Like us, dogs can suffer from sunburn. Long term exposure can result in skin damage and skin cancers just like in people.
Dogs that are susceptible to sunburn
- Any dog that spends lots of time in the sun during the hottest parts of the day;
- Dogs that have white or light colored hair;
- Dogs that have very short hair, or no hair at all;
- Dogs that have lost fur through allergies, hot spots or medical treatments.
What are the signs of sunburn?
- Red or inflamed skin; and/or
- Hair loss; and/or
- Skin sores;
What areas of the body are more prone to sunburn you ask?
Those parts with smaller finer or thinner amounts of hair specifically:
- The nose;
- Tips of the ears;
- Around the mouth and snout;
- Your dog's belly, groin and inside the legs; where there is usually very little or no hair at all. These areas are at even greater risk when your dog is on a reflective surface, such as walking on a black top or close to water.
How do I prevent dog sunburn?
- Keep your dog inside, in a cool room, or if he's a outside pet, in an adequately covered shelter during the hottest parts of the day;
- Use an animal safe sunscreen on those parts of his body more susceptible to sunburn
- If you regularly groom your dog in the summer, think about leaving the coat a little bit longer so the hair may offer some protection. Be sure to talk to your groomer about your dogs coat, sometimes the hair is a certain length specifically to protect your dog from the sun and you do not want to do more harm than good.