Yes! They can. If you plan on taking your dog out for a day at the beach, lake, pool, or the park during the hot summer months, please keep in mind that dogs just like humans can get burned by the sun. Overexposure the sun’s harmful UV rays can damage your dog’s skin, and in some cases is can cause skin cancer.
Are sunburns in dogs breed specific?
White-haired dogs, thin-haired dogs, and hairless dogs can easily sunburn. Boxers, Chihuahuas, Dalmatians,, Weimaraner, and White German shepherds are a few of the breeds that can burn easily.
However, just like all dogs go to heaven, all dogs can get sunburn. All dogs have parts of their body that have very little fur or none at all, regardless of how shaggy it is. Areas of the body that are prone to sunburn in dogs are ears, nose, and even the dog’s belly. A dog’s paw pads are sensitive too. They can easily get burned by walking on hot sand or a hot pavement.
How can I tell if my dog has a sunburn?
Check your dog’s skin for redness and tenderness. Your dog’s nose, ears, and belly are most likely to show signs of sun damage. Your dog’s ears will appear dry, curled at the edges, and the ears’ skin will look cracked. In addition, your dog will scratch the burned areas incessantly. In severe cases, your dog might develop a fever. If your dog starts to exhibit these sunburn symptoms, get it out of the sun right away.
How can I protect my dog from sunburn?
Pretty much the way you would protect yourself from sunburn is how you can protect your dog. Providing a shady place is a great preventative to sunburn in dogs. If you are planning a day at the beach, be sure to pack a beach umbrella or rent one when you get to the beach. When you are at the park or lake, look for some nice big shady trees. If you are in your backyard, let your dog relax under the patio’s roof or under a patio umbrella. Schedule your dog’s walks for early morning or early evening when the sun’s rays are not so strong.
Should I apply sunscreen on my dog?
Believe it or not, yes! You can use child-safe sunscreen. Look for the sunscreen that has an SPF-30 to -50 raing. Apply the sunscreen to the sensitive areas such as the nose, ears, and belly. If your dog goes for a swim or rolls in the grass, re-apply the sunscreen. You can also purchase pet-safe sunscreens.
In addition, there are now flea and tick medications you can purchase that offer sunscreen protection.
What is the treatment for sunburn in dogs?
If your dog shows signs of a sunburn, take it to a veterinarian right away. Your veterinarian will be able properly diagnose your four-legged best friend for sunburn, the severity of the burn, and any evidence of skin cancer. Treatment for sunburn is based on the severity. It will mostly include daily cleaning of the affected area and the administration of a topical medication.
In summary, dogs do get sunburns. While some breeds are more prone to sunburns, it is important to keep in mind that all dogs can get sunburned. Aside from the discomfort associated with a sunburn, a dog may also develop skin cancer. Prevention is the best way to minimize your dog’s chances of getting a sunburn. When outdoors ensure there is a shady area where both you and your dog can use to get a break from the sun. Also, apply child- or pet-safe sunscreen to reduce the chances of burning. If it appears your dog has experienced a sunburn, take it to a veterinarian for a diagnosis and treatment.
Has your dog ever experienced a sunburn? How was it treated?
Let us know in the comments.