While these gorgeous canines are a cinch to spot, they are not as easy to feed.
A Dalmatian’s dietary needs can be quite the task for the first-time pet parent.
Dalmatians are prone to a number of health problems that require a carefully curated diet.
In this Digdoggy.com guide, you’ll learn:
- The top 5 dog foods for Dalmatians
- How to pick the best foods
- Ingredients to avoid in foods for this breed
And much more!
Below is a quick list of all our top products. Keep scrolling to learn more about how to choose the best dog food for Dalmatians.
BLUE Buffalo Life Protection Formula, Chicken & Brown Rice
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Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin, Chicken Recipe
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Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Grain-Free Chicken Recipe
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BLUE Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet, Lamb & Potato
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Nature's Recipe Grain-Free Puppy Food, Chicken & Pumpkin
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Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
Updated On January 10, 2022
As with any BLUE Buffalo products, the Life Protection Formula Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe is crafted by leading animal nutritionists and holistic veterinarians.
Which ensures it offers complete, balanced nutrition that Dalmatians will enjoy!
Moreover, this wholesome diet features carefully selected grains to fuel your canine dynamo without the risk of developing allergies.
Pet parents who switched to this food were absolutely shocked by how the Life Protection Formula cleared up their fur kids’ skin issues.
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Our Top 5 Best Foods For Dalmatians
In a hurry? Check out our top 5 Dalmatian dog foods! Keep reading to discover more about our top picks.
What Ingredients Do you Avoid Feeding A Dalmatian?
Commercial dog foods vary in quality and price.
Those in the cheaper end of the spectrum often use indigestible agents as an inexpensive way to bulk up their products.
However, even expensive brands may contain certain ingredients you don’t want your canine buddy to consume daily.
Whole grains are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates and fiber, but corn and wheat are not the best options for your Dal.
Unfortunately, Dalmatians are much more prone to food-related hypersensitivities compared to other breeds.
So, it would be prudent if you shun away from grains with the exception of a few.
Studies show that rice, in particular, is rarely associated with allergic reactions in canines.
That is why many brands are using rice as a carbohydrate source.
On the other hand, some brands choose brown rice since it has a lower glycemic index, which means it keeps your pooch full much longer and has less of an impact on blood sugar.
If you are still skeptical, you may conduct a food trial to determine whether or not your Dalmatian is allergic to rice.
You may also try a grain-free recipe that uses sweet potatoes as a carbohydrate source.
Artificial Colors and Preservatives
If Doggo is high-strung or feeling a bit down in the dumps, check his diet.
When it comes to doggie dining, you should always watch out for the small print behind the back of each bag or can of dog food.
It is a well-known fact that artificial colors and preservatives are detrimental to one’s health.
Some manufacturers are doing their best to reassure consumers that these ingredients aren’t harmful to dogs in small doses.
Here are some ingredients to watch out for:
- Propylene glycol: This synthetic additive is added to packaged foods to retain texture and absorb extra moisture.
- BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole) and BHT(Butylated Hydroxytoluene): These are artificial preservatives used primarily in cosmetics.
- Tartrazine: Also known as Yellow 5, it is a food dye used mainly in envelopes, paper plates, writing instruments, etc.
Thankfully, top global brands have decided to go all-natural, but you’ll still find these awful ingredients in low-quality foods.
High Purine Ingredients
Purines are organic compounds that aren’t necessarily harmful, and foods all contain varying levels of purine.
Normally, purine is broken down into uric acid and the liver further converts it into allantoin, which is a water-soluble compound that the kidneys can easily filter out.
Sad to say, Dalmatians don’t have enough of the hepatic enzyme, uricase. This deficit prevents them from degrading purine into allantoin.
As a result, uric acid builds up in the bloodstream and causes problems.
When shopping for kibble or canned food for your pet, you should watch out for the high purine ingredients listed below:
- Wild game
- Organ meats
Unidentified Meat and Meat By-Products
Steer clear of products listing unnamed meats and meat by-products.
There is a significant risk that this nondescript food item comes from unidentified animals or double-dead meat.
What Should you Look For in a High-Quality Dog Food For Dalmatians?
The key when buying commercial dog food is to look for quality ingredients.
Ingredients are listed by weight, which means you’ll want to see whole meat leading in the sequence. Take note; it has to be named meat, such as chicken or lamb.
Listing “meat” alone raises a red flag regarding the overall quality and safety of the product.
Since whole meat contains a large percentage of water, some companies use named meat meals to bulk up the protein content of the food.
Although “chicken meal” or “lamb meal” may sound unappetizing and unhealthy, it actually provides more protein than regular meat since there is no water weight to throw off the calculation.
Dalmatians thrive on a high-protein diet as with any dog, but you’ll need to make sure that it isn’t high in purine.
Helpful to Allergies
Dalmatians aren’t fussy eaters, but most inherit an overactive immune system.
Ingesting a food allergen causes your dog’s defense system to go haywire. Hence, you need to be picky on behalf of your beloved pet.
It’s also wise to choose a recipe enriched with anti-inflammatory foods to help minimize histamine reactions.
Alfa, berries, butternut squash, celery, mango, papaya, pineapple, and sweet potatoes, are among these allergy-fighting foods.
Essential Fatty Acids
Dalmatians have many health concerns due to abnormal inflammatory responses in the body.
As such, these wonderful canines would benefit from having omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in their diet.
Omega fatty acids improve immunity and fight inflammation. Additionally, it promotes cardiovascular health and cognitive function.
It is also common knowledge that omega fatty acids nourish the skin and add luster to the coat.
Living inside Doggo’s gastrointestinal system are billions of bacteria that aid in digestion and nutrient absorption.
But as dogs age, it gets more difficult for them to maintain healthy gut flora. When beneficial bacteria declines, an imbalance occurs and harmful pathogens thrive.
Therefore, it helps to consider probiotics in your dog’s diet, especially if he is prone to developing diarrhea or other related issues in stressful situations.
Probiotics, also known as “direct-fed microbials,” are cultured live bacteria and yeasts designed to restore the microbial balance of your pet’s colon.
Whole Fruits and Vegetables
“Complete and balanced diet,” isn’t just some catchy diet slogan in dog food.
As with humans, our canine companions also benefit from the inclusion of fresh fruits and vegetables in their diet.
Domestic dogs are omnivorous, not obligate carnivores like their whiskered counterparts.
Fruits and vegetables provide our canine buddies with essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Our Reviews Of The Best Dog Foods For Dalmatians
Pick #1: BLUE Buffalo Life Protection Formula, Chicken & Brown Rice
The formula sticks to natural ingredients with the core component as deboned chicken.
Chicken meal is also added to further increase the protein content of the kibble.
With garden veggies and fruits in the mix, it is a surefire way for Doggo to get his daily dose of essential vitamins and chelated minerals.
And the best part? BLUE Buffalo’s exclusive LifeSource Bits!
These are the tiny, chocolate-colored pieces mixed in with the kibble that contain antioxidants to boost the immune system and help combat free radicals.
Pick #2: Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin, Chicken Recipe
This Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken Recipe contains prebiotic fiber to help nourish the beneficial bacteria in the gut and in turn, solves various digestive problems.
In other words, you can finally put away the gas mask and scoop up some firm poop!
With vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids, every meal is a step away from allergy flare-ups. Your Dal will have healthier skin and a glossier coat like never before!
This recipe also contains essential vitamins and chelated minerals for optimum health.
But wait, isn’t this formula grain-inclusive?
You’ll find brewer’s rice, barley, and sorghum in the mix, but not wheat or corn.
As expected of a highly respected global brand, Hill’s would always analyze each ingredient and each formula undergoes stringent evaluations before the products hit the shelves.
However, even the most nutritious kibble won’t do much if your pet refuses to eat it.
That is why Hill’s made it a priority to craft this recipe only with high-quality ingredients with real chicken meat in the lead.
This recipe is also available in a wet formula so that you can alternate kibble and canned food to make mealtime irresistible.
Pick #3: Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Grain-Free Chicken Recipe
Purina has received a lot of shade from pet food critics, but not all of their product lines deserve the brush-off.
The ONE SmartBlend True Instinct stands out, as it offers the best value for the money.
Albeit cheaper compared to some of my favorite brands, it doesn’t sacrifice nutrition and flavor.
This recipe capitalizes on the use of high-quality chicken, and each ingredient that follows is carefully chosen for a purpose.
With its 30% protein content, it is an excellent option for the active Dalmatian. How about by-product meals or bulking agents? Nada. Zilch.
The coolest part is this brand features tender meat morsels. With contrasting textures and a rich flavor profile, it makes dinnertime a lot more interesting for your dog.
I guarantee your pooch will be spinning around in excitement with this food!
Best of all, this brand works incredibly without side effects.
If you are looking for nutritious kibble for your Dalmatian without the severe price tag, we can’t recommend this grain-free chicken recipe highly enough!
Pick #4: BLUE Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet, Lamb & Potato
If Doggo is allergic to chicken or he simply wants to try something else, how about you give this recipe a shot?
BLUE produces many different types of dog food, and the Limited Ingredient Diet Lamb & Potato Recipe is one of their best offerings for dogs with hypersensitivities.
This hypoallergenic recipe does not contain even the slightest amount of chicken, beef, dairy, or eggs.
Lamb is its first and only source of protein. Instead of common grains, this gluten-free recipe uses tapioca starch, peas, and potatoes.
Take note; these starchy carbs are low in sodium, which also makes this formula a healthier option for dogs with kidney issues.
Is this simple recipe enough to provide your pooch with complete and balanced nutrition? Absolutely!
Despite the limited number of ingredients, BLUE did not skip out on the LifeSource Bits and made sure it also packs essential vitamins, antioxidants, and chelated minerals.
Pick #5: Nature's Recipe Grain-Free Puppy Food, Chicken & Pumpkin
Puppyhood isn’t just about games, giggles, and coffee breath.
Since puppies still have an undeveloped immune system, feeding your fur-baby with Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free Puppy Food Chicken and Pumpkin would be a wise move.
This premium puppy food is jam-packed with vitamins and minerals to keep your little pooch protected from common ailments.
With real chicken as its number one ingredient, it is rich in protein to support muscle development.
This recipe also relies on fiber-rich legumes and highly digestible carbohydrates, such as pumpkin and sweet potatoes.
Furthermore, it is fortified with DHA to keep your puppy’s vision and mind sharp. For healthy skin and a lustrous coat, omega fatty acids help to round out this paw-lickin’ good kibble!
Dalmatian Dog Food Chart: How Often Should You Feed A Dalmatian?
A Dalmatian will need ½ to 2 cups of dry dog food per day. However, this is but a rough draft since the following factors will greatly affect your dog’s diet:
- Whether or not your dog is neutered/spayed
- Physiologic status (pregnant, nursing, etc.)
- Presence of a chronic condition
- Quality and nutrient density of the food
Although each bag of kibble comes with feeding instructions, it is best to consult your vet.
As soon as you get a definite quantity, you may divide it into two meals or three for a puppy.
Puppies need to eat more often since they are rapidly growing, but you should scale it back to two meals when he reaches his adult size.
Dietry related Health Problems in Dalmatians
According to the Dalmatian Club of America, our spotted friends live between 11 and 13 years, although some may live up to three years more.
But as with any breed, Dalmatians are predisposed to certain health issues that can put them in a pickle.
Dalmatians suffer from hyperuricemia, a hereditary abnormality that prevents the liver from further degrading uric acid into allantoin, which is the end product of purine.
Since the kidneys could not properly excrete uric acid, it builds up in the bloodstream rather quickly.
High concentrations of uric acid can lead to serious consequences over time. For one, it is the main determinant that causes uric acid to crystallize and congeal into kidney and bladder stones.
All canines can suffer from urolithiasis, but Dalmatians are at even greater risk due to hyperuricemia. These hard urate formations burden the kidneys, causing a myriad of problems.
Uroliths that develop in the ureters also obstruct the flow of urine. If your dog is straining to urinate, you’ll need to rush him to the vet ASAP.
Complete obstruction of the ureter can cause loss of kidney function, sepsis, or abrupt death.
Surgery might be the most invasive and expensive way to treat your pal, but it is the fastest and most effective way, as well.
If it won’t be possible to extract all uric acid stones in a single procedure, your pooch may need to undergo a few more surgeries thereafter.
Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
Dysplasia is a painful skeletal condition that commonly affects large and giant canine breeds, and Dalmatians are no exception.
Hip dysplasia in canines is characterized by an abnormality in the size, shape, or orientation of the femoral head, acetabulum, or both.
Elbow dysplasia is also a painful condition involving abnormalities of the structure of the elbow, resulting in lameness and eventual loss of function of the joint itself.
While the condition is genetic, obesity can aggravate the problem. Therefore, it is crucial that your canine buddy maintain a healthy weight.
Providing your pooch with an orthopedic bed and a low-calorie diet are two of the best ways to delay the onset of these conditions or prevent them altogether.
Hearing loss in one or both ears is another problem that afflicts 30% of the total Dalmatian population.
Studies show that deafness is common among piebald animals, and it has to do with the genes that give them their unique cookies n’ cream coat.
That said, it is unlikely that you could improve your pet’s hearing with food alone, but you should keep feeding your furry pal nutritious meals to avoid ear infections and other related issues.
Canine atopy, also known as allergic dermatitis, is the genetic tendency to develop allergic symptoms due to the inhalation of allergens (pollen, mold spores, dust, etc.) or by absorption through the skin (flea saliva).
Dalmatians with severe cases of canine atopic dermatitis will need antihistaminic drugs along with the administration of corticosteroids.
Another hypersensitivity affecting Dalmatians is food adverse reaction, commonly known as a food allergy. Signs may arise several hours or days after your Dal has eaten something he is allergic to.
If you suspect your pooch might be allergic to something in his food, talk to your veterinarian, instead of making your own diagnosis.
Waardenburg-Klein Syndrome involves a combination of pigmentation defects.
A Dalmatian with this disorder may have minimal dark spots and decreased fur, which increases his susceptibility to sunburn.
Repeated prolonged sun exposure may also thicken the skin and cause crusting skin lesions, a precursor of squamous cell carcinomas.
Moreover, accompanying this amelanotic skin is a pair of pale blue eyes or irises with different colors called heterochromia iridis.
Dalmatians with this genetic disorder are also at a greater risk for developing eye diseases, such as cataracts and glaucoma.
Dilated cardiomyopathy, commonly referred to as enlargement of the heart, is a condition in which the heart can’t properly contract.
Consequently, the blood flows back up in the heart chamber and swells up the heart. As the heart continues to expand, the cardiac weakens and thins out.
The incidence of dilated cardiomyopathy increases as dogs age, but Dalmatians may develop the disease at an early age due to a deficit in certain amino acids.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should Dalmatians eat grain-free?
Dalmatians are highly prone to foodborne allergies, and it is a known fact that wheat and corn are among the biggest culprits that cause food intolerance or allergic reactions in dogs.
Still, not all types of grains can cause such problems in dogs. Rice, for instance, provides fiber and complex carbohydrates without the downsides.
Do Dalmatians have sensitive stomachs?
Dalmatians easily succumb to digestive issues, so you need to watch what you feed your pal, including the treats you give him in between meals.
Do Dalmatians eat a lot?
Dalmatians aren’t as greedy and food-motivated as Labradors and Golden Retrievers.
However, any dog who could not digest food and absorb nutrients efficiently will feel starved regardless of how much he eats.
Since his appetite goes into overdrive, it is likely that he will eat as much as he can.
Can Dalmatians eat tuna?
Tuna is high in purine. Dalmatians are better off eating chicken or lamb.
Our Top Pick: BLUE Buffalo Life Protection Formula, Chicken & Brown Rice
Our top pick is BLUE Buffalo Life Protection Formula.
This recipe features chicken and brown rice with real meat as the first ingredient.
The formula contains no by-product meals, artificial flavoring, soy, or wheat.
Due to the amount of research and the quality of the ingredients, it should come as no surprise that this brand carries a heavier price tag than the majority.
Then again, you can guarantee that it is the best food for Dalmatians! The Life Protection Formula Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe is also available for Dalmatian puppies.
Note, many customers have recently reported warehouse bugs in bags when orders arrive.
We have not personally experienced this, but it’s our duty to make you aware.
Check out the latest reviews here.
Final Thoughts on Foods for Dalmatians
Dalmatians boast of energy, speed, and stamina, making them amazing companions to the active pet owner.
However, these beautiful dogs don’t always have it easy. Dalmatians could easily succumb to illness if you aren’t careful.
For one, these dogs have a big heart — literally and figuratively.
That is why you need to be meticulous when it comes to feeding your pooch. The ideal diet for Dalmatians is one that is high in protein and low in purines.
Likewise, it should have a blend of digestible complex carbohydrates and fiber.
Then again, the best dog food for Dalmatians is up to you to decide. This article only serves as a guide to help you decipher the best from the bad ones.