The dog days of summer are here and it’s getting hot out there. But did you know that your dog needs protection from the sun just like you do? It’s true – the sun’s exposure can be dangerous and deadly for your pets. If you’re armed with the right information, you can make the summer safe and enjoyable for your pup.
Just because a dog has a coat of fur, it doesn’t mean that it is protected from the sun’s rays. Even a thick fur coat isn’t enough protection. Constant sun exposure can result in painful sunburns, skin ulcers, cancer and permanent skin damage. Some breeds are more susceptible to sunburn, like those that are fair skinned, white haired, short haired and have light colored noses.
Here are a few things you can do when it comes to sun protection for dogs:
1. There is sunscreen that’s made just for your dog. If your dog is outside during peak sunlight hours, use a non-toxic dog specific sunscreen that has an SPF of 15 or higher. Be sure to apply it to sunburn-prone areas such as the tips of ears, the bridge of the nose, groin area, inside the legs and underbelly. As with any product you apply to your dog’s skin, read the ingredient label carefully. If you’re using a sunscreen made for humans (which we do not recommend), avoid ones with PABA or zinc – these ingredients are toxic to your dog if ingested or licked. However, baby sunscreen is a safe alternative for your dog (as long as it doesn’t have zinc in it). Remember to reapply sunscreen to your dog every 4 to 6 hours or after a long time in the water.
2. Get some shade. Whether you’re on the beach, in the backyard or out in the park, make sure there’s enough shade available when it’s time to take a break from the sun. During peak direct sunlight hours (10 am and 3 pm), having a shaded area is vital for both dogs and humans.
Read the entire Hot Tips on Sun Protection For Dogs article on PetGuide.com.