Can Pets Burn In The Sun?

Although most dogs and cats are covered in fur, this does not mean that they completely avoid sun damage. Learn more about this potential health hazard in the article.
Can pets burn in the sun?

When an animal stays in the sun for too long, it can suffer from heat stroke, we all know that. But on days when the sun is not so strong, you may want to take your dog for a long walk or similar. Then you might be asking yourself: can pets get burned in the sun?

In this article we will give you the answer. We start by finding out how the sun affects animals and what precautions you should take.

Can pets burn in the sun?

A dog and a cat greeting each other.

You probably already know that too much time in the sun can lead to sunburn and skin cancer, and this is not just for humans. Although most animals have fur and skin pigments that protect them from the sun, too much sun can still cause serious and permanent damage.

For example, dogs have a lot of melanin in their skin. Melanin is a type of micro-pigmentation that protects the skin from the sun. But it does not make you immortal.

In addition to the fact that pets can burn themselves in the sun, excessive exposure can also lead to problems such as photodermatitis. In the worst case scenario, it can also lead to cancer. In addition, the pigmentation of the skin can change and create dark spots that are more sensitive to the sun’s UV rays.

So, you should avoid taking your dog out when the sun is very strong. If you still have to, keep the outdoors short and lubricate the dog with sunscreen (at least SPF 30) in areas where the skin is light or does not have much fur.

How do you know if your dog has photodermatitis?

The symptoms are easy to miss if you do not keep a close eye on your dog. Here are some symptoms, some are easier to detect than others:

  • Itching: The  dog can injure itself by scratching violently due to the heat or because it sweats.
  • Dry skin: The  sun can really dry out the skin. So if your dog has dry skin, it could be a sign of photodermatitis.
  • The skin peels and gets a rash:  This follows dryness. If you find that your dog had dry skin before this happened, you can try a moisturizing ointment on the skin. Try to find one without chemicals, as it can make the situation worse. For example, aloe vera is an excellent choice.
  • Losing fur:  If your dog suddenly starts to lose more fur than usual, it may have photodermatitis.
  • Sores:  If the dog gets sores on the body (especially on the nose, eyelids or ears) it may be because it has been in the sun for too long.

What about furless animals?

A cat with a lot of fur.

There are many cat and dog breeds without hair and without skin pigmentation. Of course, the sun is especially harmful to them, so you need to take precautions to ensure that these animals do not burn in the sun. Ideally, they should completely avoid exposure to the sun.

They get photodermatitis pretty quickly and even cancer. Take the safe before the unsafe, as the old saying goes. If it is not absolutely necessary, you should keep the animal away from the sun. In that case, you make a great contribution to the animal’s health.

If you are not sure which type of lotion or sunscreen is best for your dog, ask your veterinarian. The vet is always the best person to ask about such things, and he or she can certainly give you helpful advice on how to best take care of your fur.

Finally, remember that the sun’s rays are not only harmful during the summer when they are at their strongest. They can be harmful at any time of the year.

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