10 things every Dalmatian owner should know

10 things every Dalmatian owner should know

There’s no doubt about it: the delightful Dalmatian is one of the most unique, eye-catching and beautiful dog breeds around.

Renowned for their liver-spotted coats, Dalmatians originated from the historical region of Dalmatia in Croatia and were originally used as carriage dogs – meaning, they’d trot alongside carriages to protect the occupants from any interference.

Today, Dalmatians are a popular pet for UK dog lovers. If you’re the proud owner of this spotted pooch, or you’re thinking about giving one a furever home, Purely Pets can set you up with a dog insurance policy that matches the unique needs of your hound.

As dog insurance experts, we’ve designed 15 levels of cover for you to choose from and you’ll get access to your own Manage My Policy portal and a 24-hour Vet Helpline. Set your excess and select your cover level from £1,000 to £15,000.

With some inspiration from the PDSA, Pets4Homes and the British Dalmatian Club, here are 10 things all Dalmatian owners should know about this beloved breed.

They aren’t born with spots

It may surprise you to learn that Dalmatians are, in fact, born spot-free! Puppies actually enter this world with a pure white coat, then will go on to develop their spots after three to four months.

They’ll have developed most of their spots after this time, but it’s still possible for new spots to appear throughout their lives.

They need two hours of exercise minimum a day

These dogs are an incredibly active breed and require lots of exercise to satisfy their high energy levels.

They need at least two hours of exercise each day, split over at least two walks, and ideally with the chance to run off-lead in a secure space.

On top of this, you need to keep their brains mentally stimulated with lots of playtime, training and free time in the garden (provided it’s secure).

A Dalmation out on a walk in a grassy field

They’re prone to deafness

Dalmatians are more prone to partial deafness than other breeds – it’s estimated that around 15-30% of the population suffer from some form of hearing loss.

This trait is actually connected to their unique patterning; the same gene that causes the spots is linked to hearing issues, leading to lack of melanin-producing cells in the ear which are key for normal ear development and functionality.

They’re more suited to families with older children

Dalmatians can make perfect family pets, as they are usually outgoing and not aggressive at all.

However, because they’re so energetic, they could easily knock over and unintentionally injure smaller children.

Parents should always supervise Dalmatians and any other breed with their children, as well as with vulnerable adults.

They are big shedders

Dalmatians may have short coats, but they’re serious shedders! This means they may not be the right breed for you if you’re super house-proud, or if anyone in your home suffers from allergies.

They shed all year round, but tend to shift the most fur during spring and autumn.

Just like any other breed, Dalmatians are susceptible to developing a number of health issues. The most common ones include:

  • Atopy – sensitivity to certain allergens like pollen and dust mites

  • Epilepsy – a brain disorder which cause seizures

  • Deafness

  • Urinary conditions – including bladder stones

  • Hip dysplasia – where the hip joint doesn’t fit together properly, eventually leading to arthritis

One way you can prevent your Dalmatian pup from developing these diseases is to buy from a Kennel Club Assured Breeder, as they will have met extra requirements such as health screening.

Don’t be afraid to ask about the health history of the puppy’s parents and grandparents – and be wary of purchasing any pup where these conditions are in the family line.

Read more about other common health problems that dogs may face and how to support them when this happens.

A young Dalmatian standing outside

They cost a minimum of £105 per month to look after

As a ballpark figure, the PSDA says owners are looking at £105 per month minimum to look after their pet Dalmatian. That’s after purchase and ‘set-up’ costs (like vaccinations, neutering and equipment).

Total costs (including ongoing costs on things like food, dog insurance, accessories and preventative healthcare) amount to over £17,000 over the course of the dog’s lifetime.

They get along with other dogs

Provided they’re well-socialised, Dalmatians should have no problem getting along with other pooches. They don’t tend to have an aggressive streak, so lots of positive experiences with other mutts early on will allow them to develop their friendly personality.

They should get along fine with other pets in the house, too – still, you should always supervise the dog with smaller pets and carry out introductions carefully.

Dalmatians are known for getting along well with cats, so if you are considering adopting a cat why not consider reading our recent blog on the pros and cons of owning a male and female cat.

They need plenty of company

Dalmatians are best suited to households where there’s someone home for a large portion of the day. If that isn’t possible, then it’s important to make sure the dog isn’t left alone for over four hours.

The breed is also prone to developing separation anxiety, so you mind find that you need to train them to be left alone for short periods of time.

You can rehome a Dalmatian

There are lots of rescue centres across the UK that may be looking to rehome a Dalmatian – some centres specialise in the breed.

You should ask any centre about the dog’s history to make sure they’ll be suited to your home.

Reputable centres will run home checks, neuter dogs and inform you of any possible health or behavioural issues following assessments.

A close up of the faec of a Dalmation

Are Dalmatians a good breed for first time owners?

Dalmatians, with their distinctive spotted coat and energetic personality, are often a favourite among dog lovers. However, the question remains - is a Dalmatian good for a first-time owner? Well, the answer to that depends on what you're looking for in a dog.

Dalmatians are intelligent, playful, and love being the centre of attention which can make them an excellent choice if you're ready to invest time and energy into training and socialising your pup.

However, Dalmatians can also be quite high-energy and require plenty of exercise to prevent boredom and destructive behaviour. They also have a strong hunting instinct and might not be the best choice if you have other small pets in the house.

Their famous spotted coat requires regular grooming to keep it looking its best. Therefore, while Dalmatians can certainly make wonderful pets, they might not be the best fit for every first-time owner. If you're considering bringing a Dalmatian into your family, it's critical to thoroughly research the breed to ensure it's a good match for your lifestyle.

Dog insurance from Purely Pets

Dogs are part of our families.

So, you want to make sure that if your Dalmatian (or other breed) is unwell or injured, you’ll be able to provide them the care they need to make a swift recovery – and that’s where dog insurance comes in.

Having cover in place could help you to recoup the cost if you need to take your beloved dog to the vets for treatment.

If you’re lucky enough to own more than one pet, we also offer multi-pet policies for cats and dogs – meaning you can keep all of your insurance documents in one place.

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