Do dogs need sunblock? A Complete Guide

Should I Worry About My Dog Getting Sunburned?

Just like us, dogs can get burned from sun exposure, particularly on parts of the body that are sparsely covered with hair.

Millie Rosales DVM, DACVD, of Miami Veterinary Dermatology, says that a sunburned dog can suffer from red, inflamed skin that becomes irritated and painful. Sunburns on dogs can also lead to hair loss and scaly skin.

Yes, you should put sunscreen on your dog.

“It’s actually very important to put sunscreen on dogs, especially those with light skin and white fur or hair,” says Richard Goldstein, DVM, and chief medical officer of the Animal Medical Center in New York City. “A dog’s skin can be damaged by the sun just like our own, so they require the same protection against the development of sunburn and skin cancer.”

Dr. Rosales points out that the types of skin cancer in dogs that can be associated with sun exposure include:

She urges that if a dog has to be outdoors during peak sun exposure hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), sunscreen should be reapplied to sun-sensitive areas of the body—the nose, around the lips, tips of the ears, the groin, and the belly—throughout the day.

Dr. Goldstein says if the dog has gone swimming, the sunscreen should be immediately reapplied.

Beth Turner is a veterinarian with over 20 years of experience. She graduated from North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine and following graduation, she began her career as an associate veterinarian and worked closely with the local shelter.

Our mission is to help save dogs and cats’ lives through our educational content. To support our efforts, this page may contain affiliate links. We earn a commission for qualifying purchases – at no cost to you.

A note for our readers: If you have an urgent question and are unable to ask your veterinarian, you can use the Ask a Vet service that will give you access to a veterinarian for 7 days for $1.

In 2007 she accomplished her dream of practice ownership, designing and building her own clinic. Another meaningful role, while running her clinic, was serving as her countys shelter veterinarian. This gave her the opportunity to help improve the lives of many animals in her community as well as work with the rescue she loved. She sold her practice in 2019 to move across the country.

#2 Your Dog Has Short Hair

Does your dog have naturally short hair? Are you a fan of the “summer shave?” If either answer is yes, than you might want to pay attention to how much time your pup stays in the sun. Short-haired dogs have a higher occurrence of sunburn compared to their furry counterparts.

WHY YOU SHOULD PUT SUNSCREEN ON YOUR DOG – Sun Protection for Dogs – Dr Kate Adams – Bondi Vet