichon Frise Get Along With Cats?


Dogs are an absolute delight, and each breed is here with its individuality! As a dog-lover, you must know that with a breed’s uniqueness comes a distinct vulnerability to specific health conditions too.

The Bichon Frise is vulnerable to obesity- your dog’s energy levels, appearance, and flab are visual indicators of the condition. To identify whether your dog is overweight, you must look out for changes in these characteristics.

An overweight Bichon Frise is an unhealthy Bichon Frise. So, make sure you manage your dog’s weight issue and enjoy a longer time with your loved one!