Do you find your dog laying out in the sun on warm days in the backyard or under a window in the sunlight often? Ever wonder why? Don’t be alarmed; your dog isn’t a diva. The truth is dogs love and need the sun as much as people do. Being in the sun is incredibly healthy for you and your dog.

The vitamin D they get from the sun helps their body and immune system as well as improves their mood. We’ll explain why your dog needs the sun and how to prevent sun-related issues from prolonged exposure.

Why Vitamin D is Essential for Dogs

The National Research Council, American Association of Feed Control Officials, and the European Pet Food Industry Federation agree that vitamin D is an essential dietary nutrient for dogs. Dogs can get vitamin D through the sun and in their diet.

Dogs need vitamin D to help absorb and regulate calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D helps the kidneys to conserve calcium. And dogs need calcium and phosphorus for building bones and muscle and nerve control.

Many dog foods are vitamin D fortified, but dogs also enjoy laying in the sun just like people. Like humans, their skin can absorb vitamin D, although not as efficiently, so diet is the best source for vitamin D.

If you live in an overcast environment, don’t worry about whether your dog is getting enough vitamin D. Because of its importance, most dog foods contain the necessary amount of vitamin D supplements. So your dog’s diet should be sufficient. But that won’t stop your dog from finding a warm, sunny spot to soak up what it can.

Related Link: How to Show Your Dog You Love Them

Why Does My Dog Lay in the Sun When it’s Hot?

Do you ever question your dog’s sanity when it’s wicked hot outside, and your dog wants to go layout? It seems crazy, but it’s actually normal. Dogs love the heat because it helps warm their bodies and allows them to soak in vitamin D. So indulge your dog, and let them out, even if it seems crazy to want to be in 100-degree heat.

How Hot is Too Hot for Dogs?

Now your dog may love the sun, but you don’t want your dog to overheat. The American Humane Society recommends that you don’t let your dog’s temperature go over 104 degrees. So if your dog does go outside, make sure they have plenty of water and shade to keep their internal temperatures regulated.

If your weather and humidity are too high in the summer, then you’ll want to limit their sun exposure by:

  • Limiting exercise time to early mornings or late evenings.
  • Providing shade and cold water.
  • Restricting them from going in their dog house because the house will amplify the heat.
  • Providing ways for your dog to cool down in a pool or wrapping them in a cooling body wrap.

A great way to get away the heat is a fun family vacation during those wicked summer months. Bring your dog to escape the heat and bond in a fun new location. If you’ve never traveled with your pet before, talk to All Paws Express who specializes in pet transportation.

Does your dog hate to travel? All Paws Express offers hassle-free transportation services to help your dog have a pleasant trip.

Related Link: Dog-Friendly Vacation Spots in California

Dog lying on back in sun

How Long Should I Let My Dog Lay in the Sun?

Most dogs know when to get out of the sun to avoid prolonged exposure. They’ll tell you when they need to come back in. But if you let your dog out in the sun, especially in the summer months, be sure to provide shade. If there isn’t shade in the yard, your dog can risk getting:

Heat Stroke & Dehydration

Heatstroke and dehydration can affect any dog left in the hot sun for too long. So it’s critical to monitor your dog while their outside, provide plenty of clean water, and bring your dog inside if it gets too hot.

Some breeds are particularly susceptible to heatstroke and dehydration because of their heavy or thick coats. Be sure to monitor your dog closely if it is a:

  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Labrador
  • Saint Bernard
  • Newfoundland
  • Siberian Husky

Sunburn & Skin Cancer

Dogs can sunburn and get skin cancer from too much sun exposure. Certain breeds are more susceptible to sunburns and cancer than others. These breeds are:

  • Short or Thin Coat Breeds
  • Hairless Breeds
  • Light or White Fur Breeds

Dogs typically burn on their belly, nose, and ears. And some breeds can burn their eyelids or around their muzzle.

In addition to shade, you can get dog sunscreen that is safe for your dog and will protect their skin.

Is it Bad for Dogs to Sunbathe?

No. It’s perfectly normal. Whether it’s in the yard, at the beach or by a sun-lit window, let them soak in the rays. It will help improve their mood as well as their health.

Dog laying below a window for sunlight.

Let Your Dog Soak Up the Sun

As long as you provide adequate shade and water, let your dog soak up all the sun they need. Not only will their health improve from the sun exposure, but their mood will too. When the weather is nice, get out with your dog and soak in some vitamin D.

All Paws Express offers domestic and international pet relocation and transportation services. To navigate the intricacies of pet travel rules and regulations, you should contact All Paws Express to customize a travel plan that can satisfy any budget. Let us help you and your dog travel to a sunny location for optimal sunbathing and vitamin D.

Ready to plan a sunny vacation where you’ll bring your dog? Learn more about All Paws Express can simplify pet transportation.

Related Link: 25 of the Best Things to Do With Your Dog