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The Dalmatian dog is one of the best established and most well loved of family pets, and one that even non dog lovers can usually identify instantly! With their sleek, short-coated appearance and of course, signature spots, the Dalmatian is a very handsome dog, and one that is also very loving and entertaining to keep. However, they are also very active and lively, and can be hard work, and so they do not make the perfect pet for every potential dog owner.
If you are wondering if a Dalmatian might be a good fit for you or if you have your heart set on owning a Dalmatian puppy, it is important to learn as much about the breed as you can and find out its positive and negative traits before committing to a purchase. In this article, we will introduce you to a few different facets of Dalmatian care that you should know about.
The Dalmatian puppy is a really sociable little dog that thrives on lots of love and attention. While this is of course very rewarding and has lots of good to recommend it, it also makes the Dalmatian puppy rather high maintenance and in need of almost constant supervision. Something else to bear in mind is that the Dalmatian is a dog that retains high energy levels and remains fairly highly strung even when mature, and so your puppy will not simply outgrow this phase of development!
Dalmatians usually thrive in a busy, active home, particularly one with lively children that will spend lots of time playing with them. They do not tend to be shy or nervous, and will often enjoy taking part in very energetic games, and be unbothered by noise and a lot of running around.
The Dalmatian is ranked around the middle of the pack in terms of canine intelligence levels, but they do also have a fairly short attention span and are easily distracted, which can make training them a challenge! When correctly socialised, Dalmatians usually get on well with other dogs, and also smaller pets such as cats when introduced while young.
Dalmatian puppies are born pure white, and only begin to develop their spots as they get older! Pups will be around two weeks old when you will first start to see the spots beginning to develop, and until this stage, the breeder will have no idea whether the pups are going to have liver spots or black spots, nor how their coat pattern will present itself!
The average lifespan of the pet Dalmatian is between ten and twelve years, although it is not unknown for some dogs to live to over fifteen.
One of the main health issues that affects Dalmatians of all types is hereditary deafness; over 10% of all Dalmatian puppies are born totally deaf, and it is estimated that over 30% of all Dalmatians have some problem with their hearing in either one or both ears.
It is not always possible to tell definitively if a dog has a hearing problem until they are several months old, so you should be prepared for the possibility that any Dalmatian puppy may potentially be deaf or have hearing issues, and you should schedule a veterinary examination once the dog is six months old to find out for sure.
The Dalmatian breed as a whole is also prone to potentially developing bladder blockages and urinary stones when fully grown or mature, as the breed is notable for having a particularly high concentration of uric acid within their bodies.
Care must also be taken to protect the Dalmatian from sunburn, as their short, fine white coats can soon burn in the summer. The Dalmatian is also rather more susceptible to skin and coat allergies and sensitivities than most other breeds, although the reason for this is not definitively known.
When you first get your new pup home from the breeders, it is important not to make any sudden changes to their diet that may upset their developing digestive systems. However, looking to the longer term, it is important to decide upon a feeding plan for your Dalmatian pup throughout their life, in order to support good health.
Feeding a breed-specific or otherwise suitable and good quality puppy food is vital, and the protein content of the food for a Dalmatian pup should be around 25%, with the main source of protein coming from meat.
Due to the Dalmatian’s unique potential for developing urinary tract issues, it is recommended that your dog food’s main source of protein come from fish or chicken, and that a beef-based food is avoided. This is because beef is richer than other meats in purine, which can prove difficult for the urinary tract to break down in full.
Dalmatian pups require feeding little and often, up to four times a day when little, dropping to two or three times per day when adult.
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