Browsing through the dog breeds, the first thought that struck me was that short-haired dogs are likely to shed less. Coming across Dalmatians, I realized how wrong the idea was!
So, do Dalmatians shed? Yes! The Dalmatians shed so much that hair loss has become a mark of identification for the breed. But do not consider heavy shedding of the Dalmatians as a sign of poor, thin coat. Despite shedding all-round the year, their fur maintains its high quality and density, if looked after properly.
The Dalmatians are a wonderful breed to raise with their perky, zestful nature and undertake your household as a loyal companion. However, the shedding level might trouble the pet and the owner. Let’s examine the matter in-depth and unravel this Dalmatian shedding mystery!
Dalmatians & Shedding
Shedding is a common problem encountered by dog-owners. The wide spread-out of hair over the entire canine household is difficult for every dog-parent to handle. However, it is essential for your furry pal’s growth. That’s because the natural shedding of dead and damaged hair provides room for the growth of new and healthy fur.
Like every other dog-breed, the Dalmatians also undergo this natural process. Many people mistake the breed as one that sheds less, due to the short and shiny coats of these leopard dogs. But surprisingly, despite having a short-coat, the Dalmatians experience heavy fur-loss.
And if you’re wondering if a Dalmatian owner deals with heavy shedding whether once or twice a year? Or if, under worst conditions, the shedding season strikes thrice in a year? Then, here’s a difficult-to-believe fact; The uniquely brown and black spotted Dalmatians shed excessively throughout the year!
The shorter lifespan of their hair shafts is the prime reason for such excessive shedding. Their hair constantly sheds off to allow newer, softer hair to take their place. Moreover, this evolutionary process intensifies during autumn and spring as the spotted coach dogs adapt to the temperature changes.
As summers arrive, the Dalmatians get rid of their thick hair in spring. They maintain thin, shiny coats to cope up with rising temperatures and the scorching heat. Similarly, during the fall season, the spotted plum pudding dogs shed off their thin summer fur and develop a dense coat to stay warm and cozy in the chilly, snowy winters.
Another newly found theory, states that apart from genetics, it is the origin of this dog-breed that’s responsible for such excessive shedding. However, we can not yet say whether that’s true or not because the birthplace of Dalmatians remains a mystery to the world. All that we know about our beloved leopard dog’s past is the fact that they served as carriage dogs in Croatia.
At a single glance, one might not be able to distinguish between a spotted, patched, or tricolor Dalmatian. However, a slight variation in the pattern sets them apart.
A typical spotted Dalmatian will have the black spots evenly spread out over the coat with minute spots on legs, head, and tail. A patched Dalmatian will have large masses of black hair with sharp edges. Remember, intermingled spots on a Dalmatian’s coat are not patches! Tricolor Dalmatians have tan marks on their head, legs, neck, and tail.
Often people encounter a misconception when selecting Dalmatian that the coat type influences the shedding level. However, beware as this is not true.
Although there are some factors regarding shedding that you should consider when purchasing or adopting a Dalmatian, which includes:
- Dog Size
Generally, the male Dalmatian’s height is in between 53 to 66 cm and, the female Dalmatian’s height is in between 46 to 64 cm. If you are looking for an adult Dalmatian, try to select one, which is the shortest amongst its gender. I recommend you to purchase an adult female Dalmatian with a height of around 46 to 50 cm. It is because the smaller the skin surface, the lesser shedding to deal.
Grooming and Care
Living with your canine pal, you’ve probably learned about shedding more than the books can tell. Dealing with the fur on your sofa’s, cleaning the carpets, and always carrying a lint roller with you, is evoking a grooming-guru spirit in you. Isn’t it?
Perhaps, that’s the story of every Dalmatian-Owner ever; No one can beat their expertise. The fur-related grooming routine of a Dalmatian includes the following:
- Regular Brushing
- Frequent Bathing
You might want to brush your spotted coach dog every single day. It will help to remove the dry and damaged hair before it falls off on its own, spreading everywhere. You can brush your dog twice a week too, but it will lead to the formation of a mat of dead fur over your Dalmatians coat that can be harmful to its skin.
There are two kinds of brushes that can be used to remove the loose fur off your Dalmatian:
- Bristle Brush
- Slicker Brush
Although both the brushes aid in maintaining a healthy and smooth coat, the slick brush gives better results. Its teeth penetrate deep into your dog’s hair and eliminate every single broken hair. But the use of a slicker brush should be limited to once or twice a week at most.
If your Dalmatian develops mats quite frequently, then you can even use a De-tangler spray to reduce the occurrence of mats and prevent knots and locks from forming. De-tangler sprays do not only remove mats and tangles, but also nourish and condition your dog’s coat.
Dalmatians are quite fond of cleaning themselves, so you might not feel the need to bath them for removing the doggy odor. However, frequent bathing can reduce the amount of Dalmatian hair spread over your clothes, carpet, and furniture. It’s best to give your Dalmatian a refreshing bath once every month in summer and once every two months in winter.
Remember, giving a shower to your canine pal every week or once every six months can have adverse effects on your Dalmatian’s health. Therefore, you must maintain an appropriate bathing routine.
You can give a shower to your Dalmatian in a bathtub or a kiddie pool outdoors. Using a good canine-shampoo will keep your pup’s coat white and his skin moisturized. Hypoallergenic shampoos also protect your furry pal skin allergies and irritations.
Maintaining a proper grooming routine will keep your Dalmatian’s fur healthy and free of dirt. And it will also save you from spending hours cleaning the shedding mess!
It is no secret that the nutrition intake of a dog directly affects its coat quality and health. Thus, you can control your Dalmatian shedding through diet.
Supplying your pet with a high-quality feed that does not contain other animal by-products or too much corn or grains is the core responsibility of every pet owner. Also, avoid feeding your Dalmatian protein-rich food. However, when it comes to controlling shedding, you must take help of additional supplements like:
- Eggs – Feeding your dog one beaten egg on alternative days helps minimize shedding and add a tint of shine to it.
- Flaxseed Oil – A little drizzle of Flaxseed oil over the Dalmatian’s dry kibble once a day can greatly enhance the coat quality. You can also use olive oil or omega3 oil supplements.
- Brewer’s Yeast – Try sprinkling a pinch of Brewer’s yeast on your pet’s food and instantly notice reduced shedding level! However, I would suggest you to first consult a vet about these supplements.
While Dalmatians do shed all year round, excessively heavy shedding is not normal. Heavy hair loss may be a red alert sign from your dog that it is suffering from a potential disease! Here is a summary of each disease that involves hair shedding:
- Mange – Caused by mites, Mange is a skin disease that hardens the skin, making it itchy. As a result, your dog will scratch a lot and lose hair in patches.
- Allergies – Dalmatians can be allergic to specific food and chemicals, which causes hair loss, skin reddening, itching, bumps, and hot spots.
- Hormonal Imbalance – Another factor that contributes to excessive hair loss is an imbalance of hormones like thyroid disorders and pituitary dwarfism.
- Mental Stress or Trauma – If your dog licks its frequently then it might be suffering from acral lick dermatitis, which is caused by trauma and anxiety. It leads to alterations in the structure of hair follicle, hence, shedding lots of hair.
- Infections – Hair loss, hot spots, skin scaling, and hardening are all symptoms of an infection growing inside your canine’s body. The infection may be anything from ringworms to cancer!
Thus, if you observe these symptoms, then immediately contact the vet.
|Disease||Symptoms||Hair Shedding Level|
|Mange||Hard, itchy skin||Excessive|
|Allergies||Red, itchy, and bumpy skin with hot spots||Moderate|
|Hormonal Imbalance||No visible symptoms except behavioral changes||Excessive|
|Trauma||Frequent licking of coat||Excessive|
|Infections||Scaly, hard skin with hit spots||Moderate to Excessive|
Q1.Do female Dalmatians shed more during the heat cycle? Yes, female Dalmatians certainly shed more when they are on heat. You will notice heaps of fur on everything if you do not control their shedding!
Q2. What is the average lifespan of a Dalmatian? The Dalmatians dogs live around 10 to 13years. But, this time may fluctuate depending on the care level provided. A Dalmatian consuming poor nutrition and living in unhygienic conditions is more susceptible to diseases, which reduces lifespan.
Q3. How can I keep my house clean from Dalmatian fur? With Dalmatians shedding throughout the year, it is a little difficult to make your house fur-free again, but it is surely not impossible! All you need to do invest in some effort and vacuum daily. Also, do a few touch-ups in between these vacuuming sessions. Lastly, try grooming your Dalmatian outdoors so that less fur entangles with the house interior.