You have probably noticed that dogs tend to be quirky. But have you ever noticed how much they enjoy laying in the sun? If you’ve ever tried that yourself, you probably got hot and uncomfortable quickly, so how come dogs do it voluntarily?
Even though dogs don’t have many ways to get rid of body heat, and laying in the sun seems counterproductive, it can have benefits.
Exposure to the sun helps them turn fats into vitamin D. This vitamin assists in the production of bone tissue and helps the body use certain minerals. While for humans vitamin D forms in the skin, for dogs it forms in the fur because it is rich in concentrated oils. The tendency of dogs to lick themselves after laying in the sun has a pragmatic purpose. They are ingesting vitamin D.
Even if they get a lot of vitamin D from laying in the sun, supplements might still be beneficial. But that’s not always the case, so discuss with your vet before giving your dog any vitamins. But in most cases, dogs can get all the vitamin D they need from lying next to a window, on a balcony, or in the garden.
If you notice they have a certain spot where they go to get their daily sun intake, make sure they have water and shade nearby. Don’t let them sit directly under the sun, especially if they are in crates and can’t move to find shade.
The safest way for dogs to enjoy the sun is by taking them on regular walks when it’s sunny outside. Just make sure the temperature is not too high, as that might be harmful.