The key point is to provide food that is correct for a Dalmatian’s age. The needs of a growing puppy are very different to those of a “senior citizen”.
It is important to be aware that the Dalmatian has a metabolism that differs from other breeds and makes them more susceptible to urinary stones. It is suggested that fully grown dogs should have a diet that is not too high in protein or purines. This means feeding prepared foods with a protein content of around 20%, or if you are feeding a home prepared diet ensure you are aware of which ingredients have a high purine rating.
A puppy has very different needs. The breeder should supply you with a suitable diet sheet. See details of recommended publications in our “ownership” section for further guidance.
In recent years prepared foods have made feeding pets in general much more convenient than home prepared foods. There are now many well known dog foods to choose from, both dry and moist, such as Pedigree, Hills, Iams and dozens of others. Many are owned by large food manufacturers, such as Nestle and Mars, who spend much on research and development to produce a food that is nutritionally balanced and appealing for our pets. The benefit of these foods is that they have been formulated to provide the correct balance of nutrients. Thus an owner does not have to worry about whether the pet receives everything that it needs. The feeding of supplementary foods and treats is unnecessary. Just choose the food formulated for the age of the Dalmatian – puppy, junior, adult or senior.
There are many thousands of Dalmatian owners who are perfectly happy to use prepared foods and have healthy well-conditioned dogs as testimony to the manufacturers skills.
Other owners find the idea of prepared foods completely unnatural and believe in providing a diet similar to that which a dog has evolved to eat in the wild. Indeed many owners believe that their Dalmatians look better on a diet that they prepare themselves, suffering less problems associated with allergies and skin conditions. Such a diet is often referred to as a BARF diet. Further information can be found on the internet by typing in BARF in your search engine. A natural diet will depend on your skills in ensuring a correct mixture of foods to provide all of the nutrients that your Dalmatian needs.
Whichever feeding regime you choose, do please make sure that you use quality foods. Whilst a dog can get by on low grade foods in the short term, this may be at the expense of its long term health.
As with humans, a Dalmatian’s health will reflect the food it eats.