After canned dog and cat foods were found in 2007 to contain melamine, which is deadly to dogs and cats, many bichon frise owners looked for other alternatives for their pets. Feeding a bichon with vegetables and lean meats such as chicken is fine, but you should always add some dry food to provide a balanced diet.
According to a survey conducted by the American Bichon Frise Club, allergies, calcium oxalate stones, and patellar luxation are the top three health conditions of greatest concern in the breed. Although a diet of chicken and vegetables can help with chronic allergies, especially those related to stomach disorders, the club suggests that bichon owners should also feed dry foods to be sure they have all the required nutrients.
Since bichons can be picky eaters, some owners find that lean meat is to their liking. Despite this, they should be given a varied diet to help "prevent the development of allergies from long-term ingestion of the same foods." In addition to chicken, they should be fed lean meat and occasionally fish.
People are not the only ones who should eat vegetables. Plant foods are good to add to your bichon's diet as they provide plenty of fiber and nutrients necessary for a healthy life. If your bichon is prone to developing stones, you should not feed too much chicken (protein) and avoid vegetables that increase urinary acidity and oxalate content, such as corn, broccoli, and soybeans. Also, keep in mind that beet pulp or tomato pomace can cause tearing and staining of the saliva.
Raw or cooked feeding?
If you decide to feed lean meat, how to serve it, raw or cooked, is a question you will have to ask yourself and choose. While some dog experts wholeheartedly advocate the health benefits of raw food, many veterinarians are opposed to feeding raw meat because of bacteria such as salmonella that both you and your dog can acquire. The addition of lean meat means more work for you, but your bichon's health will thank you for the extra effort.