Adopting a Bichon Frise

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The Bichon Frise has long been called "hypoallergenic," a moniker that sits well with dog lovers who also happen to be allergic to canine fur. The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology estimates 10 percent of the United States' population is allergic to animals, and up to 30 percent of those with asthma also experience pet allergy symptoms. So it's especially nice that Bichons shed less than other dogs.

Still, all dogs shed (even those called "hypoallergenic"). However, your Bichon only sheds about as much hair as a human. She'll also need a bath about once a month, followed by a nail and hair trim, blow dry and brush out. Your Bichon will require a daily combing from you, too.  All this cleanliness keeps dander levels down and removes stray hairs before they become an allergy concern.

Between grooming appointments, a thrice daily cleansing of tear-stained facial hair (pink or rust in color) may be necessary, washing below her eyes with mild shampoo, salt water or diluted lemon juice. Why does she "cry" these tears? It's not out of sadness, nor usually infection. Bichons are prone to leaky orbs because of the round shape of their eyes; it keeps the tears from running into their tear ducts and causes them to spill over onto their facial hair. The tears' red tint may be caused by excess iron in the dog's diet or drink, which turns a rust color when exposed to air.

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