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Dalmatian Health Care & Feeding

By Michele Welton, Dog Trainer, Breed Selection Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books


Start your Dalmatian off on the right foot by feeding the right food, giving the right vaccinations, finding the right vet, and if you're going to spay or neuter, don't do it too early.

Jump down to this list of
Dalmatian Health Problems

Or check out my advice 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... [read more]

numeral 33 Best Ways To Feed Your Dog Healthy Food
You can dramatically increase your dog's chances of living a long, healthy life by feeding the right food. Cutting right to the chase, the best foods for your Dalmatian are... [read more]

Real homemade dog food A Quick Way To Make Homemade Dog Food
Your Dalmatian will love real chicken, turkey, beef, fish, eggs, yogurt, broccoli.... this is not just "people food" and I'll tell you why... [read more]

Dry kibble and canned dog food 5 Best Kibble and Canned Dog Foods
Some are better than others, but I must be honest – I'm not a huge fan of dry or canned dog food. Here are my concerns... [read more]

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

Information on spaying Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Should your female Dalmatian be spayed? Current research says, "The AGE at which you spay can be vitally important to your dog's future health." So what's the best age? [read more]

Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Have you been told that you must neuter your male Dalmatian? Current research shows that the issue is not so simple. Pet owners are not being told about some risks associated with neutering male dogs, especially neutering too early... [read more]

Information on choosing the best vet Make Sure Your Vet is the Best!
Is your current veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Here's how to tell... [read more]

Assisi Loop Assisi Loop Review
Does your Dalmatian suffer from arthritis, hip dysplasia, disk disease, colitis? My honest review of a veterinary device you can use at home to reduce inflammation and pain. [read more]


Complete list of Dalmatian health problems

Urinary disease

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 cannot break down uric acid, which is a normal 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.

Inherited deafness

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).

Skin and coat conditions

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.

Dalmatian Bronzing Syndrome is a type of folliculitis that causes inflammatory bumps and patchy hair loss so that the coat looks moth-eaten. When serium oozes out during the inflammatory process, pigments in that serum stain the coat a permanent pinkish-bronze.

Dalmatians are also susceptible to sunburn and thus to skin cancer (especially squamous cell carcinoma).

Demodectic mange can occur in young Dalmatians.

Epilepsy & thyroid disease

Recurrent seizures with an unknown cause (idiopathic) are called epilepsy. The number of Dalmatians with epilepsy has become a concern. Research is continuing into the heritability of epilepsy in Dalmatians.

Thyroid disease is also increasing in Dalmatians. About one in four Dalmatians are affected by thyroid disease.


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

The good news is that the orthopedic diseases that are rampant in many breeds are less so in Dalmatians. Hip dysplasia occurs, but when the hip X-rays of over 3900 Dalmatians were evaluated, 4% were deemed dysplastic. That's pretty good for this size dog.

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

Preventing health problems

Some health problems are inherited. For example, if your dog inherits from his parents the genes for an eye disease called PRA, he will go blind and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

Dog feeding and health book by Michele Welton But most health problems can be prevented by the ways you raise your dog.

My best-selling book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to raise your Dalmatian in all the right ways that help prevent health problems. Become your dog's health care champion!

Michele Welton with BuffyAbout the author: Michele Welton has over 40 years of experience as a Dog Trainer, Dog Breed Consultant, and founder of three Dog Training Centers. An expert researcher and author of 15 books about dogs, she loves helping people choose, train, and care for their dogs.

To help you train and care for your dog

dog training videos Dog training videos. Sometimes it's easier to train your puppy (or adult dog) when you can see the correct training techniques in action.

The problem is that most dog training videos on the internet are worthless, because they use the wrong training method. I recommend these dog training videos that are based on respect and leadership.

book coverRespect Training For Puppies: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved puppy. For puppies 2 to 18 months old. Your puppy will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know.
If your dog is over 18 months, you'll want book coverRespect Training For Adult Dogs: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved dog. Again your dog will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know.
book coverTeach Your Dog 100 English Words is a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your adult dog to listen to you and do what you say.
book cover11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy helps your dog live a longer, healthier life.
book coverDog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams will help you find a good-tempered, healthy family companion.