Video: Do Dogs Need Sunscreen? The Surprising Answer!

Watch the latest Alpha Paw episodes with host Bernie Zilio as she tackles your pet parent questions, along with our board of pet experts. You can watch the video and read the transcript below!

The Transcript

Bernie Zilio
It’s officially summer! Your dog is probably super happy and you know what that means, the sun’s out pups out…But do you have to worry about protecting your dog from harmful UV rays? Alpha Paw’s very own vet, Dr. Ross has the answer.

Welcome back to Alpha Paw, your destination for everything dog. I’m Bernie Zilio and I’m on a mission to answer every doggone question you’ve ever had about your fur babies and today we’re talking about how you can help alleviate your pup’s anxiety around fireworks. And fortunately, we have an expert with us here today, Dr. Ross.

Dr. Ross is a seasoned veterinary professional and pet care expert. He earned his doctorate degree in veterinary medicine at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and his work has been featured in several industry-leading publications, including the Journal of Veterinary Surgery.

He is our go-to vet for everything we want and needs to know about our fur babies, so welcome back to Alpha Paw Dr. Ross…
Bernie Zilio
So Dr. Ross, we all know that even though our dogs are covered in hair or fur, they have skin under all that floof that needs some TLC too. So is the sun as dangerous for our dog’s skin as it is for us?

Your dog’s skin is just as vulnerable in the sun as yours is. Though it’s wise for humans to wear sunscreen any time they’re exposed to the sun’s rays, you may not need to be quite so aggressive with your pups.

Bernie Zilio
Does that go for all dogs? I’d imagine some dogs are more susceptible to the sun’s harmful rays just based on how much coverage their fur allows them…

Though all dogs can get sunburned, some dog breeds are more susceptible due to their lighter or thinner fur. The AKC points to certain small dog breeds such as the Xoloitzcuintli, Chinese Crested, and American Hairless Terrier as breeds that are particularly at risk of sun damage due to how little fur they have. Dogs with white or light-colored fur are also more prone to sunburns.

Bernie Zilio
So how do we protect them?!

As with any treatment of any kind—even sun care—you want to be sure you’re using a formula that’s safe for your pet. It’s not a bad idea to check with your vet before you start using dog sunscreen. The vet can also give you proper tips for application and use. Another option for sun protection is a sun shirt.

Bernie Zilio
Ok so besides being ADORABLE, special sun-safe clothing on your dog can help protect them! Sounds like a win for everyone involved. Do you have more questions for Dr. Ross?

Leave them in the comments section down below. Again, I’m Bernie Zilio and this is Alpha Paw, be sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss a single doggone episode and we’ll see you next time!

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