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Dogs and Sunburn

dog at beach

dog swimming
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;
• Eyelids
• 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.