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Why Do Dogs Love to Sunbathe?

3 minutes
It doesn't have to be a summer day for a dog to soak up the sun
Why Do Dogs Love to Sunbathe?
Last update: 11 February, 2018

Just like many of us, dogs love to sunbathe. It’s not strange to see our furry friends looking for a place in the sunshine and lie down there, including to take a good nap. But do you know why they like it so much? Do you wonder if there is any health risk? We are going to tell you in this article.

The sun’s benefits for animals

There are many reasons why dogs love to sunbathe. They do it at any time of the year. But it’s not just a matter of liking it. It’s that this practice also contributes to their good physical and mental state. For example:

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  • It facilitates the vitamin D absorption. This substance allows the dog to digest calcium and other minerals better. That way, his bones and joints get stronger.
  • It strengthens his immune system. Consider that dogs that have little exposure to sunlight and the outside world are very likely to run more risks of getting sick. They will also be sadder.
  • It relieves joint pain in old animals. Dogs of an advanced age tend to suffer from rheumatic diseases. Sunlight helps them feel better and alleviates the discomfort that these illnesses cause.

Dogs sunbathing– something that they love– gives them many health benefits, and should be allowed with certain precautions and just as much as is necessary. 

The Sun, an ally for canine relaxation and happiness

But there are more reasons for why dogs love to sunbathe.

  • It contributes to their relaxation. A good sunbathe is the best natural relaxant for pets. You will see how it notably reduces stress and anxiety levels that our four-legged friends suffer.
  • It makes them happier. The exposure to solar rays boosts serotonin production. Also known as the “happiness hormone,” it works as a neurotransmitter to maintain stable moods. In short, we can say that dogs surrender themselves to the sun in exchange for happiness.

    More reasons to understand why dogs love to sunbathe

They are even more reasons why dogs feverishly look for the sun’s rays. Take note:

  • They sleep better. Sunlight also helps the separation of melatonin, a substance that regulates the sleep cycle in animals. It allows them a better quality rest.
  • It gives them warmth in cold weather. And no, it’s not an obvious reason to ignore. It’s true that there are more vulnerable dogs in lower temperatures. This is the case for some short-haired breeds, like Chihuahuas. Or the case for older dogs, whose fur is weaker. Surely these dogs will look for more exposure to the sun in winter.

Precautions to have in mind when dogs are exposed to sunlight

However, despite all the benefits that the sun gives dogs, you should take certain precautions. The reason for this is that everything can be good, but only as much as is necessary. So, don´t let your dog spend too much time in the sunshine. He will run the risk of suffering burns or a heat stroke that could even be deadly.

Consider that:

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  • In growing dogs, sunbathing too much can make them absorb more vitamin D than they need. Remember that an excess of calcium contributes to an incorrect formation of the jaw and teeth. It also produces alterations in the nervous system, muscles, and bones.
  • Animals with white fur or short hair– or very short– have more possibilities of suffering burns, heat exhaustion, or sunstrokes if they spend too much time in the sunshine.
  • You should make sure that your pet always has fresh water available.

Having these details in mind, let your dog lay down in the sun and enjoy the good things in life.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.