15 Reasons Your Boston Terrier LOVES Laying In The Sun!

There’s nothing quite as relaxing as lying in the warm sun and soaking up the rays. Boston Terriers love to do this and for many of the same reasons we humans do!

This article will cover everything you need to know about why Boston Terriers love to lay in the sun, how long they should stay in the sun, how you can keep them safe while doing so, and more.

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What Percentage Of Boston Terriers Like To Lay In The Sun?

Most Boston Terrier owners say their Boston loves laying in the sun. My Bella can lay in the sun for hours every day. I jokingly call her my little sundial because she moves around the house based on where the sun is.

Here are two polls I conducted in the Boston Terrier Society Community. One poll was from the YouTube Community, and the other poll was done in the Twitter Community.

YouTube Poll Results

In the YouTube community poll, 97% of 195 Boston Terrier Lovers responded that their Boston loves laying in the sun.

Twitter Poll Results

Nearly everyone in the Boston Terrier Twitter community stated their Boston loves laying in the sun.

15 Reasons Why Your Boston Terrier Is Laying In The Sun

Well, you might ask yourself, why does my black dog lay in the sun? That is if you have a black-and-white Boston. Here are the reasons.

1. The Sun Can Become Addictive

In one study of rodents, the researchers found that exposure to UV light, the Sun, for 20-30 minutes 5 days a week for six weeks became addictive to the mice. This explains how some people can keep going to the tanning beds even when they look very tan.

Check out this YouTube video explaining the study…

What makes the sun so addictive?

The answer to this question is still unknown, and there has been more research done relating to humans than dogs, but researchers have theories, and here are two:

First – The study on mice mentioned above found an increase in endorphins by 30% – 50% after the rodents were exposed to the sun over the six-week study period. The increase in endorphins can have opioid-like effects, which are addictive. (source)

Second – David Fisher, chief of dermatology at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, believes that humans are addicted to sunshine because it allows our skin to create vitamin D (Source). This could relate to why our Boston Terriers want to lay in the sun as well.

2. The Sun Can Help Dogs with Anxiety

Exposure to sunlight can also help dogs with anxiety. The sun’s rays help produce a hormone called serotonin, which is a chemical that can help to calm and relax people (and animals). If your dog suffers from anxiety, spending time in the sun may help to reduce its symptoms.

Interesting Fact: 72.5% Of Dogs Show Anxiety Like Behaviors

Scientific Reports volume 10, Article number: 2962 (2020)

If your Boston suffers from anxiety, check out this article by Boston Parent Amy Norton. These are something she recommends and has done to help Nickel her Boston Terrier, How To Help Your Boston With Situational Anxiety.

3. The Sun Can Help Dogs with Seasonal Affective Disorder

There is no true study on whether dogs suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), but many dog owners say their pet suffers from this, just like humans. This is a type of depression that is caused by shorter days and less sunlight during winter months.

So, in theory, just like humans, if your Boston Terrier is exposed to sunlight, its mood can be improved to alleviate SAD.

“In U.S. community surveys, SAD prevalence ranges from 9.7 percent in New Hampshire to 1.4 percent in Florida. In North America, SAD prevalence increases with latitude, but the correlation is nonsignificant in other parts of the world.”

Kathryn A. Roecklein and Kelly J. Rohan, PhD, National Library of Medicine: Seasonal Affective Disorder

4. They Love The Warmth

Boston Terriers love the warmth of the sun on their fur. This is especially true during the colder months when they may not get as much time outside. Laying in the sun helps to keep them warm and comfortable.

Boston Terrier Laying down
Bella lying in the sun

5. It Feels Good

Sunlight feels good on their skin and helps to soothe any aches or pains they may be feeling. This is because the sun helps to produce more of the feel-good endorphins in the body.

6. They Get A Vitamin D Boost

Sunlight is a great source of vitamin D, which is important for a healthy immune system. However, know that the sun is not as productive in producing vitamin D in dogs as in humans.

Watch this video below, where veterinarians at the University of Edinburgh’s Royal School of Veterinary Studies are investigating the effects of vitamin D on the health of pet dogs.

7. It Helps Them Relax

The sun can help to relax Boston Terriers and ease any anxiety or stress they may be feeling. Once again, this is because of the increase in feel-good hormones. See above, where we talk about the mice and sunlight experiment.

8. It Boosts Their Mood

Boston Terriers who spend time in the sun can in theory, be in a better mood than those who don’t. The sun’s rays help to boost their serotonin levels, which can improve their overall mood.

9. It Keeps Them Active

According to WebMD, Sunlight helps boost a chemical in your brain called serotonin, which can give you more energy and help keep you calm, positive, and focused. 

Boston Terriers who spend time in the sun are more likely to be active and playful than those who don’t. The sun’s rays help to increase their energy levels and keep them from getting bored.

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Bella in the sun

10. It helps Them Sleep Better

The sun’s rays help to regulate their sleep cycle and allow them to get a restful night’s sleep.

According to the Women’s Royal Hospital in Australia, Sunshine may play a role in regulating hormones and sleep patterns by affecting the melatonin circadian rhythm. Melatonin is a hormone produced in the pineal gland from the chemical melanin. Melanin is produced in the skin through sun exposure. Melatonin helps with inducing sleep.

11. The Sun Helps Them Relax

The sun also has a calming effect on Boston terriers. If they’ve had a long day of playing or exploring, laying in the sun can help them to relax and recharge.

12. The Sun Makes Them Sleepy

Boston terriers are notorious for being sleepy dogs, and the sun can help to make them even sleepier. If your dog is taking a nap in the sun, don’t be surprised if they start snoring! Because with too much sun exposure you can start to become sleepy.

14. The Sun Keeps Their Skin Healthy

In addition to keeping their coat healthy, the sun’s UV rays also help to keep their skin healthy. The UV rays help to kill bacteria that might be trying to colonize wounds (source).

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15. The Sun Can Help With Arthritis

If your Boston terrier suffers from arthritis, the sun can actually help to relieve their symptoms. The heat from the sun helps to increase blood flow which could reduce inflammation (source).

Additionally, in another study, scientists found that exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light leads to the release of endorphins in mice. Endorphins are hormones that produce opioid-like effects, providing pain relief and feelings of euphoria. The study found that mice exposed to UV rays showed increased levels of endorphins, as well as decreased sensitivity to touch and temperature (source).

These results suggest that sunlight may be an effective treatment for pain, without the risk of addiction or other side effects associated with opioid drugs.

Further research is needed to determine whether this effect also occurs in humans, but the findings provide a new perspective on the power of sunlight.

BONUS – The Sun Helps Dry A Bostons Coat

While this is an obvious one, I threw it in as a bonus reason. If your Boston gets wet, the sun can help to dry its coat. This is especially helpful if your Boston has been swimming or playing in the rain. A wet coat can be very uncomfortable for a dog, so laying in the sun helps to dry it off and make them more comfortable.

Boston Terrier Snorting

How Long Should My Boston Terrier Lay In The Sun?

I think this comes down to knowing your Boston and what you reasonably think is safe. There are a number of different variables, but here is how I monitor Bella, my Boston, when lying in the sun.

How Long And Where

-In the house by a window – All Day

-Outside On A Cool Day – 40 minutes at a time

-Outside On A Hot Day – 10 – 20 minutes at a time

Always consult your veterinarian about this question, but this is how I generally let Bella lay in the sun.

Is There A Danger To My Boston Terrier Laying In The Sun?

Boston Terriers are a breed of dog that is particularly susceptible to heatstroke. This is due to their short noses, which make it difficult for them to pant and regulate their body temperature.

Make sure you read this article to learn more about the signs of overheating in Boston Terriers here: Signs Of Overheating In Boston Terriers.

Ways To Keep Your Boston Terrier Safe While Laying In The Sun

Here are five tips to keep your Boston safe while lying in the sun.

1. Avoid the hottest hours of the day.

The sun is at its strongest between 10am and 4pm, so it’s best to avoid letting your dog out during these hours. If you must take your dog out during these times, make sure to find a shady spot for them to lay in.

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Bella playing in the sun

2. Sunscreen.

Just like us, Bostons can get sunburned. There are special sunscreens made for dogs that don’t contain harmful chemicals. Be sure to apply sunscreen to any exposed areas, including the nose, ears, and belly.

You can check out the sunscreen on Amazon here: Dog Sunscreen.

3. Keep them hydrated.

Dogs can get dehydrated quickly, so it’s important to make sure they’re drinking plenty of water when they’re out in the sun. You can also give them frozen treats or ice cubes to help keep them cool.

4. Avoid hot pavement.

The pavement can get incredibly hot during the summer months, making it painful for your Boston to walk on.

Put your hand on the pavement for a few seconds – if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for them. Stick to grassy areas or sidewalks that are in the shade.

5. Watch for signs of overheating.

Boston Terriers can suffer from heatstroke if they get too hot and their body temperature rises to dangerous levels. Signs of heatstroke include panting heavily, drooling excessively, appearing lethargic or uncoordinated, and having a rapid heartbeat.

If you think your Boston is suffering from heatstroke, move them to a cool area and call your vet immediately.

Read this article for an in-depth look into what overheating in your Boston will look like: Signs Of Overheating In Boston Terriers.

Final Thoughts…

There are many benefits to your Boston Terrier spending time in the sun and you should encourage it! Not only is it a good source of Vitamin D, but it can also help with skin problems, improve circulation and joint pain.

Just make sure to keep an eye on them and provide plenty of water so they don’t overheat.

And if you’re looking for more ways to make your pup happy, check out this list of things you should stop doing, 5 Things You’re Doing That Your Boston Can’t Stand!

Donnie Gardner

Donnie Gardner is the owner of the Boston Terrier Society. He has been raising Bella the Boston since 2010. He resides in Kansas with his wife, daughter, and Bella. His favorite activities are hanging out with family, traveling, running (but has bad knees), and reading non-fiction books.

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