What are the best diets to serve Dalmatians?
Dalmatians are alert and energetic and have a strong hunting instinct. In fact, the reason they are forever associated with firehouses is because the firemen once used the Dalmatians to control pests and as act as watchdogs.
Generally, Dalmatians enjoy long, healthy lives, but they do metabolize purine foods a little differently than other animals and humans. When they eat purine foods, it can result in uric crystal formation, leading to kidney and bladder stones. Purine foods are often associated with high protein, but they can also be fruits and vegetables (see list below).
Call the veterinarian immediately if you see any kind of urinary distress.
In general, follow these dietary guidelines:
• High purine foods include organ meats like kidneys and livers, meat by-products, game meats, beef, pork, lamb, seafood, asparagus, spinach, mushrooms, cantaloupe, watermelon, apples and raisins. Avoid them, and beware of commercial treats.
• Avoid added salt, fillers, artificial additives, high fat and chemical preservatives.
• Don’t assume that something’s healthy just because it’s low protein. It can still be high in purine. The diet can also be unbalanced, and that will create a whole new set of health problems.
• Avoid table scraps: The high purine content and salt levels will affect the pH balance in a Dalmatian’s urine.
• A potassium citrate supplement will prevent calcium oxalate crystals and sodium bicarbonate to prevent cystine crystals. Talk to your vet about possibly adding this supplement to your Dalmatian’s diet.
• Water: Always important to prevent dehydration and but this also helps dilute the urine to prevent crystal formation. Add 3/4 cup of water to dry food just before serving to help with hydration and make the food more palatable. Allowing plenty of opportunities for urination will also prevent purine from accumulating in the bladder.
• Therapeutic diets: Your veterinarian may decide to put your dog on a special diet available for dogs with urinary, renal and stone forming conditions.