Protect Your Dog From Sunburn All Summer Long

Posted on: 5 July 2016

Summer is the time of the year when everyone spends more time outside. Your dog is no exception. Did you know that your furry friend is also susceptible to sunburn? Similar to humans, for dogs a case of sunburn can be irritating and painful. Before heading outside with your pet this summer, make sure you are taking extra precautionary steps to keep them protected.

Apply Sunscreen

Apply a dog sunscreen any time your dog will be spending an extended period outside, even if it's just to play in the backyard. When applying sunscreen focus on the groin, stomach, nose, ears, or any other area of their body that is generally pink, as these areas are more susceptible to the sun's UV rays. Don't use sunscreen designed for humans as it often contains high levels of zinc. If your dog licks its coat, it can ingest the zinc, which is harmful.

Understand Your Dog's Risk

All dogs are at risk for sunburn, but some are at an increased risk. Understand your dog's risk level to determine whether it's necessary to take more aggressive precautionary steps. Thin haired dogs are at an increased risk because they have less protection between the sun and their skin and white hair dogs are also at an increased risk because they generally have fairer skin, which is more susceptible to sunburn. Dogs in this category should spend less time outside.

Choose Playtimes Wisely

You generally avoid going outside during the hottest parts of the day. Keep the same train of thought for your dog. The hottest time of the day is generally during the early afternoon, around 3 p.m. During this time of the day, the sun is thought to be the most intense, meaning the risk of being burnt is heightened. Try to plan your playtime with your pet early in the morning or during the early evening when the sun isn't as intense.

Invest In Protective Gear

You buy gear to keep your dog warm during the winter, so consider buying gear to protect them during the summer. One great addition is a full-body suit with built-in UPF, Ultraviolet Protection Factor. When wearing these suits, it's like your pet has an extra coating of sunscreen on to keep their delicate skin protected. Bodysuits designed in this fashion are generally made in a spandex material to ensure they fit snug to keep your pet more comfortable.  

As a pet owner, you play the most important role in their safety. Make sure you are working hard to protect your pet against sunburn. For further assistance, contact a local animal hospital, such as Metzger Animal Hospital.