Do Pets Sunburn?
Q: Can Dogs and Cats Get Sunburn?
A. The answer is yes. Sunburn most typically occurs on the noses and bodies of hairless, thin-coated and lighter pigmented skinned animals. Like humans, the degree of skin damage is based on the length of exposure. First degree sunburns can appear slightly swollen, red and even painful to the touch. This type of burn can heal in a matter of days, but is not healthy for any pet.
Pets who have short hair, exposed skin and insufficient pigmentation are most susceptible to sunburn and should be kept out of direct summer sun, especially in the middle of the day when the sun is particularly strong.
Sunscreens developed especially for pets are available in the marketplace. When shopping for the right pet skin protector, look for an SPF of 15 or greater and a product containing titanium dioxide as the active ingredient. Another simple, yet practical skin protecting tip is to fit a t-shirt onto your pet’s exposed body. As is the case with humans, pets who experience multiple sunburns and repeated sun exposure are more likely to develop skin cancers.