Why Do Dogs Lay in the Sun?

Most of the time, dogs experience rather odd behavior that we just have to stop and question why. Why do dogs lay in the sun? Are they trying to blind themselves with the excessive light, or can they actually feel the heat from the sun?

Dogs love to lay in the sun to sunbathe for many different reasons. In this article, we will discuss why your dog does this, its benefits, and what to watch out for.

If your dog is a frequent sun bather or laying in front of a door or window kind of dog, then this article is for you!

Why Do Dogs Lay In The Sun

Why Do Dogs Lay in the Sun?

There are many reasons why dogs like to lay in the sun. one of the reasons is that dogs enjoy that warm feeling where the sun is shining down on the floor. Your dog knows what its body needs; so, when you see your dog laying in the sun, it’s because your dog’s body needs vitamin D.

Even on extremely hot days, you may see your dog still laying in a sunny spot in the house, and it purely because your dog enjoys the warmth that the sun gives off.

Why is My Dog Sleeping in the Sun?

Just like us, we enjoy to sunbathe from time to time out by the beach. Dogs can get comfortable anywhere where the sun is shining. This can be outside in the yard, on concrete, or even in the house in front of a window or door.

When your dog sleeps in front of the sun, not only is it giving your dog some much needed vitamin D but it is also helping regulate your dog’s body temperature. This will warm your dog up on a warm days and cold days.

Dogs will generally lay in the direct sunlight to sleep but still close by to their owner; that way, your dog feels a sense of comfort. Dogs also enjoy when their owner sunbathes with them. It will create a stronger bond and better companionship.

Why Is My Dog Sleeping In The Sun

Why Do Dogs like Sunbathing?

Your dog sunbathes just like you to feel the warmth of the sun all over its skin and fur. Dogs get vitamin D from the sun, which is very important. Let’s discuss the benefits of vitamin D.

  • Strengths bones
  • Promotes faster healing
  • Helps puppies grow
  • Helps prevent diseases in the heart, hyperparathyroidism, IBD, and kidney issues
  • Reduces depression
  • Helps to prevent diabetes

How Does a Dog Absorb Vitamin D from the Sun?

Dogs absorb the vitamin D from the sun differently than we humans do. When the sun’s rays hit us, our skin absorbs the vitamin D from a breakdown of natural chemicals. People only need around 20 minutes of exposure to the sun to get the necessary absorbed vitamin D.

Dogs do this process slightly different due to the fur on their body. The hair or fur blocks most of the sun trying to absorb into your dog’s body.

The vitamin D does stay on your dogs’ fur, so if you happen to see your dog licking its fur after sunbathing, then it’s just your dog’s way of orally getting the Vitamin D into its body.

Your dog will actually get a substantial amount of vitamin D through its food. So, don’t be worried if your dog isn’t laying in front of the sun all the time. Your dog is likely getting some vitamin D from its dog food.

Foods that Have Vitamin D

Besides your dog’s brand name dry dog food, here are some foods that have excellent sources of vitamins D:

  • Fish such as Salmon, herring, and anchovies
  • Red meats in small amounts
  • Liver (this is very nutritious for dogs)
  • Small amounts of cooked egg yolks (should not be fed to your dog if it has a pre-existing condition such as pancreatitis)

Why Do Dogs Like Sunbathing

Can a Dog Have Too Much Sun?

Yes, it is entirely possible for your dog to get too much exposure from the sun. Dogs can:

  1. Get tanned
  2. Get Sunburnt under fur
  3. Develop heatstroke or sun poisoning

It is very important that you take responsibility as the owner watching out for your dog while it is laying in the sun. Look for the sighs and sounds of your dog panting because this may be the first indicator that your dog is getting way too hot.

Some dogs will actually move out of the sun and in a place of shade when they start feeling too hot. Dogs with thinner short coats seem to be more prone to getting sunburnt. You can limit your dog’s exposure to the sun by keeping your dog inside and also closing the blinds.

Remember, if you feel your dog has had too much sun, make sure you have some water available for your dog to drink. Dogs get dehydrated easily, so it is important to make your dog drink plenty of water if it has been exposed to some sun rays.

How Long Should I Let My Dog Lay In The Sun

How Long Should I Let My Dog Lay in the Sun?

Each dog will vary, but 20 to 60 minutes of your dog laying in the sun should be plenty for your dog. Some dogs may nap in the sun for a few hours, but if you want to be on the safe side and avoid having your dog getting sunburnt or dehydrated, limit it.

Signs of Heatstroke in Dogs

Here are a few signs of heatstroke in your pooch to watch out for:

  • Abnormal drooling
  • Fast breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Vomiting
  • Discolored tongue may be a sign of dehydration

If your dog exhibits these strange symptoms, you should call your veterinarian to let them know your dog was out in the sun for a long period of time and you suspect your dog has heatstroke.


If your dog is enjoying a relaxing afternoon in a sunny spot in the house or the yard, you don’t have to be too worried. Now you know exactly why dogs lay in the sun and how you can monitor your dog to make sure they are getting overheated.

Does your dog lay in the sun? Does your dog like to sunbathe outside? Let us know in the comments below and share your experience with us.

Leave a Comment