Can My Pet Get Sunburned?


As the temperatures start to heat up, and we are approaching the official start of summer, it is important to keep your pet’s safety in mind when planning your outdoor activities.

Firstly, before you take your dog out for any activity in warm weather, please educate yourself on the signs of heatstroke.

Secondly, be aware that your dog can get sunburned while spending time outside.

Many of us have been there. Sunburns can be painful and are always uncomfortable. However, our main concern is that sunburn increases our pet’s risk of skin cancer.

Are some dogs more at risk than others?

Yes. Dogs who have thin or white coats are more at risk for sunburn ( Keep this in mind especially if you shave your dog for the summer.

Where are they most likely to be burned?

According to Veterinary Partner, cats and dogs are most likely to be burned on the bridge of their nose, the tips of their ears, around their lips, and their back. If you have a dog that likes to lay on their back in the sun, their abdomen, groin and inside of their legs will be susceptible as well.

Can I put sunscreen on my dog?

Yes! As a matter of fact, it is recommended. Veterinary Partner recommends using a sunscreen that is fragrance-free, non-staining and contains UVA and UVB barriers. Typically, this will be similar to SPF 15 or 30 for humans.

Are there any sunscreens I should avoid?

Yes. If the sunscreen you have has ingestion warnings, it may be due to toxic ingredients that put your dog or cat at risk if they lick some of the sunscreen. Please don’t use these sunscreens.

Please note: If you plan to put sunscreen on your cat, please make sure the labeling specifically states that the product is safe for cats.

If your pet is going to be out in the sun for a long time, please apply sunscreen and then reapply, same as you would for yourself.

Are there other alternatives to sunscreen?

Sunscreen will protect your pet. However, UV clothing and suits for pets are available, like the PlayaPup Dog Sun Protective Lightweight Shirts

Photo Courtesy of

Photo Courtesy of

What do you do to protect your dog from the sun? Are there certain products that you have used that work well for your pets?

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13 Comment

  1. Reply
    Kimberly Gauthier
    June 15, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    Thanks for this post. I had no idea that I could put sunscreen on our dogs’ noses. Now I’m off to find a natural one 🙂
    Kimberly Gauthier recently posted…Worthwhile Webinar on Canine Nutrition, Hypothyroidism and VaccinationsMy Profile

    1. Reply
      June 23, 2015 at 2:40 pm

      Awesome! That is something I should have looked into. I wonder if Only Natural Pet has some.

  2. Reply
    Cathy Armato
    June 15, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    Thanks for the excellent information. I didn’t realize there were UV protective swimsuits for pets, that’s so great. One of my dogs is a serious sun worshipper and I do shave her in Summer, so I’ll have to be cognizant of that.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv them
    Cathy Armato recently posted…BlogPaws2015: A Mecca For Pet Industry Bloggers!My Profile

    1. Reply
      June 23, 2015 at 2:40 pm

      Cathy, I actually didn’t know about the suits either until I started doing my research. It is a great option especially for dogs who like to spend a lot of time in the water in the summer.

  3. Reply
    Dogs N Pawz
    June 16, 2015 at 5:15 am

    Great info! My dogs don’t stay outside long enough to get sunburned but I think it is important for pet parents to realize that their fur babies can get sunburned! Thanks for sharing.
    Dogs N Pawz recently posted…Tuesday’s Tails: Sweet Lab Mix Loves To Play In His Pool!My Profile

    1. Reply
      June 23, 2015 at 2:41 pm

      Thanks Lisa!

  4. Reply
    June 16, 2015 at 5:51 am

    Of course the best is to limit outdoor time both in duration and the time of day when the sun is the worst for burns. Dogs can go potty in the shade just as well as the sun.
    Kismet recently posted…You better run down the road, little fellaMy Profile

    1. Reply
      June 23, 2015 at 2:41 pm

      Kismet, you are absolutely right! It significantly helps if they aren’t in the sun during the peak hours.

  5. Reply
    Two French Bulldogs
    June 16, 2015 at 6:25 am

    That’s right, doggies need sunscreen too
    Lily & Edward

    1. Reply
      June 23, 2015 at 2:42 pm

      Yup Yup! Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Reply
    M. K. Clinton
    June 16, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    Bentley goes outside and lays in the sun. It makes me hot just watching him, but he has always done it. When he gets “Done” he comes in and goes belly-up on the wooden floor under the ceiling fan. Pierre is white and gets groomed so we are very careful with him in the sun. Great post!
    M. K. Clinton recently posted…Bravo! Makes Good HappenMy Profile

    1. Reply
      June 23, 2015 at 2:42 pm

      Thank you Melissa!

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