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One of the 101 Dalmatians
The Disney movie the 101 Dalmatians made most of America fall in love with the black and white spotted breed, landing it a spot on many children's favorite breed lists. Dalmatians can in fact be lovely family dogs, especially for active families with older children. They are also great companions for families without children.
The origin of Dalmatians is unknown. No one is quite sure where it got its distinctive spotted coat or where it originated. However, it gets its name from Dalmatia, Yugoslavia, though this is not likely where the breed originated. Although the breed is now associated with fire trucks and firefighters, even that role is somewhat minor in the breed's history. It has been used as a war dog, shepherd, retriever, bird dog and circus animal. Its largest role was in Victorian England serving as a coach dog, trotting alongside horse-drawn carriages to protect the horses from other dogs and to add a touch of style to the coach. As a result, these dogs still do well with other house pets and especially well with horses, the news source reports.
Because these dogs were bred to run for miles, they need plenty of exercise every day in order to behave inside the house. Older children may be good, active companions for the Dalmatian, but it may be too energetic for young kids. Overall, the dog is affectionate and playful, friendly toward other dogs, pets and strangers. It is moderately easy to train, but can be stubborn, the news source reports.
Dalmatians can also suffer from urolithiasis, a formation of stones in the urinary tract, kidneys or bladder. Your vet may recommend that you give your Dal certain supplements to prevent these stones from forming. Cranberry Relief is one supplement that supports a healthy urinary tract, while Potassium Citrate is designed to prevent urinary stones from forming. Your vet can also prescribe pet meds such as Urocit-K as an aid to prevent kidney stones.
When choosing pet food for your Dalmatian, you may want to err on the side of caution when it comes to ingredients, or be ready to try different diets, since Dals tend to have allergies. Kibble such as Go! Natural Salmon & Oatmeal Dry Dog Food or Holistic Select Radiant Adult Health Chicken Meal & Rice Dry Dog Food may be good options for Dalmatians since they contain low allergenic grains.