Do dogs need sunscreen? If so, which ones are safe for Boxers? Although there’s no shortage of advice on what people should do to protect themselves from the summer sun, we thought it was worth some digging to find the answers for what’s best for our furry friends.

Today we’ll take a look at these questions and offer some tips on how to keep your Boxer safe from the summer sun.

Can Dogs Get Sunburned?

The short answer is yes, dogs can get sunburned – and the shorter and lighter the hair, the easier it is. As it turns out, Boxers are one of several dog breeds that are more likely to get sunburned, particularly white Boxers. Just like people, dogs can be susceptible to sun damage, particularly if they’re frequently outside during the peak sun hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., or have any other underlying skin allergies or sensitivities. Veterinarians often see many of the diseases in dogs that plague people, including skin cancers such as melanoma, along with rashes and painful blistering.

What Dog Sunscreens Are Safe?

Although it might be tempting to use whatever you have on hand for yourself and your family, it turns out that there are some specific concerns  to be aware of when it comes to sun protection for your Boxer. The best sunscreen is one that’s designed for dogs and that poses few health risks. Your best option is to select a pet-friendly spray or lotion that doesn’t contain any fragrance or zinc oxide, which can lead to serious health issues if your dog licks it off. If you can’t find them at your vet or local pet food stores, there are a number of options available for order online.
If your Boxer accidentally gets sunburned and you apply an after-sun treatment, be sure to read the ingredients for that as well and stay away from anything that might be harmful to them if they were to lick it off — which, given the nature of dogs, is more likely to happen than not.

How Often Should You Apply Dog Sunscreen?

Whether your Boxer likes to go hiking or swimming, or they prefer to just hang by the pool and chill, they can get sunburned easily. The signs are the same as they are in people: red, irritated skin, itching or scratching, and hot spots that flare up. Unlike people though, dogs can’t tell us when they’re getting too much sun. Bellies, ears, and noses (boop!) are particularly prone to sunburn, but any area with light or minimal fur can be affected. A good rule of paw is to apply sunscreen on your Boxer as often as you apply your own, even if your dog shows no signs of distress.

What Are Some Alternatives to Dog Sunscreen?

Sunscreen isn’t always the best option, of course. If your dog loves to be outside but can’t stop licking off their sunscreen or will be in and out of the water all day, another option to consider is UV protection clothing designed specifically for dogs. While UV clothing for people has been popular for many years, it’s getting more and more popular for dogs, too.  For example, Tomlinson’s offers a range of clothing specifically designed to protect your four-legged friend from the sun. Another alternative is to be sure your dog has a shady spot to join you outside, whether it be a large tree, tent, outdoor dog bed with a canopy, or a lounger with a large umbrella (which is where our Boxers usually end up, despite their cushy outdoor dog beds!). You can try having your dog wear a chic straw fedora or hat, of course, but we’ve yet to see that work in practice.

How Else Can You Keep Your Boxer Safe in Hot Weather?

Let’s face it: Texas is sweltering in the summer, and it’s a rare year when the thermometer doesn’t hit triple digits for most of August. Along with sunscreen, make sure to protect your precious pups by ensuring they have plenty of fresh, clean water in a clean bowl at all times – even indoors! – and that their paws are protected by going for walks only when the sidewalk or road is cool enough that you could walk on it your own bare feet. Never, ever leave a dog unattended in a closed car or tied up outside. It’s inhumane, and you may also be fined and face cruelty charges in Austin and surrounding areas. Finally, be sure to keep an eye out for any signs of overheating and take your dog to the vet or emergency hospital in case of heat exhaustion.


As it turns out, there’s a lot to learn about sunscreen for dogs. There are several sunscreens on the market now specially for canines. If you’ll be out for more than a short time, apply sunscreen to your Boxer’s nose, ears and bellies, especially if they have white or light fur. If sunscreen is out of the question, look into clothing designed for dogs with UV protection — but make sure that they don’t get overheated in the Texas sun. Finally, you can keep your pup safer by avoiding walks or hikes where your dog will be exposed to direct sun in the heat of the day.