The beautiful spotted coat of a Dalmatian is part of what makes the breed so adored! But exactly how much maintenance is required for that coat?
Different dogs experience different levels of fur shedding. Most people would assume that the short fur of a Dalmatian means that they don’t shed much, but is that true?
Read on to find out!
Do Dalmatians Shed?
Yes, Dalmatians do shed. Even though they have short fur, Dalmatians actually are heavy shedders all year long. Owners of this breed will attest to the fact that their clothes, furniture, and other items are often covered in white fur.
How Much Do Dalmatians Shed?
Dalmatians are a heavy-shedding breed, and that’s a natural, healthy feature for them. This comes as a surprise to many, as Dalmatians have short fur that doesn’t seem that difficult to manage. After all, their coat is just a single layer.
The excessive shedding is a result of the lifespans of their hair shafts, which are quite short.
Their coats are constantly being replaced with softer, newer coats. That coat maintains its density and quality despite all the fur lost.
Are Dalmatians Hypoallergenic?
Due to the profuse nature of their shedding, Dalmatians are not hypoallergenic pets.
Their constant heavy shedding and regular dander or dead skin production mean they’re very unsuitable for people with allergies to dog dander.
No dogs are truly entirely hypoallergenic, but some are worse than others. Dalmatians are certainly on the bottom of the safe list!
Dalmatian Shedding Seasons
Some dogs shed during only certain periods of the year. Dalmatians are not one of those dogs. They shed constantly, nonstop, every single day.
If you want to get technical, you can consider two primary shedding seasons for these dogs.
The first would be from January to May and the second would be from July to December. The most intense shedding happens during spring and fall, but you should expect constant shedding on all days regardless.
These “shedding seasons” are all about Dalmatians preparing their coats appropriately for the climate.
In the spring, Dalmatians shed thick fur and replace it with thinner, softer coats for the summer.
In the fall, they start shedding the thin coats and get a slightly thicker, denser set of hair for the winter.
4 Ways to Best Deal With a Shedding Dalmatian
1. Regular Brushing
If you have a Dalmatian, you should expect to brush them extremely regularly – once a week at the very least, or daily to really keep everything under control.
A medium-soft brush works well for basic purposes. Slicker brushes work better than bristle brushes, but both do the trick.
Different brushes can provide additional convenience and effectiveness when it comes to dealing with and managing shedding.
Special de-shedding brushes can help to really get down to the short hairs that your Dalmatian won’t shake off in one go.
2. Regular Bathing
Dalmatians don’t need to be bathed often. Three or four annual baths are usually sufficient, as too much bathing will cause flaking and dryness of the skin as you strip away natural oils.
With that being said, regular bathing is a good way to help manage shedding.
The process removes excessive dead hair that may have been missed during brushing. It’s also much easier to effectively brush a clean coat.
If you plan to bathe more often than the regular amount, talk to your vet or certified groomer first so you don’t harm your dog’s skin.
You should also purchase a good doggie shampoo, as these shampoos are formulated especially for a dog’s sensitive skin and fur.
There are also special de-shedding shampoos formulated for heavy shedders like Dalmatians.
It’s also a good idea to patch test shampoos first with your dog in a small area to see if they have a negative reaction to it.
3. Food Supplements
A Dalmatian’s diet and quality of food can have a significant effect on the health of their coat and the amount that they shed.
As a general rule, speak to a vet before making any food changes or adding a new supplement to their diet.
One type of food to add to your Dalmatian’s regular meals is an egg. Beating an egg and feeding it to your dog can help to reduce shedding. Do this every other day or as needed.
You can also add certain supplements to your dog’s normal food, like flaxseed oil, olive oil, salmon oil, or brewer’s yeast. A small sprinkle of both or either can decrease the severity of shedding.
In addition, you should do your best to avoid foods with extra grains and corn added and foods containing too many animal by-products. These foods can have a negative effect on your dog’s coat and may increase or worsen shedding.
Make sure your dog doesn’t have any nutritional deficiencies, either. A lack of essential fatty acids may be a cause for too much shedding, as well as a lack of protein.
Most dogs will easily get sufficient protein from kibble, but keep in mind that a pregnant Dalmatian or a puppy will have higher protein needs.
Finally, don’t forget that your dog needs access to a lot of water! Dehydration dries out the skin, which can be the cause of even more shedding.
4. A Good Vacuum
Sweeping and dusting are rarely sufficient to get rid of Dalmatian fur. The same goes for cheap vacuums of low quality. You need to invest in a good vacuum to truly keep a Dalmatian’s shedding under control around your house.
Dalmatian fur has small barbs on its ends, which cause them to hook into furniture, carpets, and soft materials. This makes removing them quite difficult unless you have the right tools.
Your investment in a good vacuum will pay off when you have a Dalmatian.
Should Shedding Stop You From Getting A Dalmatian?
Given how heavily Dalmatians shed, it’s reasonable to wonder if these dogs are the right breed for you and your home.
You should consider a few things when it comes to shedding and the decision to bring a Dalmatian home.
Firstly, think about your own health needs.
If you have an allergic reaction to fur or dander, then Dalmatians are likely not the best choice for you. You may choose to rely on antihistamines and other medications to handle these reactions, but that may not be the best option for you.
Secondly, think about the energy and effort necessary to handle a Dalmatian’s shedding.
Do you have the time and energy to brush your dog frequently, bathe them regularly, and vacuum your house often? If no one at home can keep on top of this dog’s needs, it’s probably best to go for a lower-maintenance dog.
Finally, consider the dietary needs of a Dalmatian for the sake of coat maintenance.
Would you be able to purchase and provide supplements that can help a Dalmatian’s shedding? If you can’t purchase those items, can you make up for it with the energy, time, and effort involved in caring for their coat
Ultimately, only you can decide if a Dalmatian’s shedding may be a deal-breaker for your family, home, and life. Owning a dog is a big responsibility, so make sure you’re up for it when choosing a dog’s breed!
The heavy-shedding nature of a Dalmatian’s coat is a surprising feature of these loyal spotted dogs. While not suitable for all households, those who can commit to brushing, vacuuming, bathing, and feeding in the right way can manage all of their fur.
In return, they’ll be rewarded with an energetic, loving, and protective dog!