When you're out in the sun, you probably take care to apply a layer of sunscreen or stay in the shade to avoid a painful sunburn. If you take your dog out with you, you might have wondered if your furry friend can suffer from a sunburn as well. It turns out the answer is yes, dogs can get sunburned. Dogs can also have that red and painful rash after sun exposure and repeated sunburns can cause permanent skin damage and skin cancer.
Every dog can get a sunburn, but certain dogs are more susceptible. This includes hairless breeds such as the American Hairless Terrier or Chinese Crested, dogs with thin coats or white fur, and dogs with or lighter colored noses and ears are more at risk for sunburn. Also, many dogs have no fur on their stomachs and groins, so laying outside in the sun for extended periods can result in a very painful sunburn on the exposed skin.
There are many dogs that love to lie out in the sun, or indoors by a warm window. But if your dog is spending a lot of time outside, or lying near windows that do not have UV protection, the sun rays could be damaging.
Here are some steps you can take to help keep them safe and prevent burn. The most effective options include:
If you do start to notice that your dog's skin is becoming red, is warm, or seems irritated, you will need to get your dog out of the sun as soon as possible. Aloe and ice packs can help stop the burn and provide your dog some relief, but you may also need to contact your veterinarian if your dog has become severely burned by the sun.