Sun Protection For Your Dog
We are all aware of the need to use sunscreen lotion on ourselves to protect us from burning and harmful UVA and UVB rays. But one thing that even the most conscientious dog owners often over look is the need for sunscreen lotion to be uses on their dogs!
Dogs tend to spend lots of time outside, and after heat stroke, sunburn is the greatest potential hazard of the summer for dogs, particularly with light skin and fine fur. Areas like the ears, nose, lips, eyelids and belly often have little to no hair on them and are thus susceptible to sun damage.
Choosing the right sunscreen is important so search for sunscreens that are designed specifically for dogs, which can be found at most veterinarians. However, if you have trouble finding a canine-specific sunscreen, look for one that is safe for human babies or sensitive skin (sunscreens designed for children are usually suitable for use on dogs as they tend to have less additives). Avoid sunscreens with zinc oxide as this can be toxic to dogs if they eat or lick it because of the zinc. In order to ensure adequate protection, be sure the sunscreen has a minimum 30 SPF factor. And, as with humans, sunscreen needs to be re-applied regularly to remain effective.
Try to keep your dog indoors when the sun is strongest (usually between 11am and 3pm), but this may not be possible depending upon your circumstances. If your dog needs to be outside during the day, be sure there is some shade for them to escape the sun’s rays. Also be sure you pooch always has access to fresh, cool water. And if you have a long- haired dog, don’t shave it! That hair is protecting their skin from UV rays. Instead use an undercoat comb/rake to keep them cooler.