Did you know that your dog can get a sunburn too?

Daily life in Turkish capital Ankara
Daily life in Turkish capital Ankara / Anadolu/GettyImages

While dogs may have a coat of fur that protects them and keeps them warm (or cool), that doesn't mean that it will protect them from things like sunburn. In fact, sunburns are more common than you might think when it comes to our dogs.

All things considered, the sun can be a real challenge for many dogs. And it is not just sunburns we have to be mindful of, as heat spots are also a concern. Plus, the summer is also a time when dogs can overheat, just like we can. So there really are just multiple challenges that our dogs face when it comes to summer sunshine and heat.

But if you didn't know that dogs could get a sunburn, then you might not know what to look out for or even what to do if they get one. Luckily for anyone who didn't know that dogs can get a sunburn, we have a Camp Bow Wow expert who was able to give us some insight and tips. After all, just because we may know this can happen, it doesn't mean we always know what to look out for or even what we need to do to make sure our pups are okay.

An experts shares their tips for what to watch out for and more when it comes to summer sunburns

Dog O'Day: What should pet parents pay attention to?

"Exposure Time: Dogs with lighter fur, sparse fur, or exposed skin areas (like the nose, ears, lips, eyelids, and belly) are more susceptible to sunburn.
Sunscreen Needs: Use pet-safe sunscreen on areas with less fur and any areas with thin hair coverage.
Behavior Changes: Watch for signs of discomfort or pain, such as excessive licking, redness, swelling, or sensitivity to touch in sun-exposed areas."

Erin Askeland, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA

Dog O'Day: How do pet parents know if a dog has a sunburn?

"Redness and Inflammation: Check for red or pink skin, especially on areas like the nose, ears, belly, and groin.
Pain or Discomfort: If your dog seems unusually sensitive to touch or is licking certain areas excessively, it could indicate sunburn.
Behavioral Changes: Dogs may show signs of discomfort such as restlessness, reluctance to move or play, or vocalization when touched in sun-exposed areas."

Erin Askeland, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA

Dog O'Day: How should pet parents treat doggy sunburns?

"Cool Compresses: Apply cool, damp compresses to the affected area to help soothe the burn.
Aloe Vera: Use a pet-safe aloe vera gel to help moisturize and cool the skin (ensure it doesn't contain any additives like alcohol that could be harmful).
Keep Out of Sun: Limit sun exposure until the sunburn heals completely. Provide shade or keep indoors during peak sun hours.
Consult a Veterinarian: If the sunburn appears severe, causes blistering, or if your dog shows signs of significant discomfort, consult your veterinarian. They may prescribe pain relief or antibiotics if needed.
Prevention: In the future, consider using pet-safe sunscreen (specifically designed for dogs) on vulnerable areas before outdoor activities. You can also use UV protective dog shirts and hats to block the sun’s harmful rays from your pup’s skin."

Erin Askeland, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA

We love when experts give us advice on what to look out for or what to do when we run into trouble. And this is especially true when it comes to keeping our pets happy or healthy.

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