Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > Dogs > How to Groom a Dalmatian: 6 Expert Tips

How to Groom a Dalmatian: 6 Expert Tips

dalmatian dog grooming

Dalmatians are very popular dogs with an iconic look. They have short durable coats and recognizable spots. Some people think that since Dalmatians are sleek dogs with short coats, they do not need to be groomed. That is not the case. Dalmatian grooming is basic compared to some other breeds, but it is still necessary. Here is everything you need to know about grooming a Dalmatian, including what you will need, what areas need the most attention, and a general grooming schedule to consult.

divider-dog paw


Before attempting to groom your Dalmatian, you should make sure that you have everything you need to complete the job. Some dogs do not like to sit still, especially for some things like ear cleanings or nail trimmings. You want to make sure you are prepared so that you can finish the job quickly and efficiently. Dalmatians do not require much in the way of grooming, so the supplies you will need are basic, but it is still a good idea to make sure they are close by before starting.

What You Will Need:

  • Brush
  • Hard curry (optional)
  • Horsehair mitt (optional)
  • Water source
  • Towel
  • Dog shampoo
  • Nail trimmers
  • Ear cleaner

Time: 15 – 60 minutes

People: 1 – 2

Complexity: Basic

hand brushing a dalmatian dog
Image Credit: SasPartout, Shutterstock


The 6 Tips to Groom Your Dalmatian

1. Brush Your Dalmatian Thoroughly

Despite having short coats, Dalmatians shed quite a bit. In order to help reduce the amount of unwanted shedding, many Dalmatian owners opt for brushing their Dalmatians regularly. Many experts suggest brushing your Dalmatian once a week using either a horsehair mitt or rubber curry. Use long slow strokes and make sure that you are getting below the topcoat down to the skin so that you pick up as much dead and dying fur as possible.

You can brush your Dalmatian as much as you want. Some Dalmatians like being brushed. Other Dalmatians do not like being brushed. The frequency and amount of brushing you do is entirely up to you.

2. Bathe Your Dalmatian

The next important step for grooming a Dalmatian is to bathe them. Giving a Dalmatian a bath after you brush them is a great way to finish removing as much dead hair as possible. Some Dalmatians will need more frequent baths than others. Active Dalmatians that spend a lot of time outside will likely need more baths than Dalmatians that spend most of their time inside. Some owners like having their Dalmatians look super bright and white, and they will likely want to bathe their dog more often than people who do not care as much about the minute details of their Dalmatian’s coat.

a happy dalmatian dog wearing a pink bath cap
Image Credit: RavenaJuly, Shutterstock

3. Trim Your Dalmatian’s Nails

Most dogs need their nails trimmed periodically. Dalmatians are no different. You should put your Dalmatian in your lap and use a specialized dog trimmer to clip the tip of each nail. Trimming your dog’s nails is important to keep them from getting too long or too sharp. Nails that get too long can start to curl into the paw pad, which can be painful and lead to infection. Long nails also are more susceptible to breaking, which can also lead to a painful infection. Long nails can also be very sharp if your dog jumps on you. Trimming your Dalmatian’s nails periodically will keep them short, blunt, and healthy and can help to prevent breaks and infections.

4. Check the Ears

Since Dalmatians have floppy or droopy ears, they are more likely to get ear infections than dogs with erect ears. This is because the droopy ears can trap dirt, dust, and wax inside, which can end up growing bacteria inside the ear. You should check your Dalmatian’s ears when you are grooming them. Lift each ear and look for signs of dirt or wax. Smell the ear and see if you smell yeast or anything out of the ordinary. Move the ear around to see if your Dalmatian shows any sign of discomfort or pain. If you find any signs of infection or dirt build up, you will likely need to clean the ears.

dog ear cleaning supplies
Image Credit: Maria Jose Silva Jimenez, Shutterstock

5. Clean the Ears If Necessary

If you see any concerning signs in your Dalmatian’s ears, you should attempt to clean them to get rid of any dirt, dust, wax, or pre-infection to prevent a full-blown ear infection from developing. You can buy ear cleaner from your veterinarian. Read the instructions carefully and apply the ear cleaner to your dog. Usually, you squirt some cleaning solution into the ear and let it sit. Then you let your dog shake their head to clear their ears, and you use a towel to wipe out any excess you can reach. If you are not comfortable cleaning out your dog’s ears on your own, you can take them to the veterinarian to have them cleaned. Some groomers might also clean your dog’s ears.

6. Dalmatian Grooming Schedule

How often do you need to groom your Dalmatian? It depends. Every dog is different. Below, we have compiled a general schedule you can use as a guideline for your Dalmatian’s grooming needs.

Interval Action
Weekly Brush
Bi-Weekly Bathe
Monthly Trim Nails
As Needed Check Ears
Every Six Weeks Full Grooming

You can brush your Dalmatian weekly (or more frequently if you so desire.) Some Dalmatians will need weekly or bi-weekly baths, other Dalmatians might only need monthly baths depending on their activity levels. Nails should be trimmed once per month or whenever they appear to get too long or too sharp. Ears should be checked periodically and cleaned as needed. Lastly, it is a good idea to give your Dalmatian a “full grooming” session once every 6 to 8 weeks. That means brushing them, giving them a bath, and checking their nails and ears. This will ensure that you are checking everything at regular intervals, which will help keep your Dalmatian clean, happy, and healthy.



Dalmatians’ grooming needs are simple and straightforward. They don’t need any haircuts or blowouts to look their best. They do, however, need regular brushing and baths to keep their coats healthy. They also need their ears and nails checked. These are all standard grooming practices that nearly every dog needs. Do not neglect your Dalmatian’s grooming needs, as even simple periodic grooming can make a big difference in their appearance and health.


Featured Image Credit: yurakrasil, Shutterstock

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets