Just because a dog has a coat of fur, it doesnít mean that it is protected from the sunís rays. Even a thick fur coat isnít enough protection. Constant sun exposure can result in painful sunburns, skin ulcers, cancer and permanent skin damage. Some breeds are more susceptible to sunburn, like those that are fair skinned, white haired, short haired and have light colored noses.
Here are a few things you can do when it comes to sun protection for dogs:
1. There is sunscreen thatís made just for your dog. If your dog is outside during peak sunlight hours, use a non-toxic dog specific sunscreen that has an SPF of 15 or higher. Be sure to apply it to sunburn-prone areas such as the tips of ears, the bridge of the nose, groin area, inside the legs and underbelly. As with any product you apply to your dogís skin, read the ingredient label carefully. If youíre using a sunscreen made for humans (which we do not recommend), avoid ones with PABA or zinc Ė these ingredients are toxic to your dog if ingested or licked. However, baby sunscreen is a safe alternative for your dog (as long as it doesnít have zinc in it). Remember to reapply sunscreen to your dog every 4 to 6 hours or after a long time in the water.
2. Get some shade. Whether youíre on the beach, in the backyard or out in the park, make sure thereís enough shade available when itís time to take a break from the sun. During peak direct sunlight hours (10 am and 3 pm), having a shaded area is vital for both dogs and humans.