The Bichon Frise is a small but fluffy dog, so it can be difficult to estimate how much owning one will cost if you’re not familiar with the breed.
On the one hand, they can’t possibly eat that much, but on the other hand, they look like they spend more at the beauty salon than most humans. So, are they a high- or low-maintenance dog?
The answer, as with most things, is that it depends. Here, we walk you through the expenses that you can expect to incur when owning one of these little lovebugs, so you can decide if the beautiful Bichon Frise will fit in your budget.
Bringing Home a New Bichon Frise: One-Time Costs
Bichon Frises are interesting dogs in that the price of one can run the gamut from “free” to “you don’t want to know.” The price that you pay will depend on various factors, including how much time you’re willing to dedicate to the search and whether or not you care about a fancy pedigree.
Bichon Frises are common enough that you may be able to find one for free through word of mouth or scouring your local paper. However, if you go this route, you should expect to get a mixed breed rather than a purebred, as it’s unlikely that you’ll find one with pure bloodlines without paying for that.
If you do find one for free, it’s always a nice gesture to offer to pay to have the mother spayed (if you can afford it).
Adoption costs will vary from pound to pound and rescue to rescue, but you can usually find a fairly good deal this way. The breed is common enough that you should be able to find a Bichon Frise near you without too much trouble, though.
The age of the dog will also play into the cost, as puppies are usually more expensive than older dogs (and seniors can be had for almost nothing in many cases). You may also have to pay for any medical costs incurred by the dog while in the care of the shelter or rescue.
Bichon Frise breeders are easy to find, so you should be able to price shop fairly effectively. The price will depend on whether you want the dog for a pet or if you need an animal with premium bloodlines so you can breed or show them.
Be wary of any breeder that offers too-good-to-be-true pricing, however. That’s a telltale sign of a puppy mill or backyard breeder, and dogs bought from such places are prone to more health problems than dogs from reputable breeders.
Initial Setup and Supplies
Assuming that you don’t already own a Bichon Frise or another dog, your initial costs will represent your most significant one-time outlay (barring unforeseen medical costs, of course). There’s plenty of gear that you’ll need to get if you’re going to own a dog, and while you can make do with items around the house, sooner or later, you’ll have to bite the bullet and get your dog the stuff that they need.
These costs can be mitigated somewhat depending on the quality of the items that you buy, but remember that more expensive items are usually higher quality, and that may save you money in the long run.
List of Bichon Frise Care Supplies and Costs
|ID Tag and Collar||$10-$40+|
|Nail Clipper (optional)||$7-$20|
|Food and Water Bowls||$10-$30|
How Much Does a Bichon Frise Cost Per Month?
- $50-$200+ per month
Bichon Frises don’t require much in terms of monthly maintenance, but they also tend to be among the most spoiled dog breeds, so the cost can vary wildly.
You can limit the costs in various ways, but some of those are smarter than others. Generally speaking, skimping on toys and grooming will always be smarter than skimping on food or vet visits.
- $20-$200+ per month
This breed is prone to a surprising number of health issues, especially as they get older, so don’t be surprised if you need to shell out quite a bit each month toward the end of their life. However, you may not need to spend any money at all while the animal is young.
Some of their issues are recurring or chronic, like allergies and hip dysplasia, while others, like patellar luxation, are more likely to be one-time costs. Still, expect to have at least one hefty vet bill during your dog’s life.
- $20-$50 per month
These small dogs don’t eat much, so you shouldn’t have to spend much on their kibble each month. However, one of the best ways to keep their inevitable vet costs down is by feeding them a healthy diet, so it makes sense to spring for a top-notch food.
Avoid ingredients like animal by-products, corn, wheat, and soy, and look for a food that’s high in protein and fat. Also, don’t overfeed them because obesity can really drive up the medical bills.
- $0-$50+ per month
These little divas require quite a bit of grooming — they’ll need extensive daily brushing and frequent baths. You can do it yourself, but most people find that it’s well worth it to pay a professional to handle the task for you. That’s especially true if you’re not comfortable trimming their coat yourself.
Whatever you do, don’t neglect grooming your pup. Not only will it make your Bichon Frise look dirty and unkempt, but it can also lead to tangles and skin irritation over time.
Medications and Vet Visits
- $0-$200+ per month
Your costs in this area will likely be minimal until the dog reaches their golden years, at which point, the expenses can start piling up. In the first few years, though, all you’ll likely have to do is pay for regular vet checkups twice a year or so.
Many Bichon Frises end up on various medications toward the end of their lives, so plan for that accordingly. You may want to spend money on things like joint supplements to try to minimize your costs later on, but there’s no guarantee that this will be effective.
- $20-$130+ per month
Pet insurance isn’t a necessity, strictly speaking. However, given how many medical issues that these dogs can experience at some point in their lives, it may be worth every penny.
However, insurance companies aren’t ignorant of the fact that these dogs will need expensive treatment, so they’ll charge you accordingly. For most people, though, spending a smaller amount of money each month is vastly preferable to having the occasional, unpredictable vet bill.
One of the advantages of pet insurance is that it incentivizes taking your dog in for regular checkups, which may help you identify and treat certain conditions before they get out of control (and expensive).
- $0-$5+ per month
These animals don’t require much in the way of environmental maintenance. All they’ll need are poop bag refills so you can pick up their waste on a walk. If they’re going in your backyard, though, you can just invest in a pooper scooper instead.
|Waste Disposal Bags||$5/month|
- $10-$40+ per month
Bichon Frises aren’t the most destructive of animals, so any toys that you buy them will most likely survive for quite a while. They still need plenty of physical and mental stimulation, though, so it’s important to entertain them regularly.
One of the easiest ways to ensure that they get regular stimulation is by investing in a toy subscription box. These services send you new toys and other gear each month for a flat fee (usually between $20 and $40). They vary in cost and quality, so shop around before signing up.
Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Bichon Frise
- $50-$200+ per month
Bichon Frises aren’t the most expensive dogs to own on a month-to-month basis, but they can get quite pricey at times, especially if they suffer from health issues. It’s wise to set aside money each month for either pet insurance or just to prepare for the inevitable surgeries and X-rays that your dog will need later in life.
Many people adopt one of these dogs because they figure that a small dog can’t possibly be that expensive, but then they find out the hard way that nothing could be further from the truth. It’s important to understand what you’re getting into with one of these dogs before you adopt them.
Additional Costs to Factor In
As with any dog breed, there are a ton of unexpected costs that may crop up at one point or another.
If you can’t be with them for most of the day, you’ll need to find a way to have someone else be there. This could mean a dog walker, pet sitter, or doggy daycare; however, the important thing is not to leave them alone all day because they can be prone to separation anxiety (and that could mean that they chew up your expensive stuff).
They’re not prone to aggression and other behavioral issues, but you still need to train them. If you can’t do this on your own, you’ll need to hire a professional trainer to assist you.
Owning a Bichon Frise on a Budget
If you take out the possibility of a pricey medical bill, Bichon Frises aren’t that expensive to own. Typically, the biggest monthly cost entailed in owning a dog is their food, and these pups don’t eat much.
We recommend not skimping on food costs, though, as most cheap foods are just that. They lack nutrition, and that can lead to health issues for your pup in the long run.
The best way to keep your costs low is by doing the grooming yourself; however, it will be a labor-intensive job, so it’s up to you to determine just how much your time is worth.
Beyond that, you can save money on things like toys and obedience training by giving your dog plenty of your time and attention.
Saving Money on Bichon Frise Care
It’s possible to own a Bichon Frise without spending a fortune — the trick is to avoid the expensive medical bills.
There’s a bit of luck involved with this, of course, but there are a few things that you can do to improve your odds. The biggest are feeding them a healthy diet without allowing them to become overweight, taking them in for regular checkups, and providing them with plenty of exercise.
You can do everything right and still wind up with a sickly dog, but by putting in effort early in the animal’s life, you’ll greatly increase your odds of having a dog that stays healthy for quite a while.
Bichon Frises make great pets — that’s why they’re such a popular breed. However, these little dogs can run up quite the sizable price tag, largely due to the various medical issues that they’re prone to experiencing.
That’s not to discourage you from owning one, of course. They’re fantastic pups — we just want to make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into before you bring one home.
The good news is that by taking care of them while they’re still young and healthy, you can increase the chances that they stay spry and lively well into their golden years. Also, they’re an affordable breed other than the medical costs, so if you can sidestep those health issues, you’ll have a budget-friendly pooch on your hands.
Featured Image Credit: Carlos Amarillo, Shutterstock
- Bringing Home a New Bichon Frise: One-Time Costs
- List of Bichon Frise Care Supplies and Costs
- How Much Does a Bichon Frise Cost Per Month?
- Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Bichon Frise
- Additional Costs to Factor In
- Owning a Bichon Frise on a Budget