Best Dog Food for Dalmatians : 15 Healthy Recipes Reviewed by Budget, Diet and Life Stage
- What is the Best Dalmatian Dog Food?
- Understanding a Dalmatian’s Diet Requirements
- Special Dietary Considerations for Dalmatians
- Dalmatian Feeding Chart
- The Best Dog Food for Dalmatians: Our Top 15 Picks for 2023
- Wellness CORE RawRev Grain-Free Original Recipe with Freeze-Dried Lamb
- American Journey LID Grain-Free Salmon & Sweet Potato Dry Food
- Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Grain-Free Dry Food
- NomNom Fresh Food Delivery
- Earthborn Holistic Venture Rabbit Meal & Pumpkin LID Grain-Free Recipe
- Nutro LID Grain-Free Adult Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe
- 3 Top Rated (5 Star) Dalmatian Adult Foods
- 3 Top Rated (5 Star) Dalmatian Puppy Foods
- 2 Picks for Senior Dalmatian Foods
- Our FAQ and Dalmatian Feeding Guide
- Dalmatian Dog Food – A Final Word
Easily identified by his black spots and white body, the Dalmatian is a medium-sized dog with a great many talents. Once used as a circus performer, these dogs are full of energy and are easy to train.
The Dalmatian is known for his spotted appearance, but what originally made him famous was his speed and stamina. Used as a coaching dog, this breed was trained to run alongside carriages or horses for miles on end, discouraging stray dogs from bothering the horses. In more recent years, the breed came to be adapted by firemen to clear paths for the fire engine and then later as a circus performing breed.
Today, the Dalmatian is a faithful family companion that gets along well with children and other dogs. This breed stands about 19 to 23 inches tall and his weight ranges from 45 to 55 pounds. Though generally a healthy breed, the Dalmatian is prone to allergies and a number of other conditions which may necessitate a special diet.
Keep reading to learn more about your Dalmatian’s dietary requirements and to see our top 15 picks for the best dog food for Dalmatians.
What is the Best Dalmatian Dog Food?
Understanding a Dalmatian’s Diet Requirements
All dogs have the same basic requirements for protein, fat, and carbohydrates in their diet. Protein provides the building block for strong muscles in puppies and later supports lean muscle mass in adults. It is best from animal sources to ensure bioavailability and because animal proteins are complete proteins while plant proteins are not. A complete protein is simply one that contains all 10 essential amino acids that your dog needs.
Fat provides your dog with concentrated energy in the form of calories – it also provides essential fatty acids which are important for healthy skin and coat. Fat should also come from animal sources because they are easier for your dog’s body to metabolize, though plant fats can be used to ensure a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Your dog has no specific requirements for carbohydrates, but these ingredients can provide energy as well as dietary fiber and essential nutrients. The Dalmatian is unfortunately prone to food allergies which means that whole grains may not be the best option for carbohydrates. Instead, try grain-free carbohydrates like starchy vegetables, beans, and legumes. Look for a recipe that provides around 5% fiber for healthy digestion.
- Puppy Dalmatians Diet– As a puppy, your Dalmatian needs a minimum of 22% protein and 8% fat in his diet. If your dog is particularly active, he may need even more.
- Adult Dalmatians Diet – Once your Dalmatian reaches about 75% of his adult size, you should switch him to an adult dog food to prevent him from growing too quickly. Overgrowth could predispose him to musculoskeletal issues as an adult, particularly because he walks the line between being a medium and a large breed.
- Senior Dalmatians Diet – When your Dalmatian becomes a senior dog, maintaining lean muscle mass is important because the breed is prone to obesity. You might need to switch to a lower fat formula or one designed specifically for senior dogs.
In addition to his basic requirements for protein, fat, and carbohydrates, your Dalmatian can benefit from the inclusion of fresh fruits and vegetables in his diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables provide natural sources for key nutrients in a more biologically valuable form than synthetic supplements. Chelated minerals are mineral supplements bound to protein molecules which increases absorption. Your Dalmatian can also benefit from prebiotics, probiotics, and glucosamine and chondroitin.
Special Dietary Considerations for Dalmatians
The Dalmatian walks the line between being a medium- and a large-sized breed, so that could be a challenge when it comes to feeding. It also means that your dog could have certain health problem most commonly seen in larger breeds.
Here is a quick list of the health problems to which the Dalmatian may be prone:
- Eye Problems
- Hereditary Deafness
- Hip Dysplasia
- Iris Sphincter Dysplasia
- Laryngeal Paralysis
- Skin Problems
Let’s take a closer look at some of these health problems.
Many of the health problems to which the Dalmatian breed is prone can be broken into categories such as eye problems, musculoskeletal problems, and urinary problems. In terms of urinary problems, Dalmatians have a unique uric acid metabolism which puts them at a higher risk for stones. These stones can cause urinary blockages which can be painful. They are also at-risk for hyperuricemia which is a condition in which the liver has trouble breaking down uric acid.
Some of the musculoskeletal issues to which the breed is prone include arthritis and hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is a condition in which the femoral head slips in and out of the hip joint. Over time, this can lead to inflammation and joint damage, even eventual lameness. These dogs are also at a higher risk for arthritis, partially due to their musculoskeletal issues. Feeding your dog a diet rich in joint-supporting nutrients like glucosamine and chondroitin may help manage or prevent these conditions.
In addition to these health problems, Dalmatians are prone to food and skin allergies. Skin allergies are commonly caused by contact with or inhalation of allergens such as dust, pollen, mold, and chemicals. Food allergies can be caused by any number of dog food ingredients including low-quality grains like wheat, corn, and soy as well as common proteins like chicken, beef, and pork. Feeding your dog a high-quality diet made of natural ingredients, ideally grain-free, can help reduce this problem. A limited ingredient diet may also help reduce the risk for triggering food allergies.
Dalmatian Feeding Chart
The Dalmatian is a medium- to large-sized breed, so it is important not to overfeed your dog or he could become overweight. As a puppy, rapid growth may increase your dog’s risk for musculoskeletal issues as an adult. The best way to avoid this is to feed your puppy a high-quality puppy food until he reaches about 75% of his adult size then switch to an adult recipe. You could also keep feeding your puppy the puppy food but drop from three meals to two meals a day.
When your Dalmatian is an adult, you should feed him two meals a day – one in the morning and another in the evening. You’ll be feeding your dog somewhere between 1 ½ and 2 cups of food per day, depending on the calorie content of the recipe you choose. Make sure to feed a high-quality adult dog food and refer to the feeding instructions according to your dog’s age and weight. Check back often as your dog grows and ages to see if you need to make adjustments.
The Best Dog Food for Dalmatians: Our Top 15 Picks for 2023
Now that you have a better understanding of your Dalmatian’s nutritional needs, you’re ready to start shopping for dog food! Remember, the best Dalmatian food will be made from high-quality, natural ingredients including premium animal proteins, healthy animal fats, and digestible grain-free carbohydrates. Your dog can also benefit from probiotic supplements to ensure digestibility as well as glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support. Here are our top 15 picks:
|Our 2023 Picks: Best Dalmatian Food Recommendations:|
Wellness CORE RawRev Grain-Free Original Recipe with Freeze-Dried Lamb
Overall Best Food for Dalmatians: If you want to provide your Dalmatian with the nutritional benefits of raw food but you can’t afford fresh food, this Wellness CORE RawRev Grain-Free Original Recipe with Freeze-Dried Lamb is a good compromise. This recipe features high-protein kibble mixed with freeze-dried bites of raw lamb. It also contains wild duck, boar, and rabbit for a protein-rich recipe that is sure to have your dog drooling. Thoughtfully balanced with protein, fat, and carbohydrates, this recipe mimics your dog’s ancestral diet and ensures high digestibility. Plus, it is supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables, chelated minerals, and dried fermentation products for probiotic support.
- Pros: Premium natural ingredients, high-protein kibble and freeze-dried raw pieces, grain-free carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables, rich in omega fatty acids, chelated minerals
- Cons: Expensive to feed as a staple diet
American Journey LID Grain-Free Salmon & Sweet Potato Dry Food
Most Affordable Food: This American Journey LID Grain-Free Salmon & Sweet Potato Dry Food is proof that you don’t necessarily need to spend a fortune to give your Dalmatian a high-quality diet. This recipe features a limited number of main ingredients which is important for a breed prone to allergies like your Dalmatian. It contains a single source of animal protein as well and contains a blend of omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. This recipe contains chelated minerals which are bound to protein molecules to increase absorption as well as vitamins supplements for balance.
- Pros: Single source of animal protein, limited number of ingredients, rich in essential fatty acids, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, chelated minerals, no artificial additives
- Cons: Contains some plant protein (pea protein), main source of fat is plant-based
Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Grain-Free Dry Food
Most Popular Food: If you can’t decide what to feed your Dalmatian, why not go with a popular recipe like this Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Grain-Free Dry Food? This recipe features real animal protein like fresh lamb and lamb meal with salmon oil as a nutrient-rich source of energy and omega fatty acids. It contains fresh fruits and vegetables as natural sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants with chelated minerals to ensure nutritional balance. This formula is made with digestible grain-free carbohydrates like sweet potatoes and lentils with dried fermentation products for digestive support.
- Pros: Novel source of animal protein, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables, rich in omega fatty acids, chelated minerals, prebiotics and probiotics
- Cons: Main source of fat is plant-based (canola oil)
NomNom Fresh Food Delivery
Super Premium Food: If you want the best of the best for your Dalmatian, consider a fresh food delivery service like NomNom. This company provides high-quality, custom meals delivered right to your door on a monthly basis. Every recipe is prepared with the highest quality ingredients and made with minimal cooking to preserve the nutritional integrity of those ingredients. All you have to do is fill out a short profile for your dog online, select a recipe from the collection, then start receiving automatic monthly shipments. Each package will be perfectly portioned for your dog and you can customize it according to any special dietary requirements.
- Pros: Made with the freshest ingredients, custom meals for your dog, delivered fresh to your door, perfectly portioned pouches, automatic shipments
- Cons: Limited number of recipe options, very expensive to feed, delivery restrictions in some areas
Earthborn Holistic Venture Rabbit Meal & Pumpkin LID Grain-Free Recipe
Best Food for Dalmatians with Allergies: For a Dalmatian with food allergies, you need more than just a grain-free diet. This Earthborn Holistic Venture Rabbit Meal & Pumpkin LID Grain-Free Recipe is made with a limited number of ingredients as well as a novel source of protein and carbohydrate. It features protein-rich rabbit meal as the main ingredient which is also the sole source of protein, and a novel protein at that. This recipe contains grain-free carbohydrates like pumpkin and peas with plenty of omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. It is supplemented with chelated minerals and probiotics as well.
- Pros: All-natural and holistic, limited number of ingredients, single source of novel protein, grain-free carbohydrates, rich in omega fatty acids, chelated minerals, probiotics
- Cons: May be too high in fiber for some dogs, contains some plant protein (pea protein)
Nutro LID Grain-Free Adult Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe
Best Food for Dalmatians with Sensitive Stomachs: If your dog has a sensitive stomach, a limited ingredient diet like this Nutro LID Grain-Free Adult Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe may be a good choice. Not only does it have a lower number of main ingredients, but it contains a novel source of protein and grain-free carbohydrates to ensure digestibility. This recipe features both fresh lamb and deboned lamb with digestible carbohydrates like chickpeas and potatoes. It offers 20% protein and 14% fat with 3.5% dietary fiber to boost digestion. It also contains beneficial supplements like chelated minerals to ensure optimal nutrient absorption.
- Pros: High-quality natural ingredients, limited ingredient diet, single source of novel protein, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, chelated minerals, highly digestible recipe
- Cons: Main source of fat is plant-based (canola oil), contains some plant protein (potato protein)
3 Top Rated (5 Star) Dalmatian Adult Foods
Canidae Grain-Free PURE Land with Bison LID Adult Dry Food
To minimize the risk for food allergies in your Dalmatian, try this Canidae Grain-Free PURE Land with Bison LID Adult Dry Food. Made with a limited number of ingredients including premium animal proteins and grain-free carbohydrates, this recipe offers excellent digestibility and quality nutrition. Plus, it is supplemented with a trio of probiotics, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids for healthy digestion, immunity, skin, and coat.
Holistic Select Grain-Free Rabbit & Lamb Meal Adult Recipe
To provide your Dalmatian with a wholesome natural recipe, try this Holistic Select Grain-Free Rabbit & Lamb Meal Adult Recipe. Made with all-natural ingredients, this formula features rabbit meal and lamb meal as novel sources of concentrated animal protein. Grain-free carbohydrates like chickpeas and lentils provide energy and dietary fiber while canola oil and flaxseed provide a balance of fatty acids.
Nature’s Variety Instinct LID Grain-Free Recipe with Real Duck
If you’re worried about food allergies or sensitivities, your Dalmatian might do well with this Nature’s Variety Instinct LID Grain-Free Recipe with Real Duck. This recipe features a low number of main ingredients as well as a single source of novel protein. It contains digestible grain-free carbohydrates as well as beneficial supplements including antioxidants and guaranteed levels of omega fatty acids.
3 Top Rated (5 Star) Dalmatian Puppy Foods
Canidae Grain-Free PURE Foundations LID Puppy Recipe
To get your Dalmatian puppy started on the right foot with a low risk for food allergies, try this Canidae Grain-Free PURE Foundations LID Puppy Recipe. Made with a limited number of ingredients including highly digestible protein and grain-free carbohydrates, this recipe is just what your puppy needs. It contains only 9 ingredients as well as vitamins, minerals, and probiotics.
I and Love and You Naked Essentials Grain-Free Puppy Recipe
For maximum nutritional quality, try this I and Love and You Naked Essentials Grain-Free Puppy Recipe. Made with premium ingredients hand-picked from around the world, this recipe is holistic and healthy for your Dalmatian puppy. It features real chicken and grain-free carbohydrates plus beneficial supplements like prebiotics and probiotics for digestion as well as DHA for brain development.
Nulo Freestyle Limited+ Grain-Free Turkey Adult & Puppy Recipe
If you’re worried about changing your Dalmatian puppy’s diet later in life, try this Nulo Freestyle Limited+ Grain-Free Turkey Adult & Puppy Recipe. Formulated for both adult dogs and puppies, this recipe is protein-rich with plenty of healthy fats for energy and coat support. It features 30% protein and 17% fat, made from premium ingredients like deboned turkey, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and salmon oil.
2 Picks for Senior Dalmatian Foods
Wellness CORE Grain-Free Deboned Turkey Senior Recipe
This Wellness CORE Grain-Free Deboned Turkey Senior Recipe would be a great choice for your Dalmatian because it is naturally grain-free and contains a lean source of digestible animal protein. It features deboned turkey as the main ingredient with digestible grain-free carbohydrates and it is supplemented with fiber and probiotics for healthy digest as well as fresh fruits and vegetables to provide natural sources for key nutrients.
FirstMate Pacific Ocean Fish Meal Weight Control Senior Formula
If you’re concerned about your Dalmatian gaining weight as he gets older, try this FirstMate Pacific Ocean Fish Meal Weight Control Senior Formula. This recipe features premium-quality natural ingredients, so it won’t trigger food allergies or sensitivities, but it is made with lean protein and contains a controlled level of fat to reduce the calorie content.
Our FAQ and Dalmatian Feeding Guide
Though choosing a healthy dog food for your Dalmatian is important, you also have to think about practical things like how to feed it and store it. Food storage is very important because if you expose your dog food to air, it could lose some of its nutritional integrity over time. Dog food bags are treated on the inside to keep the food fresh, but you lose some of that protection after opening the bag. Instead of pouring the dog food into a new container, place the entire bag in an airtight container and store in a cool dry place to maximize the shelf life.
Your Dalmatian will eat anywhere from ¾ to 1 cup of food at a time, so you need a medium- to large-sized bowl. Look for one made from durable materials like stainless steel or ceramic. These materials are also easy to clean, and they don’t scratch, so you won’t have to worry about harboring bacteria that could be harmful to your dog. Make sure to wash the bowl often, just to be safe.
And now, here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about feeding a Dalmatian:
How much food should I feed my Dalmatian?
The amount you feed your Dalmatian will depend on his age, weight, and activity level as well as the calorie content of the product you choose. Generally speaking, however, you’ll be feeding your dog between 1 ½ and 2 cups of food per day. To determine exactly how much to feed him, refer to the feeding instructions on the dog food label according to your dog’s age and weight. Remember, this amount is for the whole day, so divide it into the desired number of daily meals.
How many times a day should I feed my Dalmatian?
The Dalmatian is a medium- to large-sized breed, so he does well with two meals per day. As a puppy, your dog may need three meals to sustain his growth, but you should scale it back to two meals once he approaches his adult size. Overfeeding your Dalmatian could predispose him to musculoskeletal issues or obesity as an adult.
What kind of food do Dalmatians eat?
The best dog food for any dog is made from high-quality, natural ingredients and formulated to meet his nutritional needs. Fresh food is a great option for Dalmatians because it is minimally processed which ensures digestibility as well as nutritional integrity. If you can’t afford fresh food, another good option would be freeze-dried or dehydrated food. Even a premium-quality kibble can be a great choice for your dog because dry food provides dental benefits, helping scrape plaque and tartar off your dog’s teeth. As a general rule, you should feed your dog the highest quality food you can consistently afford.
What vegetables are good in a Dalmatian food?
Vegetables provide dietary fiber as well as natural sources for vitamins and minerals. As such, they are a valuable addition to any high-quality dog food. Here are some of the best vegetables for Dalmatians:
- Brussels sprouts
- Green beans
- Sweet potato
Even if the dog food you choose contains fresh vegetables, you might still want to consider supplementing his diet with veggies as a healthy snack. Just make sure they are safe for dogs to eat and that you clean them thoroughly before feeding. You should also feed small amounts to avoid upsetting your dog’s stomach from an overload of fiber.
Do Dalmatians need grain-free dog food?
There is a great deal of controversy surrounding the use of grain-free dog foods for dogs, but the evidence is not yet conclusive. What we do know is that Dalmatians have a higher risk for food allergies than many other breeds and grains are one of the most common food allergens known to affect dogs. If your Dalmatian can tolerate grains, there is no reason to feed him a grain-free diet but if he suffers from recurrent ear infections or skin problems it might be an allergy and grains could be the problem.
Dalmatian Dog Food – A Final Word
Now that you know the basics about your Dalmatian’s nutritional needs, you’re ready to start shopping for the best Dalmatian food. Remember to look for a product that is made from high-quality, natural ingredients including premium animal proteins, healthy animal fats, and digestible grain-free carbohydrates. Your dog can also benefit from probiotic supplements to ensure digestibility as well as glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support.
If you’re still not sure where to start in choosing the best Dalmatian dog food, try one of our top 15 picks reviewed above!