The summer months are here and it’s time to let the dogs out to play and burn off all that energy they stored up while being cooped up indoors, but dogs need to be protected from the sun because fur isn’t a good sunscreen.
Some dog breeds are more prone to sunburn than others. These include dogs with short hair (or no hair), dogs with light-colored hair, and dogs with short legs, because it’s easier for their bellies to get burned from reflected sunlight due to being lower to the ground.
How can I help my dog avoid sunburn?
The precautions to use to prevent dog sunburn are easy to remember because they’re the same ones that apply to people.
- Don’t let your dog spend extended periods of time in the sun, especially during the hottest or brightest times of the day.
- Specially made sun suits are made for pets that protect against the sun’s UV rays.
- Apply sunscreen.
What kind of sunscreen do you use on a dog?
There are a few sunscreens on the market that are aimed at dog-owners, but some of them contain ingredients that can be harsh to the skin and dangerous if ingested. A better alternative could be to use a sunscreen designed for babies, which are usually designed with sensitive skin in mind. Some are also made with natural ingredients. Look for one that offers at least SPF 15.
Oops! My dog got sunburn. Now what?
There are a few natural remedies available that can help both ease the pain and heal the burn.
- Aloe Vera – One of nature’s best sunburn treatments. You can either use the gel from an aloe vera plant or buy an aloe vera cream.
- Witch Hazel – A natural astringent that can soothe inflamed skin. Just use a cotton ball to apply witch hazel to affected areas several times a day.
- Vitamin E – An antioxidant that can help with healing the burn, while preventing or reducing scarring.
Sunburn; it’s not just an outdoor problem.
Don’t assume your dog is safe if he always stays indoors. The UV rays from the sun can be just as damaging for the dog who enjoys laying in the sunbeam that comes streaming in through his favorite window.
Dogs are our friends and companions so do what you can to make sure he has a happy and sunburn-free summer.