Do Dogs Need Suncream?
Dog playing in the sunshine Dog playing in the sunshine

Do Dogs Need Suncream?

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Read time: 3 mins

31 Jan 2024

Yes, in some circumstances, dogs may need sun cream.


Just like humans, dogs may need sun protection when spending time outdoors, particularly in situations where they are exposed to prolonged sunlight. Here are some scenarios when it's a good idea to consider using suncream on your pup:

When to Use Suncream on Dogs

Sometimes it’s hard to judge whether or not your dog needs to have sun cream applied to them. There are certain circumstances where it’s better to be safe than sorry, such as: 

Sunny days

On exceptionally sunny days or during the summer months when the sun's rays are stronger, it's a good idea to consider using sunscreen as an extra precaution. This is especially important during the hours of 11am and 2pm, when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest.

High altitude or reflective surfaces

In environments with high altitudes or reflective surfaces like snow or water, the intensity of UV rays increases. In such cases, using suncream can help prevent sun-related issues.

Light-coloured or short-haired breeds

Dogs with light-coloured or short coats have less natural protection against the sun. Breeds such as Dalmatians, Boxers, or Bulldogs may benefit from sunscreen, especially on areas with thin or no fur.

Thinner fur areas

Certain parts of your dog's body, like the belly, nose, and ears, may have thinner fur, making them more susceptible to sunburn. Applying suncream to these areas can provide added protection.

Outdoor activities

If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, whether it's playing fetch, going for walks or lounging in the garden, sun cream can be beneficial, especially during peak sunlight hours.


Apply the sun cream to exposed areas, and if you have any concerns about your dog's skin sensitivity or health, consult with your vet for personalised advice.

Can Dogs Get Sunburn?

Yes, dogs can get sunburn.


Just like us, dogs are susceptible to sunburn. While their fur provides some protection, certain breeds, particularly those with short or light-coloured coats, are more vulnerable.


Pay close attention to areas with thin or no fur, such as the belly, nose, and ears. If your pup spends extended periods outdoors, especially during peak sunlight hours, there's a risk of sunburn.

Can You Put Human Sun Cream on Dogs?

No, you should not use human sun cream on dogs.


While it might be tempting to use your suncream on your pooch, it's crucial to resist the urge. Many human sunscreens contain ingredients, such as zinc oxide, which can be toxic to dogs when ingested. Opting for a sunscreen specifically formulated for dogs is the safest choice.

Dog-Friendly Sun Cream for Dogs

Consider investing in a dog-friendly sun cream with an SPF designed for their unique needs. These sun creams are free from harmful chemicals and safe for your dog. Apply the sunscreen to exposed areas, ensuring your dog is protected from harmful UV rays.

How Can I Protect My Dog From the Sun?

By incorporating these simple measures into your routine, you can ensure your dog enjoys the outdoors all year round.

Limit sun exposure

Avoid prolonged sun exposure, especially during peak hours when the sun is at its strongest. Schedule walks and playtime during the early morning or late afternoon.

Provide shade

Create shaded areas in your backyard or bring along a portable shade if you're on the go. This ensures your dog has a cool retreat to relax in.

Dog-friendly sunglasses

Consider investing in doggy sunglasses to protect their eyes from harmful UV rays and reduce the risk of eye conditions.

Stay hydrated

Keep your pup hydrated, especially on warm days. Provide ample fresh water and consider frozen treats to keep them cool.