A golden retriever in the outside with their human

Ask any dog owner how easy it is to leave the house during the summer months with their pup in tow, you can expect a few surprises. 

Gone are the days that we can get away with packing just one extra doodie bag. Instead, we are now faced with the never ending list of things to pack in order to have a safe, comfortable, healthy day away from home. 

In addition to baggies, collapsible water bowls, and treats, dogs need sun protection, too! Without it, your pup could be in serious trouble.

Just Like Us, Dogs Need Sun Protection

All dogs need sun protection but it’s especially critical in those with white fur or light skin. French bulldogs, Dalmations, Greyhounds and other breeds may be more susceptible to sunburn than dogs with thicker or darker coats.

Protecting them from harmful UV rays can defer the development of skin damage, red, irritated or inflamed skin, hair loss, or even skin cancer. 

Part of the Routine

During the summer you probably already increase your dog’s access to cool, fresh water as well as encourage rest in shady spots or in the comfort of air conditioning. 

In addition to the traditional considerations, we recommend that your dog only exercise in the hours surrounding dawn and dusk to minimize the effects of the heat. This is especially true of black dogs, who absorb the heat of the day more intensely (and quickly!) than lighter-colored dogs.

Product Testing

Knowing that dogs can get sunburned, dog owners should take advantage of the array of pet-friendly products designed to protect their best friends. If they are outside during the peak hours of 10 am and 4 pm, pets should have sunscreen on, especially in places where they don’t have fur, like the nose or the tips of their ears.

Pet Friendly Sunscreen

Although many formulas for children might seem safe for dogs, they are not. Products formulated for humans contain chemicals known to be harmful to pets if swallowed. Since dogs lick themselves (constantly, it seems), you will need to provide a canine-specific sunblock. 

Super Sensitive

Many dogs cannot abide by the smell or sensation of sunscreen. Dressing them in sun shirts, vests, or other SPF clothing can go a long way to prevent overexposure to UV rays. 

All dogs depend on their owners to provide all the necessities of canine life. Adding to the ever-growing list of items, dogs need sun protection, too.

If you have further questions about keeping your pet safe from the heat, please let us know. The Pet Experts at Naperville Animal Hospital.