For some dog breeds, the dog days of summer can be dangerous! While some dogs tolerate heat and sun quite well, others aren't so well-equipped to handle hot temperatures and UV rays. If you have one of these dog breeds in your household, it's possible that you'll have to go to extra lengths to keep him or her comfortable during the hottest days of summer.
1) Hairless Dogs
Just like bald people need to wear hats to keep their heads from becoming sunburnt, hairless dog breeds like the Chinese Crested, the Xoloitzcuintli, and the Peruvian Inca Orchid will need to wear sunscreen, coats, or other protective measures if they are to spend time outside. While these dogs are unique-looking and lovable, their hairless bodies put them at great risk for exposure to the elements, including the sun.
2) Short-Coated Dogs
Vizslas and many breeds of Sighthounds are at risk from the sun, because unlike their long-haired counterparts, these breeds don't have the benefit of a long, lush coat to protect them from the sun's harsh rays. These dogs may need sunscreen to protect them from UV damage, although pet parents who use sunscreen will need to be sure to purchase a brand that doesn't include zinc oxide, as it is toxic and can easily harm dogs.
3) White Dogs
Any breed of dog that has a white or light-colored coat is at risk for sunburns and other sun-related difficulties. Dog breeds like Jack Russell Terriers, Dalmatians, Great Pyrenees, and even white or yellow Labs burn exactly the same way that fair-skinned humans do and these pale pups may need extra sun protection when enjoying a summer day outdoors.
4) Dogs with Light-Colored Noses
Some dogs, like Spaniels and Setters, often have white or light-colored noses and these dogs are at increased risk for sunburns and blisters. Even if these dogs have thick, luscious coats over the rest of their bodies, their adorable light-colored noses are at risk for being damaged by the sun. Unfortunately, a dog that gets sunburnt on his nose may have a difficult time eating and drinking. Therefore, it's important for pet parents to apply sunscreen to light-colored or hairless portions of their dog's body, such as his nose or belly.
5) Dogs That Love to Sunbathe
Dogs of any breed that love to lay in the sun and soak up the rays are at risk of sunburn. This is especially true for dogs who lie on their backs in the sun, as the skin on dogs' bellies is generally sensitive and more prone to developing squamous cell carcinoma.
Doggie Sun Protection 101
If your dog falls into one of the above categories, it's important to ensure that he or she has ample sun protection during days spent outside. Remember that sunburns don't just happen during the summer and pale or hairless pooches can be burnt during the winter and cloudy days as well. To reduce the risk, equip your pup with dog-safe sunscreen or sun-blocking clothing. Just like humans, dogs need sun protection too!
Content reviewed by a veterinarian.