Most common health problems in Dalmatians, plus health care and feeding.


My Complete Health Care Program for your Dalmatian

If you want to AVOID health problems in your Dalmatian, you'll find my health care program very valuable.

It's called "11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy."

Raise your dog the RIGHT way, feed him the RIGHT food, give him the RIGHT vaccinations, avoid unnecessary veterinary expenses, and help him live a longer, happier, and more comfortable life.

If your Dalmatian already HAS a health problem, I'm sorry to hear that. You should immediately begin my health care program, and you may be able to restore his good health – or at least make him much more comfortable. Let me help!

My best-selling dog health book


Dalmatian dog breed

Dalmatian Health Care & Feeding

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


Quick list of Dalmatian health problems

All Dalmatians are born with a defective urinary system that forms lots of crystals throughout their lives. Sometimes those crystals clump into bladder stones, especially in male dogs, which is unfortunate because a stone can get stuck in the long, narrow urinary tract. That's a life-threatening emergency. A female's urinary tract is shorter and wider and thus passes stones more readily.

The second major health problem in Dalmatians is inherited deafness. Up to 12% of Dalmatians are born completely deaf, with another 22% born deaf in one ear. The latter is not a problem, but a completely deaf dog needs special care and training.

The third major health problem is their skin. One in every four Dalmatians has some type of skin problem. Chronic allergies cause itchy skin and scratching, which can lead to bacterial infections (hot spots). Dalmatian Bronzing Syndrome is a type of folliculties that causes hair loss and turns the coat a brownish-red hue. Dalmatians are also susceptible to sunburn and thus skin cancer.

The fourth major health problem is epilepsy.

Thyroid disease also occurs regularly, with about one in four Dalmatians affected. Eye diseases can impair vision.

(See more health problems below.)


Preventing health problems

Some health problems are inherited. For example, if both parents of your Dalmatian have certificates proving they were tested and cleared of hip dysplasia, hereditary eye diseases, thyroid disease, and deafness, your Dalmatian has less risk of developing those conditions.

In addition to the above testing on both parents, each Dalmatian puppy should be tested for deafness before being sold.

Other health problems can be prevented, or partially prevented, by the ways you raise your dog. If you're serious about doing everything you can for your Dalmatian, my best-selling book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to raise your Dalmatian puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways. It will help you be your dog's health care champion!


Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy Dalmatian puppy or adult dog:

Obedience instructor and author Michele Welton Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your Dalmatian lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet.


Pet insurance Should You Buy Pet Insurance? An Honest Review
My advice on the pros and cons of pet insurance, and the best pet insurance company I've found.


Real homemade dog food The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your Dalmatian
Food is the #1 foundation for good health. The best diet for feeding your dog is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, fish....these are not just "people foods" and I'll tell you why.


Natural dog foods for your Dalmatian. The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Dalmatian
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.


Information on booster shots for your Dalmatian. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Dalmatian puppy really need? Does your adult Dalmatian need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed! Find out what some vets aren't telling you.


Information on spaying your Dalmatian. Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female dog.


Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of neutering your male dog.


Information on choosing the best vet for your Dalmatian. The Type of Veterinarian I Recommend
Is your veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Learn about the differences between vets who practice conventional, holistic, and alternative veterinary medicine.


Assisi Loop Assisi Loop Review: How I Helped Treat Inflammation and Pain
Does your dog suffer from arthritis, hip dysplasia, disk disease, colitis, a skin wound? My honest review of a veterinary device you can use at home to help reduce inflammation and pain.


Complete list of Dalmatian health problems

The Dalmatian Club conducted a health survey that included 763 Dalmatians. The average lifespan was reported to be just under 10 years and the most common cause of death was urinary/kidney/liver disease (32%).

Indeed, the urinary tract is a major weakness in Dalmatians, who are prone to forming urinary stones throughout their life. This is because all Dalmatians are born with a defective urinary system that can't break down uric acid, which is an unavoidable byproduct whenever your dog digests food. Breeds with a normal urinary system can break down uric acid and pass it harmlessly in their urine. In Dalmatians, uric acid accumulates into crystals, which can clump into stones in the bladder.

Males form about 95% of the stones in the breed, and about one-third of males is a stone former. Unfortunately, stones can be life-threatening in males because a stone can completely block their long, narrow urinary tract. A female's urinary tract is shorter and wider and thus passes stones more readily.

Along with uric acid stones, struvite and calcium oxalate stones can also form in Dalmatians.

The second major health problem in Dalmatians is deafness (inherited deafness, not old-age deafness). About 33% of all Dalmatians (1 of every 3) are born deaf in one or both ears. Specifically, about 12% are deaf in both ears (bilateral deafness), while another 22% are deaf in one ear (unilateral deafness).

The third major health problem in Dalmatians are skin problems. One of every 2-3 Dalmatians is affected by some type of skin condition, especially allergies, which cause itchy skin and can lead to chronic bacterial infections. Demodectic mange can occur in young dogs. Dalmatian Bronzing Syndrome is a type of folliculties that causes hair loss and turns the coat a brownish-red hue. Dalmatians are also susceptible to sunburn and thus to skin cancer (especially squamous cell carcinoma).

The fourth major concern is hereditary epilepsy.

Thyroid disease also occurs regularly, with about one in four Dalmatians affected.

Eye diseases include cataracts, corneal dystrophy, glaucoma, eyelish abnormalities, and others.

The good news is that orthopedic diseases, which are rampant in some breeds, are less so in Dalmatians. Hip dysplasia occurs, but the Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of over 3900 Dalmatians and found 4% dysplastic. That's pretty good for this size dog.

Other health issues reported occasionally in Dalmatians include copper toxicosis, laryngeal paralysis, megaesophagus, polyneuropathy, and lysosomal storage disease.


To help you train and care for your dog

book cover To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.

book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.

book cover My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.