Does Your Dog Need SPF Protection From Sunburn Too?

Posted by Justin Ramb

Most of you understand the dangers of too much sun, including sunburns, premature aging, and even skin cancer. You might think that fur protects your dog's skin from similar risks, but that's not always the case. Like people, dogs can get sunburnt. In time, they can even develop skin cancer. If you're planning to spend time outdoors with your dog this summer, consider various ways to protect your pet's skin. 

Why your dog might need sunscreen as much as you do

According to PetMD, almost all dogs can get sunburnt given enough exposure. Even dogs with lush coats have some more exposed body parts, like their nose, lips, ears, and belly. The burn causes red, inflamed skin that may hurt or itch. Dogs might develop scaly skin and lose fur around the burn. Researchers have also associated various types of skin cancer with over-exposure to the sun in dogs. 

Can you and your dog share sunscreen?

You and your dog might be able to use the same sunscreen. Keep these considerations in mind when comparing products: 

  • Manufacturers make dog-safe sunscreen, and vets generally suggest that as the best option. Dogs may lick their skin, and some sunscreen ingredients pose a toxic risk. For instance, avoid any sunscreen for dogs that contains zinc oxide. 
  • If you can't find dog-safe sunscreen, look at the products developed for human babies and toddlers. Typically, vets consider titanium dioxide a safe ingredient for dogs, even if they accidentally ingest a little. 

Spot test the sunscreen to check for possible irritation. If in doubt, ask your pet's vet for advice. Just as you'd do with a child, take care to avoid your pet's eyes. If your dog goes swimming, be sure you reapply the sunscreen and keep them out of the water long enough to let their skin absorb the application. 

Alternative sun protection for dogs 

Your favorite pet store or online retailer may also sell special bodysuits, shirts, and hats that offer UV protection. You can even buy your pet goggles that work like sunglasses to protect its eyes from glare. 

Dogs can get sunburnt. They're also even more prone than humans to suffer from heatstroke at the height of the summer. Most vets advise limiting your pet's time outdoors in direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day. If you have outdoor activities planned in the middle of the day, ensure your dog has access to plenty of fresh water and some shade for cooling off. Even if it's not too hot for you, it might be too hot for your furry friends. 

Keep your dog's skin and coat healthy from the inside

Ensure your pet enjoys adequate nutrition for a resilient immune system, a shiny coat, and healthy skin. Skin & Coat Chews from Moe's Healthy Pets will taste like treats to your dog. You know that you're doing everything you can to keep your pet healthy.

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