Is there any dog that's more recognizable than a Dalmatian? These spotted beauties have a pretty long history with humans. However, cartoons and movies from our childhood make these pups a beloved breed the world over!
These dogs are super active and always down to play.
Considered a medium-large breed, they require plenty of high-quality food to stay healthy.
Their agile bodies need the perfect blend of macro and micronutrients to remain lean and exercise-ready! Needless to say, choosing premium dog food that meets all your dog's needs is a must.
Of course, finding a dog food product that checks off all the boxes is easier said than done. Dalmatians need more than just basic protein. They have a few genetic predispositions that you must address.
Your dog's food has a significant impact on their health, so choosing the right food is not a decision you should make lightly.
Not sure where to start your search? We have you covered!
Here are some of the best dog foods for Dalmatians on the market today.
The Best Dog Food for Dalmatians - Top 9
1. Nutro Ultra Adult Dry Dog Food
The Nutro adult dog food is a fantastic choice for Dalmatians.
Not only does it have low-purine ingredients throughout, but the protein content is solid.
Plus, this recipe is renowned for its selection of superfoods that can boost your dog's immunity and improve their overall health.
Chicken is the primary protein source. It's joined by lamb, salmon, and meat meals to create a grand total of 25 percent protein. Those meats are all lean and contain fewer purines than the alternatives.
2. Purina ONE SmartBlend Chicken & Rice Adult Formula Dry Dog Food
Next up is this recipe from Purina One. It has roughly 26 percent protein, and most of it comes from real chicken. Other high-quality and low-purine sources are utilized as well.
This is a highly digestible formula, making it perfect for sensitive pups.
There's about three percent fiber. But more importantly, it doesn't have too many complicated ingredients that could upset your dog's stomach.
It does have healthy omega fatty acids, joint support, and other ingredients to keep your dog in good shape.
3. Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Turkey & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food
This Nulo dry dog food can make your dog a lean exercise machine!
It has 33 percent protein. Roughly 85 percent of that analysis comes from animal meat. As a result, your dog gets a complex profile of amino acids to support the muscles.
The formula is entirely grain-free. It also has low-glycemic complex carbs, helping your pup avoid that dreaded energy crash halfway through the day.
It also contains omega fatty acids for skin health and probiotics for better digestion.
4. Royal Canin Dalmatian Adult Dry Dog Food
You can't go wrong with dog food that's purposely formulated for Dalmatians!
Royal Canin's Dalmatian recipe is a fantastic choice. It has a lower protein content of around 20 percent. However, it contains high-quality ingredients that work to lower the overall purine content of the recipe.
Royal Canin made this food to help minimize urinary problems and protein-based sensitivities.
For an extra touch of good health, the formula also has EPA and DHA. They help to support healthy heart functions.
5. Merrick Real Chicken + Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food
The Merrick grain-free dog food is a suitable choice for most dogs. Dalmatians are no exception! It's high-quality food that addresses universal needs.
You're getting 34 percent protein content, low-purine meat sources, and identifiable ingredients without all the extra fluff!
This food also has a decent amount of fiber for digestion, omega fatty acids for skin and coat health, and glucosamine and chondroitin for joint care.
It's also nutritionally dense, ensuring that your dog can utilize as much of the good stuff as possible.
Best Dog Food for Dalmatian Puppies
6. Nutro Ultra Puppy Dry Dog Food
Here's another excellent option from Nutra. However, this one caters to younger canines.
The puppy formula is part of Nutra's superfood lineup of recipes. So, you're getting those excellent antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables.
For protein, this product has just the right amount at 28 percent. Most of that comes from chicken and chicken meal. However, pasture-fed lamb and salmon contribute, too.
Because it's a puppy product, this dog food contains the appropriate level of calcium and phosphorus. There's also plenty of great macronutrients to support your pup's growing body.
7. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Puppy Chicken & Turkey Recipe Dry Dog Food
Wellness Core is a widely respected brand that creates high-quality dog foods with premium ingredients. This puppy recipe is no different!
It's a grain-free formula with an impressively high protein content of 36 percent. Your young Dalmatian will develop its muscles in no time!
It's not just meat in the mix! Wellness Core fortifies the recipe with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and everything else your dog needs.
There are even probiotics for gut health and DHA for heart health.
8. Farmina N&D Prime Chicken & Pomegranate Medium Puppy Dry Dog Food
Here's a recipe with a unique twist you don't see too much in dog foods.
The Farmina puppy food contains pomegranates! The sweet fruit is one of the most antioxidant-rich foods to exist. Plus, it's chock-full of vitamins!
Accompanying the pomegranate is the protein, which mainly comes from chicken. In total, this puppy recipe has an outstanding 36 percent protein.
Pair that with the omega fatty acids and low-purine ingredients, and you have an excellent choice for your growing Dalmatian.
9. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Turkey & Chicken Grill Canned Dog Food
Blue Buffalo's canned lineup is an insatiable soft choice for young pups.
This recipe is easy to eat and fulfills your dog's needs. It's grain-free and contains a high amount of protein. Most importantly, the proteins are low in purines.
Fruits and vegetables are plentiful to ensure that your pup gets an excellent array of micronutrients. This particular recipe is also formulated with DHA.
Not only does it work to improve heart health, but DHA in puppies can lead to better eye and brain development.
All About Dalmatians
The Dalmatian is a medium-large dog breed.
Fully-grown adults typically stand between 22 and 24 inches tall at the withers. Females tip the scales at 35 to 53 pounds. Meanwhile, males have an upper limit of about 71 pounds!
These dogs originated in present-day Croatia. More specifically, they came from the Dalmatia region, which is on the east shore of the Adriatic sea.
Some of the earliest records of Dalmatians are from the 14th century. The spotted dogs were companions to bishops and other important figures of the Church.
Eventually, they became a status symbol as they trotted alongside horse-drawn carriages.
Initially, these pups were bred as hunting companions and guard dogs.
Their agile nature made them the perfect retrieval dogs. Later, they became stage and circus dogs before appearing in firehouses and other public service locations.
Today, Dalmatians continue to serve in working positions. However, they're mostly just loved members of the family!
Potential Health Issues
Dalmatians definitely make for an adorable canine companion. However, they are predisposed to a few health conditions.
Years of selective breeding have made some of the following issues less prevalent in modern Dalmatians. But, your dog still has the genetic information for these issues to come back.
One of the more unique health problems you must be wary of is Urolithiasis.
It's an unusual hereditary abnormality that causes high uric acid levels in the urine. If not addressed, your dog could develop urinary stones that cause immense pain. They also increase the chances of kidney failure.
Male dogs are at a higher risk for Urolithiasis, but any Dalmatian can experience complications.
Your best bet to avoid urinary stones is to provide plenty of clean water.
The more your dog drinks, the more diluted the uric acid becomes. You can also prevent problems through careful dietary choices.
High-purine foods will increase uric acid. Purine is a compound that forms uric acid as it metabolizes. Avoid foods like organ meat, mackerel, sardines, peas, lentils, and game meat. They all have high purine content.
Related: 7 of the Best Dog Water Dispensers to Keep your Dog Hydrated
Hip and Elbow Problems
Hip and elbow dysplasia, as well as other joint problems, can cause debilitating pain that prevents your Dalmatian from being the active creature it wants to be.
Dysplasia causes the joints to deform, resulting in poor functionality across the board.
There are many reasons why dysplasia occurs. However, most cases are direct results of musculoskeletal issues in growing pups. Young dogs can develop dysplasia when they become overweight.
Too much pressure on the joints causes problems as the bones form.
Similar issues can occur if a dog doesn't get enough calcium and phosphorus.
For puppies, it's important to get that magic ratio between 1.2:1 to 1.4:1 of calcium to phosphorus. Make sure to follow other AAFCO guidelines for puppy foods as well. That includes the higher protein minimum of 22.5 percent and the preferred fat percentage of 8.5 percent.
Related: What is the Best Dog Food With Glucosamine For Joint Health
Dalmatians are most recognizable for their slick coat of white fur and those signature black spots. While they look great, your dog's skin can quickly become problematic if you're not careful.
These dogs have notoriously sensitive skin that seems to break out at the drop of a hat.
Everything from food allergies to even minor mite issues can cause them to experience dry skin, lesions, and hair loss.
To keep their coat looking nice and glossy, choose a food that contains healthy omega fatty acids. It keeps the follicles supple, ensuring healthy skin and touchably smooth fur.
Finding the Best Dog Food for Your Dalmatian
There's no shortage of Dalmatian dog food products out there.. Many would argue that the market is over-saturated, making it harder than ever to find an option that fits the bill for your Dalmatian.
To make things easy, here are some of the most critical elements to look for in the perfect Dalmatian dog food.
Let's start with the most essential macronutrient of all: Protein.
Protein is the building block of your dog's muscles. They have amino acids that build and maintain muscle mass, which is crucial for an active dog like the Dalmatian.
The AAFCO says that adult dogs need a recipe with at least 18 percent protein. That's a good jumping-off point, but Dalmatians can do well with a lot more. For the best results, look for a product with around 30 percent protein.
Now, any average protein source won't do. Remember: Dalmatians need low-purine foods to avoid urinary stones.
Your best bet is choosing formulas containing ingredients like chicken, turkey, and ocean fish. Red meats and game animals have too many purines for your dog.
As always, look for premium ingredients from identifiable sources. If a product has mystery meats or byproducts, move on to something else!
Healthy Skin-Supporting Fats
Despite its bad reputation, fat is a necessary macronutrient for dogs. It provides energy and can support various biological functions. Plus, it adds tons of flavor to the food!
For Dalmatians, a recipe with around 10 percent fat is ideal.
As mentioned earlier, omega fatty acids are best. You can get those from salmon oil or flaxseed oil. The omega fatty acids support your pup's sensitive skin.
All dogs can benefit from complex carbohydrates. Complex carbs have a low glycemic index. That means that they absorb into the body slowly throughout the day, providing a steady energy supply.
They are far better than simple carbs, which many manufacturers use as fillers. They create a noticeable energy spike and subsequent crash.
Luckily, there are many low-purine complex carbs available. Whole grains, sweet potatoes, and squash are great options!
Good Fiber Content
Fiber helps to keep your dog regular and avoid nasty stomach problems.
Dalmatians can experience gastrointestinal from time to time. Your pup is most likely to encounter them eating new foods or dealing with a stomach bug.
Fiber solidifies waste, making it easier to pass and clean up. There's no exact measurement to aim for with fiber. However, you can look at the ingredient list to better understand fiber sources.
Most plant-based foods provide plenty of fiber to comfortably get your dog through the day.
Related: Best High-Fiber Dog Food to Support Regular Digestion
Micronutrients refer to all the smaller must-haves.
We're talking about vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants! Most of the micronutrients will come from plant-based materials.
While dogs do love their meat, they can flourish with a healthy supply of fruits and vegetables in their food.
Look for antioxidant-rich foods like spinach or raspberries. Not only do they help fight off free radicals and give your dog a boost of vitamins, but they also strengthen their immune system.
Related: Food Boosters you can add to your Dog's Regular Food / Meal
How to Feed a Dalmatian
When feeding your Dalmatian, it's best to separate their daily intake into smaller meals.
You can provide at least two meals a day to avoid free-feeding. These dogs have healthy appetites, and giving them too much freedom to eat as they please could lead to weight gain.
With their high risk of joint problems, that's not something you want to deal with at any point during your dog's life.
As a good rule of thumb, adult dogs need around 25 calories per pound of body weight per day.
For a healthy 60-pound Dalmatian, that's about 1500 calories every day!
Make sure to take your dog's activity and lifestyle into mind. More active dogs will need far more than 25 calories per pound. On the opposite side of the spectrum, lazier dogs and canines in their senior years will need a lot less to avoid unnecessary weight gain.
Puppies are still growing, so they need around 33 calories per pound of body weight. Because they grow so rapidly, it's a good idea to work with your vet to ensure that you're providing just the right amount of food as your pooch gets bigger.
There you have it! Dalmatians are some of the cutest and most recognizable dogs around. Who doesn't want to own a spotted bundle of joy?
Whether you have a young puppy, a hyperactive adult, or a more relaxed senior, make sure to choose food that fulfills their needs. With the proper diet, you can avoid health problems and keep your dog healthy for years to come.
Category: Best dog food by breed