5 Kinds of Dogs Who Are Most at Risk for Sun Damage

Planning some fun in the sun with your dog this summer? Here at Vetstreet, we're all about having safe fun. That's why we put together this gallery to help you know if your dog falls into a category of canines that is most at risk for sun damage.

Of course, any dog's health can be compromised by the negative effects of the sun's rays or be at risk for cancer, so talk with your veterinarian about proper protection for your pet. If your dog has any of the risk factors mentioned below, you'll want to pay extra attention to protecting your pet from the sun.

Dogs Who Need Special Sun Protection

Sun Risk White Dog


White Dogs

Just as your pale friends seem to burn more easily during a beach weekend, white or light-colored dogs have a greater risk of sun damage than their dark-furred counterparts. Protect your canine with a pet-safe sunscreen recommended by your veterinarian.

Dalmatian playing in water


Dogs With Short Coats

One function of your dog's fur is to protect her from the sun's damaging rays, and short-haired dogs simply have less of that protection. These dogs in particular can benefit from sunscreen. Make sure you purchase one without zinc oxide, as it's toxic for dogs, and ingestion can severely damage their red blood cells, maybe even require a blood transfusion.

Sun Risk Hairless Dog


Hairless Dogs

You might be thinking, Thank you, Captain Obvious, about this one, but we don't want to leave out a category of dogs that really, really needs sun protection! Hairless breeds like the Chinese Crested, Xoloitzcuintli and Peruvian Inca Orchid should wear sunscreen and not spend too much time in bright sunlight.

Sun Risk Pink-Nosed Dog


Light-Nosed Dogs

Does your dog have an adorable pink or light-colored nose? Less pigment translates to a higher risk of sun damage. Even if your pup has a thick coat on most of his body, your vet may recommend applying sunscreen to the parts of his body that aren't covered in fur, like his belly and nose.

Dog Sunbathing



Is your canine sun goddess constantly claiming all the good sunbeams in and around your house? You may not realize how risky it really is. Veterinary oncologist Dr. Ann Hohenhaus says that dogs who like to lie in the sun on their backs are particularly prone to developing squamous cell carcinoma in the thinly haired region of the tummy.

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