Johgra Beagles

Dalmatian Diet

All Dalmatians, right across the breed, have the potential to become urate crystal or stone formers due to High uric acid levels, throughout their life. Basically this is because of a gene mutation that prevents dalmatians from turning purines into allantoin. When a human with normal kidney and liver function ingests purines our metabolic system converts the purines to allantoin which unlike purines, is water soluble and easy to pass through the urine.

 Not all dalmatians, however, are affected with crystals or stones. We do not yet know why some are stone formers and others can present clinically normal, except for those with stones usually have a significantly higher Uric Acid Level. What we do know is that there are FOUR things dalmatian owners can do to significantly prevent urinary tract problems and lower Uric Acid Levels: 

DIET, HYDRATION, and URINE ELIMINATION & EXERCISE

 

DIET:

It is important that your dalmatian is maintained on a diet LOW in purines. Purines and proteins are not necessarily the same thing, and purine charts are relatively easy to access via the internet. Our puppy buyers are always presented with one along with their care sheets. Particuarly avoiding red meats, offal (liver etc.) and muscle meat (significantly higher in phosphorus with no calcium to balance the high phosphorus levels.)

I personally believe creating a balance in calcium to phosphorus levels and adding purine neutralizing vegetable matter to the diet is a key way to neutralize Uric Acid Levels. This means the addition of low purine vegetables and fruit to the diet (such as, broccoli, pumpkin, spinach, apples and bananas.)and feeding meat items which are balanced such as chicken necks and chicken frames (backs). The more equal calcium to phosphorus (bone to meat) ratio make these an excellent diet choice with the added bonus of teeth cleaning!  The dry dog food that i personally recommend in addition is


 HYDRATION:

One of the most important components in a dalmatians daily care is free access to fresh, high quality drinking water. Increasing your dalmatians water intake may help to flush out the urine more frequently and is a great way to prevent uric acid build up in conjunction with opportunity for frequent and regular urination.  Bore water is not suitable for dalmatian consumption, please use tap or tank water, significantly higher in quality with less minerals which could aid stone formation.

The best way to increase your dogs water intake and one that we employ daily is to cover your dogs food in water. Not so much that the food is floating, but just below the highest level of the dry food so that the water is visible below. Your dal won't notice the extra bit of water which will also make the food more palatable, and help prevent scoffing which can lead to bloat in extreme cases. 

For those dogs that are not diligent or regular drinkers, a little lactose free milk in a small dish of water can be a great incentive to hydrate. 

 

Urine Elimination: 

Because stones and crystals are essentially formed by Purines laying stagnant within the urinary tract due to their low water solubility, frequent urine elimination is a key aspect of dalmatian care. Your dal should be allowed to exercise and urinate regularly during the day, several times a day to keep as many of the purines, minerals and free radicals flushing out of their system as possible. The added bonus of regular exercise is that it can also promote increased drinking levels and of course makes for happy, content dogs! 

 

 In conclusion, other than basic dog husbandry, as long as you are informed on the issue it is one that is relatively easy to prevent all together, with the pay off of a wonderful, happy and beautiful family pet for many years to come.

 

 This article is not to be reproduced without the authors permission:

JD Grant 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


Contact Details

Joshua & Mellissa Grant
Wollongong, NSW, Australia
Phone : 0456002744
Email : [email protected]