Is there sunscreen for dogs?
We know that during the summer months wearing sunscreen is key to our health and safety. But what about our four-legged, furry friends? In addition to providing our dogs with proper shade, air, and hydration during the summer months, sunscreen should be part of your warm-weather care routine.
Can Dogs Get Sunburned?
Just like us, our dogs can get burned from sun exposure. A sunburned dog can suffer from red, inflamed skin that becomes irritated and painful.
Sunburns on dogs can also lead to hair loss and scaly skin.
Should You Put Sunscreen On Your Dog?
Yes, you should put sunscreen on your dog. It’s actually very important to put sunscreen on dogs, especially those with light skin and white fur or hair. A dog’s skin can be damaged by the sun just like our own, so they require the same protection against the development of sunburn and skin cancer.
If a dog has to be outdoors during peak sun exposure hours (10 am to 4 pm), sunscreen should be reapplied to sun-sensitive areas of the body—the nose, around the lips, tips of the ears, the groin, and the belly—throughout the day.
What Kind of Sunscreen Can Be Put on Dogs?
The safest and most effective sunscreen to put on your dogs is one that is specifically designed for canine use. These sunscreens are designed with dogs in mind and don’t pose any health risks. If doggie sunscreen isn’t an option, pet parents can purchase a broad-spectrum sunscreen for babies and children with an SPF of 15 or higher at the local drugstore.
But it’s EXTREMELY important for pet parents to read the labels on baby sunscreen before applying it to their pets, since dogs may lick their skin and accidentally ingest the sunscreen. Choose a fragrance-free product that doesn’t contain zinc oxide, ingestion of zinc oxide can lead to hemolytic anemia. Pet parents should also avoid any sunscreen that has para-aminobenzoic acid (also known as PABA) as an ingredient. This could also be toxic if ingested.
How Should Sunscreen Be Applied to Dogs?
When applying sunscreen to the face region it is important to be careful with it getting into the eyes. Pet owners may want to apply the sunscreen to a small area on the body first to see if it causes a reaction before using it all over the body.
After applying sunscreen, allow the lotion or cream to soak in for several minutes and monitor your dog to be sure he or she doesn’t lick the lotion or cream.