Why do dogs lie in the sun?

Have you ever wondered why your dog loves to sunbathe, only to stagger in and lay on the cold floor for fifteen minutes and then start the process over and over again?

It turns out they know what they are doing, and the health benefits they gain have lasting effects for their wellbeing.

Let's take a closer look at each of the benefits.

Vitamin D absorption – like us humans dogs need vitamin D which is essential for strong bones, joints, muscles and nerves, vitamin D also helps your dog breaks down and regulates calcium and phosphorus absorption. 

The process is achieved from the sun breaking down oils in the skin which then converts to vitamin D, dogs then lick their fur to absorb the vitamin D. 

Dogs can't get all the vitamin D they need to remain healthy, so it's essential that your dog is getting it from their diet in the right dose.  Our expert nutritionists at itsdogfood.com go the extra mile and add adequate amounts of Vitamin D3 92 IU to make sure your dog does not become deficient.

Serotonin – also known as the 'happy hormone' is essential for your dog's body temperature, appetite, behaviour, awareness of pain and heart and lung function. 

An increase in serotonin has been associate with a lack of aggression in dogs, hence the happy hormone.  Notice your dog when the sunbathe, how their mood changes and they become very content and chilled out.

Is too much sun harmful?

Too much of anything is bad for you, and the same goes for doggy sunbathing. Your dog must have somewhere they can go to cool down and get fresh water throughout the day.

Don't allow your dog to become dehydrated if you are unsure if your dog has become dehydrated use the pinch test. Use your thumb and forefinger to pinch a little skin on their back or the top of their head. If your pet is well hydrated, the skin should spring back when you release it. If the skin moves back slowly, your dog is dehydrated.

Some breeds are more susceptible to sun exposure and over time can become dangerous, short-haired breeds, white-haired and hairless dogs can develop skin cancer.  With white-haired and hairless breeds, it is recommended that you use a dog sunscreen with a high protection factor. 

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