October 17th is Dalmatian Day! These iconic pups have long been associated with firefighters, but they also make great pets. Read on as a Fayetteville, NC vet puts the Spotlight on the Dalmatian.
The Dalmatian originated in Dalmatia, which is now part of modern-day Croatia. They were originally hunting dogs, but were also very popular carriage dogs. As you may know, they became a fixture in firehouses. One reason that these dogs became so popular with coaches and firemen was because of the fact that they tended to get along very well with horses, and proved to be calming, protective companions to their hooved buddies. Although we’ve long moved past using horse-drawn water tanks, Spot never got fired. This cuddly, lovable pooch is still a beloved mascot for firemen. He’s also pals with the Budweiser Clydesdales.
Dalmatians are very active, energetic dogs. If your pup doesn’t get enough stimulation and playtime, he may act out. Ideally, Spot should have a fenced yard to run and play in. He’ll also need daily walks and play sessions.
It’s also important to know that the breed is predisposed to a few specific health issues. Hearing impairments are one. Deafness is more common in dogs with white fur, including Dalmatians. Even if Spot can hear when you adopt him, he may lose his hearing later on. They are also prone to kidney and bladder stones. Your vet may recommend putting your buddy on a low-protein diet. Do plenty of research, and follow your veterinarian’s care recommendations.
Dalmatians aren’t born with spots: those iconic markings start to appear when puppies are about ten days old. However, Fido’s pretty fur will need regular maintenance. Although Dalmatians’ fur is short, they have lots of it, and are actually pretty heavy shedders. You’ll need to brush Spot’s spots regularly. You may find that grooming gloves work really well on him.
Socialization is crucial with these pups. You’ll need to spend lots of time with Fido, introducing him to new people and taking him to different places.
Dalmatians are extremely smart dogs. In fact, they were once popular circus performers. Proper training is a must. Just be sure to focus on positive reinforcement. That means lots of treats and praise!
Do you have questions about your Dalmatian’s health or care? Contact us, your local Fayetteville, NC animal clinic, today!