6 Best Foods To Feed an Adult and Puppy Dalmatian in 2020

Is there any other breed of dog on the planet that is as instantly recognizable as a Dalmatian? They are perhaps the most iconic, sought after, and downright loveable breed on the planet. They’re as popular today as they have ever been, and more and more people each year are adding a Dalmatian to their family.

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Here we’ll do our best to provide you with what is perhaps the most comprehensive Dalmatian feeding guide on the internet. We’ll tell you what you should be feeding them (and what you should be avoiding) alongside feeding schedules and other little hints and tips. We’re going to conclude with 7 recommendations for foods that we think are perfectly suited to both adult and puppy Dalmatians.

Let’s get started.

What To Look For In A Good Dalmatian Dog Food

Dalmatians are a reasonably tough breed to look after properly. They have some very specific dietary requirements that need to be carefully taken into account for a long, happy, and healthy life.


Despite what many people mistakenly say, like all dogs – Dalmatians require large amounts of protein in their diet (it’s purine they should avoid). Purine and protein are not the same things (although some protein contains large amounts of purine). Ensure you’re not feeding your Dalmatian a low protein diet as this is extremely bad for their health. Any off the shelf dog food will have enough protein in it to provide a balanced diet – you just need to find one low in purine.


Purine is a specific compound that is commonly found in a variety of protein sources (but can also be found in vegetables too). Dalmatians metabolize purine in a different way to almost all other breeds of dog, which causes all kinds of undesirable issues (mainly kidney stones).

The levels of sensitivity to purine vary between Dalmatian to Dalmatian, and the kidney stones can vary in size from super small, to potentially life-threatening in size. Needless to say, it’s a very good idea to avoid any stones from forming – regardless of their size.

The way to do this is to keep your Dalmatian’s diet as low in purine as possible, which is often easier said than done.

You should avoid low quality protein sources – which essentially means offal and organs. Ensure you’re getting whole, deboned, protein sources (not meal) and avoid game based protein like venison wherever possible. Vegetables like lentils and kidney beans should be avoided too.

Remember: It is super important that you do not confuse protein and purine. Dalmatians need protein like any other breed – do not reduce the amount of protein in their diet due to purine concerns.


Dalmatians are reasonably susceptible to certain kinds of allergies that can be caused by common ingredients found in dry and wet dog foods. This is extremely common and is not something that’s exclusive to the Dalmatian. You should be aiming to provide your pooch with complex high-quality carbohydrates wherever possible which includes things like brown rice and sweet potato.

You should equally be doing your best to be avoiding foods that use grain as a protein source. Grains are one of the most common allergens in dog food (especially wheat) and are much less nutritious than things like brown rice and sweet potato. Many brands make a big deal about being grain free, so it shouldn’t be too hard to pick a product that’s free of these low-quality carbs.

Artificial Colors And Preservatives

It’s no secret that artificial colors and preservatives are bad for your health (and your dog’s health). We are still shocked to see that some dog owners are happy to feed them to their dogs on a daily basis (yet wouldn’t eat them themselves). Luckily the number of products that contain these artificial compounds are falling rapidly, but you’ll still find them in abundance in lower quality foods.

Every now and again, eating something with artificial preservatives is probably not going to do you (or your dog) any real harm. But just remember that your pooch is going to be eating the same food for weeks, months, or even years at a time – so ensuring it’s free of the bad stuff is super important.


As we mentioned earlier, the amount of purine that will cause a Dalmatian issues changes from dog to dog. Some are almost unaffected by it, and others really suffer. If you’ve got a dog that creates kidney stones despite being fed a low purine diet then you may need to get them a prescription food.

Your vet will tell you about this possibility when it becomes apparent that your pooch is suffering more than normal. They are super low purine formulas that can drastically reduce the number of kidney stones that are formed.

However, the vast majority of Dalmatians do not need a prescription diet. Just keeping purine to a minimum is often more than enough for a happy, healthy, stone free life.

How Often Should You Feed A Dalmatian

Dalmatians follow a pretty standard feeding schedule and adults should be fed twice a day. Ensure that you’re only feeding them the quantities that are recommended on the packaging as different products have different serving sizes.

Puppies, on the other hand, should be fed around 4 times a day when they are very young. You should aim to bring this down to once per day when they are around 1 year old. Feeding them dedicated puppy food is important due to the different nutritional requirements of young Dalmatians and you should again ensure purine is kept to a minimum. The same rules apply with following the instructions on the pack – check and double check your quantities.

Due to the kidney stone issues, you should ensure that your Dalmatian is always very well hydrated. Provide them with a consistent water supply, they should be urinating clear urine wherever possible. By ensuring this you’re going to be dramatically reducing the risk of kidney stones or related issues.

Best Value Food For A Dalmatian

American Journey Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry

American Journey Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry

So now we know that we need to be feeding our Dalmatians a diet that is super low in purine (while remaining high in protein). We also know about quantities, schedules, and a few allergy issues that need to be taken into account too.

With all that in mind, we set out to find what we think are the best foods on the market in 2020 suitable for Dalmatians. We found some specific recommendations for adults and puppies which we’ll mention below, but first, we want to mention what we think is the best overall value dog food for Dalmatians on the market.

It’s a common recommendation from us, but this product from American Journey is exceptionally good value for money. It’s a great product, that uses quality ingredients, from a highly respectable brand. The protein source in the food is low in purine and comes from whole, lean chicken. This contains a whole bunch of essential oils and amino acids to promote a healthy glossy coat. As you’d expect from an American Journey product this is a grain free formula that derives all of its carbohydrates from complex sources – mainly sweet potato.

It’s around $30 for a huge bag, and considering the kind of quality you’re getting – it’s excellent value for money.

Best Foods For Adult Dalmatians

Adult Dalmatians have different nutritional requirements compared to their younger brothers and sisters. Here are 3 of the best foods on the market right now for Dalmatians.

Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Adult Deboned Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Adult Deboned Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

Wellness is one of the most respected brands in the entire dog food industry. They’re known for their quality wholesome ingredients and their dedication to providing the most balanced and tasty food they possibly can. As you’d expect from Wellness, the protein source in this food comes from real whole deboned chicken. There’s no offal or other bad stuff that’s high in purine and the brown rice carbohydrate source is about as complex and high quality as you can get.

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – Low in purine
  • Pro – Quality carbohydrates
  • Pro – Great brand
  • Pro – Antioxidants included
  • Con – None

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice

This is another excellent product from an excellent brand. It’s a grain free product which is great for allergies, and it’s low in purine too. The chicken comes from real deboned whole chicken and is packed full of essential vitamins and minerals required for a healthy pooch. The carbohydrates are complex and the huge amount of energy this food provides mainly comes from brown rice to create a balanced food that dogs will love.

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – Low in purine
  • Pro – Complex carbs
  • Pro – Well balanced

Best Foods For Puppy Dalmatians

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

We liked the product from Blue Buffalo in the adult section so much we decided we’d recommend the puppy specific version of it in this section. It’s made from the same high-quality chicken that’s low in purine and it still contains complex carbohydrates from brown rice. The only difference is that there are different ratios of nutrients (and different added vitamins and minerals) in this product that are exactly what a growing pup needs.

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – Great brand
  • Pro – Specifically designed for puppies
  • Pro – Chicken protein
  • Pro – Low in purine
  • Con – None

Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry

Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry

We love coming across a good Merrick product when we research these articles. They’re one of our favorite brands thanks to their dedication to using only the highest quality ingredients. All of their ingredients are locally sourced close to their Texas facility, which allows them to ensure consistent quality from farm to bowl.

This grain-free recipe will allow your Dalmatian to stay happy and healthy without having to worry about allergies. The quality carbohydrates come from complex sources like sweet potato and provide all the energy a growing pup needs. The real deboned chicken is low in purine and should provide no issues for the vast majority of dogs lucky enough to end up eating this tasty food.

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – Grain free
  • Pro – Low in purine
  • Pro – Quality chicken protein
  • Pro – Complex carbohydrates
  • Con – None really

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Puppy Chicken & Turkey Recipe Dry Dog Food

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Puppy Chicken & Turkey Recipe Dry Dog Food

This is another product that’s low in purine and specifically designed for Dalmatian sized puppies. The protein in this recipe contains real deboned turkey with lower quality turkey meal and chicken meal as padding. This isn’t an ideal situation, but it’s not the end of the world (and it contains no offal).

It’s a grain free product that utilizes complex carbohydrate sources and its been specifically formulated to be perfect for growing puppies to stay happy and healthy while growing up to be big and strong.

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – Great brand
  • Pro – Low in purine
  • Pro – Complex carbohydrates
  • Pro – Deboned turkey protein
  • Pro – Contains turkey and chicken meal


So there you have it, everything there is to know about feeding a Dalmatian.

They may not be the lowest maintenance breed in the world in terms of feeding – but for many Dalmatian owners, it’s a small price to pay for the love and affection the breed brings into a household.

Any of the products we’ve listed here today are more than worthy of your consideration. They’re all winners to have made it into this article.

Carlotta Cooper

Carlotta is a long-time contributing editor for the weekly dog show magazine Dog News. She's also the author of The Dog Adoption Bible, the Dog Writers Association of America Adoptashelter.com Award winner for 2013. In addition, she's written Canine Cuisine: 101 Natural Dog Food & Treat Recipes to Make Your Dog Healthy and Happy.

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