Sun exposure can be detrimental to your dogs health and should be cared for appropriately. Sun can cause your dog pain and discomfort through sunburn but can also cause more serious diseases.
Here we will talk about dog sunburn and the importance of protecting your dog from the sun. We will also look alternative methods to keeping your dog safe from sun exposure and what to do to treat dog sunburn
Can Dogs get Sunburn?
Yes, dogs can get sunburn. Even though most dogs have a protective layer of hair over their skin they can still need protection from the sun like humans.
Dogs are also susceptible to other diseases associated with sun exposure. Because of this, it is important to take care of them as you take care of yourself. This includes choosing the right pet sunscreen for your dog.
The Importance of Sun Protection for Dogs
Sunburn can be very uncomfortable and sometimes painful for your dog. Not only this, but too much exposure to the sun without the proper sun protection for your dog can also lead to different types of skin cancer.
Owners of dogs with preexisting skin conditions or autoimmune disorders are strongly recommended to take extra precautions to protect your dog from the sun and use high quality sun lotion for dogs. These conditions may grow worse in high heat and direct sunlight.
Which Dogs are Most at Risk of Sunburn?
For obvious reasons, some dogs are more at risk of sunburn than others. These dogs will need extra care when out in hot weather and exposed to sun.
Hairless dog breeds in particular are in risk when exposed to the sun. Breeds such as American hairless terriers and Chinese Crested will need dog sunscreen to be applied when they are outside for long periods of time and exposed to the sun.
Dogs with light noses or white or light pigment on their ears are also more at risk of sunburn.
Similarly, dogs with white or thin coats are particularly susceptible to sunburn. Extra precaution should always be taken when they are outside for long periods of time.
Sunscreen for Dogs
Dog sunscreen is important to protect your dog from the sun especially if your dog has a thin coat or lighter skin. It is highly important to only use sun cream that is intended specifically for dogs as human sun lotion can cause problems.
The sun protection you use for your dog should not contain zinc oxide or para-aminobenzoic acid. Dogs tend to lick their skin and these ingredients are toxic if ingested.
Non-scented waterproof dog sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 would be your best option when choosing sun protection for your dog.
How to Apply Sunscreen to Dogs?
It is important to test a small amount of sun lotion on your dog before applying it all over to ensure your dog doesn’t have an allergic reaction.
Dog sunscreen should be applied 20 minutes before your dog will be exposed to the sun. This gives the cream time to be absorbed and start protecting your dogs skin. While your dog is out in the sun, sunscreen should be reapplied every four to six hours. If your dog is swimming then sun lotion should be applied to your dog more regularly.
When applying sunscreen to your dog, first apply to spots that are most exposed to the sun. Start with sensitive parts of your dog’s skin like their nose, ear tips, and inner thighs. Continue to add cream to anywhere that the pigment is light. If you are applying sun cream to your dog’s head make sure not to get any in his eyes.
It can take 10 to 15 minutes for dog sunscreen to absorb into your dogs skin. Once the sunscreen is fully applied to your dog, keep an eye on him for this time to ensure he doesn’t lick it off
Dog Sun Cream Alternatives
Regularly applying suncream to your dog can be a nuisance. Luckily there are alternatives for dogs who require protection from the sun.
Sun protection clothes for dogs are the most effective alternative to sunscreen. This clothing will protect your dog while giving you peace of mind. With protective sun clothes you don’t have to worry about your dog licking off the sunscreen or a reapplying schedule.
As well as dog sun shirts that cover a large area of their bodies, there is also protection available in the form of hats and goggles to help protect your dog when he is out in the sun.
Regardless of which method of sun protection you choose for your dog, it is important to keep your dog out of direct sunlight during the hottest parts of the day. It is also important to provide plenty of shade for your dog where he can choose to cool off if needed.
All dogs are in danger of heat stroke. Because of this it is important they have access to shade and fresh drinking water at all times.
Treating Sunburn in Dogs
If you suspect your dog may be sunburned, take your dog out of sunlight and into shade as soon as possible. Signs of sunburn in dogs can be as subtle as just warm skin or may be visible as red or flaking skin.
Applying aloe to your dogs skin may sooth the initial symptoms of sunburn. If a burn seems more severe it is best to contact your vet for additional treatment. Vets will treat more severe cases of sunburn with a cortisone product which will help prevent inflammation. In some cases your dog may also require antibiotics to help with the healing process.
FAQs about Dog Sunscreen
Yes dogs can get sunburn if they get too much exposure to the sun without protection. Too much sun can lead to disease and health conditions.
Hairless and shorthair dogs as well as dogs with light pigment skin are most at risk of sunburn.
Non-scented waterproof sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 that is specifically made for dogs.
Dog sun shirts protect the largest area of the body from the sun and are a good alternative to sunscreen. There is also protection available in the form of goggles and hats.