“Spot” Light on the Dalmatian

October 1st is officially National Fire Pup Day! Of course, when most people think of firehouse dogs, the Dalmatian is usually what comes to mind. These iconic spotted dogs have helped save countless lives, and are permanently entwined with firefighter lore. A Folsom, CA vet discusses the Dalmatian in this article.


As the name may suggest, Dalmatians originated in Dalmatia, which is a region of Croatia. The AKC officially recognized these lovable spotted pups back in 1988. Of course, the breed has been around much longer than that. Dalmatians are depicted in an altar painting from the early 1600’s, and have been found in written records as far back as the 1800’s.


Although Dalmatians are closely associated with being firehouse mascots, they actually make wonderful pets. Smart and playful, these cute pooches are very lovable, and are full of tail wags and puppy kisses. They are very active, however, and need lots of exercise and playtime to thrive. They also require regular brushings to remove dead fur and dander from their coats.


Dalmatians are actually white when they are born. Those pretty spots usually start to show up within the first month. There is a downfall to having mostly white coats, however. Dalmatians, like many other white dogs, are at fairly high risk of deafness. This is because they are missing certain stem cells, which provide both hearing and pigmentation cells.

Firefighting History

Did you ever wonder how the Dalmatian first became connected to firemen? The horse, of course! These cute spotted pups have a natural affinity to horses. In fact, Dalmatians were once very popular as carriage dogs. They often became so close to their hooved pals that they slept in the horses’ stalls. In the past, horses were used to haul water to fires. Our canine pals proved to be extremely helpful in keeping frightened horses calm during raging fires. They also kept horse thieves away!

Today’s Dalmatian

Although Dalmatians are no longer needed to help with the horses, they’ve earned a permanent home in many fire stations. They still help firemen by guarding their equipment and belongings. They also sometimes help just by doing what dogs do best: providing friendship, comfort, and cuddles during tough times.

Please contact us, your Folsom, CA vet clinic, for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs. We are dedicated to providing great care!

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