Everyday Adventures in Havachon Heaven

The Good, Crazy, & Adorable Life of One Havachon Puppy

Dog Days of Summer = Doggy Sunscreen!

on June 6, 2011

Daisy has both gray and white hair – the skin under her gray hair is black, while the skin under her white hair and underside is a very light pink.

What's this about sunburn? I have lots of pink skin - I need sunscreen!

So I got to thinking – with the dog days of summer upon us early this year, can Daisy get sunburn? Is there any risk of canine skin cancer?

Yep, on both counts. Unfortunately.

Apparently, skin cancer is the number one type of cancer dogs can get. And pink skin burns faster than darker skin; short hair or thin hair allows more of the sun’s rays to reach your dog’s skin.

Did you know that dogs with severe sunburn may have to be hospitalized, bandaged, and given IVs? I sure didn’t.

Sometimes in the summer, dogs can stay outside in fenced-in yards for hours. The dogs love it – until their exposure results in a sunburn. An article on Pet Wellbeing says that much like humans, dogs with sunburn have red skin and may be sick, lethargic, or lose their appetites. And, like humans, they won’t want to be touched.

Unlike humans, it takes more to burn a dog’s skin, which means the exposure is more severe.

The areas most vulnerable to sunburn are those that have little or no hair cover, like tummies, inner thighs, and the inside of ears (for dogs with ears that stand up). Β Obviously, the hairless breeds are highly at risk. The article says that a vet visit is important for sunburned pups so the depth of the burn can be assessed. The vet can also recommend a salve to help heal it.


All my pinkness needs protection from the sun! I mean, what if I fall asleep like this outside?!

Preventive measures are always best – if your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, ask your vet to suggest a special sunscreen to protect your pooch’s exposed skin. This way, you’re eliminating a lot of pain and suffering for your dog and lessening the chance of canine skin cancer.

Some articles also recommend that dogs with thin or short hair or those with bald spots wear light-weight summer clothing to protect their skin. I’ve seen some really cute summer outfits out there – what better excuse to buy one? LOL!

Have a happy and sun-safe summer!

26 responses to “Dog Days of Summer = Doggy Sunscreen!

  1. Judy says:

    Great info. I never realized that dogs could get sunburned. I thought only the hairless variety. Thanks for sharing:)

  2. Carly says:

    This is great information – thank you so much for sharing! I thought only dogs w/o hair got sunburned. But, I do think Daisy would look adorable in a new Summer outfit – and it would help protect! πŸ™‚

    • raisingdaisy says:

      I was under the same misconception, Carly. But I’ve read several vet-authored articles now that have had the same warnings. It makes sense, but I’d never have realized it!

  3. Yuk Daisy,

    I sure don’t want to get a sunburn, doesn’t sound like much fun 😦 Great info. you’re sharing πŸ™‚ I’ll have to pass it on πŸ™‚

    Luckily, I like the shade and will always opt for it in the garden, but still best not to take any chances πŸ™‚

    Have a fun day,

    Your pal Snoopy πŸ™‚

    • raisingdaisy says:

      I think Mother Nature has done a good job in protecting you with your gorgeous coat, Snoopy! I’m not surprised that you prefer the shade, you must get very hot in the sun!

  4. Mumsy and Chancy says:

    Thanks for posting this great information. Some I knew and some not so I am glad to learn more. Miss Daisy you enjoy all those new summer outfits you get. Hugs and nose kisses

    • raisingdaisy says:

      Thanks for visiting! We didn’t realize dogs could get sunburned, so we thought we’d share the info with our blogging buddies. I think a cute little pink sun dress might suit Miss Daisy just fine…. πŸ˜‰

  5. segmation says:

    Hi RaisingDaisy! I hope that people learn from your blog about sunburning their dogs! I know I did! What do you think the best type of protection is?

    • raisingdaisy says:

      Hi Segmation, and thanks for visiting! This is our first summer outdoors with Daisy (last year she was so young she was afraid of the outdoors and didn’t like heat!), so we haven’t had the opportunity to use any yet. We plan to ask our vet what he recommends.

  6. furfilled says:

    Interesting post and an interesting topic. I feel like my pup has the most vulnerability right on her nose. I bought a spray sunscreen for dogs, but I don’t like to put it on her nose because she licks it off. So … I’m interested in other advice that comes your way. Let us know if you get any good info from your vet!

    • raisingdaisy says:

      Hi Furfilled, and thanks for visiting! Several articles did say that dogs’ noses were also considered “at risk” for sunburn. I can see where they’d automatically want to lick it off – I’ll have to find out if there’s a solution to that. Maybe there’s one that can be rubbed in, so even if they lick the surface, they’ll still be protected. Supposedly dog sunscreen is safe if they lick it, but I’ll see what the vet says. Thanks for your comment!

  7. barb19 says:

    Good information RD, thank you! I live in a hot climate and have seen a few dogs that have developed sun cancers – particularly on the nose and tips of the ears, and particularly Staffys. Not a pretty sight.
    Now we are educated to know that dogs do get skin cancer, we have to make sure we protect them when they are out in the sun, and a trip to the vet for more information would be a good place to start.

  8. Daisy’s belly is such a pretty shade of pink. πŸ™‚

    Would dogs with darker fur be more protected against sunburns than dogs with lighter fur? We’re planning to take Oscar to the beach this summer, so sunscreen is a must!

    • raisingdaisy says:

      LOL Thanks Pauline! The articles I read said that dogs with white fur and pink skin burn more easily than those with dark fur and dark skin, but they can still get a sunburn. The nose is also vulnerable, regardless of color. I think it’s just best to protect all dogs with sunscreen when they’re in the sun. Since skin cancer is the number one cancer in dogs, it suggests to me that they’re all at risk. My bet is that, like people, every dog is different when it comes to how much exposure is *too* much exposure.

  9. We get waaaaay too much sun over in our part of the world, so we’re always cautious of how much time Maple spends in it. She has very pinkish skin just like Daisy—and loves to bear it all πŸ˜€ We haven’t thought of looking into sunscreens for doggies, and just presumed that their fur was enough of a protection against those harmful UV rays. Your post was a good wake-up call!

  10. granny1947 says:

    Very interesting RD.
    Fortunately, jasmine is such a spoiled brat she spends most of her time indoors on HER chair.

  11. Seriously – Daisy’s pink belly is just too cute for words! Gus’s belly was pink when he was a puppy, but lost all the pinkness when he grew older. I miss it!

  12. The Hook says:

    Awesome post! I would never have thought of this, but you’re opened my eys. Well done!

  13. Kas says:

    Very interesting!! I need to watch Evee more closely. We used to have to put sunscreen on my paint horse’s muzzle, otherwise she would burn pretty badly.

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