Do dogs get sunburns?

You're not the only one who needs to slather on the SPF before hanging out in the sun all day.

The summer sun can be a great comfort to people who like the warm weather and time outdoors, but spending too long basking in the light can have some seriously negative consequences. Most people know they need to apply some sunscreen before getting out in the rays, but fewer are aware of how important that step is for their dogs, too.

Protecting dogs from sunburn
Despite the layer of fur, your pooch's skin is just as vulnerable to the sun's effects skin as you are. This is especially true if your pup has short fur or you give it a haircut for the summer. The sun's rays can still reach the skin and causing painful burns. They can even develop skin cancer.

The best way to protect your dog from the sun is to limit its exposure. On hot, bright days, it may be better if it spent some more time inside instead. When your pup does go outside, try to provide plenty of access to shade. Set up a lead, like the Hartz® Tie-Out, in a shady area under a tree, or set up a large beach umbrella if you're out in the open. 

You can also apply sunscreen to your dog, provided you use the right kind. Many sunscreens made for people include zinc oxide, which can be dangerous for canines, according to Vet Street. Sun lotions that don't contain that element could be beneficial for your pooch – look for products marketed to babies and small children and check the list of ingredients to find a safe one.

Finding and treating sunburn
The USDAA reported that sunburns can manifest on dog skin as a red burn or fur loss. Dogs with white fur, even in patches, or light-colored noses are the most susceptible to sunburn. If your pup's been outside all day, check its skin for signs of distress. 

If you find that your pet has a mild sunburn, you should apply a cool washcloth or a beneficial ointment like aloe vera gel. A severe sunburn should be seen by a vet as soon as possible.

Make sure that you check on your pup frequently when it's outside. If you notice a burn forming, find some shade or bring it inside immediately. Keep water dishes filled as well to prevent dehydration from the heat. 


This content is provided by the pet experts at Hartz®. Before you invest in a new chew toy, biscuit or treat for your companion, turn to us for top-of-the-line advice and tips.

Category: Pet Supplies