Did you know that dogs are highly susceptible to being sunburned just as much as humans are? This is often the case when the summer season sets in and you end up spending more time outdoors with your doggos. And while many pet parents may assume that dogs are protected, due to their long coats and fur, the reality is that excessive sun exposure can prove to be negative to their health.
In fact, it could lead to skin damage, secondary infections, and even skin cancer. This is most prevalent in dogs that have: white or lighter coats, are suffering from hair loss, have been shaved, or have thin coats. Also, some dog breeds are especially sensitive to sun exposure and this includes breeds like; Pit Bulls, Greyhounds, Bulldogs, and other short-haired pooches.
It is for this reason that many veterinarians and dog experts recommend that you should use sunscreen on your pets. And before you ask, yes, dogs also have their own line of sunscreen! And just like it helps keep our skin safe from harmful sun rays, it can help reduce the risk of sunburns or skin cancer for dogs.
There are actually several ways by which you can keep your dog safe from risks of sunstroke or sunburns, eg. avoiding shaving their coats completely, resting under shaded trees while on walks, keeping them indoors in the daytime, etc. But, many pet parents forget that sunscreen is a valuable resource that can and should be applied to dogs.
When Should You Apply Dog Sunscreen?
It is always best to apply dog sunscreen, whenever they end up spending more than a few minutes outside under direct sunlight. Or, even when they have a tendency to lie down on sunny spots while inside the house. In fact, when in doubt, a simple rule is to always apply sunscreen on them, if you plan on stepping outside with them between the hours of 10am-2pm.
In terms of where to use it, you should try to apply the sunscreen everywhere on them, but try to focus more on the exposed areas that lack enough fur coverage. This includes snouts, paws, ears, face, belly, etc. Also, if your pooch happens to have any light-skin/pinkish areas, take care to pay special attention to those areas, as they are at the most risk of being sunburnt.
What Type Of Dog Sunscreen Should I Use?
These products, much like our own, often come in many different forms. Some dog sunscreens come in creams, others in sprays and even wipes. But, when it comes to picking out the best one, you should talk it out with your veterinarian. They will be able to better inform you on what products are best suited to your dog in particular. In fact, if your pooch has any prevalent skin conditions, they can better prescribe some special options for you to choose from.
But, if there is one thing you should avoid doing is thinking that you can use normal human sunscreen on your pet. That is dangerous, because some sunscreen products may contain ingredients that may not be safe for dogs if ingested. And considering the fact that dogs like to lick themselves from time to time, you definitely do not want to take that risk.