Keep Your Dog Safe in the Sun

by Nancy Boland

Think sun protection is just for humans? Think again. Your dog needs protection from those harsh ultraviolet rays, too. Here are some tips to keep your dog safe in the sun, without feeling the burn.

Don’t shave your long-coated dog for the summer

When you shave your dog’s coat, it exposes his skin to sun damage. The coat acts as a protective barrier against the sun’s ultraviolet rays, and shaved skin is much more vulnerable to sunburn. Instead, ask your groomer to thin out your dogs coat so that they can still stay cool with that added layer of protection.

Protect sun-worshippers

Some dogs are serious sunbathers, and could happily bake it the sun for hours.

Dogs who worship the sun while lying on their backs risk developing tumors on the inguinal area, that vulnerable stretch of skin where the belly and hind legs meet; this area is unprotected by hair even on furry breeds. When you notice your dog panting, it’s time to bring him back indoors before he sustains sunburn. Extra precaution is needed if your dog’s nose is pink. Light-coloured dogs are more vulnerable to sun burn, in particular delicate areas like ears.

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Helping a sunburned dog

If your dog gets burnt, give him a soothing bath with cool water and a gentle, soap-free product dog Shampoo. Wait a few minutes before rinsing with cool water. The best solution is always precaution of course, so bear this in mind when the weather warms up.

Choose the right protection

It’s important to choose a dog safe sunscreen product. Regular human sunscreens can be very dangerous and unsuitable, containing chemicals and toxins.

Zinc oxide

Whatever sunscreen you select, make sure it contains no zinc oxide, which is toxic to pets. Always try the product on a small area of skin. If no adverse reaction occurs, go ahead and apply the sunscreen, paying particular attention to ears, the under belly and snout.

Consider protective clothing

If your dog had to be shaved for a surgical procedure, protect that area from the sun using a T-shirt that you customize to fit him. If you anticipate spending hours out in the sun, walking long distances or generally being outside for long periods of time, consider investing in some precautionary clothing fit for purpose to save having to worry about sun protection.

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