If you’re planning beach trips and outdoor barbecues with your dog this summer, make sure to protect him from the harsh UV rays of the sun. Just like humans, canines are susceptible to painful burns and potential skin cancer. Keep your dog safe with these tips.
Which Dog Breeds Can Get Sunburned?
Some pooches are more susceptible to getting burned by the sun, while others have natural protection. White dogs, for instance, tend to have fair skin underneath all that fur-similar to people with blonde hair-and a greater potential for sun damage. Pups with naturally thin hair, and especially the hairless breeds including the Chinese Crested and the Xoloitzcuintli, are also at risk for sunburn and skin cancer. All canines, regardless of the thickness of their coats, have vulnerable areas of the body with less fur or none at all. The belly is often covered with blonde hair, making it a target; the ears have delicate skin; and even a dog’s nose can become dried out and baked. Before taking your dog into the sun for any extended period, look him over to identify danger spots for sunburn.
Find Some Shade
Naturally, the best way to keep Fido from getting sunburned is through prevention tactics. Some well-intentioned dog parents shave their pooches in an effort to keep them cool in the summer, but doing so exposes “virgin” skin to the sun. A better cooling tactic is to always provide shade-a big umbrella at the beach, a shady tree at a park, a roof for your backyard patio, or a sun-block top for an outdoor kennel. Your dog will instinctively seek shelter from the sun when the rays become too intense.
Block the Rays
Sunblock for your dog? Yes, but only certain kinds to keep the inevitable licking from harming him. Only one product, Epi-Pet Sun Protector, has been approved by the FDA. However, it is not an all-natural ointment. A homemade concoction with essential oils and other natural ingredientscould also provide some protection. Regardless of which variety you choose, apply sunblock to the tips of the ears, nose, belly, and groin areas, and try to hold your pooch still long enough to allow the sunscreen to soak in. If you can manage to find a sun hat that will cover his ears and nose, and wrap his belly with a stylish swatch of fabric, that works too.