If you’re considering getting a Dalmatian, you’ll want to know if they shed or not. With other breeds, the answer may be more obvious, but with Dalmatians, it’s a little misconceiving. This article clears everything up and answers all the questions you likely have on this topic.
Yes! Dalmatians shed a lot. Despite having a single-layered coat, Dalmatians shed hair continuously throughout the year. Regular brushing with the correct types of brushes will be crucial in managing your Dalmatian’s coat.
How Much & When Do Dalmatians Shed?
This is a good question to start with, as Dalmatians don’t shed like most other breeds.
Many breeds with thick double-layered coats, like huskies, german shepherds, and collies will shed throughout the year with one or two significant “blowouts” as the weather changes.
Dalmatians don’t do this, and their coat is very different…
Dals have a single-layered coat that’s both smooth and short. And when it comes to how much they shed, it’s typically going to be the same all year round. They don’t have big “blowouts” like some other breeds.
Even owners who live in cooler climates report that their Dalmatian still sheds somewhat throughout winter.
There are other factors at play like diet, overall health, and exercise. But this will all be covered later when I run through how to control your dalmatian’s shedding.
How To Deal With Dalmatian Shedding: 5 Crucial Steps
Let’s run through ways you can best keep on top of your Dalmatian’s non-stop shedding.
1. Brushing Routine: How Often Should You Brush Your Dalmatian?
Little and often is perhaps the most valuable factor when it comes to how much you should be brushing.
Many owners who own a shedding breed make the mistake of forgetting to brush, and then try to compensate with “one big brush” at the end of the week. This doesn’t work.
Aim to brush your Dalmatian 3-4 times per week for around 15-20 minutes each time. This isn’t a very long time, and this frequency will ensure less dead hair lands on your floors.
2. Use The Correct Brushes: The Best Brushes For a Dalmatian
The next golden nugget in this list is knowing which brushes to be using. There are only two brushes you should use in your routine. A simple rubber-toothed comb, and a pin & bristle brush.
Rubber-toothed combs are ideal for short-coated breeds. The rubber texture grabs dead hair and pulls it out of the coat. They are extremely durable, pleasant to use and it’s the single best brush for your Dalmatian.
The next is the pin & bristle brush. I love these because you essentially get two brushes in one, and the bristle side does a fantastic job at “cleaning up” after you’ve used the rubber-toothed comb.
Put in short, these two types of brushes combined will far outweigh any other brushing technique.
3. Avoid Giving Too Many Baths
This one is easy, it involves you doing less!
Over-bathing is a big one and will quickly lead to dry skin and a brittle coat.
The main issue with over-bathing is the shampoo removing the natural oils and creating dry skin. This will contribute to increased shedding after bathing.
Dalmatians only need to be bathed 2-4 times per year. I actually have an entire bathing article for Dalmatians if you wish to check that out.
4. Plenty of Exercise
Dalmatians have a big exercise requirement, more so than perhaps 98% of all other breeds. Dalmatians were bred to run miles upon miles across the country and because they did this for so long, they kinda need to continue doing it.
But how does exercise help with shedding? Aside from dead hair falling outside of your home (small bonus), proper exercise will ensure he is fit and healthy, this, in turn, leads to a stronger coat and less shedding.
Dalmatians need around 2 hours of intensive exercise per day to be at their best. This means you need to keep on top of his exercise routine, to keep him healthy, and ultimately help with shedding.
5. Use a Premium Kibble That Digests Well
Having a good diet that works well for your Dalmatian will keep his body healthy and this will result in better skin and a stronger coat, ultimately reducing the amount of shedding.
Avoiding cheap brands will weed out most of the bad dog food. Just to clear it up, dog food will only be cheap if it’s cheap for the manufacturer to make, and this is only possible with low-quality ingredients, high carbohydrates (bad), powdered ingredients, and a lack of freshness.
Opt for a premium brand like Orijen, Taste of The Wild, Acana, or Wellness that use whole, fresh ingredients with a high protein and fat ratio compared to carbohydrates. This mimics a wild diet the closest and is often the best for working dogs like Dalmatians.
But, it doesn’t stop there, unfortunately using a premium brand doesn’t mean it will work well for every Dalmatian. So it’s important to keep trying until you find one that digests well for your Dal.
My Dalmatian Hates Being Brushed (What To Do)
If your Dalmatian doesn’t like the brush, it’s either due to bad past experience, or he just isn’t familiar with being brushed.
Whichever it is, the only way around it is to re-establish a good relationship with the brush.
Begin by frequently putting the brush down where he can see it and inspect it, but draw his attention away with treats and toys. This will avoid him getting spooked, and will allow him to become comfortable with this new mysterious object.
As he gets increasingly comfortable, start picking up the brush in front of him, again using treats and distractions. As he becomes less bothered by the brush, you’ll eventually be able to touch him with it.
I know, it sounds like a long, boring process, but it’s by far the best way to get him comfortable with his brush. 2-3 weeks of this, or years of running away from the brush? I know what I would do!
When To Brush a Dalmatian Puppy
If your Dal is still a puppy, you don’t need to worry about shedding as puppies rarely drop any hair until their adult coat comes through at around 6-10 months.
Still, it’s a very good idea to introduce the brush and still go through the motions with him at least once per week. Not for the purpose of hair removal, but to establish a good relationship with the brush and get him used to the feeling of it.
This will be time well spent when he’s older and you do actually need him to stay still for 20 minutes while you brush him.
There is nothing more frustrating than trying to catch your Dalmatian every time you put the brush in your hand.
Can You Stop a Dalmatian From Shedding Completely?
Honestly, no. You won’t be able to stop your Dalmatian from dropping a single hair on your floors. That just won’t happen.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. If you take the appropriate steps and regularly make the effort to keep on top of his skin and coat health, you will be rewarded with a lot less hair all over the place.
A word of warning: If you come across any fancy de-shedding shampoos or brushes promising you that with their product you won’t have to deal with any more dead hair, stay away from it, as it’s just not true.
There will always be hair, somewhere on your floors, or stuck in your jumper, that’s just part of owning such an awesome breed.
Dalmatian Hair Sticks To Your Clothes!
Different breeds have different kinds of hair. Some are long and whispy and others short and strong.
Dalmatians have needle-like hairs and believe me, these hairs are hard to get out of clothing, blankets, your coach, bed, and carpets. The short rigid hairs lodge their way in and literally stick to the surface.
At first, this doesn’t sound like a big issue, but if you don’t stay on top of grooming and brushing, you will constantly be removing hair from your clothes, and it won’t be easy!
The best thing to do right away is to get yourself the correct brushes, and start implementing a good brushing routine 3 to 4 times per week, every week! Brush for around 20 minutes, starting with the rubber brush, followed by the bristle brush.
Once you get into a routine of doing this consistency over the course of a few weeks, you’ll see a dramatic change in how much hair is on your floors and clothes.
Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out other Dalmatian Articles on The Puppy Mag.