As with us humans, one of the main reasons that explain why dogs like to sunbathe It is the contribution of vitamin D. Dogs never cease to surprise us with acts very similar to those we do, a fact that leads us to think that in certain situations or circumstances we can feel the same emotions. A clear example of this is the passion we share for feel the heat of the sun in our skin, and who is not happy with the light of a beautiful day?
Regardless of the season of the year in which we find ourselves, you will have noticed that whenever a sunbeam appears through the window your dog runs to occupy the illuminated space to spend long hours lying in the sun. Although we also love to lie in the sun or expose ourselves to tan our skin, the truth is that they are much smarter in this aspect and they do it for compelling reasons that we detail below. Keep reading this Animal Expert article and discover why dogs like to lie in the sun.
1. The Sun, natural source of vitamin D
Vitamin D is part of the group of fat-soluble vitamins, which are those that dissolve in fats and oils, are mainly stored in the body's fatty tissues and, therefore, remain retained in the body for longer. In this way, it is not necessary to provide the dog with vitamin D supplements daily, nor foods rich in it because his body is able to keep it for a period of time. In addition to obtaining it through the aforementioned means, dogs know that the best way to provide your body with the amount of vitamin D you need is through sunlight, so the main reason that answers the question Why dogs like the sun so much is undoubtedly this.
In the same way that vitamin D is essential for the proper functioning of our body, it is also essential for dogs. In this sense, this fat-soluble vitamin promotes the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, so it helps in the correct development of the bones of the can and prevents the appearance of diseases related to the bone system, such as osteoporosis. On the other hand, vitamin D plays a fundamental role in the development of the animal's musculature, favoring the nervous system and promoting muscular contractions, a fact that especially benefits corpulent dog breeds such as the American staffordshire terrier. Likewise, this vitamin also benefits the animal's immune system.
In our case, when we sunbathe the skin directly absorbs vitamin D, however, when it comes to animals, the hair that covers your entire body prevents it from reaching the dermis and, therefore, the oil transformed into vitamin D stays in the fur of the dog. So, after a long time lying in the sun, dogs lick their paws and the rest of the body to get it absorbed.
2. Promotes serotonin production
If you thought that the benefits of the sun for dogs were reduced in the absorption of vitamin D you were very wrong, and that is that sunlight also helps produce a greater amount of serotonin. This chemical produced by the body acts as a neurotransmitter to maintain a stable mood, so we could say that it is one of the most effective natural antidepressants. In this way, when lying in the sun the dog favors the production of said substance, promotes the feeling of happiness transmitted by it and, therefore, improves your mood. So, we can say that another reason why dogs like the sun so much is because it simply makes them happy.
3. Improves dog sleep
In addition to all of the above, exposure to sunlight favors the segregation of melatonin, hormone responsible for regulating the sleep cycle in animals. In this way, by segregating more of this hormone, the dog manages to increase the quality of sleep hours as well as regulate them and rest peacefully.
4. Provides heat during cold weather
As is evident, sunbathing also provides heat to dogs on colder days. In this way, in addition to being exposed to sunlight to get vitamin D, feeling better emotionally and physically, it does so to combat the cold winter temperatures. Also, there are dogs more resistant to cold than others, so the most vulnerable, such as chihuahuas and other breeds of short hair, tend to need to spend more time lying in the sun.
5. Relieves joint pain in elderly dogs
The fur of older dogs is much weaker than that of young dogs, so they are more likely to feel cold and notice an increase in joint pain in case of rheumatic diseases. In this sense, sunbathing relieves this feeling and helps them not feel so much discomfort.
But. Is the sun good for dogs?
After reviewing the main benefits of sunbathing in dogs it is essential to clarify whether it is really good or not for them. Well, although it may seem to us that after knowing the previous data the answer must be a resounding "yes", the truth is that it is a "yes without exceeding"In those dogs in period of growth, sunbathing in excess could cause the absorption of more vitamin D than necessary, which would trigger an excess of calcium that could lead to incorrect formation of the jaw, teeth and alterations in the nervous, muscular and bone system.With this we do not mean that we should not let our puppy lie in the sun, but we must be alert to avoid doing so for many hours a day.
On the other hand, the white-haired dogs, short or very short hair They may suffer burns, heat stroke or heat stroke if they are exposed to the sun for many hours at a time. These dogs do not have a fur as resistant as the rest and, therefore, we must exercise caution if we want sunlight to become something beneficial for them, and not quite the opposite.
Precautions to consider
To prevent the sun from causing damage to our dog, we advise you to consider the following indications:
- Try to have fresh water always available.
- In hot weather, cool your dog by moistening its head.
- Currently, the animal products market also offers sunscreens for dogs, if yours is a can without hair or very short hair, do not hesitate and get one.
- It prevents the dog from lying in the sun for many hours following>
Warning signs of heat stroke in dogs
Before entering the warning signs that may indicate that our dog may suffer a heat stroke, it is essential to differentiate this condition from heat stroke. Heat stroke occurs when the dog's body gets too hot for a short period of time, and it can happen as a result of intense exercise, hot weather or excessive exposure to the sun's rays. On the other hand, heat stroke is much more severe and usually appears after heat stroke if it is not treated. We must pay special attention to both conditions, since not doing so could end the death of the animal.
Main heat stroke symptoms in dogs They are as follows:
- Fast breathing
- Body temperature above 42ºC
- Excess salivation
- Increased heart rate
- Bluish skin due to lack of oxygen
- Discolored tongue due to loss of hydration
- Muscle tremors
If your dog shows any of these symptoms after sunbathing for many hours in a row, act quickly, remove it from the heat and moisten the head and the rest of the body with cold water cloths.
If you want to read more articles similar to Why do dogs like the sun?, we recommend that you enter our Curiosities section of the animal world.
Benefits of sunbathing
Do not believe that dogs sunbathe just because they want to be hot or because they are cold, there are benefits that your pet gets through the sun.
One of the reasons why dogs like to drink is because it strengthens their bones and teeth throughout life.
Strengthens the immune system
Sunbathing strengthens your pet's immune system, so it favors the healing process and replenishes worn out tissues.
They sleep better
When spending several hours of the day lying sunbathing the dogs sleep much quieter and improves the quality of their sleep.
Another benefit of why dogs like sunbathing is that it favors the absorption of Vitamin D, responsible for the proper absorption of calcium.
To regulate your body temperature
Dogs lie in the sun especially in cold times to regulate body temperature, seeking to get warm, although it is also common to see them lying on the ground in front of the sun in times of heat for some other reasons.
It is important that in the summer times if our pet is one of those who usually lie in the sun we always have a container of cold water on hand, it is also recommended to encourage the dog to move for a while from the area in which It is being prevented so that it can become dehydrated, or that from being so under the effects of the sun's rays it causes nausea, dizziness or heat stroke.
To get vitamin D
The rays we receive from the sun make us synthesize vitamin D, this is another reason why dogs like to lie in the sun, vitamin D helps us to dissolve the oils and fats that remain in our body stored by long time.
Dogs, like humans, incorporate the necessary dose of vitamin D through food but this is also achieved by sunbathing. Therefore, if you see your pet sunbathing, you should not only think that he is enjoying it but that he is also acquiring vitamin D.
This vitamin also improves the process of calcium and phosphorus absorption, has minerals that improve bones and prevent the appearance of diseases that affect the bones.
Sunbathing makes them happy
When dogs sunbathe they stimulate the production of the hormone serotonin that is responsible for generating the sensation of well-being, and that acts as a neurotransmitter helping to balance the mood, also acts as an antidepressant and improves the mood of the animals, so both this will have more desire to play.
A dog lying in the sun increases the production of this hormone and that is why you will see it more lively and fit, that is why these animals like to be in the sun so much, because they feel happier.
The star of life
As we know well, the sun is the main agent that causes life on the planet, even before the water itself. Its solar rays bombard the Earth's atmosphere all the time, which allows the creation of different molecules and particles beneficial to ecosystems.
That is why plants take full advantage of sunlight and create oxygen, vital component for the sustenance of life on the planet. This is a fact that all people should know by heart. But, did you know that not only plants take advantage of this star?
All animals do it one way or another, and dogs are no exception. In fact, it is a fairly important component in the development of the animal's life, so when you see that a dog is lying in the sun, remember that doing so is beneficial for him.
The dog lies in the sun for vitamin D
The sun is primarily responsible for generating vitamin D in animal bodies, The dogs intuit the benefit of this, and this is one of the reasons why dogs lie in the sun.
Vitamin D is essential in your body, since manages to strengthen your bones constantly, which allows it to better resist the rigors of everyday life.
But not only vitamin D is good for this, It is also responsible for keeping your muscles fit along with daily exercise What the animal should do. If you give your partner a good dose of both, he will always be fit.
It is essential that even company breeds sunbathe like any other species. They will wonder why: their muscles are also in constant motion, in addition, prevents your limbs from atrophying over time.
In most cases, the coat absorbs the sun's energy and converts it into vitamin D, but in this way everything that your body needs does not arrive. To collect the entire component, the animal resorts to lick the body and thus obtain the maximum amount possible.
Serotonin: happiness hormone
There is another reason why the dog lies in the sun, and it is to feel better in spirit. The sun in the dogs stimulates the generation of serotonin, also called the happiness hormone.
It is vital to generate this hormone so that the dog feels better about himself and the surrounding environment. Serotonin relieves the symptoms of depression in dogs, stimulates the immune organism and relieves the feeling of loneliness I can have by being alone.
Of course, it is not advisable to leave our pet alone, being with his master or other dogs is the best way to give him the happiness he requires in his day to day.
Sunlight also influences the segregation of melatonin, which is known as the sleep hormone. Without it, dogs could not rest as well as they do regularly.
If you realize, It is common for many dogs to fall asleep while they are sunbathing, and is due to the segregation of this hormone. You must pay close attention to your partner when this happens, since in excess it can be harmful to the animal.
The danger of your dog lying in the sun
We have talked about the benefits, but we must remember that everything in excess is bad for your health, and the star is no exception to the norm, so pay close attention when your dog lies in the sun.
Excess sunlight It can cause burns and irritations on the skin of our pet, so the ideal is to apply sunscreen and creams in sensitive areas. Remember to watch that the floor is suitable so that the can can be on it and avoid burning your pads.
Keep it hydrated, heat it can cause serious hydration problems and make your dog very thirsty. Remember to leave a bowl of water nearby for maximum enjoyment.
Vitamin D, the great responsible for the sun to like it so much
Vitamin D is fundamental in the body for functions of all kinds and all of them are closely related to the sun. The big star is a natural source of vitamin D, and what benefits does it have in the body? Among other things, Calcium absorption aid, responsible for strong bones. A dog or cat that receives enough calcium has a lower risk of suffering from diseases related to the bone system such as osteoporosis.
- It favors the production of melatonin. This hormone is responsible for regulating sleep cycles and when the animal secretes it, it rests better. After a while in the sun your furry friend will be more relaxed and when he sleeps the quality of sleep will be better.
- Increases the secretion of serotononin, the hormone of well-being. Surely now you understand better that feeling so tasty after receiving a little sun, what if?
- Vitamin D helps the development of tissues and the nervous and immune system of the animal. For humans it is easier to absorb it because it comes into direct contact with the skin, but with animals it does not happen like this: when sunbathing an oil is secreted in the fur that contains vitamin D. Therefore, after a period in the sun pets lick, to supply this vitamin D
- It helps to alleviate the symptoms of some diseases. Animals with rheumatism worsen with temperature changes, with the sun they receive an "extra help" to relieve discomfort.
Beware of abuse
The extremes are not good, just as bad is not sunbathing anything than doing it in excess. If your pet spends too many hours in the sun you have to be aware that it is not dehydrate
You also have to pay attention to sunburn, especially if your furry has white fur or short hair.