How to Detect Dangerous Sun Exposure in Your Dog

How to Detect Dangerous Sun Exposure in Your Dog

The great thing about having a dog is a companion by your side to enjoy the summer sun along with you! Whether it be going for long walks or enjoying outdoor sports and adventures, including your dog can make a day out so much more gratifying. 

When going out on long exploits with your furry friend, especially as the summer heat is ramping up, it’s important to keep in mind your dog may need time to rest and to cool off. Dogs, unlike humans, do not sweat. They pant to expel excess heat but if they can’t cool themselves off naturally it can lead to heatstroke.

The most important thing to prevent heatstroke is making sure your dog can cool off. Make sure they have access to shade and water, and if you’re on a walk take a moment to let your dog rest if they seem to get tired or start to pant harder. 

If your dog starts to become too hot but hasn’t become overheated, bring them to a place with shade and let them drink as much cold water as they want without forcing them. You can also place a water-soaked towel on their backs if you have one at your disposal. 

If your dog starts to pant excessively, starts to become lethargic, or even passes out, it's best to call your nearest vet if you are concerned your dog may have heatstroke, as there are treatments only your vet can provide to help your pet recover.

Your dog can also get sunburnt if exposed to the sun for too long, especially shorthair dogs or dogs with white fur. A sunburn can be prevented by using a doggy sunscreen. Either spread it on the places where the least fur grows, like the ears, nose, and belly, or use accessories like jackets or even goggles to keep the sun off their skin. Sunburn looks like human sunburn, but if it’s in a spot you can't see because it’s on their bellies or under fur, you can look at how your dog is behaving. If your dog starts to lick or bite a specific part of their body, check to see if they have very red and bumpy skin. If they do, make sure you get your dog to the shade, and consider going home if you are out on a walk.

We hope you and your dog enjoy the dog days of summer in good health and total happiness!

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