You may have never even given it a thought before on sunny days, but believe it or not, your dog needs sunscreen, too! Just as we make sure to slather safe sunscreen on our kids and ourselves before heading outside, it’s also important to keep your dog’s skin protected from the sun's harmful rays.
Why do Dogs Need Sunscreen?
While it is a funny visual to think about applying sunscreen to your furry friend, your dog’s skin is actually susceptible to the harmful effects of the sun’s rays. This is especially true for long haired dogs that have been shaved, or pooches that are experiencing hair loss and have patches of skin exposed.
If you have a hairless dog, you definitely want to protect their skin when they’re out in the sun, even if it’s only for a short time. Even dogs with long hair will benefit from the added protection of sunscreen on exposed areas if you’re planning to spend the day outdoors. Dogs can get sunburned, which is not only uncomfortable, but it also increases their risk of certain cancers.
The Best Sunscreen for Dogs
When choosing sunscreen for your dog, it’s important to avoid products that contain zinc oxide, as this chemical is toxic to pets. It’s a good idea to test any sunscreen out on a small patch of your dog’s skin first, just to be sure that it won’t have an adverse reaction. To ensure your dog’s health and safety, opt for a natural sunscreen that doesn’t contain any unfamiliar chemical compounds. After all, your pet is like family, so you wouldn’t want to use a product on them that you wouldn’t feel comfortable putting on your skin.
Dog Sunscreen Recipes:
If you have trouble finding sunscreen for your dog that meets your standards, here are a few recipes you can use to make your own: Aloe and Raspberry Seed Oil Sunscreen Sunscreen for Dogs Using Essential Oils
How and When to Apply
There’s no need to slather sunscreen all over your dog’s fur, since fur acts as a shield from the sun. Simply apply it to the exposed skin, and reapply after a few hours outdoors. Even though you should be using sun protection on your own skin daily, it isn’t necessary to use sunscreen on your dog every day. Sun exposure from a quick around the block isn’t going to be cause for concern. Just use it on those days when you plan on spending several hours outside, like when you’re headed to the beach or going out for a long hike.
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