Do Dalmatians Smell

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Dalmatians are not known to smell. They have a very clean coat that repels dirt all year round, even without regular baths (although this is not advised). The fact that they shed hair all year round, although extremely annoying, helps keep their coat fresh and clean. A Dalmatian that has rolled in the mud all day will eventually clean itself as the mud dries and falls off, although they will usually still require a bath to remove mud from under the arms, the belly and around and in the ears etc. A wet or damp cloth can be used to clean these hard to reach areas to avoid bathing too often. 

Dalmatian Shedding

The Dalmatian breed is well known for shedding loads of hair, 365 days a year. This constant shedding helps keep their coats clean and fresh, helping to keep that typical dog smell away, but unfortunately leaving sprinkles of short white hair everywhere. Dals don’t require much grooming because of this, but brushing and the occasional bath is the best way to reduce shedding and help keep your house clean. Brushing your Dal once a week is a good timeline for helping minimise shedding. Click here to learn more about Dalmatian hair, grooming and the constant shedding problem as a whole. 

To bath or not to bath

Most dog breeds require regular baths to keep them cleanish and stop them smelling. This is mainly because of the buildup of oils on the skin but the fact that they like to roll in the grass and mud can definitely contribute. A regular bath for a dog is not the same as us humans, it’s more like a bath every 2 to 4 weeks, or weekly for particularly dirty dogs. Dalmatians do not technically require these regular baths as they have lower amounts of natural oils in their coat compared to other breeds. This buildup of natural oils is one of the main causes of a smelly dog. Washing any dog breed too regularly can cause dry and irritated skin and leave their coats dry, lifeless and coarse, hence only bathing on a 2 to 4 week schedule. 

Many people recommend not to wash a Dalmatian regularly because of their sensitive skin and the lower buildup of natural oils. Although this is technically true, Dalmatians should still be bathed when they require it, for example after a visit to the beach or hiking through muddy trails. Their sensitive skin can be irritated by dirt and grime building up in hard to reach places. Dals will attempt to clean themselves if it’s not done for them, making the situation worse. If left unbathed this irritated skin can become a rash or infection and will be licked and scratched by the dog, especially under the armpits and on their belly…potentially leading to a visit to the vet. It’s important to note that a pet specific hypo allergenic shampoo is best for a Dalmatians sensitive skin. So funnily enough the answer is don’t bath your Dalmatian too much or too little!

Sensitive skin

Dalmatians have very sensitive skin. Their bellies, underarms, legs, ears and face are areas of concern that need to be monitored for rashes or skin irritation. Dals love to roll in the dirt, grass and get their sunbake on which all will eventually lead to potential skin issues or irritations. Being out in the sun for long periods of time may be damaging to exposed areas of skin such as the face and nose. Don’t let your Dalmatian lie in the sun for long periods of time as their bellies and under their legs will get burnt. Unfortunately you can’t make your dog stop licking or scratching at rashes or skin irritations making them worse, so the best method is to prevent these skin irritations from happening or getting onto the problem early by monitoring their sensitive skin areas constantly. 

Can diet play a role in how a dog smells?

Dogs only sweat through small sweat glands in their paws, so the only other way for diet to contribute to a dogs smell is through saliva, the breath, urine and poop. This makes it very difficult for diet to affect a dog’s smell in general, unless the dog has accidentally walked or rolled in its own urine or poop, which will be quite obvious to the owner. The smell of the breath and saliva can be affected by diet, but in general a dog’s breath is usually not a pleasant smell (they are known to lick their own butts). This bad breath and remnants of food in the dogs saliva may be transferred to the body by licking or grooming, so take this into consideration. Staying away from processed food and filler ingredients such as grain will help if you’re convinced the dogs smell is diet related. Click here to learn more about dry dog food for your Dalmatian.

Dalmatians in general don’t smell. The way that their skin is, their constant shedding and slick coat does not contribute to a smelly dog like other breeds. A Dalmatian may start to smell if the proper care isn’t taken, such as bathing where appropriate or improper diet and hygiene practises.  

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