Protecting Your Dog From Sunburn This Summer

by | May 25 2023

It’s hard to imagine that even with all that fur, your dog can still get sunburnt! As surprising as this is, however, sunburn isn’t just a human woe; our delightful doggos can feel the heat too! This is why protecting your dog from sunburn is so important this summer.

While we’re all excited to see sunny holidays, sandy beach trips and delicious BBQs again, it is crucial that, as dog owners, we protect our pets from sunburn during their wag-tastic summer adventures, so in this article, we uncover why dogs need extra care in the warmer weather, how to protect them from the sun and how to recognise the tell-tail signs of sunburn in our four-legged pals.

Armed with this knowledge, we can keep our pets safe, happy, and ready to frolic under the sun, while we humans enjoy a well-earned summer break!



Understanding dog sunburn




Can dogs get sunburnt?


Yes – similar to humans, dogs are susceptible to sunburn when exposed to excessive sunlight for prolonged periods. The harmful UV rays, capable of inflicting damage upon delicate skin cells, can work their mischief surprisingly swiftly, often wreaking havoc in less than an hour of unprotected exposure.


Signs of sunburn in dogs


Dogs with sunburn may show one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Pink to red skin in the affected area
  • Skin dryness and tenderness
  • Skin peeling
  • Blisters
  • Fever

If your dog is sunburned, you may notice several symptoms that indicate their discomfort. These can include constant scratching or licking of the affected area, flaking or peeling skin, and a reluctance to be touched or petted. You may also notice that your dog seems more lethargic than usual.



Tips for protecting your dog from sunburn




Provide shade and shelter


Ensure that your furry companion has a designated area shielded from direct sunlight or a well-covered shelter, particularly during the peak hours of scorching heat. The shade provided by a sturdy tree, a strategically positioned umbrella, or a sheltered patio offers respite from the intense rays of the sun, safeguarding your dog from potential discomfort and overheating.


Limit sun exposure


Ensure your dog’s well-being and limit how much direct exposure they get during outdoor activities by scheduling them during cooler parts of the day, like early morning or late evening. Take regular breaks for rest, hydration, and energy recharge. It’s not only good for their physical health but also makes your adventure together more enjoyable.


Use dog-friendly sunscreen


When venturing outdoors with your furry companion, it’s important to provide extra protection for their exposed skin areas, such as the nose, ears, and belly, by applying dog-friendly sunscreen. Look for a sunscreen product specifically designed for dogs, ensuring it does not contain zinc oxide, as this ingredient can be harmful if accidentally ingested!


Consider protective clothing


Give your dog an extra layer of sun protection by outfitting them in protective clothing like lightweight shirts or full-body suits. These garments not only shield your dog from the sun’s harmful UV rays but also provide a cool and shaded environment. However, you must opt for clothing that is comfortable and fits your dog properly, allowing them to move freely without any discomfort and ensuring that they don’t overheat when wearing it.



How to treat sunburn in dogs




Cool compresses


If your dog happens to experience some sunburn, providing immediate relief is essential to alleviate discomfort and promote healing. One effective method is to apply cool compresses to the affected area, which not only helps reduce swelling but also provides soothing relief. Simply take a clean cloth or towel, soak it in cool water, and gently apply it to the sunburned skin. For an extra cooling effect, consider adding a few ice cubes to the water before soaking the cloth.


Aloe vera


When it comes to soothing sunburned skin in dogs, a natural remedy like aloe vera can work wonders. Known for its cooling properties, aloe vera gel can provide relief and promote healing. To apply, take a small amount of pure, 100% aloe vera gel and gently massage it into the affected area of your dog’s skin. It’s important to ensure that the aloe vera gel you use is free from added fragrances or potentially harmful ingredients.


Consult a veterinarian


In cases where your dog’s sunburn is severe or accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it is crucial to seek professional guidance from a veterinarian. A veterinarian’s expertise is invaluable when it comes to addressing any potential complications associated with severe sunburn, so don’t hesitate to reach out for their assistance. Hopefully, you’ll never have to do this, but you should keep it in mind, just in case!


Protecting Your Dog From Sunburn This Summer - VetIQ (3)


Enjoy a safe and happy summer with your dog


Summertime means fun in the sun with your furry companion, but it’s important to keep them protected from sunburn too! With our simple steps above, you can ensure your four-legged friend stays cool and comfortable for a happy and sunburn-free summer by your side!

And on that note, our delightful Healthy Treats make the ultimate summer delight for your furry companion! Crafted with love and expertise by our dedicated animal nutritionists, these tasty snacks are a true testament to pet happiness. Each treat boasts a crispy cereal shell that encases a heavenly cream-filled centre packed with all-natural goodness. We’ve left out the artificial nasties, so you can indulge your furry friend guilt-free!

Here at VetIQ, we love animals, and we love animal lovers. Be sure to check out our blog for more pet-related tips and advice, and then go enjoy every sun-filled minute with your furry friend!


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