Last Updated on October, 2023
Dalmatians are one of the most sought-after dogs by pet parents for their instantly recognizable spotted coats. Dalmatians have been around for hundreds of years as companion dogs among elites and as working dogs among the working class.
Despite their reputation, they have a small demand and aren’t that popular. They are relatively easy to find, leading to a lower price tag.
You can purchase these dogs from a reputable breeder and expect to pay around $500 to $1200, comparatively less expensive than many other dog breeds.
So if you’re thinking about adding a Dalmatian to your family, you need to expect certain things in terms of cost once you bring your canine partner home.
In this article, I’ve discussed everything you should know before bringing a Dalmatian puppy home, including several factors that affect a Dalmatian’s price.
Let’s get in!
Dalmatians typically cost between $500 to $1200 when purchased from reputable breeders.
The first year of ownership is the most expensive, costing around $4000 for the supplies.
After the first year, ongoing costs such as medical expenses, grooming costs, and vet costs can be expected to cost around $1500 for an adult dog.
Table of Contents
- About the Dalmatian Breed
- How Much Does a Dalmatian Cost?
- Where to Buy a Dalmatian Dog?
- Initial Cost of Raising a Dalmatian Puppy
- Cost of Raising a Dalmatian
About the Dalmatian Breed
Size and Appearance
Dalmatians are graceful and elegant, with black or brown spots on white.
The spots begin to appear on the skin after ten days of birth.
While the black and white color combination is common, liver Dalmatians can occur due to recessive genes inherited from the pup’s parents.
They usually are muscular yet possess sleek bodies with short but dense coats. The tail is long and has an upward curve.
These dogs are striking in appearance due to their eye-catching spotted coat. Dalmatians are considered medium-sized dogs but have powerful, well-balanced bodies, sprung ribs, and deep chests.
With well-defined withers and strong, level backs, these dogs have much stamina and speed when required. They have strong back legs, usually tall and strong.
Along with a muscular body and distinctive coat amongst every breed, they possess potent hindquarters and a powerful stride that covers the ground effortlessly.
Generally speaking of the size, by the time a Dalmatian reaches 16 months of age, they typically get their high potential. They can be anything from 19 to 23 inches at the withers and weigh somewhere between 45 to 60 pounds.
A Dalmatian’s average lifespan can be 12 to 14 years though some can live as long as 15 to 16 years. They also suffer from health complications like; allergies, hypothyroidism, seizures, iris sphincter dysplasia, and significant issues like; deafness and urinary stones.
Some of them are prone to complications like; canine hip dysplasia (CHD) or the formation of urinary calculi (more on this topic in a while).
Dalmatians are playful, hard-working, energetic dogs who are very sensitive, affectionate, and loyal to their family.
These dogs are obedient and do well with children, although some may be too boisterous for young children. They are brilliant, can be well-trained, and are often considered good watchdogs.
Although Dals are friendly and good towards well-known dogs and people, they are aloof with strangers and unknown dogs.
Dals are not COUCH POTATOES!! They need frequent exercise and need to be kept busy physically and mentally as well.
On the other hand, they quickly become bored because of their sensitive nature. Avoid leaving your furry friend alone, not for more than an hour. Make sure you provide him with toys to keep him occupied and happy.
Dalmatians were used as hunting dogs, dogs of war, and guarding Dalmatia’s borders. On the other hand, they are also best known for working for firefighters as firefighting apparatus escorts and firehouse mascots.
They were easily trained to run in front of carriages to help clear a path and guide the horses and firefighters to the fires. Despite this job, they were given the name carriage dogs.
Dals are also known for having good “memory.” Though they tend to be good companion dogs, they cannot be the best fit for a first-time dog owner, as their aggression could be mismanaged.
Types of Dalmatian Breeds
You can find Dalmatians very rarely with colors like; brindle, blue, and lemon Dalmatians with orange spots. And very rarely, a tricolor Dalmatian has tan black and tan spots.
Sometimes you can also find Dalmatians with long hair, commonly called “Long-coat Dalmatians,” which are rare and caused by recessive genes.
Health and Trainability
As Dalmatians are working dogs, they always want themselves engaged in activities and keep their paws moving to stay fit and happy.
They require consistent training, and positive reinforcement is what they expect when they do something right.
As stated previously, Dals are very sensitive with long memories and will recall any mistreatments and should not be trained roughly.
Consistent and gently correcting them for their mistakes is the only way to succeed in training other than harsh methods.
They would love to join you on long hikes, bike rides, or jogs. You can include exercises like; long walks, the game of fetch, and playing in the park to keep them physically strong and for their mental well-being.
Dalmatians also excelled in agility, dock diving, barn hunting, and road trails with horses. You should set about one to two hours every day for exercise.
If Dals don’t exercise enough, they might become destructive in trying to entertain themselves.
Speaking of their health, as mentioned previously, Dalmatians are prone to certain health complications specific to the breed, such as; Deafness, urinary stones, and allergies.
A Reputable breeder will have their breeds tested before breeding to ensure they don’t pass any genetic health issues. However, during their late teens, both males and females suffer born spurs and arthritis.
Autoimmune thyroiditis is common among these breeds.
Most of these health issues aren’t fatal but could affect the Dalmatian life expectancy. Here are some of the common health issues;
Deafness has been a severe problem for Dalmatians. The early breeders did not recognize this, so the breed was considered unintelligent. (1)
When hearing testing became a norm, many breeders were amazed to identify unilateral hearing dogs and did not understand their nature even after placing it as a genetic fault.
Dalmatians with unilateral hearing (deaf in one ear) can usually lead a normal lifestyle, whereas a bilateral-hearing dog will need special considerations.
Deafness in Dalmatians continues to be a frequent problem. The responsible breeder will check the parents and the entire litter to ensure they can hear.
A deaf dog will fail to understand your command and need special sign language training. The risk of getting injured is high as they can’t hear, and they’ll not be able to tackle any dangers coming towards them.
The British Dalmatian Club recommends purchasing only a Dalmatian puppy who is BAER tested. They request all the breeders have their dog BAER tested, which can prove that the dog’s hearing has no defects.
This is the most common neurological problem in every dog, causing seizures. If left untreated, it can be a mortal disease damaging the brain. But most dogs respond to anti-seizure medications and can lead an everyday life.
- Bladder Stones:
A specific type of bladder stone called a uric acid stone, partially or entirely blocks the urinary tract, which can be fatal. This can make your dog pee inside the house and cause difficulty urinating. (2)
They should be surgically treated and need medication to prevent future stones.
- Copper-associated Liver Disease:
In this case, copper develops in a Dalmatian’s liver, leading to liver disease. Left untreated, it can cause liver malfunction, lethargy, and loss of appetite.
To prevent such conditions, you need to feed a low-copper diet. (3)
Other health problems include:
- Hip dysplasia: this is a common problem with all large breeds, and the same goes for Dalmatians. The disease may affect the dog’s left or right hips, causing them to experience fatigue and severe pain.
- Bacterial folliculitis: An inflammatory skin disease caused by bacteria that can lead to hair loss.
- Dilated Cardiomyopathy: a fatal condition where the heart cannot pump blood effectively.
- Laryngeal Paralysis and Polyneuropathy: a condition in which the nerve in the throat degenerates.
- Atopic Dermatitis: a skin condition caused by ingested allergens that result in excessive licking and scratching.
- Protein-losing Enteropathy: in this case, the proteins are lost from the bloodstream to the gastrointestinal tract, which can cause fluid in the dog’s abdomen or diarrhea.
Your Dalmatian might be prone to any of these health conditions during their lifetime. It’s the responsibility of us, the pet parents, to keep an eye on them, identify their changes in behavior and abnormalities, and seek vet visits.
How Much Does a Dalmatian Cost?
A Dalmatian puppy’s price could range between $50 to $2000, with an average price of $800. The price is mainly dependent on where the dog is adopted from.
You could expect to pay around $3900 for the first year of adoption, costing $300 per month, which includes the cost of supplies that must come with a new dog, like a dog bed and dog crate.
The yearly price would substantially reduce afterward. But the cost of the same breed can vary depending on certain factors.
These are some of the factors that affect the price of Dalmatian puppies.
- Bloodline/Pedigree: This could be one of the primary factors affecting the price. The price tag could be substantially higher if your dog comes from a champion dog’s bloodline. This ensures that your dog inherits the best traits from the parent dogs.
- Breeder’s Reputation And kennel Club Registration: Buying a Dalmatian from a reputable breeder could cost more as they invest more money than others to care for their breeding dogs. But it’s best if not purchased from backyard breeders and puppy mills as they are unaware of the health testing of their adult dogs and don’t know how to raise pups properly.
And some of the breeders are also members of significant kennel clubs.
A purebred dog, a Dalmatian, can be registered under American Kennel Club (AKC) and
United Kennel Club (UKC), which could also be included in the final price of the puppy.
- Dog’s Age: An adult Dalmatian costs much less than a Dalmatian puppy.
- Health testing and expenses: Some breeders have their breeding dogs and puppies tested and evaluated for different medical conditions ensuring that the customers get the healthiest dogs.
If the Dalmatian puppy develops any health problem or disease within one year of purchase, the dog owner could return the pup and get a new one.
Puppies with health guarantees usually are expensive.
- Coat Color and Markings: Only specific coat colors and combinations are breed standard and accepted by kennel clubs. Puppies with rare coat colors and combinations drive the price higher.
- Training and Socialization: Some breeders provide basic obedience training and socialization training before adoption for the puppy to be easily adjusted and to develop a well-behaved puppy. A correctly socialized puppy could be pricier.
This helps you save money as you don’t have to spend more on training.
A Dalmatian usually costs between $800 to $5000. Since they are energetic medium-sized dogs, they need high-quality food to maintain their strength.
You also need to spend on maintenance, and you’ve got vet expenses as well. You can spend around $135 per month. Let’s discuss everything in detail in a short while.
Where to Buy a Dalmatian Dog?
You can purchase a Dalmatian puppy from puppy mills and many backyard breeders who advertise on social media and Craigslist.
However, puppies purchased from them could cost less as they don’t come with the proper socialization and health care that a reputable breeder offers.
This website advertises puppies mainly through backyard breeders and puppy mills. Though they are less expensive, most puppies on Craigslist are not from qualified breeders.
They are regular dog breeders who have very little experience in breeding dogs. They own a Dalmatian, as many others do, and produce a litter. Their adult dogs are often not health tested since they were never informed that this was necessary.
On the other hand, puppy mills also advertise on Craigslist. Puppies grown at puppy mills might be subjected to several health problems as mills are smaller places that are probably not clean.
Many puppies here are mostly taken from their mother too early, which could lead to behavioral issues like separation anxiety.
As rescues are a non-profit organization, the puppy price you purchase from here could only be determined by health expenditures. You could expect to pay around $150 to $350.
As puppies need the utmost healthcare at the beginning of their life stage, they are pricier than adult dogs. But you would never know how these puppies came to be.
In most cases, they are not from breeders; they are frequently accidental litters that mostly are not purebreds. On the other hand, some of these pups have an unknown history.
But once they arrive at the rescue, they are given the proper medical treatment. They would identify any diseases and treat them at the shelter. Therefore they are healthier than puppies bought on Craigslist.
This is the most expensive way of owning a Dalmatian puppy. This is because they put a lot of effort and work into raising a healthy pup. The parents are often health tested before breeding, and only the healthiest dogs are chosen to be bred.
This prevents any genetic issues from being passed to a future litter. This can be expensive.
They contribute a lot to raising the pup once they are bred. They are well-socialized, and some even have basic training. This will help grow a well-behaved puppy later on.
They also receive exceptional health care, including the first vaccination before being adopted. Some may also have been tested with BAER to ensure their hearing has no defects as they are prone to deafness.
With all that a breeder offers, the price ranges from $500 to $1200. Any other additional cost to the breeder will be added to the final cost of the puppy.
Initial Cost of Raising a Dalmatian Puppy
Once you get your Dalmatian puppy home, you need to buy the necessary items for your puppy’s comfort and well-being.
Below are the essential items you should purchase for your Dalmatian puppy.
- Bed: Once your pup reaches adulthood, he needs a big comfortable bed to rest in. As they are larger dogs, they need quite a large place to relax to prevent the cause of hip dysplasia. Prepare to pay around $40 to $180 for a dog bed.
- Crate: You need a crate to keep your pup inside when you are not home. The average price of a large crate is $50 to $370.
- Food And Water Bowls: Ensure that you buy long-lasting bowls, which cost around $10 to $30.
- Initial Vaccines: Your puppy needs to complete the three sets of core vaccinations, which include shots for distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza, and rabies until it reaches one year old. If your breeder has you covered, you need to pay about $75 to $200.
- Neuter Or Spaying: If you don’t want to breed your litter, you should neuter or spay your puppy, which could cost you about $50 to $500.
- Dog license: To establish a unique identification for your Dalmatian puppy, you should register it for a dog license, often charging a fee ranging from $10 to $20.
- Initial Vet Visit: Your Dalmatian puppy must be taken to their vet regularly to check their health. The expenses usually range from $100 to $300, depending on the consultation.
- Leash And Collar: You need a durable leash and collar for these energetic dogs, as they need to be taken on frequent walks. This would cost $15 to $50 for both.
- Toys: To keep your puppy occupied and to help him through his teeth and jaw development, you can buy chew toys for about $30 to $40.
- Grooming Requirements: Since Dalmatians possess short coats, grooming them is a cinch. You need a hairbrush for regular grooming sessions and other required tools. A grooming kit could cost anywhere from $40 to $160.
- Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medication: If your breeder does not provide your Dalmatian puppy with these medications, you need to go to a veterinarian and get your puppy dewormed for $50 to $200.
Cost of Raising a Dalmatian
Starting from scratch, when you get a puppy, you first have to buy everything they need, including a dog bed and crate. The initial investment is what breaks your bank after owning a Dalmatian.
However, after the first year of adoption, the cost will substantially reduce as you’ll have everything your dog needs. Of course, you still need to pay for food, vet bills, grooming, etc., but these expenditures are constant throughout a dog’s life.
Your Dalmatian’s food cost will increase as they age and become larger dogs. As they are large dogs weighing 60lb, they will generally eat more than 280lb.
Puppies don’t eat as much as adults do as they are smaller in size and will eat around 190 lb of food, costing you between $155 to $300.
You can pay about $300 to $450 yearly for high-quality dog food. But the cost could vary depending on certain factors, including age and activity level.
You can save money by purchasing low-quality dog food, but we don’t recommend doing so as lower-quality foods could cause allergies and issues, which could end up costing you more on vet bills than you ended up saving on food.
Besides purchasing lower quality food and saving money, there are many ways to reduce the cost rather than compromising on quality or health.
If your dog needs exceptional prescription food, you can expect to spend about $550 per year on adult dog food and $450 for puppies.
Health and Vet Visitation
You need to have a bit of money to spend on your Dalmatians as they cost more in this aspect. This is where you need to concentrate and expect to spend a few hundred.
You will need to pay around $500 annually for your dog’s medical costs. Your puppy will need frequent vet visits yearly for physical checkups, vaccines, heartworm prevention, flea prevention, and fecal examination.
While adult Dalmatians need to visit the vet only once a year, they will need more done at one appointment, which will cost you $600 for adults as well.
As your dog grows, he might also need frequent vet checks and special supplements. It’s advisable to budget for pet insurance to meet the needs of any potential problem that is likely to happen.
If you’re to spay or neuter your pup, you’ll need to pay an additional $50 to $300. So if you want a happy and energetic dog, be prepared to pay all these ongoing costs for the veterinarian.
The first reason puppies are expensive by qualified breeders is the cost of medical tests to ensure that the dog’s health is normal. Like every other breed, specific tests must be taken before they are bred.
Recommended health tests from the AKC
- BAER testing
- Hip Evaluation
Dalmatians are easy to maintain. Most dog owners could groom them by themselves by saving the money spent on professional grooming.
Because their coat is short, they only require a little grooming. Otherwise, if you opt for professional grooming, you could groom your Dalmatians 6 times a year on average, each session costing between $40 to $60.
The grooming price may differ depending on the coat condition, dog size, age, health and behavior, and the services purchased.
Professional grooming includes hair removal if necessary, bath and shampoo, brushing, trimming nails, and cleaning ears, teeth, and eyes.
A grooming kit for your dog at home can be found anywhere from $25 to $295, depending on the equipment you require.
Like other dogs, Dalmatians need training, especially if you adopt a Dalmatian puppy. Introduce him to new people and places as a part of his training.
When he realizes that new people and places are nothing to be afraid of, it’ll make his life much easier with you.
He should be taught to behave from the earliest as possible. Since Dals are super sensitive, positive reward-based training is a must.
If you cannot get the job right, you can opt for early socialization, puppy training classes, or a dog trainer to help you get the job done.
Even if you’ve worked with dogs before, group classes will incredibly benefit you as Dalmatians are not friendly by nature, which would help them socialize with dogs.
You could expect to spend about $150 to $200 for a few sessions of group classes. For things to get much more convenient, you could also socialize your puppy outside the session.
On the other hand, for older dogs who aren’t social enough to be in a group setting, you could ask for individual classes and spend at least $1000 on a session.
Usually, group classes are recommended after private classes, which can cost you about $1200 overall.
But you know what? We have got you a better solution when it comes to training. K9TI (K9 Training Institute) is an online dog training program that is totally free of cost. By relying on this program, you can train your dog on your own, which can build a bond between you and your dog.
Overall Annual Expenses
If you’re really desperate to own a Dalmatian, you must keep a hefty sum of money. The costs are higher during the first year since you’ll be dealing with startup supplies. Each year is crucial for your dog’s development.
The supplies would cost around $450 for the first year, including a dog bed and crate, which could be expensive since they are large in size.
You’ll need to pay for some ongoing costs, such as food and vet bills. This will cost about $1500 for an adult dog and about $4000 for the first year.
Vet costs tend to be the highest among all other expenditures. Here’s the summary of the annual expenses of owning a Dalmatian.
|Beds||$120 – $140|
|Pet Insurance||$500 – $900|
|Vaccinations||$80 – $250|
|Grooming||$150 – $300|
|Leashes and Collars||$25 – $35|
|Foods and Treats||$480 – $960|
|Routine Veterinary Care||$200 – $400|
|Heartworm, Flea, and Tick Medication||$150 – $250|
|Miscellaneous Supply||$30 – $50|
|Yearly Total||$1735 – $3285|
|Average Monthly Cost||$144 – $273|
Other Dog Breeds Pricing Guides:
Dalmatians typically cost $500 to $1200 on average when purchased from reputable breeders, which is relatively inexpensive. For the first year, you are likely to spend $4000 for the dog supplies for a puppy.
After this startup cost, you could expect to pay around $1500 for an adult dog, including; medical expenses, grooming costs, and vet costs.
If you’re financially set to become Dalmatian owners, you should get one immediately. A Dalmatian is worth every penny. They can be super affectionate family dogs, and they are also service dogs at times.
They thrive in active families and are the best fit for dog owners looking for an obedient and intelligent companion.
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