Dalmatian Lifespan: How Long Do Dalmatians Live?

Dalmatian Lifespan: How Long Do Dalmatians Live?

Dalmatian is a muscular medium size dog breed that has its origin in Croatia and the historical region of Dalmatia. They were mainly used as carriage dogs back in the early days.

Dalmatian is famous and popular for its unique liver spotted coat and black color. It is nowadays a well-known family pet. But, how long can Dalmatians live?

Dalmatian has an average lifespan of 10 to 13 years. Since they are medium-sized dogs, they usually live longer than larger size breeds such as German Shepherd and live shorter than smaller size breeds such as Chihuahuas.

Their lifespan is affected by multiple factors such as diet, exercise, and family health history. However, their life expectancy can be enhanced with immense care and years of deep companionship.  

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the common genetic disorders of Dalmatians, factors that affect their lifespan, and effective ways to improve their lifespan.

How Long Do Dalmatians Live?

As mentioned above, the average lifespan of Dalmatians is around 10 to 13 years. There is a very slight difference in the life expectancy between medium to large-size breeds. 

Dalmatians can live more equal to their average lifespan with proper healthcare, regular exercise, and lots of love and joy.

There is a fascinating story related to the Dalmatian named “Scootie,” who was supposed to be one of the oldest Dalmatians who died on 9th March at the age of 20 years in the year 2016.

Its owner’s wife Campbell called the Guinness Book of World Records when Scootie turned 18 years old because they have a search on the internet and there was no Dalmatian lived more than 17 years.

They also find out that the world’s oldest dog which has walked on this earth was an Australian Cattle Dog named “Bluey.” He lived 29 years and five months and died on 14th November 1939.

Common Health Problems of Dalmatians

Every breed is prone to some genetic or inherited disorders. Dalmatians are also prone to some diseases. They are generally healthy, so not every Dalmatian will develop any of these health issues.

But as a pet owner you should know some of the common health problems related to your Dalmatian, which are as follows:

Hereditary Deafness

It is an inherited polygenic trait that is caused by not getting enough amount of blood supply to the Cochlea and the hair cells of the organ of Corti degeneration. Nearly all the Dalmatian bloodlines can pass along this disorder to their puppies. 

It is estimated that approximately eight percent of Dalmatians are born deaf, and about 20 to 24 percent of Dalmatians are deaf in one ear.

Dalmatian puppies’ ears are closed when they are born. They open at 15 to 16 days after their birth. A reliable scientific test, such as Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response (BAER), should be conducted.

Although this is not available everywhere but available at the teaching hospitals and specialty practices at the vet schools.


Dalmatians have a unique urinary tract, which is more prone to the formation of stones of the urinary tract (Urolithiasis). The urine of Dalmatians contains uric acid instead of urea due to which Urolithiasis is formed from the salt of uric acid.

The large stones embed themselves in the Urethra while the small stones better known as “gravel” may be passed through the urine.

The blockage of the urinary tract can lead to a very painful condition for your Dalmatian. You should consult with your vet immediately in such circumstances.

Skin Allergies

Dalmatians are also susceptible to skin allergies. There are three different types of allergies your Dalmatian can be prone to, which are as follows;

  • Food-based allergies
  • Inhalant allergies
  • Contact allergies

Food-based allergies: Food-based allergies are caused because of certain foods. They can be diagnosed by eliminating the foods that are causing allergies to your Dalmatian.

Inhalant allergies: Inhalant allergies are airborne allergies, which can be caused by pollen, mildew, and dust through the air. Inhalant allergies often accompany ear infections. It is treated as per the severity level.

Contact allergies: Contact allergies are caused by substances like flea powders, bedding, dog shampoos, and other chemical substance. It is treated by keeping away your Dalmatian from such topical substances.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is one of the most common hind leg disorders in dogs. Every small to large size breed is susceptible to this genetic disorder.

Hip dysplasia is a condition in which the sockets and balls of the hind legs don’t fit with one another. The main symptoms refer to the discomfort in the hind legs, such as lameness and stiffness in it.

However, this disorder can easily be treated with the help of corticosteroids or anti-inflammatories.

Iris Sphincter Dysplasia

It is the condition in which the iris tissue is not fully developed and is characterized as a full-thickness defect in it. It is a congenital abnormality of iris development.

It causes poor night vision, partial or complete blindness, and sensitivity to bright light. The treatment for this ocular inherited disorder is being studied by researchers.

What Are the Factors That Determine the Lifespan of Dalmatians?

Let’s talk about some factors which can help you determine the Dalmatian life expectancy. There are some pre and post-factors which you should be aware of, which can determine its overall lifespan.

These are the primary factors that control the life expectancy of Dalmatians:

  • Gene pool
  • Body size
  • Diet and nutrition
  • Activity level
  • Family health history

Gene Pool

Some breeds live longer while some breeds live shorter regardless of their size. This is mainly due to the difference in their genes.

It is true that the strong DNA or gene pool of this breed, the less quickly it will get aged. Due to slow aging, the lifespan is automatically increased because of the prolonged survival of the body cells.

It is important to note that the gene pool is related to purebred dogs, which are from specific breeds. As a Dalmatian breed, we can determine its lifespan by asking your nearest veterinarian or the veterinarian you prefer. 

Body Size

Size is also one of the factors that can help you determine the lifespan of your Dalmatian. We know that small dogs live longer than larger dogs because large dogs usually grow faster and age quicker than small dogs.

Large dogs tend to develop age-related diseases because of their faster growth rate. Since Dalmatians are considered medium-sized dogs, you should get a rough estimation of their lifespan by doing some research about the average lifespan of medium size dogs.

Diet and Nutrition

What you feed your dog will reflect in the overall health of your Dalmatian, which makes it another crucial factor that can determine the lifespan of your pup.

High-quality food with a balanced proportion is recommended to feed your dog. It is often seen that people used to follow a mixed dietary plan with the consultation of their vet.

My recommended mix dietary plan includes a small proportion of high-quality kibble and a small portion of meat and veggies, which can suit your Dalmatian. But always consult with the vet about the exact proportions and amount of the diet.

Activity Level

If you remove the element of exercise from your energetic and naturally active Dalmatian, then it will not even live a minute or two. This breed needs plenty of activities and running regularly.

It is often said that the desire for the exercise of the Dalmatian is never-ending. They don’t get tired very quickly and can exercise and play for hours.

Therefore, exercise is also one of the crucial factors which can help you determine the lifespan of your Dalmatian. The more it fulfills its immense natural desire for exercise, the more the chances of a prolonged lifespan.

Family Health History

Dogs having genetic disorders such as hip dysplasia, epilepsy, urinary bladder stones, and heart disease can easily pass them down to their puppies.

If your Dalmatian puppy’s parents are suffering from genetic diseases, your Dalmatian puppy is more likely to develop the same disease and lead to a shorter lifespan.

You must ask the breeder about the clearance certificate of the puppy’s parent. It will prove that the pup’s parent was sound and healthy. Good breeders should maintain a proper family history of the breed.

Things You Can Do to Extend Your Dalmatian’s Life

As dog lovers, we all want to keep our dogs with us as long as possible. That’s why we need to give them a certain level of care and love. By following the best practices and recommendations, you can extend and improve the quality of life of your Dalmatian.

The best practices and recommendations are as follows:

  • Plenty of exercises
  • Balanced diet
  • Proper Health Care

Plenty of Exercises

Looking at the history and origin of the Dalmatians, they have been used for various purposes back in the day. Because of their never-ending muscular power, energetic and active genes, they were used as coach dogs for clearing the paths of the horses in England, guarding dogs, or even as circus dogs. 

Therefore, this breed needs a minimum of two hours of exercise and other activities regularly to cope with an immense desire for exercise, which will help them to live longer with you.

Balanced Diet

Right and proper feeding is necessary for your active Dalmatians. It is recommended that you feed your Dalmatian 1.5 to 2 cups of high-quality dry food a day in two proportions.

It is also recommended that you consult with your vet for formulating a dietary plan for your Dalmatian to make him live healthier and longer.

Proper Health Care 

Healthcare includes the overall care of your Dalmatian. It includes two to three times brushing of its teeth, trimming its nails once or twice a day, visiting the veterinarian once a year, and a proper dietary plan.

And if you take care of your Dalmatian with immense care and patience, they may live longer than their usual age.

My Final Thoughts

Dalmatian is a very active and energetic medium-sized breed that was used for various jobs in the past. They need tons of exercise and playful activities to spend their day regularly.

With plenty of exercise, lots of different activities, and a healthy lifestyle, Dalmatians can easily live with you for 10-13 years or more. Isn’t it surprising?

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