Sun Exposure for Dogs

February 26, 2021

As I watched my dog happily basking in the winter sun, snow all around, I wondered if pets need sun just like people do. Most of us know it’s important for people to get sun exposure, but did you know it’s key for pets too? In this article, we’re going to discuss the advantages of intentionally exposing your dog to natural light year round.

According to an article in Dogs Naturally Magazine, “Dogs (and all mammals) have evolved living outside, exposed to the sun all day. Not only do they need sunlight, they need to be exposed to the changing nature of raw sunlight throughout the whole day to be healthy.” So, the type of light throughout the day sends signals to mammals’ brains. Messages such as: time to wake up, time to digest, time to play, time to rest, time to sleep. 

The quality of the light is important, too. It’s essential that it comes in the form of raw sunlight. That means it must hit your pet’s eyes directly and not be filtered through a window. So, maybe when you let your dog out first thing in the morning, let her stay out for some extra time to absorb the glow of early morning light. Better yet, if you have time, take her for a walk and you can both reap the benefits of the regulating early sun.

The Dogs Naturally Magazine article goes on to explain all of the systems that sunlight impacts in a pet’s body: “A healthy circadian rhythm is critical for good health. It controls patterns of brainwave activity, hormone production, cell regeneration and many other biological/biochemical activities over the day/night cycle.”

Here we are, rolling from February into March, and there’s the promise of warm, sunny days ahead—yet with some colder, sun-sparse days mixed in. Even on the not-so-pleasant days, it’s extremely helpful for you and your pup to get outside even for 10 minutes to soak up some of the sun’s rays. So, put on your parka, snow boots, and gloves and let’s get these doggos outside!

Come. Stay. Heal.

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