Dogs in pool

I love a sunburnt country, not a sunburnt dog

16 January 2019
We are all aware of the dangers of leaving dogs in cars on a hot day.
There are other problems with summer that a lot of people don’t consider. Just like us, dogs are susceptible to sunburn, but they are also at great risk of burnt paws.

You wouldn’t think sunburn is an issue because dogs have a coat of hair to block the sun’s UV radiation but it is very common in our four-legged friends and can happen very quickly. In just 15 minutes the abdomen, tips of the ears and bridge of the nose to begin to burn. And if your dog has any white skin they are even more sensitive to the sun, because white skin does not tan – it just burns.


There are other summer hazards that we need to consider. When it’s warm we all love being out and about with our dogs, but be mindful that the roads and pavements become extremely hot at summertime. Of course we are wearing shoes and don’t feel the heat from the road surface, but dogs do.

"As a practising vet, I have seen many blistered paws after summertime runs and walks," explains Dr Beth McDonald, Veterinary Dermatology Specialist, University Veterinary Teaching Hospital Sydney.

"We can easily avoid sunburn and burnt paws by keeping dogs out of the heat in summer.

"There are a few easy ways to ensure your dog is sun safe. Go for a walk early in the morning or later in the afternoon and avoid the hottest part of the day – 10am to 5pm. Use sunscreen on your dog to help protect them – SPF 15+ at least. Please also keep your dog off the hot pavements and roads and enjoy quality time with them," states Beth.

How to keep you dog sun safe

  1. Go for walks before 10amor after 5pm
  2. Use SPF15+ or higher sunscreen on your dog 
  3. Avoid hot pavements, roads and sand