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Best Dog Food For Dalmatians : Top Puppy, Adult & Senior Recommendations for 2019

Dalmatians are a medium-sized breed known for their unique black and white spotted coats. Dalmatians are a smart, energetic and loving dog that make loyal pets that are well-suited for active owners.

Historically, Dalmatians are known as carriage dogs because of their temperament around horses. When fires were put out using horse-drawn carriages filled with water, Dalmatians were used to guide the horses through crowds and smoke. Dalmatians also used to guard the firehouses and most importantly the fast and expensive horses that lived within them.

Because of their bravery and long history with firefighters, many firehouses and firemen still keep them as pets and guard dogs.

Dalmatians are considered a medium sized dog. They have muscular builds with strong hindquarters and can effortlessly run long distances.  These athletic dogs make great partners for hikers or runners.

Why Quality Food Matters for Your Dalmatian Dog

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Low-quality dog foods can be filled with meat byproduct and harmful chemicals. BHT, BHA and sodium nitrate are artificial preservatives that can be extremely harmful to your pets. Low-quality food can also contain common allergens that you may not even realize your Dalmatian has.

Best Dog Food for Dalmatians 2019 : Quick Look

For Healthy Adults:

For Puppies:

For Senior Dogs:

Common Health Issues In Dalmatians:

Like any breed of dog, Dalmatians can have particular health issues that are common among them. Here are a few known health issues found in Dalmatians.

Deafness

Around 30% of all Dalmatians are affected by hearing loss. One in twelve Dalmatians are fully deaf and one in five can hear from only one ear. Deafness is common among piebald animals. Piebald refers to the Dalmatians distinct spotted coloring. Although it can be difficult to determine if a dog is suffering from hearing loss there is a test that can help.

If your dog is suffering from hearing loss, it’s vital to keep feeding him nutritious food with high-quality ingredients. If your dog is prone to ear infections, your dog may be allergic to grain or sugar. If your dog has a yeast overgrowth from these ingredients it can build up in their ears.

Urinary Stones

While all dogs can suffer from a urinary stone, Dalmatians are at an especially high risk. Male Dalmatians are at an even greater risk. Due to genetic reasons, there are high levels of uric acid found in Dalmatians blood. To avoid urinary stones, make sure your dog has access to plenty of clean water. Hydration is key to helping prevent urinary stones. You’ll also want to stay away from purines in your dog’s diet. Purines are found in organ meat such as the liver.

To help future generations of Dalmatians, some breeders are trying to breed more dogs with low levels of uric acid. Foods with reduced magnesium levels help support urinary health.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is common in larger dog breeds. When a dog’s hips form abnormally, this is known as hip dysplasia. While the condition is genetic, if a dog is overweight it can cause it to be much worse. Many dog breeds can suffer from hip dysplasia and while it can affect Dalmatians it is mostly only seen in larger Dalmatians. Food fortified with Glucosamine and Chondroitin helps support joint and hip health.

Hyperactivity

Hyperactivity is common in Dalmatians. They are active and energetic breeds who do well with plenty of exercises. Hyperactivity can often be staved off by proper exercise and activity. With an adequate amount of exercise, your Dalmatian can usually be calmed easily. When they aren’t active enough or given the opportunity to run, Dalmatians may find their own ways of getting out their energy such as chewing or other destructive behaviors.

A natural diet can also help to keep your dog calm. A diet with limited ingredients and a lower amount of protein may also help.

What To Look For In A Quality Dog Food:

A diet of high-quality food can do wonders for your dog. When looking at food labels you want to keep an eye out for natural ingredients such as meat, vegetables, and whole grains. Remember when reading food labels that the ingredients go in order by volume. The first ingredient will be the be the food with the largest quantity.

Meat meal is often looked at as bad at first glance but ingredients such as chicken meal or lamb meal may contain a higher amount of protein because of the way they are cooked. Meat meal is made by removing the moisture in the meat which then concentrates the amount of protein.

High-quality dog food will contain the proper amount of protein and vitamins your dog needs to stay healthy and active for many years to come. Vitamins and minerals will also keep your Dalmatians coat looking shiny.

Ingredients To Avoid In Your Dalmatian’s Dog Food:

There are several ingredients to avoid in your dog food. Artificial preservatives should always be avoided/ BHA, BHT and sodium nitrate are common examples that should always be avoided. These have been linked to numerous health problems and cancer.

Artificial flavors and colors should also be avoided as they have no nutritional value.

Fillers are another ingredient to avoid. Artificial fillers include rice bran, wheat mill, corn bran, and hulls. Fiber is always needed in your Dalmatian’s food, but the source should be whole grains and vegetables instead of artificial fillers.

Common allergens should also be avoided whenever possible. Allergies are very common in all dog breeds. The most common allergens found in dog food are lamb, chicken, beef, soy, corn, wheat, dairy, and eggs.

Dog Allergies

If you suspect your dog has a food allergy, look out for common symptoms such as itchy, dry skin, obsessive licking at skin and paws, vomiting, and diarrhea. To test for an allergy or food intolerance first check with your veterinarian.

You can then try and eliminate the allergens one at a time to see which one is causing the allergic reaction. There are several dog foods on the market that are made without these common allergens.

A few brands that contain many of the harmful ingredients mentioned above are Gravy Train, Alpo, Pedigree, IAMS, Purina Beneful, and Purina Dog Chow. Check out The Dog Digest to see more about the ingredients used in these foods.

Dalmatian Feeding Chart:

A fully-grown adult and senior Dalmatian will often eat somewhere between three to five cups of food per day. A puppy will eat a smaller amount more frequently since their stomachs are smaller and they are growing rapidly. You should always check with your veterinarian if you feel your Dalmatian needs more or less food than is recommended on the bag.

It’s important to follow your dog’s cues when it comes to food as well. Every dog is different and depending on their age and activity level, the amount of food they need may vary. Always keep plenty of fresh, clean water available to your Dalmatian as well.

It’s important to also note if your dog appears to be eating less, check how many treats they are given during the day as well. Watch out for well-meaning family, friends and small children who like to feed your Dalmatian table food as well. A dog filling up on treats and human food may lose interest in their own food and they will be missing out on valuable nutrients.

Best Dog Food For Dalmatians:

High-quality dog food is always worth the higher price tag. Dalmatians receiving the proper nutrition will have a healthy coat with great energy levels and temperament. There are several great dog foods on the market that will give your Dalmatian the nutrients he needs to live a long and healthy life. Take a look at our top picks for healthy adults, puppies, and senior Dalmatians.

Best Overall: Nulo Freestyle Limited Adult Grain-Free

Nulo Freestyle Limited Adult Grain-FreeNulo Freestyle Limited Ingredient is a grain-free adult dog food. This recipe uses a single animal protein source for 30% crude protein in every bowl. This recipe features essential vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals to keep your Dalmatian healthy and energetic. This formula is also made with probiotics to help support immune and digestive health. This recipe is free from fillers, grains, and artificial colors or ingredients.

Nulo has several lines of dog and cat foods as well as meal mixers. Their mission is to provide high-quality food made with real ingredients. They chose quality animal-based proteins to help build muscle and help your active Dalmatian maintain a healthy weight. This Texas-based company caters to athletic breeds which makes them a great choice for energetic Dalmatians.

First Five Ingredients:

  1. Single Protein (Salmon, Turkey, Duck, Chicken, Lamb, Beef)
  2. Single Protein Meal
  3. Chickpeas
  4. Chickpea flour
  5. Canola Oil

What Customers Love:

  • Nice sized kibble for all size breeds
  • Great for Dalmatians with dairy, grain, or soy allergies
  • Available in a variety of proteins
  • Plenty of non-chicken recipes for dogs with chicken allergies

Common Complaints:

  • Expensive
  • Certain proteins such as salmon have a strong smell

Best Premium: Ollie / Custom Designed Human Grade

Ollie dog food provides a custom and convenient way to feed your best friend. You begin by creating a profile for your dog. You fill out information about their breed, size, dietary restrictions, allergies, age, and weight so that the folks at Ollie can customize your dog’s food. Ollie then will give you a custom recipe complete with the appropriate portion size, so you know exactly how much they should be eating.

Your dog’s food is then delivered to you on a regular schedule, so you never run out. The food will arrive insulated in recyclable containers. The food is packed in trays that you can store them in the freezer or refrigerator until 24 hours before you serve it. Unopened trays of food will last 14-days in your fridge. Ollie also sends you a precise scooper, so you’ll know the exact portion to serve.

Ollie was founded as a way for pet owners to serve custom, fresh food to their dogs in a convenient way. The founders were frustrated by the lack of custom, fresh food available on the market.

First Five Ingredients: Ollie food recipes are custom made so the ingredients will vary

  1. Human-grade protein from U.S. farms (Chicken, beef, turkey, and lamb (U.S. and Australia)
  2. Protein heart or liver
  3. Fresh produce such as blueberries, peas, carrots, and spinach
  4. Superfoods such as cod liver oil and chia seeds
  5. Vitamin E, B6, B2

What Customers Love:

  • Human-grade
  • U.S. sourced ingredients
  • Custom designed recipes
  • Precise portions
  • Food is delivered on a regular schedule

Common Complaints:

  • Expensive
  • Food will take up significant space in your freezer or refrigerator

Best Value: Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dog Food

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dog FoodTaste of the Wild offers a wide variety of novel proteins found in wild habitats such as boar, venison, salmon, fowl, and lamb. Their grain-free recipe includes legumes, peas, and beans. These are easily digestible and full of energy. There are also natural antioxidant boosters found in real vegetables and fruits. Probiotics, minerals and amino acids help your Dalmatian absorb the nutrients they need.

Each recipe is also chocked-full of omega fatty acids for a healthy coat. Ingredients come from sustainable, trusted sources free of fillers, grain, corn, and preservatives.

Taste of the Wild is headquartered in Missouri. Their U.S. based facilities create a quality dog and cat food made with the highest nutritional standards.

First Five Ingredients:

  1. Protein (Bison, Venison, Salmon, Lamb, Fowl, Boar)
  2. Protein Meal
  3. Sweet Potatoes
  4. Peas
  5. Potatoes

What Customers Love:

  • High-quality protein
  • Large selection of proteins
  • Visible improvements to coat health
  • Affordable price point

Common Complaints:

  • Seafood recipes have a strong smell
  • Limited recipes available at a specialty store, Chewy.com will have more available

Best Food for Puppy Dalmatians

Dalmatian puppies are as energetic as they are adorable. Puppies need a diet that is specifically created to provide the nutrients they need for proper development. Feeding a puppy adult dog food will deprive your little one of the nutrition they need to help them grow and thrive.

Puppies should also be fed smaller portions more often throughout the day. For Dalmatians, since they are a medium-sized breed, you’ll want to start to decrease the frequency of feedings and begin to introduce adult dog food around 12 months.

Best Wet Food for Puppies: Blue Buffalo / Wilderness Rocky Mountain Canned Grain-Free Puppy Food

The Wilderness line of recipes from Blue Buffalo features grain-free foods rich in proteins. These recipes are inspired by a wolf’s diet and are made with high-quality proteins. The Rocky Mountain Recipe is made with a protein-rich beef which may be a good recipe to start with. Since many dogs are allergic to chicken, this recipe will make a great first food.

The Rocky Mountain Recipe contains beef, B12 for gastrointestinal health and minerals to improve their immune system. There are complex carbohydrates to help bolster your puppy’s high energy level as well as fruits and vegetables, rich in antioxidants.

Blue Buffalo was named after the founding family’s dog, Blue. They wanted to create a food company that treated pets like family and provided high-quality food.

First Five Ingredients:

  1. Beef
  2. Beef Broth
  3. Turkey
  4. Beef Liver
  5. Potatoes

What Customers Love:

  • Convenient case packaging
  • Strong flavors puppies enjoy
  • Easily mixes with kibble when transitioning

Common Complaints:

  • Strong smell
  • Too dry for some dogs

Best Dry Food for Puppies: Nutro Ultra Dry Puppy Food

Nutro Ultra Dry Puppy FoodNutro Ultra features a Holistic Superfood Blend made for growing puppies. This kibble recipe contains lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nutrient-rich oils to keep your puppy healthy. This recipe features a protein combination of farm-raised chicken, pasture-fed lamb, and salmon. These proteins are rich in Amino Acids that promote strong muscle growth. Whole grains help with digestion and absorption of nutrients.

This recipe is specifically tailored to contain the proper amount of calcium for a growing puppy’s bones and teeth. There are no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives added.

Nutro foods are all produced in their own facilities and each of their recipes is formulated to different life stages and health conditions. Nutro used all-natural ingredients carefully sourced from suppliers.

First Five Ingredients:

  1. Chicken
  2. Chicken Meal
  3. Whole Brown Rice
  4. Brewers Rice
  5. Rice Bran

What Customers Love:

  • Trio of proteins
  • Contains superfoods such as blueberries, pumpkin, and spinach
  • Easily digestible

Common Complaints:

  • Not available in a smaller bag on Chewy
  • Not for puppies with chicken allergies

Best Food For Senior Dalmatians

Senior dogs are like senior people in that our needs change as we age. Senior dogs need a well-balanced diet that is high in fiber, rich in protein and lower in calories. You want to offer a lower calorie food since senior dogs typically aren’t expelling as much energy as younger, active dogs. Older dogs tend to slow down and pack on weight. Weight gain can put a strain on their heart and joints.

Larger breeds age faster than smaller breeds. Since Dalmatians are considered a medium-sized breed, with a life expectancy of 10-13 years they fall into the senior category around age eight. Not all dogs are the same and if your Dalmatian is on the smaller end or remains active, you may be able to start on a senior food a little later. You don’t want to cut their calories too soon if they are still energetic and active.

Best Overall for Seniors: Merrick Chicken & Sweet Potato Grain-Free Senior Dry Dog Food

Merrick Chicken & Sweet Potato Grain-Free Senior Dry Dog FoodThe Grain-Free Senior recipe from Merrick will start your Dalmatian’s golden years off right. The first ingredient is deboned chicken and it is mixed with sweet potatoes, apples, and blueberries. To help aid your aging dog’s hips and joints, this recipe features glucosamine and chondroitin and L-carnitine for a healthy metabolism.

This recipe is all-natural and gluten-free. There are no artificial flavors or preservatives. The L-carnitine helps your dog maintain a healthy weight as he ages.

Merrick is a Texas-based company that uses locally sourced ingredients fresh from farmers. They make their food in small batches to ensure quality and freshness.

First Five Ingredients:

  1. Deboned chicken
  2. Chicken meal
  3. Sweet potatoes
  4. Peas
  5. Potatoes

What Customers Love:

  • Available in three sizes
  • Good calorie control for aging pups
  • Made in small batches
  • Locally sourced ingredients

Common Complaints:

  • Not all proteins are available in stores or on Chewy
  • Not for dogs with chicken allergies
  • Kibble is small

Best Value Food for Senior Dalmatians : Nutro / Ultra Senior

Nutro Ultra for senior dogs is a great high-quality food at an affordable price. Chewy offers a Trout & Sweet Potato Grain-Free Senior Recipe that is available in three sizes. The grain-free formula is rich in protein and contains Glucosamine and Chondroitin to help support joint and hip health. L-Carnitine also helps with an aging pups’ metabolism. This food is designed to still keep your healthy Dalmatian as active as they can be for as long as possible.

This recipe is free of chicken and egg proteins. It contains probiotics to help with digestion and calcium to help maintain your dog’s strong bones. Fruits and vegetables are also included to boost your dog’s immune system.

Since Nutro is designed for athletic dogs, it’s great for helping to keep aging Dalmatian’s going. The Texas-based company makes their food in small batches to help ensure top quality and freshness.

First Five Ingredients:

  1. Deboned trout
  2. Turkey meal
  3. Salmon meal
  4. Yellow peas
  5. Sweet potato

What Customers Love:

  • Great for active senior dogs
  • Made in small batches
  • Noticeable coat improvement
  • Available in three sizes

Common Complaints:

  • Salmon & Trout recipe does contain turkey, so it isn’t suitable for dogs with a poultry allergy
  • Some probiotics may be harsh for dogs who aren’t used to them

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