Dogs Can Get Sunburned, Too — Here is How to Protect Your Pooch From the Sun’s Rays

Last summer, we shared one very odd, very unexpected, and very sad revelation with you–cats can get sunburned. Yep, it was news to us, too, until we did our research and learned that, just like us, the palest of our feline friends can actually develop skin cancer that stems from burns caused by an overabundance of unprotected sun exposure.

Now that summer is officially in full swing, we got to thinking about our canine buds, too. Is it possible that our favorite doggies can get sunburned just like our favorite kitties?

Our curiosity led us to a thorough investigation which resulted in us learning that dogs CAN, in fact, suffer from sunburns that, when left untreated, can mean potentially deadly implications. This threat is especially real for a handful of more vulnerable breeds, such as American Staffordshires, terrier boxers, Chinese cresteds, Dalmatians, greyhounds, Weimaraners, whippets, and white German shepherds, as well as other mutts who have lighter fur or hairless patches on their bodies.

Scary stuff, for sure, but lucky for you–and your dog, of course–there are plenty of ways you can keep your trusty canine bud out of harm’s way, even if he’s chillin’ in the sun’s rays. Here are 5 helpful ways you can protect your beloved hound during the peak of summer…

  1. Invest in a doggy-safe sunscreen

    Especially, if you are planning on protecting your pup’s most sensitive areas, like his snout or his paws. These are areas that aren’t usually covered with fur, thus making them more susceptible to sun damage. Of course, these are also the areas that often get licked, so opting for a non-toxic sunscreen that is specifically formulated for dogs is a safe bet. The most well-known brands are PawTection and Snout Soother, but any vet-recommended ones should do the job, too.

  2. Or, you can always use your kid’s sunscreen, too

    You might be surprised to know that the same sunscreen you use on your little one should also be safe enough to use on your fur baby. Just make sure that you select the SPF 30 or SPF 50 variety and that you run the plan by a trusted vet first!

  3. Keep your dog out of the sun during peak hours

    If you’re a fair-skinned guy or gal, then you already know that going out in the sun unprotected between 10 am and 2 pm can mean a serious sunburn. This is the time frame when the sun’s rays are strongest, but this damaging window doesn’t discriminate; it’s also just as dangerous for dogs. This means that you probably don’t want your canine bud tied up in your yard during these peak hours–and if they are, be prepared to reapply their sunscreen frequently!

  4. Dress your dog in protective clothing

    No, not THAT type of protective clothing–this isn’t the time to go the DIY-route, folks! Instead, invest in lightweight clothing items that are made with UV-protection in mind. This is an especially great option for dogs that lack hair or have just gotten a really close shave.

  5. Get to know the doggy sunburn symptoms

    Just like their masters, dogs who get sunburns suffer from a host of uncomfortable symptoms, such as areas of reddened skin, blistering, and pain, especially when touched. If you begin to notice these symptoms developing in your dog when they’re basking in the sunshine, do your part to protect them by moving them indoors right away. No sense in letting your BFF suffer!

We can’t wait to hear your take on doggy sunburns! Has your dog ever gotten a sunburn before? If so, did you have to follow a specific treatment plan? How do you protect your pup from the sun?

Sources: Natural Dog Company