new Dalmatian owners here...

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Barked: Mon Mar 2, '09 2:20pm PST 
We recently adopted a Dalmatian and we only want the best for her... We've been doing research on a bunch of different websites, as well as talked to many different pet stores. Our main concern now is food. We are currently feeding her Wellness for puppies, but are not quite sure this is exactly what she needs to be getting. We read that she should be getting low purine, but high protein (to avoid urinary infections but give her the protein she needs)... Any suggestions? Certain brands or things we should be looking for, coming from the true dalmatian owners...?

Another issue we have is her skin condition. She's been pretty flaky (she has a few large black spots and they have dandruff), but other than that her coat is pretty glossy, and of course she sheds a lot! Are there any vitamins or specific shampoos anyone can recommend? Maybe the oatmeal ones or giving her omega3...?


We're just- getting- started...
Barked: Tue Mar 3, '09 9:13pm PST 
Hey! Congrats on the new pup! As a first time dal owner in 2007, I had NO clue what I was getting myself into. I did tons of research but you never exactly know until you get one for yourself! All I can say is headstrong. They are an extremely smart breed..so prepare yourself.

On the food..well, Pongo is on the BARF diet which stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. Since Pongo has been on this diet (him and my beagle both are on raw food..Pongo is on BARF and Copper is on Prey Model) I have noticed a significant difference in mental and physical aspects. His coat is shiny, doesnt shed nearly as bad, his skin allergies are completely gone, his teeth are bright white, he poops less and you can really tell that he enjoys them meals. The BARF diet also takes away the high purines by adding puree'd fruits and veggies to the diet but still has protein from the RMB (raw meaty bones)...when I feed Pongo BARF, I do not feed him as much organ meats recommended for this diet due to the high purines in organ meats.

Sometimes a vet will want to put a Dal on a special diet for urate stone formation..I've found this diet beneficial in so many ways. Right before I started, I ordered some pH test strips from ebay (100 for 5.00) and tested his urine...the levels were 8.0..which is too high and then I put him on the diet and waited 6 weeks to test again and his pH levels dropped to 7.0 (which is ideal). I test him every couple months.

He went to the vet for a urinalysis and everything looked GREAT!

I stand by the BARF and Prey Model diet and would recommend it to anyone over kibble. dancing

And..on the shedding..haha..well..its a Dal but the only thing that I've found helpful is this supplement from petsmart..it works beyond belief! ...... http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2752903

Her e are some helpful links if your interested:

http://home.att.net/~hattrick-dals/PreventingUrateSto neFormation.html


h ttp://www.highlanddals.com/dalmatian_stones.htm

http://www.geocit ies.com/paisleydals/barf.html

Edited by author Tue Mar 3, '09 9:21pm PST

Cherie-In- Loving- Memory

I deserve to be- Spoiled!
Barked: Wed Apr 8, '09 11:38am PST 
Hi! I was once new to the breed back in 1996 when Miss Cookies first came here.
Before the 'net explosion, I bought a couple of breed books that I kept referring back to as she was going thru the different stages of growing up!
Dals are prone for stone forming, and yes, low to moderate purine level foods are suggested to help avoid stone forming.
www.thedca.org is the official Dal site that I frequently recommend. The sites posted in the other reply are great too!
Dals are highly intelligent, and one needs to out-think them!! They will learn tricks and commands easily, and will become bored with repetitiveness! ( "what's in it for me?" )
Also, Dals are missing a digestive enyzme.
They are nicknamed Velco dogs as they love to be with their human. For the entire 8 years that The Bandit was here, he had to be by my side, well, except when we were at the dog park!

As far as the foods you are currently feeding, it boils down to what works for your pup.Miss Cookies was Lamb intolerant, while The Bandit did eat everything! For the dry skin, it is Omega-3, and Omega-6's that maybe the pup needs a boost to the system. It will take up to 3 months for old coat to shed and new coat to grow in. Fish oil is a great source of Omega-3. Salmon oil is a better, er, purer source. There are alternative oils as well.
And yup, Dals shed twice- Day and Night!

Good luck and post an update when you get a chance!