Keeping Dogs Safe From Sunburn



During summer, families and their pets spend long days outside enjoying warm weather and bonding with each other. However, just like humans, canines need protection from the elements, including the sun’s potentially harmful rays.


According to pet health website PetMD, dogs can get sunburned, especially when it comes to parts of their body that are less covered with hair. Particularly vulnerable areas include the nose, lips, ear tips, groin and stomach. Just like with people, sunburn can lead to various types of skin cancers that can turn deadly for dogs.


In order to protect their furry friends, pet parents should use a dog-friendly sunblock or a broad-spectrum one approved for babies and children that has an SPF of at least 15. They should check a sunscreen’s ingredients label to ensure there aren’t substances that are potentially toxic to dogs, such as zinc oxide. PetMD recommends sunblock that contains titanium dioxide, which is considered a safe active ingredient for dogs.


When applying sunblock, pet parents should first test the product on a small area of the dog’s skin to make sure it won’t induce an allergic reaction, recommends PetMD. The sunblock should be used all over the canine’s body, with special care taken around the facial area. After the application, pet parents should monitor their dog until the sunscreen has been absorbed by the skin to make sure the pup doesn’t lick and ingest it. Sunscreen should be reapplied throughout the day, especially after a dog goes for a swim.


Short-haired breeds, such as Bull Terriers, Pit Bulls, Dalmatians, Greyhounds and Boxers, are particularly vulnerable to sunburn, PetMD notes. In addition to sunblock, pet parents can have their canines don other protective gear including sun shirts, hats or goggles, but that’s only if the pet feels comfortable wearing these items.


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