When we think of outdoor activities to share with our dogs, we don’t underestimate the importance of, say, hydration or snacks. Indeed, their comfort and happiness can determine how much fun we can have together. But among the many things we shouldn’t leave at home is sun block. 

Yep, dogs need sun protection just as much as we do! Without it, they may be over-exposed to harmful UV rays that increase risk of long term illness, including cancer.

Here’s the Thing…

The summer may have a different routine for dogs and their owners, but one true constant is that dogs need sun protection.

Those with darker or thicker coats have more built-in protection, but that doesn’t mean they’re exempt from needing a little extra help – especially on the bridge of the nose.

Future Benefits

We do a great many things to help guarantee a pet’s long, healthy life, such as upholding dental care, providing optimal nutrition, or keeping them moving every day. Dogs need sun protection for the same reasons.

Skin cancer is just one of the things we can avoid by applying canine-specific sunblock, but sunburn, in the short term, can cause inflammation, irritation, pain, hair loss, and scaly skin.

Always a Priority

Avoiding malignant melanomas, hemangiomas, or squamous cell carcinomas should be a big priority for dog owners, especially during the summer months. A big part of that defense can be limiting their time outside between 10 am and 4 pm. 

Applying the Good Stuff

While some sunscreens designed for children may be safe for dogs, they can still contain chemicals that shouldn’t be ingested. Since dogs are likely to try and lick off the product, it should be super safe and designed just for them.

Getting Started

Testing out a small amount of canine specific sunscreen in an area that won’t bother them can determine whether they’ll have an allergic reaction. If they seem fine, proceed by applying small amounts on skin that isn’t covered with hair, such as the nose, lips, ear tips, and more. Reapply after a couple hours in the sun or when your dog is playing or swimming in the water.

Yes, Dogs Need Sun Protection Too!

Summer pet safety is a big concern right now. While dogs need sun protection for sure, they also need adequate hydration, rest in shady spots, parasite prevention, and more all summer long. 

If it’s been a little while since your dog’s last wellness exam, we welcome the chance to address their summer needs. As always, please contact us with any questions or concerns. We’re always here for your dog at Huntington Veterinary Hospital.