yes dogs can get sunburn - and badly - keep them out the noonday su this is responsible dog ownership when taking dog on holiday

Can Dogs Get Sunburn? Answers and Solutions


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Can dogs get sunburn? Given all that luxurious fur, you’d think surely not?! But in truth, neither dogs with short nor long fur can outsmart the sun (and dog nose sunburn is just the worst – just look at the pic below!).

It shines down on us all and feels good in little amounts giving us energy… but then, sunburn…

If our beloved dogs can get sunburn what do we do to help them? Because we surely don’t want them to feel the peel or sting. Most of us have suffered a few bad summer burns and no one would ever wish that on their furry BFF 😬

Worry not, the answer lies below.

can dogs get sunburn - yes especially on their nose

Can dogs get nose sunburn?

If you’re still bemusedly pondering is it really true, can dogs get sunburn, we’ll say it again – the answer’s a definite yes. Some parts of a dog, and some dog characteristics, make for a greater propensity to sunburn. It’s worth knowing what these are so you can safeguard your pooch that much better.

The areas with little or less fur are the first to burn. These are often the areas that are also the most delicate (like on us). Think the skin around the mouth and the eyelids.

Dog nose sunburn is especially common because there’s less fur and the nose protrudes. And woe betide the bare belly of any dog that happens to take a nap with their stomach to the sky – the skin on the stomach is also highly prone to sunburn.

Can dogs get sunburn more if they’re fair furred?

Not only can dogs get sunburn, but some have a higher likelihood of getting a bad burn.

While all dogs of any shape, size or colour can get sunburn, those pooches with fair fur also tend to have fairer skin that burns faster. Dogs with shorter fur can also be easily burned, as is the case for pups that spend lots of time outdoors. Hairless dogs may be at the highest risk of getting burned faster and to a more severe degree as they have no starter protection.

can dogs get sunburn - yes avoid outdoors between 10am and 4pm

Don’t change the dog, change the safety measures

Right, so now we know dogs can get sunburn, let’s take a moment to remember that dogs will be dogs. In no way, shape or form should we limit their lifestyle to avoid burn. But like any good parent, we can tail-or it (see what we did there?).

How to help your dog avoid nose sunburn and more

Dogs may be active and unruly at times, but they’ll take the lead from us. Below are some simple ways to safeguard your pup from getting sunburn:

  • Dog sunscreen. The simplest solution to protect your pet is getting sunscreen that’s designed for dogs. Your vet very likely has one on their shelf or can recommend one that suits your pup’s fur and skin.
  • Timing. Every dog has to play, but avoiding the midday sun can have a great deal of pawsitive impact on your routine. Stick to the early mornings and late afternoons and it will benefit your skin too!
  • Dog jackets. If you’re wondering can dogs get sunburn, and what to do – then dog jackets made from breathable materials could be your solution. They can reduce the risk, but there’s also the risk of overheating. Keep tabs on their temperature and don’t keep them clothed for long sessions at a time or you’ll risk heatstroke in pets.

If you’re wondering whether it’s ok to put human sunscreen on your pooch, the answer is no. The ingredients in people-sunscreen are chosen for people skin and can be harmful to your pet’s skin.

Read more tips for pet safety in summer and thanks us later.

the answer to can dogs get sunburn is a definite yes

Can dogs get sunburn – yes – know the symptoms

Hopefully you take a page from the above section and your dog never gets too much sun. But what happens if they do? Will you be able to tell they’re burned or are there special signs you need to know to recognise?

Just like the answer to can dogs get sunburn is yes, so is the answer to whether sunburn causes visible signs. Look out for:

  • Fever. Can dogs get sunburn that causes sunstroke? Yes. A bad enough sunburn can cause a fever. If your dog is badly sunburned, keep them hydrated and take them to see a vet
  • Pink, red or purple. Like people, dog’s skin can turn visibly pink or red where there’s sunburn
  • Peeling. Sunburned skin can become dry first and then start to flake. This can cause intense itching and scratching that can lead to secondary skin issues. Red or purple degrees of sunburn can require immediate vet treatment
  • Blisters or pus. Sunburned skin can become blistered, causing infection and pus that requires medical care
  • Dehydration. Not only can dogs get sunburn but they also stand the risk of becoming dehydrated. This is a dangerous state for any dog to be in and it’s best to seek veterinary care for your dog as soon as possible

Prevention is better than cure, especially considering the long term effects sunburn can lead to. For example if your fur kid already has dog skin conditions like dermatitis then sunburn can worsen it or cause infection.

Plus, certain cancers are also linked to sun overexposure. We’ve all heard this for people, and the same is true of pets.

protect your pawbaby's nose from sunburn with dog sunscreen

Safeguard your dog against sunburn and much more

Now that we know the answer to ‘can dogs get sunburn?’ is a yes let’s give them a softer landing via prevention. However, dogs that do end up really badly sunburned may need emergency vet treatment and when this happens, having pet insurance can be a seriously cushy cushion.

A PD Insurance pet plan can help cover unexpected vet bills for treatment across illness, injury and more. Having dog insurance helps provide quality medical care for your dog when you need to, without having to worry endlessly about the costs.

The sooner you invest in your pet’s health insurance, the broader the range of cover they get – especially when they’re still a puppy or kitten. Rather than having to ask yourself can dogs get sunburn, ask yourself, can you protect them easily whenever they most need it? Having dog insurance helps that answer be a ‘yes’.

Get one or months of FREE pet insurance today. Click below for more info.

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