Image of a dalmation

All about your Dalmatian

Distinctive, strong and muscular. The Dalmatian is a very loyal and devoted family pet and makes a great companion dog. Outgoing and friendly, the Dalmatian tends to be free from nervousness and aggression.

    Breed information & advice

    Synonymous with the Disney movie 101 Dalmatians, the athletic Dalmatian belongs to the pointer group of dogs. He is outgoing and friendly, and his distinctive spots make him one of the most recognisable dog breeds around.

    • A dalmatian’s spots continue to develop from shortly after birth until around 18 months old
    • These spots tend to range in size from 2cm to 6cm
    • This dog will typically weigh between 23kg and 25kg, when fully grown
    • A healthy Dalmatian will usually live for 10 to 12 years

    Typical size of a Dalmatian: Large: 48cm-58cm

        dalmatian walking through grass

        Recommended exercise & nutrition

        Dalmatians require more than 2 hours exercise each day, which should be considered before you choose this breed.

            dalmatian behind a table

            Common health problems & illnesses

            There’s no reason why your Dalmatian shouldn’t live a long and happy life. However, being aware of the ailments your dog will be more prone to, along with the associated symptoms, can help you to deal with any health issues that crop up.

              1. Deafness

              Deafness at birth (known as congenital deafness) is can be inherited in Dalmatians. How this condition is inherited is not fully understood, but it is believed to be controlled by many different genes, possibly with additional breed-specific risk factors.

              The BAER (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response) test is used to check the hearing of a dog. The test checks if the brain responds to noise (usually a clicking sound) and is a reliable way to see if a Dalmatian is deaf and to what extent. The test does not measure the full range of a dog's hearing; it only checks noises in the normal human range (some dogs will test as ‘deaf’ but can still hear very high-pitched noises).

                2. Other illnesses

                Dalmatians are also prone to urinary stones, epilepsy, skin allergies and obesity which can cause significant health issues to joints, as well as metabolic and digestive disorders, back pain and heart disease.

                    dalmatian side profile

                    Dog name popularity

                    If you’re struggling to think of a name for your Dalmatian, take a look at the most popular ones for inspiration.

                      1 Daisy
                      2 Bella
                      3 Gia
                      4 Poppy
                      5 Nala

                      Average treatment costs

                      Wondering whether pet insurance for your Dalmatian is worth it? We’ve put together the top five conditions claimed for by Tesco Bank Pet Insurance customers, and the average cost of treatment.

                        Top five conditions and average costs

                        Top five conditions and average costs



                            Skin condition




                                    Skin allergy


                                        Lumbosacral disease


                                            Tesco Bank Pet Insurance claims data from paid treatments including excesses from 01/09/19 to 31/08/20.

                                            Considering Dalmatian insurance?

                                            We know your dog is an important member of the family, so give them the protection they deserve with Tesco Bank Pet Insurance.

                                            Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Ltd.

                                            Grooming advice

                                            Though they have a short coat, Dalmatians are known to shed and require regular grooming. You should aim to brush your Dalmatian at least twice per week using a suitable brush or grooming mit. Always brush down to the skin to ensure you’re stimulating hair follicles that will encourage shedding.

                                            As with other dog breeds, another area that will need your attention is his teeth, and you should brush these at least once a week to ensure they stay free from plaque build-up and tartar. Nobody really likes a trip to the dentist – not even your dog, but special toothbrushes and toothpastes are available so you can be sure he gets his oral hygiene fix.

                                              Fun & interesting facts

                                              • Dalmatians are associated with firefighting, and the character Marshall from the cartoon Paw Patrol is testament to this.
                                              • Dalmatian puppies tend to be born with a plain white coat; their spots only develop around 10 days later.

                                              Important information

                                              Key information

                                              The content on this page aims to offer an informative introduction to pet breeds, but does not constitute expert veterinary advice. If your dog or cat falls ill or has an injury, contact your vet immediately. Tesco Bank Pet Insurance has a partnership with vetfone™ which means that as a customer, you can benefit from their advice as part of your policy.

                                              Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Ltd. The vetfone™ service is provided by VetsDirect Ltd.

                                              All facts and figures were correct at date of publication and were compiled using a range of sources.

                                                What is vetfone?

                                                Vetfone™ is a 24/7 unlimited, free telephone or video call service that provides expert advice from nurses qualified with the RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons). If your pet has a medical emergency, or you need reassurance on grooming, feeding or general advice, vetfone™ is there to help.

                                                As a Tesco Bank Pet Insurance customer, you can access expert veterinary advice provided by RCVS registered vet nurses as a standard benefit with your policy, and the service is provided at no additional cost. A quick telephone call or video call could answer any questions you have about your pet, give you peace of mind and could even save you a trip to the vet.

                                                Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. The vetfone™ service is provided by VetsDirect Ltd.

                                                  Discover more breeds

                                                  Browse our other cat and dog guides to learn about some of the UK’s most popular breeds.