Did you know that today is Fire Pup Day? It’s probably not hard to guess what pooch is getting the most attention on this occasion: the Dalmatian! These beautiful spotted dogs have become cultural icons, and are still found in many firehouses today! A local New Orleans, LA vet puts Fido in the Spotlight in this article.
Ever wonder how the Dalmatian got the job of fire pup? Turns out that Fido tends to get along really, really well with horses. Because of this, he soon became a popular carriage dog. That friendship proved extremely helpful for fire houses. Dalmatians helped keep horses calm at fires, ran along with carriages and helped get people out of the way, protected horses from thieves, and just kept them company. Even today, Dalmatians are companions to the famous Budweiser Clydesdales.
Fido’s name is tied to his homeland, Dalmatia, which is in what is now known as Croatia. However, he’s also had several nicknames, including English Coach Dog, Firehouse Dog, Spotted Coach Dog, Carriage Dog, and even Plum Pudding Dog. Speaking of spots, those iconic markings don’t appear until a puppy is about three weeks old.
The Dalmatian is most well-known as a fire pup, but that isn’t the only job Fido has held down. He’s also a renowned circus performer. Fido also excels at hunting, herding, and ratting, and has also been used as a guard dog. Of course, he also makes a wonderful pet and companion.
Dalmatians are great pets, but they are predisposed to a few specific health issues. Deafness is a big one. This is common among any pups with white coats, as the gene that is linked to hearing loss is also tied to white coats. Fido is also prone to developing bladder and kidney problems, which is why many veterinarians and breeders recommend feeding him a low-protein diet.
The Dalmatian certainly enjoyed a turn in the spotlight after the release of Disney’s 101 Dalmatians. Unfortunately, this wasn’t all good. After the movie came out, many people rushed to adopt Dalmatians, not realizing that these guys are both extremely smart and highly energetic, and really need a lot of attention, training, exercise, and playtime. Always do plenty of research before adopting a dog of any breed.
Do you have questions about caring for your canine pal? Contact us, your local New Orleans, LA animal clinic, today!