Dietary Requirements For Dalmatians: An In-Depth Guide 

dalmation dog blue background

Everyone knows what a Dalmatian looks like: these iconic dogs that once ran in front of horse-drawn fire engines to clear a path are now renowned for being part of the Disney film 101 Dalmatians and spin-off shows.   

One key characteristic of the breed, besides their spots, is their uric acid development. There are two types of Dalmatian: LUA (Low Uric Acid) and HUA (High Uric Acid).   

Most Dalmatians, particularly in the UK, are what is known as HUA Dalmatians. Unlike most dogs, including LUA Dalmatians, which convert excess purine into allantoin, HUA Dalmatians produce uric acid instead.   

That means that they end up with more uric acid than their bodies can cope with, which can cause kidney stones and urinary problems.  

While some purines are developed within the body, most are ingested in the form of ingredients such as some types of offal and fish.  

If you’re a new Dalmatian owner or considering becoming one, you need to understand the type of dog you’re getting and how to create a healthy diet for them. Keep reading to learn more about HUA and LUA Dalmatians and their dietary requirements.  

What Can HUA Dalmatians Eat? 

As mentioned, most of the purines in your dog’s body are ingested, so Dalmatian owners need to find low-purine, dog-safe ingredients to feed their pets.  

Some ingredients that are low in purines include:  

  • Pork 
  • Eggs  
  • Chicken 
  • Root vegetables such as carrots and parsnips  
  • Peanut butter 
  • Rice  
  • Potatoes 

These foods are low in purines and safe for dogs, so they can safely be integrated into a HUA Dalmatian’s diet. Some of these ingredients, such as eggs, pork and chicken, should be eaten in moderation, as they can be very fatty.  

Read more: 6 Pickiest Dog Breeds When It Comes To Dog Food

What Ingredients Should HUA Dalmatians Avoid? 

Any food that is high in purines should be avoided by HUA Dalmatian owners, including:  

  • Offal including kidneys, livers, brains and hearts 
  • Game meats such as Goose and Turkey 
  • Red meat like Lamb and Beef 
  • Oily fish like sardines, mackerel and salmon  
  • High-purine vegetables such as cauliflower, spinach, peas and mushrooms 
  • Yeast 

These ingredients are all high in purines and should be avoided at all costs by owners of HUA Dalmatians. That means checking that the food you buy doesn’t include them and keeping them out of any homemade snacks you feed your dog.  

Dalmatian dog in field

Can HUA Dalmatians Eat Raw Food?  

Dalmatians can eat raw dog food, and it’s often encouraged, as it offers a natural alternative to heat-treated kibbles.  

However, it’s important that you find the right raw dog food for your Dalmatian. Providers like Southend Dog Training offer a range of raw meals and have clear ingredient lists so you can find the right option for your dog.  

They also offer products made up of a few protein-rich ingredients, such as chicken mince and raw bones, so you can use these as the basis for custom meals for your HUA Dalmatian.  

Many owners recommend using this approach, as it means you can create bespoke, healthy meals for your dog while also ensuring that they get enough protein and not too many purines.  

If you want to make your HUA Dalmatian’s food yourself, then you should speak to a canine nutritionist. They can check your dog’s health and help you create a custom plan that will give them everything they need to live a healthy and happy life.  

What Can LUA Dalmatians Eat? 

LUA Dalmatians are the lucky ones. They can eat a normal diet without having to avoid ingredients that are high in purine. As such, they have more flexibility in their diets and can eat most commercially branded foods.  

As a result of this flexibility, many Dalmatian breeders are pushing to introduce LUA dogs into their lines. LUA Dalmatians have a Pointer gene bred into them from years of careful breeding, and this does mean that some purists don’t believe that they are true examples of the breed.  

LUA Dalmatians often have fewer spots than their HUA counterparts, but they’re still purebred Dalmatians and meet the standards needed to be shown as Dalmatians. They have the same great personality traits that we all know and love, just with fewer health side effects. So, if you’re considering a Dalmatian puppy, consider finding a breeder with LUA lines.  

How To Find Out If Your Dog Is HUA Or LUA 

If you already have a Dalmatian, either from a breeder who didn’t provide much information or a rescue that had no knowledge, then you need to find out whether your dog is a HUA or LUA Dalmatian so you understand their dietary requirements.   

As mentioned, there are certain physical differences between the two types, such as smaller spots, but this isn’t guaranteed. To be certain, you will need to order a DNA test, which you can get through your vet, to find out if your Dalmatian carries one of the two LUA genetic markers, (N/hu) or (N/N). 

Once you’ve got this information, you will be able to create a healthy diet for your Dalmatian using this article as a guide.