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Woof Wednesday: Sunburned Dawgs Ain’t Sexy!

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Upside Pup

Dogs who sunbathe on their backs can get sunburned tummies!

Aww…gives new meaning to the “dog days of summer.” This gorgeous photo Copr. amasd posted in my Puppies Publishing group (used with permission!) perfectly illustrates one of the hot weather risks that face our dogs. Hope his lil’ tummy has some sunscreen protection.


White face pups risk nose sunburn.

Dogs are very well protected against the sun by their fur, and don’t routinely suffer from sunburn. Shaving your fuzz-bucket dawg down to keep him cool can increase the risk of sunburn and heatstroke. When dogs do suffer sunburn, the hairless or thinly-furred areas of the body are most at risk, like the ear tips, bridge of the nose, and the tummy. White puppies are at highest risk and for some reason, bulldog breeds really like to sleep on their backs and bare tummies to the sun. I just pub’d a new article on the topic so you can learn more about first aid for sunburn pain.

Everyone knows cats follow puddles of sunshine across the carpet to sunbathe. Cats actually get burned more often than dogs. But are your dogs sun worshipers? Or do they look for ways to keep cool? What’s your pooch’s favorite hot weather pastimes? How do your pets handle the heat?

Magical-Dawg lost his appetite. It’s just too darn hot to eat, apparently. That is, unless it’s something off of MY plate! Wait–maybe he’s using the hot weather and snubbing the bowl to manipulate us into treating him with yummies, ya think? Hot pavement and more can affect how your dogs (and cats!) manage the heat and my latest Paw Nation article offers some hot weather safety tips.  Here are some safe hot weather games I’ve come up with for dogs but please add your own to the list.

Do you trim your Poodle like a topiary for hot weather? Shave your Saluki? Slather sunscreen on Slobber-Kissy-Poo-Pooch? How do you keep King cool? I know a young woman in marching band in High School who’s service dog now has a “cooling vest” to help maintain cool-dog safety. Are there any neato-torpedo products you recommend?

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? I’m nearly ready to record a bunch of new ones, so be sure to get your requests in the comments. Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

About amyshojai

Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified animal behavior consultant (dogs/cats), award winning author of 30+ pet care titles and thrillers, and spokesperson to the pet industry.

7 responses »

  1. Okay, I have a Golden Retriever, but I don’t shave him. No way. He’s too damn beautiful. I do, however, monitor his time outside when it’s warm. This summer he wants to stay out no matter the heat. He’ll stand out in the yard arguing with me until I make him come in, lol.

  2. LOL! And they DO argue with us! “But mo-ooom, all the other fur-kids get to stay out and play…”

  3. The stepping stones to our pool get very hot some times and I wondered if our little dog could burn his paw pads on them. For some reason he likes to escort us back and forth and he walks on the stepping stones instead of the grass. From now on I’ll just carry him when it’s really hot. His pads do seem dry so I’m going to put some aloe on them tonight. Earl the rattie sends kisses and thanks.

    Great post.

  4. Oh, no, sunburned tummies! I’ve never seen a dog sunbathe on its back before. 🙂 Our pup loves to lay in the sun–do you know of any puppy sunblock?


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