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Pet Insurance

Dogs Can Get Sunburn Too! Symptoms and How to Prevent Dog Sunburn

by Jon Vijungco
Managing Director
the insured pet logo
November 26, 2018

Dogs Can Get Sunburn Too! Symptoms and How to Prevent Dog Sunburn

Did you know? Dogs can get sunburn too! While your dog’s fur coat can protect them from many things, it can’t block the sun’s UVA and UVB rays.

The Insured Pet has created this article to help you understand the risks and signs of dog sunburn, and what preventive measures you can take to prevent a visit to the vet.

  • What dog breeds are mostly at risk?

    Just as light-haired and fair-skinned humans are more vulnerable to sunburn, dogs with white and light-colored fur are more at risk of sunburn. Those with little to no fur are highly susceptible too. Some dog breeds at higher risk of sunburn, include Dalmatians, Greyhounds, Boxers, Weimaraners, Whippets, and American Staffordshire Terriers.

    Note: While these thin-furred, fair-colored dogs are more at risk of sunburn, this doesn’t mean that dark-coated, thick-furred dogs are not at risk.

  • Which are the high-risk areas for sunburn?

    The areas that are most likely to sunburn first are tips of ears, nose, belly, and the tip of the tail. Depending on the dog breed, the area directly around the mouth and the eyelids can get easily sunburned too.

  • What are the symptoms of dog sunburn?

    The most obvious sign of dog sunburn is skin redness. Your dog’s skin will also be tender to the touch. Other signs of dog sunburn include:

    • Hair loss
    • Cracked, curled, or dry edges of a dog’s ears
    • Skin infections
    • Skin ulcers
  • How do you prevent dog sunburn?

    Sunburns can cause costly trips to the vet (to keep your veterinary costs down, we can help you find the best pet insurance in Manhattan, New York), however, there are ways that you can prevent it.

    • Sunscreen. While the FDA doesn’t test sunscreen usage on pets, you can still consult your veterinarian and ask them about safe sunscreens. Note that not all sunscreens are safe for pets, particularly those with zinc oxide (its toxic for dogs!). Also, avoid spray sunscreens since this can easily end up in your dog’s eyes. They may also inhale it, which can cause irritation and potential harm.
    • UPF- and UV-Protective Clothes. There are specially designed UPF- and UV-protective clothing for pets. This is recommended, particularly for high-risk dogs when outdoors.
    • Consider Using an Umbrella, Tent, or E-Z Up. Spending an extended outdoor time with your dog? Protect yourself and your pet from sunburn by using an umbrella or by popping up a tent or an E-Z Up.

If you suspect that your dog has sunburn, seek immediate care for your veterinarian.

Looking for the best, most affordable pet insurance? Read our pet insurance reviews in New York to guide you as you choose an insurance policy for your furry friend.

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