Skip to main content - The Animal Encyclopedia for Kids

Animals Can Get Sunburnt, Too?

Even pets with thick fur aren’t safe from the sun’s rays.

Not just animals with little or no fur, such as pigs, walruses and whales, can get sunburn on their unprotected skin. Dogs and cats, and even light-colored horses, are at risk of sunburn as well. 

Walrus Walrus - Photo: BMJ/Shutterstock

Sunburn in Animals

The sun gets stronger every year, so we have to take good care of ourselves as well as our animal friends. Just like in humans: their skin goes red and causes pain. Animals can even lose their hair. Most affected are areas most exposed to sunlight: noses, ear tips, around the lips and inner legs.


Consequences of Sunburn

The skin is inflamed. If the sunburn is very strong, the skin won’t just go red and shed hair. It can even blister and, in the worst cases, develop ulcers or skin cancer.

How Can I Protect My Pet?

The best way? Shade! Direct sunlight is most dangerous between 10 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon. For animals and humans alike. If possible, susceptible animals should spend this time at home.

The Right Sunscreen

Baby sunscreen? Sunscreen for sensitive skin? Watch out: never use just any sunscreen on your pet. Most are toxic when ingested. That’s why it’s so important to only use special animal sunscreen with an SPF of 30-50. Pets with white or red fur are especially at risk. As well as sphynx cats that have no fur.

Where Should Sunscreen Be Applied?

Anywhere with little fur or especially thin fur. And the nose and tips of the ears. As animals also like to roll around, their tummies and inner legs should also be protected with the sunscreen.


Pupils are welcome to use this information at school for animal profiles, fact sheets, essays, work sheets, presentations, posters or homework. All information appearing on this site has been precisely and thoroughly researched, nevertheless should you notice any errors, please do notify us via email.

See all topics on