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Can Pets Get Sunburn


All the information in this blog was provided by experts in The Vet Connection  who operate the An Post Insurance 24-hour Vet Helpline.

What is sunburn?

Sunburn, also known as solar dermatitis, happens when an animal spends too much time in the sun. While any animal can get sunburned, those with white or light-coloured coats are particularly vulnerable. Areas with less hair, such as ears, noses, and tail tips, are especially at risk. Severe sunburn can even lead to a dangerous form of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma.

Dog sunning himself outdoors | Sunburn in Pets | An Post Insurance

Signs of sunburn

If your pet has sunburn, you might notice symptoms like:

  • Red, irritated skin
  • Crusting or flaking
  • Itching
  • Blisters
  • Pain


If you suspect your pet has sunburn, contact your vet right away. The vet might recommend an ointment to soothe the skin and a buster collar to prevent your pet from further harming the area. In severe cases or if skin cancer is suspected, surgery might be necessary to remove the damaged tissue.


Preventing sunburn is always better than treating it. Here are some tips to protect your pet:

  • Keep them indoors during the hottest parts of the day
  • Provide plenty of shaded areas outside
  • Encourage your pet to use these shaded spot
  • Apply pet-friendly sunscreen to vulnerable areas and reapply it throughout the day
  • Avoid sunscreens with zinc oxide or para-aminobenzoic acid, as these can be toxic to pets
Dog playing outside | Pet Insurance | An Post Insurance

Heatstroke is another risk to our beloved pets that comes with warm weather. For tips on how to prevent and manage heatstroke, check out our previous blog: How to Keep Your Pets Cool in the Heat and if you’re taking a trip to the beach with your dog, be mindful of the potential hazards there.

By taking these precautions, you can help ensure your pet stays safe and healthy while enjoying the sunshine.

Owning a pet is one of the most rewarding things you can do in life, but it’s not without its risks.  Get the peace of mind of good protection with An Post Insurance pet insurance. If things go wrong, our underwriters will be there to help you manage the costs of caring for your pet.

Dog Owner Tips | Pet Insurance | An Post Insurance

Remember your dog’s health and happiness depends on you!

An Post Insurance Pet Insurance includes a 24-hour helpline, which is operated by The Vet Connection 365 days a year and gives policy holders access to their national network of Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons-registered veterinary nurses.  Policy holders can call one of their registered veterinary nurses on 01 913 1067 for advice at any time.

An Post Insurance Pet Insurance is arranged and administered by Cover-More Blue Insurance Services Limited and underwritten by H.W. Kaufman Group Europe BV, trading as Cranbrook, on behalf of the insurer, Sava Insurance Company. 

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