Can dogs get sunburn?

Can dogs get sunburn?

5 minute read

Sunburn is a painful and damaging ailment that affects the body's major organ, the skin. The skin will develop signs of sunburn in a few hours after exposure to bright sun. The skin's surface becomes red, painful, and heated to the touch in people. It may take several days for this skin problem to heal and vanish. The recurrence of skin lesions might result in serious physical harm over time. Even when it is neither hot nor sunny, sunburn can be avoided with proper skin protection.

Sunburn is not just a problem for humans, but it can also be a problem for pets. Pets' ears, noses, eyelids, and stomachs are the most common sunburned places, and they are especially vulnerable if they are light-colored (ginger/white) or have skin / bald patches. It is critical to protect your pet against sunburn, not only because it is painful but also because it can lead to skin cancer in some cases.


Protecting pets from sunburn:

When it comes to preventing sunburn in pets, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Of course, keeping pets out of the sun is the greatest method to avoid sunburn. However, since this isn't always possible, there are some precautions you may take.

  • Between 10:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., the sun's beams are at their brightest. Keep in mind that this isn't always the hottest part of the day, so even if it's cool in the morning, your pet can still get sunburned. If your dog likes to spend time in the backyard,ensure they have access to shade when they need it.
  • Dog raincoats, for example, are UV-blocking garments meant for both dogs and cats. Raincoats for dogs are similar to bodysuits in that they fit snugly yet are stretchy and comfy. Look for shirts with a UPF of at least 25. (Ultraviolet Protection Factor). These Dog raincoats are ideal for beach dogs since they shield their bottom from light reflected upwards from the ocean or sand.
  • If you live in a region where the sun is intense, and you want to limit your dog's sun exposure by accident, you can install solar screens in your home windows, which help to block UV light. Tinted window film can be applied to your home and car windows for added security.
  • To avoid potential danger from licking and swallowing, you must use sunscreen safe for your pet. A variety of efficient sunscreensfor dogs are available at veterinary hospitals. Protect your dog's ears, nose, abdomen, and nasal passageways with sunscreen. Sun hats are also available for dogs; however, some dogs are allergic and will become angry if they are worn.


How can I treat my sunburned dog?

Here are some actions you may take to start the process of preparing your dog for mediation if they have sunburn or heat exhaustion. Cold compresses can be applied to your dog's skin to help calm it down, prevent future damage, and relieve pain. However, your dog should be evaluated by a veterinarian who, if the injury is serious, can administer intravenous fluids to rehydrate or stabilize your dog. You may tell whether your dog is burning in the sun if you observe red or pink skin, especially near more delicate regions like the ears, eyes, and nose. Burns is best treated with calming solutions like aloe vera, witch hazel, or coconut oil that won't irritate your dog's skin.

Anti-inflammatory cortisone ointment or topical antifungal or anti-bacterial creams are other treatments that a veterinarian may use to prevent or cure secondary infections.


Other summer risks:

Summer sun can also induce skin ulcers, which can lead to opportunistic bacterial, fungal, and parasite skin infections. Sun exposure can also increase the risk of skin illnesses including pemphigus and lupus, in which the immune system destroys skin cells. Skin cells die as a result of UV exposure and can release proteins that wrongly stimulate the immune system.

Sunburn can develop into more significant issues such as squamous cell carcinoma, malignant melanoma, and hemangiomas, all types of skin cancer. Sunburn can aggravate illnesses, including autoimmune disorders and dermatitis, and cause discomfort at surgery sites. Fortunately, your dog can avoid absorbing too many ultraviolet (UV) rays with a bit of forethought.



While many pet parents do not consider it, preventing sunburn in pets is crucial for their comfort and health. Because sunburn in dogs and cats is not visible right away due to their hair coat, it's vital to keep track of their sun exposure and check for sunburn to determine if they've been out in the sun for an extended period. It's also a good idea to examine your dog's or cat's skin for anything unusual from time to time. Early signs of skin cancer include red, rough, or swollen patches, as well as sores that do not heal (particularly on the face, abdomen, and ears). As a result, make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

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