Do Dogs Need Sunscreen?

Do Dogs Need Sunscreen?Many pet parents don’t know that dogs also need quality sunscreen protection. This is particularly true when Fido is outdoors, during summer, for long periods of time.

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Your dog may have a nice furry coat, but that will not fully prevent the sun from reaching the skin. Sunscreen makes sense even though some view it as ridiculous.

Dog-friendly sunscreen is becoming more popular. This is because products designed for humans often contain zinc oxide which can be harmful to some animals.

Can I Put Sunscreen on My Dog? Answer: Yes, absolutely

Canines can get sunburned too!

Your dog can be harmed by the sun. Pets can get get skin cancer just like people do. To protect your dog you need to either get them a Paraben-free dog sunscreen (pictured above) or apply an appropriate type of regular SPF lotion.

Whatever you do, it’s very important to avoid using potentially harmful chemicals on your dog’s skin (more on this later).

Dogs Do Get Sunburn

If you have a Pit Bull breed, Dalmatian, Boxer or Greyhound then you need to be sure they are well protected when outside for extended periods. Sunscreen lotion is a must.

In fact, any dog that’s got a white coat is susceptible to the sun’s powerful rays. Some folks will laugh at the idea but, make no mistake about it, it’s a real thing.

Avoid Some Sunscreens

Avoid sunscreens that contain zinc oxide, benzophenone, titanium dioxide, oxybenzone or 4-aminobenzoic acid (PABA). Those common sunscreen ingredients could easily be toxic for your dog if they lick at it. Ingestion must be avoided.

Many types of products can be used on dogs, but it’s often the case that there are pitfalls. This is true for sunscreen as well and probably even more so than ointments or Vaseline.

There really are some health hazards for hounds. Your best bet is to get a well-respected UVA and UVB inhibiting sunscreen that’s made specifically for dogs.

How to Beat that Heat

Besides SPF sunscreen protection, try to get your dog into the shade whenever possible. Lots of fresh water is also a must when the climate is severe. Hydration is extremely important.

You obviously can’t just depend on the use of sunscreen alone. Many dogs suffer from heat stroke in the summer! If this happens look into Pedialyte as a way to re-hydrate them.

Tip: Do not keep your four-legged friend outside too long, especially from 11am to 4pm!

Apply Sunscreen Tactfully

When you put sunscreen on your dog consider where the sun is directly hitting their skin. This is where you want to provide the most protection.

The top of your dog, or on their back side, is where the skin is most susceptible because it faces up towards the sun’s strong rays. Sunscreen will help a lot!

Another Tip: Never shave your dog’s fur! A healthy coat will help to prevent the sun from causing severe sunburn and other skin damage.

Conclusion on Sunscreen

You can and should utilize a sunscreen for your dog. Canines certainly need the SPF protection. They do get sunburn and even cancer is possible. Just avoid bad chemicals when choosing a sunscreen to use on your precious pet dog.

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Dr. Stephanie Flansburg Cruz, a practicing vet, has reviewed and endorsed this article. She has 3 dogs of her own and cares about the welfare of all animals.


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