Ever since I was a child, I loved to make people feel and look beautiful.

Should Your Dog (Or Pet) Be Wearing Sunscreen?

While this may not be a people-related blog, we know many of our Cheeky’s have beloved dogs, cats & everything in between. And because of that, we thought you guys & gals would appreciate the idea that your pet should be wearing sunscreen too when he or she is boot scooting outside! It’s not just for us human folk! Makes sense though, right?!

As we make our way to Florida, I can’t help but think about how pet friendly Tampa is! Much more so than in Tucson. For no other reason then, everyone in Tampa has a dog. So whether it’s a store or restaurant, chances are you can bring your dog with you. Which got me thinking. With all this critters out and about in the sunshine state, is their skin protected? Here in Tucson, dogs wear ‘shoes’ to make sure their paws don’t burn in the summer heat, why shouldn’t they be wearing sunscreen too?!

That’s when Cheeky was inspired to research, research, research. And come to find out, your dog, outdoor cat or pet (I’m thinking like a pig) needs to be protected from the sun too.

Side note: It’s important that you confirm this advice with your veterinarian. With all the suggestions we share, we encourage you to do further research. Do not use sunscreens on your dog with zinc oxide or PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid) in it. They can be toxic to your pets. 

Can Dogs Get Sunburned?

Yuppers! Just like us, our dogs can get burned from sun exposure. A sunburned dog can suffer from red, inflamed skin that can often become irritable & even painful for the pup. And not only that but sunburns on dogs can also lead to hair loss and scaly skin. (Plus infections, etc.)

Can You Put Sunscreen On Your Dog?

Absotootly! It’s in fact super important to lather your dog up with sunscreen.  If a dog has to be outdoors during peak sun exposure hours (that’s considered 10 am to 4 pm), sunscreen should be reapplied to sun-sensitive areas of the body. Such as…

  • Nose
  • Lips
  • Ears
  • Groin
  • Belly

And if your pup has gone swimming, just like you, you should re-apply the sunscreen immediately after they ‘shake it off’.

What Is ‘Dog Sunscreen’?

The safest and most effective sunscreen to put on your dogs is one that is designed for them – yup, the canine kind. When they’re designed specifically for your dog, they are less likely to pose a health or skin risk.

However, if dog sunscreen is unavailable, I read that broad-spectrum, fragrance-free baby & children sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher is best. If you do decide to go this route, PLEASE read the label because dog’s are naturally going to lick their skin & fur – thus ingesting the sunscreen.

#CheekyConfidential Reiterating again… Do not use sunscreens on your dog with zinc oxide or PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid) in it. They can be toxic to your pets.

Important Features to Consider

  • Non-toxic, natural
  • Natural sun-blocking ingredients – like carrot seed oil or even shea butter which has been shown to prevent sunburns naturally. (Though don’t just rely on shea butter) 
  • No zinc oxide or PABA
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Non-greasy is a plus
  • Spray bottle formula is great
  • Preferably unscented
  • Coverage – how much does it cover your fur baby?
  • Moisturizing and conditioning properties

How Should You Apply It?

Just like us, avoid the eyes & test a spot on their skin to make sure the pup doesn’t have an unwanted reaction to it. We also suggest that you monitor the dog to ensure he doesn’t lick off all the amazing sun protection you just lathered/sprayed on him or her. Distract them with their favorite treat or toy.

Are Certain Breeds More Prone to Sunburns?

Yes! Dogs with short hair like French Bulldogs, Pitbulls, Boxers & Greyhounds are considered to be more at risk for sunburns. However, all breeds are at some type of risk. If the dog is outside, it’s at risk. Just like us humans!

When Sunscreen Isn’t an Option

Let’s say your dog is quite a licker & sunscreen just isn’t gonna work (or heck, maybe they hate spray bottles,  LOL!), look for bodysuits, shirts & hats with UV protection. You can even consider goggles for your little guy or gal. At the beach? Get them under your umbrella! Do your best to protect your dog from sun exposure.

Dog Sunscreens

Chris Christensen Ice on Ice Conditioner with Sunscreen Ready to Use

  • ‘Conditions and detangles
  • Leave in your dog’s coat
  • Spray bottle for easy application
  • Light scent
  • Repels dust and dirt
  • Non-greasy
  • Won’t leave buildup or residue in your dog’s coat’

Petkin SPF 15 Doggy Sun Mist

‘The sun’s rays can be just as harmful to your pup as they are to you, but thanks to Petkin SPF 15 Doggy Sun Mist you can keep your furry friend protected. This spray provides a quick and convenient way to cover your dog in sunscreen when it’s time for some fun in the sun. This gentle mist is made with a non-greasy formula developed especially for dogs. To use, just spray all over your furbaby when he’s outside, making sure to get his ears, nose, muzzle, and any pink skin areas or the entire coat of a light-colored or short-haired dog.’

Treating Sunburns

As always, take your doggy to the vet if you suspect a sunburn. However, if you do spot reddened, warm or flaking skin right after they’ve been in the sun, put a cool compress on it and a little aloe vera.

Images and some information provided by their respective brands.

Resources 

https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/dog-sunscreen/

https://www.petmd.com/dog/seasonal/can-dogs-wear-sunscreen

http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/what-you-need-to-know-about-pet-sun-protection-this-summer

https://petlifetoday.com/best-dog-sunscreen/#Our_Runner_Up_Pick_NaturalDog_Snout_Soother 

https://www.petfinder.com/dogs/dog-care/banfield-sunscreen-dogs-cats/

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