Best Dog Food For Dalmatians 2024: Top Vet Picks

Best Dog Food For Dalmatians

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This content was reviewed and fact-checked by veterinarian Dr. Aukse Caraite, DVM.

As the quintessential firehouse mascot and a beloved family pet, the Dalmatian’s charm is as unique as its signature spots. However, the secret to keeping these energetic dogs healthy doesn’t lie solely in their exercise routine—it starts in their food bowl. This comprehensive guide will delve into the best dog food tailored explicitly for Dalmatians. We’ve spent countless hours researching and testing various dog food brands to find the best dog food for Dalmatians. You might wonder, “Can’t I feed my Dalmatian any high-quality dog food?” The answer may surprise you. With their unique metabolic system, Dalmatians require a diet as distinctive as their coat. Intriguing. If you’re a Dalmatian parent or planning to become one, this guide is for you. Remember, the right food today could mean fewer vet visits tomorrow! Let’s jump right in!

Best Dog Food For Dalmatians — At A Glance

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What Is The Best Food For Dalmatians?

As a [Enter Size] and [Enter Adjectie] breed, Dalmatians have distinct nutritional needs that require careful consideration. The best food for Dalmatians is balanced and appropriate for their life stage, health, activity levels (energy needs) and weight (size). This will ensure your Dalmatian is healthy, develops appropriately, and can sustain daily activities and bodily functions.

When deciding the best diet for a Dalmatian, it’s essential also to consider individual preferences such as taste or food type. Some Dalmatians may thrive on high-quality commercial kibble, while others may do better on a human-grade fresh diet or a professionally formulated home-cooked diet.

How to Pick The Best Dog Food For Dalmatians

1. Consider The Dalmatian’s Nutritional Requirements

The optimal Dalmatian diet for nutrition typically includes a combination of the six nutrients they need to thrive: High-quality protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats (fatty acids and omegas), vitamins, minerals, and water.

Protein plays a vital role in your Dalmatian’s diet, providing essential amino acids necessary for bodily processes, including the creation of blood glucose for energy. Protein also helps build and repair muscles and other body tissues. It’s needed to make new skin cells and grow hair, hormones, and enzymes. The proteins in your dog’s diet must have a balanced amino acid profile and be provided in appropriate amounts.

Protein dietary recommendations for Dalmatian food:

  • AdultDalmatians. 18% dry matter protein (45.0g for every 1,000 kcal ME).
  • Puppies & Pregnant or Lactating Dalmatians. 22.5% dry matter protein (56.3g for every 1,000 kcal ME).

Protein sources for Dalmatian food include:

Fats play a crucial, multifaceted role in a Dalmatian’s diet. Fats come in two forms: saturated and unsaturated. Both are important in a Dalmatian’s diet, but it’s essential to maintain the right balance. Saturated fats, derived from animal sources, enhance the palatability, flavor and texture of your dog’s food and facilitate the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. On the other hand, essential fatty acids, which are unsaturated fats, include Omega-3 (EPA, DHA, and ALA) and Omega-6+9 (LA and AA). These fats are crucial for the body’s cells’ development, structure, and function.

When balanced correctly, they promote healthy skin and coat, support eye health and the nervous system function, regulate hormones, fuel the brain and learning processes, help reduce inflammation, offer insulation and organ protection, support reproductive health, and serve as a reserve for energy storage. Fats are a dense energy source.

Fat dietary recommendations for Dalmatian food:

  • Adult Dalmatian. 5.5% dry matter fat (13.8g for every 1,000 kcal ME).
  • Puppies & Pregnant or Lactating Dalmatian. 8.5% dry matter fat (21.3g for every 1,000 kcal ME).

Fat sources for Dalmatian food include:

  • Meats fats
  • Fish oils
  • Olive
  • Sunflower oil
  • Canola oils

Dogs need energy for daily activities, growth, pregnancy, lactation, and exercise. This energy, measured in calories, comes from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Omnivorous animals, including dogs, derive some energy from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates supply glucose needed by the brain, nervous system, and other critical organs for normal function in dogs. Carbohydrates should also include 2.5-4.5% fiber. You can use our dog calorie calculator to find the exact caloric needs of your dog based on his weight. Ensure you follow the 10% rule if feeding treats to your dog. Food would equal 90% of the total calories and treats the remaining 10%.

Carbohydrate sources for Dalmatian food include:

  • Oats
  • Brown rice
  • Potatoes
  • Quinoa
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Whole wheat

Minerals in a dog’s diet are indispensable for bone and dental health, nerve function, enzymatic reactions, fluid balance, oxygen transport, and maintaining the body’s pH level, making them essential for overall health and metabolic processes. Proper mineral balance is crucial and should be carefully managed to avoid deficiencies or excesses.

These 12 minerals are known to be essential nutrients for dogs:

  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • Magnesium
  • Iodine
  • Chlorine
  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Selenium
  • Manganese
  • Zinc
  • Phosphorus

Mineral sources for Dalmatian food include:

  • Sweet potatoes and pumpkin (Magnesium)
  • Fish (Iodine)
  • Beef, eggs, and liver (Zinc)
  • Poultry, nuts, and legumes (Copper)
  • Bananas and carrots (Potassium)
  • Chicken and duck (Iron)

Vitamins in a dog’s diet are integral for maintaining overall health and bodily functions. They support vision, immune health, aid in energy metabolism and nervous system function, provide antioxidant benefits, reduce inflammation, prevent diseases and ailments and more. Dogs require vitamins, but only in small amounts, and excessive doses of specific vitamins, like vitamin D, can harm them.

These 12 vitamins are known to be essential nutrients for dogs:

  • Vitamins A, B1, B6, B12, D, E & K
  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin
  • Folic Acid
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Choline

Vitamin sources for Dalmatian food include:

  • Sweet potatoes and spinach (Vitamin A)
  • Eggs, chicken, and beef (Vitamin B)
  • Broccoli (Vitamin C)
  • Kale and parsley (Vitamin K)
  • Vegetables (Vitamin E)
  • Meats and fish (Vitamin D)

Water is vital in a dog’s diet to maintain hydration, support body functions such as digestion, nutrient absorption, and waste excretion, lubricate joints, regulate body temperature, ensure proper organ function, and facilitate metabolic processes. Continuous access to clean water is as crucial as providing nutritious food for overall health and well-being. Generally, Dalmatians should drink 2 to 3 times the amount of their dry food intake daily. However, if water is readily available from various sources, Dalmatians can naturally regulate water consumption daily.

2. Consider Your Dalmatian’s Health Conditions

Nutrition is crucial in managing and preventing common health issues in Dalmatians. Talk to a veterinarian if your Dalmatian is dealing with a health condition. They can recommend the most suitable diet for them. Below are some general dietary tips to help you choose the best dog food or supplement for addressing the most common Dalmatian health problems.

Food allergies

Certain ingredients in their food can cause allergies in Dalmatians. This occurs when a dog’s immune system identifies a specific protein, carbohydrate, or other ingredients in their diet as foreign and reacts to it as if it were a harmful substance. Food allergies in Dalmatians may present as dry, itchy skin, ears, or paws. It’s important to note that food intolerances can also occur. However, intolerances do not involve the immune system but can lead to vomiting or diarrhea.

To manage or prevent food allergies in Dalmatians, consider these diet tips:

  • Avoid common allergens such as corn, wheat, chicken, and beef.
  • Conducting a dog food allergy test or at-home dog food allergy tests like the 5Strands kit (test for up to 255 ingredients) may help determine food allergies or intolerance in your dog. Use the results to avoid food formulas that contain potential allergens.

Sensitive stomach

Dalmatians can have sensitive digestive systems, a condition where a dog has difficulty digesting certain foods or experiences frequent digestive upset. This can manifest in various symptoms and may be caused by various factors.

To manage or prevent sensitive stomachs in Dalmatians, consider these diet tips:

Hip dysplasia

This is a common condition in Dalmatians, which occurs when the joints don’t develop properly and the hip ball does not fit squarely within the socket, resulting in the rubbing of bone against bone, causing pain and lameness.

To manage or prevent hip dysplasia in Dalmatians, consider these diet tips:

  • Glucosamine
  • Chondroitin
  • Omega-3 fatty
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Maintain a healthy weight


Seizures are common in Dalmatians. The most frequent type of seizure is “Fly Catcher’s Syndrome,” when the dog lunges at imaginary flies. While epilepsy cannot be managed through diet alone, a healthy diet that supports the immune system may help minimize the occurrence of seizures.

To manage epilepsy in Dalmatians, consider these diet tips:

  • High-fat, low-carbohydrate diets
  • Ketogenic diet
  • Omega-3 fatty acids

Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)

Dalmatians are particularly prone to dilated cardiomyopathy, a heart condition where the heart muscle becomes thin and weak, preventing it from pumping blood effectively. Symptoms include weakness, coughing, and difficulty breathing. Treatment options include medication and lifestyle changes.

To manage or prevent cardiomyopathy in Dalmatians, consider these diet tips:

  • Low-sodium diet
  • Taurine
  • L-Carnitine
  • Avoid grain-free


This is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone, which can cause weight gain, lethargy, and skin infections, among other symptoms.

To manage or prevent hypothyroidism in Dalmatians, consider these diet tips:

  • Iodine
  • Avoid soy products
  • Manage weight

Urinary stones

his can lead to bladder and kidney stones forming, posing a significant health concern.

To manage or prevent urinary stones in Dalmatians, consider these diet tips:

  • Low mineral diet
  • Avoid table scraps
  • Hydration
  • Low purine foods

Degenerative myelopathy

This condition can lead to paralysis of the hind limbs. Early signs may include weakness, stumbling, muscle loss in the hind limbs, knuckling of the toes, worn nails, and trembling of the hind legs.

To manage or prevent degenerative myelopathy in Dalmatians, consider these diet tips:

  • Glucosamine
  • Chondroitin
  • S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe)
  • CBD Oil


A significant number of Dalmatians are born deaf in one or both ears. This congenital condition is associated with the gene that gives Dalmatians their distinctive white coat. While diet may not directly prevent genetic deafness, maintaining overall health through nutrition can support a dog’s well-being and potentially minimize the risk of acquired hearing loss due to other health issues.

Dalmatian bronzing syndrome

Also known as “Dal crud,” this is a skin condition where Dalmatians develop pink or bronze coloration in their coat.

To manage or prevent bronzing syndrome in Dalmatians, consider these diet tips:

  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids
  • Fish oil
  • Flaxseed oil
  • DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)
  • Vitamins E and C
  • Selenium
  • Carotenoids

3. Consider Your Dalmatian’s Activity Level

Provide a diet that suits your Dalmatian’s activity level. This is crucial in maintaining overall health, energy levels, and quality of life.


Inactive Dalmatians may be older, have mobility issues, or have a naturally low energy level. They require a diet lower in fat and calories to avoid weight gain. Excess weight can lead to health issues such as diabetes, joint problems, and more.

Moderate Activity

These Dalmatians enjoy daily walks, regular playtime and occasional vigorous activities. They need a balanced proportion of calories, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Recipes for “adult maintenance” are usually appropriate.

High Activity

These are working dogs (herding), sports dogs (competition), or those with high energy engaging in strenuous daily activities. They require higher calories and a diet higher in proteins, fats & carbs for muscle recovery & sustained energy.

4. Consider Your Dalmatian’s Life Stage

Dalmatians have specific nutritional needs at different stages of their life. Provide a diet that meets their life stage.

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Best Dog Food For Dalmatians

Best Overall Dog Food For Dalmatians


Open Farm

Who It’s For: Ideal for those who want the most optimal nutrition and the potential health benefits of a fresh, human-grade diet.

Recipes: Beef, turkey & chicken

Nutrition: AAFCO

Life Stage: All ages

Manufactured: USA

Ingredients: Human-grade

Why we picked and recommended it: Open Farm recipes win the spot for the best dog food for Dalmatians. This brand uses human-grade ingredients to craft pre-portion recipes delivered directly to your doorstep. Feeding your dog Open Farm comes with numerous scientifically-supported health benefits of fresh dog food, including longer lifespans, better digestibility, higher energy levels, and more. Fresh recipes are also ideal for dogs with food allergies, sensitive stomachs, or other dietary concerns because they avoid cheap fillers, additives, and harmful chemicals.

What sets it apart from competitors: Unlike traditional kibble, Open Farm is gently cooked from scratch, ensuring all nutritional integrity is retained — this means that your Dalmatian will receive the healthiest and most nutritious meal with every serving.

Key Features

  • Caters to health-specific. Recipes are formulated to address your dog’s health concerns, such as food allergies, tear stains, bad breath, joint issues and more.
  • Vet-designed. Formulated by board-certified veterinary nutritionists that comply with AAFCO standards.
  • Excellent sourcing. Ingredients are sourced from reputable food suppliers, local farms, and other human food purveyors that meet USDA standards.


  • The level of customization is unmatched
  • Packaged as daily portions for easy serving
  • Never use feed-grade ingredients
  • Cooked in human-grade kitchens


  • It’s on the expensive side

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Best Dry Dog Food For Dalmatians


open Farm - dry food


Who It’s For: For those who want to provide the highest quality dry dog food that offers the benefit of a fresh dog diet in a crunchy, easy-to-serve kibble form.

Recipes: Beef, chicken & turkey

Nutrition: AAFCO

Life Stage: Adult

Manufactured: USA

Ingredients: Human-grade

Why we picked and recommended it: Sunday’s dog formula is our top pick for the best dry dog food for Dalmatians. Unlike traditional dry dog food, Unkibble is less processed and has half the cost of fresh dog food. Think of Unkibble as freshly homemade dog food with the convince of kibble without the nasty preservatives, additives, and cheap fillers. It’s perfect for Dalmatians because it’s been formulated to surpass the specific nutritional requirements of most dry dog foods.

What sets it apart from competitors: UnKibble recipes are gently dried using our unique process, which gently dries out whole foods to preserve nutrients and flavor and maximize nutritional integrity. Some recipes use organ meats, one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can give your dog. In fact, entrails contain as many (or more) vitamins, minerals, and other valuable nutrients as lean muscle meat.

Key Features

  • Limited ingredients. Use radically simple ingredients ideal for a picky eater or dog with food allergies.
  • Superherbs. Boosted with super herbs for join, immunity, digestive support and more.


  • Exceeds industry standards
  • Cheaper than fresh dog food
  • Crunchy texture
  • GMO and hormone-free
  • Custom plans and scoops


  • It’s a bit more expensive than traditional kibble. NUTRO Ultra dry dog food is another great alternative if you want a more traditional dry dog food that’s less expensive.

Best Dog Food For Dalmatian Puppy


Open Farm

Who It’s For: Made specifically for Dalmatian puppies. It has all the nutrients for proper puppy development.

Recipes: Blend of chicken, pork & salmon

Nutrition: AAFCO

Life Stage: Puppies

Manufactured: USA

Ingredients: Human-grade

Why we picked and recommended it: The Gently Cooked Open Farm puppy recipe is the best dog food for Dalmatians. This puppy-specific formula provides the necessary nutrients for the optimal growth and development of Dalmatian puppies, including prebiotic fiber like pumpkin and chicory root, supports healthy digestion and calcium iodate as a source of energy production, and also promotes muscular and cognitive development in puppies.

What sets it apart from competitors: This formula is designed specifically for Dalmatian puppies and has a purposeful blend of three proteins to help prevent allergies. It also has added collagen for healthy joint development.

Key Features

  • Human-grade meats. High-quality meats are raised without antibiotics or added hormones.
  • Superfoods. Boosted with chia seeds, kale, flaxseed and other wholesome ingredients.


  • Made with non-GMO fruits and veggies
  • No potatoes, rendered poultry or meals
  • Serve as a topper or complete meal


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Cheapest Dog Food For Dalmatians


Royal Canin

Who It’s For: Great if you are looking for the most affordable dog food for Dalmatians.

Recipes: Chicken

Nutrition: AAFCO

Life Stage: Adult

Manufactured: USA

Ingredients: Natural

Why we picked and recommended it: Royal Canin Dalmatian has a slightly lower price than other brands. It’s formulated to provide your Dalmatian with sustained healthy energy from high-quality animal-based proteins. This dog food helps build strong, lean muscles and maintain optimal body conditions. It is made with wholesome ingredients that are easily digestible and provide a balanced diet for adult dogs.

What sets it apart from competitors: Designed to meet the nutritional needs of purebred Dalmatians 10 months and older. The kibble is designed with a specific shape, size, and texture for the Dalmatians’ facial and jaw structures and biting patterns to aid with chewing and digestion.

Key Features

  • Omega 3. Packed with vitamin A, as well as EPA and DHA (omega-3 fatty acids) from fish oil, to provide skin support and nourish healthy skin and a silky coat.
  • Cardiac support. Promotes heart health with taurine and L-carnitine for healthy cardiac function.
  • Bone and joint health. It also contains Glucosamine and chondroitin for strong bones and joint development. 


  • Formulated for small breed, with the specific nutrients to help them thrive


  • It may not be suitable for dogs with severe food allergies or sensitivities, as it is not specifically designed for these conditions
  • The inclusion of brewer rice and chicken meal and fat may be higher in carbohydrates than some dogs need, which could be a concern for overweight or diabetic dogs

Best Food For Senior Dalmatians


Open Farm

Who It’s For: Great for those senior Dalmatians who need the appropriate nutrients to support them through their older years.

Recipes: Turkey & chicken

Nutrition: AAFCO

Life Stage: Senior

Manufactured: USA

Ingredients: Fresh

Why we picked and recommended it: We chose Open Farm Senior dog food as the best senior dog food for Dalmatians because of its high protein and fat content, designed to meet the needs of active senior dog breeds like Dalmatians. The formula supports lean muscle mass and optimal fat metabolism, essential for the vitality of aging dogs.

What sets it apart from competitors: Open Farm protein sources come from humanly sourced turkeys and chickens raised in a cage-free environment with gentle handling, space and a premium diet without antibiotics or growth hormones. In general, humanly-raised meats are thought to be nutritionally superior to caged and conventionally produced meats.

Key Features

  • Bones and joint support. It is enhanced with glucosamine and chondroitin to aid with cartilage wear and tear as your pet ages.
  • Human-grade meats. No rendered poultry or meat meals.


  • 85% quality animal ingredients.
  • Great feedback from senior dog parent
  • Certified humane for animal welfare.


  • A bit expensive.

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Raw Food For Dalmatians



Who It’s For: Good for those seeking to provide a more biologically appropriate, natural diet for dogs that offers several health benefits.

Recipes: Chicken, lamb & beef

Nutrition: AAFCO

Life Stage: All ages

Manufactured: USA

Ingredients: Raw

Why we picked and recommended it: As more dog parents opt to raw feed their dogs, it’s essential to understand the ins and outs of a raw diet for dogs. If you are in the market for raw dog food for Dalmatians, Instinct Frozen Raw Bites Real Beef Recipe formula is one of our top picks for the best raw dog food delivery brands. This formula is protein-packed with 85% meat and organs and 15% wholesome non-GMO fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals to give your Dalmatian a complete BARF diet. It’s minimally processed, never cooked, pure, natural nutrition to keep your best friend strong. 

What sets it apart from competitors: Raw dog food may benefit your dog with a shinier coat and skin, cleaner teeth, more energy, smaller stools and more. Instinct Raw states that raw dog nutrition can promote strong, lean muscles and energize your pup.


  • Helps with allergies and weight management
  • Ingredients are frozen to maintain the highest nutritional profile
  • Cold-pressure processing to keep the nutrients and taste intact


  • Needs to be kept frozen until it’s your pet’s mealtime
  • Not as convenient as feeding dry dog food. Open Farm freeze-dried raw dog food is an excellent alternative for a more convenient way to feed raw
  • It’s slightly more expensive than traditional kibble, but you can buy raw food budget

Best Food For Dalmatians With Sensitive Stomachs



Who It’s For: If you are looking for the best food for Dalmatians with sensitive stomachs.

Recipes: Chicken & Barley

Nutrition: AAFCO

Life Stage: Adult

Manufactured: USA

Ingredients: Natural

Why we picked and recommended it: Hill’s Science Diet For Sensitive Stomach & Skin is formulated to protect Dalmatians with sensitive tummies and skin. It’s made with easily digestible ingredients, including barley, beet pulp, and brown rice and contains no soy, wheat, or artificial that can cause upsets or skin flare-ups on your Dalmatian. 

What sets it apart from competitors: Specialized formula fortified with prebiotics fiber for healthy digestion, sensitive stomachs and immune health. Prebiotic fiber nourishes healthy intestinal bacteria.

Key Features

  • Omega-6. Excellent source of omega-6 fatty acids to nourish your dog’s skin and help maintain a healthy, shiny coat. 
  • Highly digestible. The food is gentle on the stomach.


  • Supports a balanced gut microbiome in your grown dog
  • No artificially colored, flavored, or preserved


  • Not recommended for puppies and pregnant or nursing dogs
  • 15% may still be sensitive to this diet. Another option is going fresh with a more premium option like JustFoodForDogs Balanced Remedy. Its plain composition of a single protein source, single starch source, and low-fat levels make it perfect for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

Best Food For Dalmatian With Allergies


Royal Canin

Who It’s For: Excellent for Dalmatian suffering from skin allergies, food allergies, or food intolerance.

Recipes: One

Nutrition: AAFCO

Life Stage: All ages

Manufactured: USA

Ingredients: Hypoallergenic

Why we picked and recommended it: Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein is the best hypoallergenic dog formula you feed an allergic Dalmatian. This vet-exclusive prescription formula helps dogs with itching, hair loss, skin allergies and digestive upset. It’s also highly digestible and supports gastrointestinal and dermatological health.

What sets it apart from competitors: This formula uses hydrolyzed soy protein (non-animal protein). Hydrolyzed protein is made by a process known as hybridization, which breaks down proteins to a size less likely to be recognized by the immune system, effectively stopping allergic reactions.

Key Features

  • Limited ingredients. Its limited ingredients also make it great against allergies. They use one single source of carbohydrates.
  • Supports GI health. Contains a special blend of fibers and prebiotics.


  • Specially designed for canines with food intolerances or allergies
  • Helps to reduce skin and GI reactions caused by proteins
  • Support healthy skin and help reduce inflammation


  • A bit expensive
  • Requires vet authorization. While we recommend Royal Canine Veterinary for the best results, unfortunately, it requires a prescription. If you can’t wait to visit your vet or don’t have the budget to afford it, ACANA Lamb & Pumpkin Limited Ingredient Diet can also help with allergies and does not require a prescription.

Best Grain-Free Food For Dalmatians


Open Farm

Who It’s For: Ideal for Dalmatians with grain allergies or sensitivities.

Recipes: Seven