If you want to make your childhood dream come true by bringing home a real Dalmatian like the movie 101 Dalmatians, you’re in luck—Dalmatians are a high-energy and loyal breed.
But if you already dread vacuum days, it might get you wondering—do Dalmatians shed?
Yes, Dalmatians shed quite a bit, so they’re not an ideal fit for people with allergies or wanting to reduce the amount of fur in their homes.
If this hasn’t scared you away from bringing home a Dalmatian, then keep reading, for I’ll share some excellent strategies for managing Dalmatian shedding.
About a Dalmatian’s Coat
On a scale of five, Dalmatians are a four for being a high shedding dog, with five being the highest shedder. Despite that, because of how short and sleek their hair is, you don’t have to go overboard brushing your Dalmatian, which is different from many longer-hair dogs that shed less.
A smooth, single-layer short coat is iconic to Dalmatians. These dogs will adorn your floor with hair, but the love they bring into your home makes it worth it for many people.
Luckily, several strategies also exist to help manage excessive shedding, which I’ll share shortly.
Are Dalmatians Hypoallergenic?
The difference between hair and fur is that hair is thinner and grows continuously, requiring frequent trims and dropping little. In contrast, fur constantly undergoes a faster three-stage growth cycle, causing it to land on your floor more frequently.
Since Dalmatians are not hypoallergenic, you shouldn’t bring one home if someone in your household has a known dog allergy. That’s because they’ll leave lots of the allergy-inducing protein around your house via their dander.
Dalmatians and Seasonal Shedding
Now that you have a base for Dalmatian shedding, you might wonder, “Do Dalmatians shed seasonally?”
No, Dalmatians aren’t big seasonal shedders. It’s a relief, I know!
Dalmatians don’t shed extra in the spring and fall because they only have a single-layer coat. In contrast, dogs with a double-layer coat shed to prepare for the changing weather.
The fact that Dalmatians have a single-layer coat keeps them from rating a five out of five on the shedding scale. Whereas dog breeds with both single and double-layer coats shed year-round, only those with double-layer fur undergo extra seasonal shedding.
Causes of Excess Shedding in Dalmatians
It can be challenging for new Dalmatian owners to gauge whether their dog is shedding normally or excessively since they don’t have a baseline. So below are some avenues you can try to rule out to determine whether your Dalmatian’s shedding is normal.
Diet is the foundation of a Dalmatian’s health, down to their fur. If your dog is getting the right balance of nutrients, they’ll have healthy skin, keeping the hair follicles strong and preventing excess fur from falling out.
The proper nutrition for your Dalmatian depends on their age. For example, puppies require about 22% to 32% protein, with them needing more the younger they are.
In contrast, adult dogs need a minimum of 18% protein. And although it goes against common thinking, feeding an adult dog as much protein as a puppy could result in consequential health problems.
Ensuring you give your dog high-quality food is another important consideration. Lower-quality brands bulk up their dog food with fillers, some of which aren’t even true food, such as ground-up feathers.
External parasites are another leading cause of excessive hair loss in Dalmatians. When parasites are at play, you can usually tell if your Dalmatian is shedding excessively or has downright hair loss in a particular spot on their body.
Some external parasites that can cause hair loss in Dalmatians include:
For this reason, keeping your dog on a regular flea and tick schedule is crucial. The good news is that all of these conditions are treatable, though. So, if you suspect your Dalmatian’s hair loss is the result of an external parasite, take them to the vet so they can begin treatment immediately.
Hair loss is a known response to stress in humans, and the same can happen with Dalmatians.
So, if you recently brought home a new Dalmatian, they might be shedding a lot as they acclimate to their new environment. That can be particularly common among adopted Dalmatians.
Alternatively, a new baby in the home, changing houses, or any other alternation to your Dalmatian’s routine may trigger excess shedding from stress.
Some of the situations I listed are impossible to avoid. But if you sense your Dalmatian might be shedding more than usual because of stress, do your best to provide them with a comfortable and quiet environment to help them manage it.
Excessive shedding can be one of the many symptoms of allergies. There are three types of allergies your Dalmatian might have:
- Food allergies
- Contact allergies
- Inhalant allergies
Food allergies go without explanation. But contact and inhalant allergies are more challenging to determine the root cause, given that so many items in your Dalmatian’s environment can cause them.
For example, your dog might be allergic to the dog shampoo you bought them, the air freshener in your bathroom, or the laundry detergent you washed their bed with.
Often, hair loss from allergies accompanies other symptoms in Dalmatians, such as a runny nose, sneezing, hives, and itchiness.
Bacterial and Fungal Infections
As you can imagine, bacterial and fungal infections often result in itchy, flaky skin. So, a Dalmatian often losses hair in a specific area where these infections happen.
The good news is that since Dalmatians don’t have wrinkles or many hidden spots for water to become trapped, bacterial and fungal infections are relatively less common in this breed compared to, say, the Pug.
Nevertheless, it’s always a good idea to ensure your Dalmatian thoroughly dries after a swim at the lake. Also, don’t forget about drying inside their floppy ears, which can develop ear infections.
Tips for Reducing Shedding in Dalmatians
If you’re an exasperated Dalmatian owner or owner-to-be looking to make your cleaning life as easy as possible, I’ve got good news for you—there are ways you can help reduce the amount your beloved pet sheds.
Groom Them Frequently
From the outside, it doesn’t seem like Dalmatians need a lot of brushing; their hair is short and smooth, so it doesn’t tangle. But since Dalmatians shed so much, grooming them will reduce how much hair you have to vacuum.
I recommend brushing your Dalmatian three to four times per week. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t hit this number; you don’t have to worry about their hair matting.
Frequent brushing is helpful for reducing the amount of hair that falls to your floor and a great bonding activity for you and your pooch.
Give Them a Bath
Bathing is often an even more effective option than brushing, given that it’ll help lift away hair that a brush might not otherwise reach.
But since bathing strips natural oils away from your Dalmatian’s coat, you shouldn’t bathe them more than once every four to six weeks. Otherwise, the lack of oil can dry out your dog’s skin, opening the opportunity for potentially more fur loss.
I recommend testing new shampoos and conditioners on a small patch of your Dalmatian’s skin before bathing them to ensure they won’t have an allergic reaction.
Buy a Robot Vacuum
While there’s nothing like a handheld vacuum to suck away your Dalmatian’s fur from crevices, a robot vacuum is an excellent passive way to keep the fur situation on your floor in check.
Many robot vacuums on the market cater to different home arrangements. So, do your research to determine the best-fit choice for you, and make sure it has good suction to scoop up your Dalmatian’s hair that gets stuck in your rugs.
The Bottom Line
Once you become a Dalmatian owner, the question “Do Dalmatians shed?” becomes almost laughable. Dalmatians shed a lot; there’s no way around it.
But by monitoring the quality of your Dalmatian’s diet, keeping them in a stress-free environment, and implementing a routine grooming practice, you can decrease the amount of fur that lands on your floor.
At the end of the day, Dalmatians are a joy to own. So, many people gladly sacrifice having a bit more fur in their home to have this breed.