Can Dogs Get Sunburned?

Are you planning some exciting outdoor activities for you and your doggo, this coming spring and summer season? If you are, then it is important to ensure that you are able to protect them from the risk of sunburn. After all, just because dogs have fur doesn’t mean they are exempt from the harsh UV rays. 

Your doggo’s coat may help them manage it a bit better than the rest of us, but prolonged exposure is still a problem. This means that they are at risk of being sunburnt, especially in exposed areas like the nose, ears, and belly. Worse than that, they are also susceptible to the risk of serious health issues like hair loss, and even skin cancer. It is for this reason that you are always encouraged to use dog sunscreen.

Which Dogs Are Most At Risk Of Sunburn?

All dogs have sensitive areas that are at risk of sunburn. This mostly refers to areas of their bodies that are exposed such as; nose, ears, belly, etc. On the other hand, there are some specific dogs in particular that are naturally more susceptible to sunburn.

For example, white-coated dogs usually have fair skin and are at more risk. Dogs with thin hair and especially those that are hairless and have no fur at all are also extremely sensitive too. Some of the most common dog breeds to watch out for include:

  • Dalmatians
  • Australian Sheepdogs
  • Collies
  • Bulldogs
  • Chinese Crested Dogs
  • Pit Bulls 

How Can I Prevent Sun Damage To My Dog?

#1. Provide Them With Shade

There are some pet parents out there that tend to shave their pooches in the summer, in an attempt to try and keep them cool. The problem with that is that in doing so, you essentially expose your dog’s skin to an even higher risk of sunburn if they go outside. 

A simpler method of keeping them protected is to make sure that they stay protected under shade when outside. Dogs like people will naturally gravitate towards shaded areas to keep away from excess sunlight. This means making sure that there are places in your outside your house that your dog can comfortably take cover under, eg. big trees, dog kennels, etc. 

If you are taking them out for walks, you can also try purchasing them a dog umbrella to use, while on the move. It is also always best to avoid taking them outside during peak sunlight hours. You can just walk them in the early morning or late evening, instead. 

This will not only keep them safe from any unnecessary heat, but it will avoid the risk of them burning their delicate paws from walking on hot roads and paths without dog boots.

#2. Apply Dog Sunscreen

Using dog sunscreen is an excellent way to avoid the risk of your pet developing serious skin conditions. Make sure to apply it to their most exposed areas that we mentioned before, eg. nose, ears, belly, etc. 

You should also avoid using human sunscreen because some of these products could contain harmful ingredients that your dog may ingest. There are many pet-friendly alternatives to choose from in the market, so take your time to find something that contains natural ingredients and provides effective protection.

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