If you own one Dalmatian, or a dozen, we hope that this short guide proves useful. It’s the first of several breed-specific articles drafted by our highly-qualified canine nutritionist, Samantha Ware. Unfortunately, Samantha spends a lot of time in the lab, which is probably good for our customers’ dogs, but makes it hard for those of us who want to pass on her knowledge and enthusiasm!
Dalmatians are not easy to categorise because, although the breed exhibits some common traits, especially physiologically, there are wide variations in things like temperament. However, from the point-of-view of their general nutritional requirements, things are pretty straightforward:
Aim to keep their diet low in protein and purine content. It is important that Dalmatians have a maintenance level of protein in their diet, otherwise this can cause heart and liver problems but a restricted level of around 18% protein is ideal in a prevention diet. Restrict ingredients rich in purines such as meat proteins like beef, pork and sardines and also yeast. Oddly, the active ingredient in chocolate (threobromine) is also high in purine, providing another reason to not feed chocolate to dogs! Fruit, vegetables, cheese and potatoes are good ingredients but need to be balanced alongside the nutritional requirements of the dog, i.e. include some poultry or white fish and carbohydrate for energy and stamina. Try to keep your Dalmatians on a diet higher in pH i.e. more alkaline and aim for a urine pH of 6.5-7. This means restricting acidic ingredients like beef, pork, shellfish, eggs and maize gluten.
Dalmatian Diets in Summary
Diet is an important factor for the health and well-being of this breed and, furthermore, diet can be manipulated to assist and prevent both known defects within the breed and less common ones too. There are many appropriate options across complete foods, dry, tinned, home cooked and raw. Ultimately, an individual assessment of each dog’s requirements should be made to give him/her the best chance at a healthy life.
Dog Food And Treats Pet Health And Wellness
Although our dogs love meaty treats, they’re also fans of a whole range of different foods, including fruits and veggies. They’ll even try to harvest their own from the garden. Cheeky rascals! Whether store bought or fresh from your garden, here are some dog-friendly fruits, vegetables, and herbs you can share as well as some no-no snacks to avoid.
Many of you may have started the new year resolved to eat better, get more exercise, and live happier healthier lives. Dogs are great personal trainers to help with those fitness resolutions! Our boys keep me on the move every day, no matter the weather.
Although we would never advocate giving up treats completely (human or pet), the quality and quantity of food that our pets eat is a significant factor in their weight and overall health. The same applies to people, too. Let’s look at a few fresh food options that you and your pet can enjoy snacking on together. In moderation with plenty of offsetting exercise, of course.
Some dogs have special dietary requirements, food allergies/intolerances, or even breed specific sensitivities – like our Dalmatians, who are safer with lower purine foods due to a breed-unique metabolic issue. If you have questions or concerns about your pet’s diet, have a chat with your vet. Similarly, if your pet is inactive, has health problems, or you have any concerns about changing your exercise routine together, have a chat with your vet. Or your doctor about the human stuff!
Dog-Friendly Fruits, Vegetable, and Herbs
We love sharing tasty dog treat recipes of all sorts, but today we’re snacking straight up! Whether bought or fresh from the garden (yum!), here’s a whole rainbow of dog-friendly fruits, vegetables, and herbs that you can potentially share together in moderation:
Watermelon (seeds removed)
Kumara / sweet potato (cooked)
Pumpkin and squash (cooked)
Apple (core/seeds removed)
Pear (core/seeds removed)
This list is based upon current information, but accuracy may change over time. If in doubt, check with an expert source. Food or treats that I share with my pets have been checked for suitability using reputable online references, such as the AKC, SPCA, and others. However, it is important to note that expert opinions (including these resources) may vary, differ and/or evolve over time.
Take care with snack size and suitability for pets. Fresh foods can pose choking hazards if not suitably sized. Dogs with medial issues, such as dental concerns, may have difficulty with cool and/or crunchy fruits and veggies. As with humans, some medical conditions and medications have food contradictions. Always check with your vet about dietary factors if a pet is on a special medical treatment plan, and adjust your regular foods and/or treats if needed for safety.
Dalmatian dogs raiding a harvest basket full of fresh fruits and vegetables