Why Do Dogs Love Sunbathing?

Why Do Dogs Love Sunbathing?

Last update: 24 April, 2018

Other than being enjoyable for your pet, sunbathing is good for his body. Ultra violet rays produce vitamin D which helps strengthen bones and muscles. It also enhances serotonin production, known as the “happiness hormone”.

Sunbathing is very pleasant and dogs are well aware of this. They do it whenever they can. Have you ever wondered why a dog likes to sunbathe? They do it more than just for pleasure.

The star of life

As we know it, the sun is the main life-causing agent on our planet, even before water. Its solar rays bombard the Earth’s atmosphere all the time, which allows the creation of different molecules and beneficial particles for our ecosystems.

This is why plants benefit as much as they can from the sunlight and create oxygen, which is a vital component for the livelihood of life on the planet. This is a fact that all people should already know. Nevertheless, did you know that not only plants benefit from this star, but animals do too?

All animals do it one way or another, and dogs are no exception. In fact, it is a very important component for the development of an animal’s life. So whenever you see a dog sunbathing, remember he does it because it’s good for him.

Dogs sunbathe for vitamin D

The sun is responsible for producing vitamin D in an animal’s body. Dogs know it´s healthy and that’s one of the reasons why they like sunbathing.
Dog sunbathing

Vitamin D is fundamental for a dog’s body, because it constantly strengthens their bones. This allows him to resist the hardships of everyday life.

Although, that’s not the only function of vitamin D;  along with necessary daily exercise  it also helps keep muscles in shape. If you give your partner a good dose of both, I’m sure he’ll always be in shape.

 It is essential for companionship breeds to sunbathe like any other species. Here’s why: their muscles are also constantly moving, and sunlight prevents the limbs from atrophying over time.  

In most cases, their fur absorbs the sun’s energy and converts it to vitamin D, but its not enough energy for the dog. The animal licks its body to get the most amount of vitamin D.

Serotonin: the “happiness hormone”

There is another reason why dogs sunbathe, it feels good. The sun enhances serotonin production, also known as the “happiness hormone”.
The production of this hormone is important to keep the dog feeling good about himself and with his surroundings.  Serotonin alleviates the symptoms of canine depression, loneliness from being home alone and it stimulates the immune system. 
Dogs love the sunlight

Of course, it is not a good idea to leave your pet alone. Allowing your dog to socialize with other dogs and being with you will have him feeling happy everyday.

Sunlight also influences the segregation of melatonin, which is known as the sleeping hormone. Without it, dogs cannot rest as they would naturally.

In fact, it is common for many dogs to fall asleep while sunbathing, and this takes place due to this hormone. Pay close attention to your dog to prevent excess sunlight from harming him.

Dangers of sunbathing

As mentioned early, there are many benefits but an excess amount of anything is unhealthy.  Overexposure of the sun is no exception, so monitor your dog as he sunbathes.

Excessive sunlight can burn and irritate your pet’s skin.  It is better to apply sunblock and lotions to sensitive areas. Remember to make sure the floor is suitable for the canine to be on, in order to prevent his paws from getting burnt.

Keep him hydrated, the heat can cause serious hydration problems, so give your dog plenty of water. Have a bowl of water nearby so he can have the most enjoyable experience.

The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.