A consideration when deciding whether to live with a Dalmatian, or rather when a Dalmatian decides they are going to live with you is Do Dalmatians Shed. The simple answer is YES! This article is a look at Dalmatian shedding and some helpful ideas to make life as easy as possible in the fight against shed fur in our homes
How often do Dalmatians shed?
Dalmatian owners will tell you that Dalmatians only shed their fur twice a year; throughout the day and at night! Basically, Dalmatians constantly shed their fur. I have two girl Dalmatians and have observed fur just floating from their coats when they are stood in the light, without any exertion at all, save for the lazy wag of a tail.
It is an important consideration when choosing to live with a Dalmatian as the constant fight against fur in your home and car can be a bit of an irritant, especially when you have just completed the housework or cleaned the car and your home and car were looking their level best.
This is definitely true when we know how much Dalmatians love their homes and people and like to be a big part of everything we do.
Can we help to combat this natural phenomenon
YES! The first thing we need to realise is, it is impossible to stop the constant shedding of fur, so we need to find a way to live with it and help ourselves at the same time. Ideally we shouldn’t bathe Dalmatians more than 2 to 3 times a year, as cleansing agents, even the mildest dog shampoos can easily irritate their skin and cause flakiness. We also do not want to strip their coats of natural oils.
I previously had a Dalmatian who used to love being vacuumed. Whenever we got the vacuum cleaner out, she would follow us around and sit patiently by the vacuum cleaner waiting for her turn. We used to cover part of the nozzle to reduce the suction power and using long strokes from the base of her head to the end of her body, vacuum her. We used to avoid her face and ears at all cost as I’m sure she would not have appreciated her ears being vacuumed! This was marvelous for removing loose fur and kept my home looking cleaner for longer.
Every Dalmatian I have owned since has hated the mere look of the vacuum cleaner, viewing it as public enemy number 1. I therefore have to use other methods to try and get ahead of shed fur in my home.
Get a good Vacuum cleaner
A good vacuum cleaner is worth it’s weight in gold. I use a bagless cyclone vacuum cleaner, the contents of which can be emptied after each use. I have both an upright vacuum cyclone cleaner and have also recently purchased a stick cordless vacuum cleaner which is extremely portable for those, ‘Oh My Goodness’ moments when I spot a previously unseen accumulation of fur (usually under furniture, in a windswept corner or on skirting boards). It never ceases to amaze me that fur which accumulates in this way has the appearance of tumble weed and makes me wonder why I would not have spotted it before (pardon the pun).
Although Dalmatians don’t smell doggy and this is one of the many benefits of owning a Dalmatian, I prefer to empty fur into the bin after each use of the vacuum cleaner and that way, there is never a chance of any doggy smell being regurgitated when I get the vacuum cleaner out again.
A vacuum cleaner which has a rotating brush is a great tool on any soft surface such as carpets or rugs as this will agitate the fibres, loosening any dry soiling into the collection part of the vacuum cleaner, ready for banishment to the rubbish or garbage bin.
There are many makes of vacuum cleaner these days which fit this brief and also ones for every budget so this purchase needn’t break the bank either.
Lets not forget upholstery, as many of our beloved Dalmatians will share this comfortable space with us and is another place fur likes to hide! Regular vacuuming will help, but the use of throws or other protective coverings will make it much easier to keep our furnishings looking lovely. You may want to consider a leather suite, as this is much easier to clean and maintain than fabric in respect of fur.
Grooming your Dalmatian
Brushing your Dalmatian 3 – 4 times a week with a soft brush will help to remove the dead hair from their coats. My two girls enjoy this enormously and this helps with the bonding between us. I am sure as far as they are concerned, it is their equivalent of a ‘spa’ moment. There are all sorts of brushes available, but the one I favour is a soft rubber brush, which is easily cleaned and also provides the equivalent of a doggy massage for your pooch.
Other considerations – Clothing
Another joy of owning a Dalmatian is white fur on any dark clothing and dark fur on light clothing! Yes it seems that, whatever you wear, you carry your Dalmatians pet branding with you. Avoiding contact is one way of tacking this, but they type of fabric you wear will also help. Smooth faced clothing seems to make it harder for fur to stick into your clothing, such as Lycra.
You could, of course have a dual wardrobe – one set of clothes for contact with your Dalmatian and another set of clothes where you avoid all contact with your dog!
Another useful tool is one of those rotating hand held barrel brush type of instrument which has a roll of sticky tape which can be run over your ‘Dalmatian’ clothes to remove unwanted fur, before peeling the now furred layer off to reveal clean sticky tape layer with no fur yet attached!
Dalmatian – the ultimate self cleaning dog . .
Our two Dalmatians are mud magnets and despite being really clean dogs, they both enjoy a good romp in the woods or on the moor in the National Park where we live. They also enjoy a good roll when they are outside and frequently come back from a walk with all sorts of mud coloured stripes on their coats. Our nicknames for both of them is ‘gunk’.
To limit the transference of any ‘gunk’ on their coats to our home, we tend to enter and exit our home by the back door, which is the entrance to our kitchen/diner where they sleep, or as they like to call it, their bedroom. We then confine them to this room until they are dry and have had the chance to clean themselves up a little.
On that subject, Dalmatians are very clean dogs – they are surprisingly easy to maintain. Being of athletic build and provided they are fed and exercised well, a Dalmatian will usually have a clean and smooth coat which has a silky lustre to it. This type of coat does help to limit the amount of ‘gunk’ that will adhere to it. Together with the oils which are present in their coats, once dry, dirt does tend to fall off their coats, so even the dirtiest dog will be surprisingly clean within a short space of time.
Dalmatians like to keep themselves clean and it is usual for them to spend quite a lot of time and effort licking and cleaning themselves. If you have more than one Dalmatian, like us, they will groom each other, particularly in hard to reach areas like their ears or head.
In essence, it’s great that your Dalmatian is likely to spend a lot of time grooming themselves, each other if you have more than one and sometimes as part of their pack, they will also groom you. Dalmatians take cleanliness very seriously and that is good news in the fight against loose fur.