Can Whippets Get Sunburn?

If it is too hot outside and you have a whippet at home, you have a serious problem at hand.

You must make sure that your tender little dog does not return from outside with a sunburn.

But can whippets get sunburn?

Yes, whippets can get sunburn. A whippet is a dog of small and slender build. They have a very thin coat that offers little protection from the intense sun.

Excessive sunbathing or exposure to the sun can leave your whippet pup with severe sunburn, which is just as painful as it is for us humans.

Just like humans, whippets cannot withstand long exposure to UV rays.

Whippets have very little pigmentation and therefore, their skin is extremely sensitive to UV rays.

Pets with very thin fur such as whippets are vulnerable to the heat coming from the sun.

In dogs, sunburn is more likely in those parts which remain exposed to the sun regularly.

For whippets, these parts are ears, nose, the skin near the eyes, and the back. Some dogs may like to lie down on their back exposing their belly to the sun.

In this case, there is a chance of sunburn in the belly too, which can make for a nasty red burn.

What Causes Sunburn For Whippets?

No matter how adorable it may look, the thin coat of your whippet is no good for UV protection! It doesn’t protect your furry friend from the powerful rays of the sun.

When it comes to tolerance to heat or high temperatures, whippets have very little, and there are some reasons for this.

First of all, whippets are very skinny, small and slender dogs.

There is very little fat on their bodies. They are, in fact, bred for racing competitions. That’s why they are lightweight and slender.

can whippets get sunburn?
Image: Rebecca Delaney

So to answer your question, can whippets get sunburn? Yes very easily.

Besides, they have very little fur and this too is very thin. In summer, these dogs must be protected from the suns harmful rays.

Otherwise, they will end up with sunburn that may cause skin cancer later on down the line. So, the little and thin fur coupled with your whippets skinny and fatless body make whippets particularly vulnerable to sun exposure.

They should be kept indoors as much as possible whilst still getting their daily exercise on a hot summers day to avoid the sun.

You must be very careful when taking your whippet out in summer, especially between 10 am and 4 pm when the heat is at its peak.

Is Sunburn Dangerous For Whippets?

Your whippet is delicate and fragile! You mustn’t let him out for too long on summer afternoons.

Your pup can get seriously burned and force you to look after him all evening, and possibly even the next day!

Yes, sunburn can be extremely dangerous for whippets leading to some irreversible damage.

In whippets, sunburn can cause inflammation in the skin which in turn can cause pain and itching.

Frequent sunburns or excessive exposure to the sun can result in skin tumours or precancerous conditions.

If the dog already has some medical conditions such as itching or a chronic disease, sunburn can aggravate these conditions.

At a minimum, sunburn can leave your whippet dehydrated and gasping for breath.

It can make the dog seriously sick warranting to be checked by a veterinarian.

Even exposure of a few minutes can leave your whippet sick and burned if the sun is intense.

Is Dog Sunburn As Bad As Human Sunburn?

Finally, your pup is standing in comparison with you. Who is more vulnerable to sunburn – you or your whippet? The answer is both of you score the same number when it comes to sunburn.

Dog sunburn is as bad as human sunburn, if not worse. Dogs and humans with little pigmentation are extremely susceptible to get skin burns.

Both seem to face similar repercussions of sunburns on their heath. Sunburn is caused by overexposure to ultraviolet rays or radiation and is common in both dogs, humans and other pets.

It burns the living cells of the skin. The common symptoms of sunburn include red to reddish skin that is painful and hot to touch.

This is accompanied by fatigue and dizziness. Even a single incidence of sunburn increases the chance of skin cancer in both humans and dogs.

This is because the genetic material of the skin cells gets damaged by exposure to UV radiation.

Sunburn is the short term effect of UV radiation which can build up into skin cancer in the long run.

Areas On Your Whippet That Are Prone To Sunburn

Is your dog’s nose bridge more sensitive than its eye areas or even the ears?

Statistics reveal that these three areas of a whippet get sunburn more easily than the rest of their body.

While the whole body of the whippet is prone to getting sunburn, it’s more common in these areas and often more severe.

As we discussed earlier, whippets are small and slender dogs. It does not have much body mass or fat on its body. The fur is little and thin. All these conditions make the entire body of the whippet vulnerable to sunburn.

But some areas are definitely more prone to sunburns. These include the skin near the eyes, ears, nose, and the back.

This means the face region and the entire back are prone to receiving sunburn. Sometimes, dogs lie down on their back and keep their belly exposed to the sun.

If your whippet lies down like this outside in the hot afternoon, he may receive sunburn in his belly.

How To Prevent Your Whippet From Sunburn

If you love your whippet, you must protect him from sunburn. The safest way to do this is to keep him indoors, especially during hot summer afternoons.

You can take him out only for his elimination rituals every 2 to 4 hours, but this outing should be restricted to not more than 10 minutes.

Another way that you can protect your whippet from the sun is to give him a coat of sunscreen.

can whippets get sunburn?
Image: Jukka-Pekka Saarenkari

If you are taking him out for a while and it’s hot outside, you can use dog sunscreen on his back and face.

The only drawback with this is that your dog might start licking the sunscreen.

So, the sunscreen must be dog-specific and safe. You can also buy some specially made sun protection clothes for your dogs.

You can find big enough sun coats that will almost cover him fully.

Final Thoughts

So can whippets get sunburn? Absolutely!

Whippets should be kept safe from high temperatures of summer months.

In particular, they should be protected from direct exposure to the sun.

In the worst-case scenario, you may receive sunburns which can leave them seriously ill while also inflicting them with long term harm.

Even a single instance of sunburn is said to increase the chances of skin cancer later on.

So be super careful when taking your whippet out in the scorching sun, it can be very dangerous for your pup.

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