Can Dogs Get Sunburn in Limerick, PA?

Many people are not aware of the fact that dogs can actually get sunburned. It can be easy to assume that your dog will not get burned by the sun since they have their fur coat to keep the sun away from their skin. There are areas of a dog’s body that are exposed to the sun just like human bodies are, however.

The nose and the underbelly are just two of the places where dogs can actually get sunburned if they are not protected from the sun. Since sunburn can be linked with serious health issues like heatstroke, you do need to be aware of this issue for dogs and take care to keep your dog from getting sunburned when you take them on adventures with you.

can dogs get sunburn in limerick, pa

What Parts of a Dog’s Body Can Get Sunburned?

Your dog’s ears, their underbelly, their nose, their lips, and their tail can be the most at-risk areas for sunburn. The area around their eyes can also burn if they are in the sun for too long and do not have long hair on their face. Any dog could get sunburn on their body if they have a very fine coat that does not fully block the sun.

Dogs that are older and puppies are more at risk for this problem, but that does not mean that an adolescent dog or a middle-aged dog will not burn if they are in the sun for too long. You will want to pay attention to the temperature as well as exposure to the sun since dogs can be quite susceptible to heat and could get heatstroke or sunstroke along with their sunburn.

What Can I Do to Protect My Pet From Sunburn?

There are a few options when it comes to protecting your pet from getting sunburned including checking the weather and getting a pet-safe sunscreen.

Check the Weather

The first thing that you should do when it comes to protecting your pet from sunburn is evaluate the weather. If it is over 80 degrees out, the pavement will be too hot for their feet, and they could get burned paws just by walking around with you. In addition, any temperature over 80 degrees could lead to your dog getting dehydrated or getting heatstroke.

Pet-Safe Sunscreen

If the weather is safe, but there will not be shade where you are planning to hang out with your dog, you can get pet-safe sunscreen to keep them from getting burned. There are many pet brands that make safe sunscreen for pets, and you can pick from a variety of different application types and scents for your pet sunscreen.

Some animals will not like having these products put on them, so you will need to be patient and teach them about the process of wearing sunscreen slowly and patiently. Dogs can learn to be comfortable with this application process if you are patient with them when you teach them about having sunscreen put on.

Re-Apply Pet-Safe Sunscreen If Needed

These sunscreens are often water-resistant, so you probably will not need to reapply if your dog goes into the water, but if you are going to be outside for hours in the sun, you will probably need to reapply every few hours to protect your dog’s skin. Some light-colored dogs might benefit from wearing a light jacket or dog t-shirt to help cover up a large section of their body. This can also save you time when it comes to reapplying product all day long to protect their light skin.

Signs of Sunburn in Dogs

You might not be sure what to look for to be able to tell if your dog is sunburned or not. The symptoms of sunburn in dogs are a lot like the symptoms of sunburn in humans. Your dog’s skin might be red or feel hot to the touch. The skin might also crack or peel as the sunburn ages. If your dog has gotten too hot along with getting a sunburn, they might act lethargic, or they could pant excessively.

Make sure that your dog is getting access to enough water and that there is shade to go into in order for them to cool down. Dogs that have been unable to get water or get out of the sun for hours are at risk for heatstroke. Pay attention to symptoms like vomiting or confusion, as these can indicate that your dog has started to suffer from heatstroke.

Usually, sunburn can be treated at home with moisturizers and by keeping your dog out of the sun until the burn heals up. However, if your dog is showing more serious symptoms related to possible heatstroke, you will need to get them to your veterinarian right away. Once your dog is dehydrated, it can be difficult for them to get hydrated enough to stay healthy just by drinking water on their own. Some dogs with heatstroke will also refuse water because they are nauseous and do not want to put anything into their stomach.

Dogs Can Get Sunburn, but This Can be Prevented

If you plan to take your dog outside to spend time with you in the sun, be sure that you have sunscreen on hand at all times. You will want to keep your dog’s face and their belly protected from the sun with the application of sunscreen every few hours. Also, be sure that your dog has access to shade and water as needed. Dogs can get overheated quite easily, and this can cause a medical emergency.

Keeping your dog inside when it is over 80 degrees out is recommended, and you should never expose them to the sun for hours at a time unless you cannot avoid doing so. Lighter-colored dogs might need to wear a light covering of some kind to help them to repel the sun and prevent widespread sunburn when they are spending long periods of time outside in the sun. Even darker-colored dogs can benefit from sun protection if they need to spend a lot of time with you away from the shade. All of the areas of a dog’s body with less hair can end up sunburned, no matter what color your dog is.

Give Limerick Veterinary Hospital a call at (610) 489-2848 or book an appointment online if you have any questions about your dog’s care!

Posted in