Summer is here, and the sun is out in full swing. If you like to take your dog out on outdoor adventures like hikes, beach days, or even your daily runs, you might be surprised to find out that you should be packing sunscreen for your furry friend and your own.
Just like us, our dogs can get sunburned. The skin beneath your dog’s coat is as sensitive as ours, maybe even more so. Your pet is at risk of sunburn, skin cancer, or other complications that come with prolonged sun exposure.
Do Dogs Get Sunburned?
Certain dog breeds are more likely to get sunburned than others, but as a general rule, all dogs can get a sunburn with prolonged sun exposure. Sunburned dogs can suffer from red, inflamed skin and experience scaly skin and hair loss. Your dog is more likely to experience sunburn in areas with less hair like the belly, nose, ears, paws, and mouth.
It can take as little as 30 minutes to an hour on a regular sunny day for your dog to develop a sunburn. You have to keep an eye on dogs closer to the ground, like Corgis, because they are more at risk for sunburn on skin in their abdominal are due to the UV reflecting off the ground. Also, if you live in higher altitudes or recently took your dog for a haircut, they may be at more of a risk for sunburn.
Be Careful of Hot Surface Burns
If you frequently take your dog out with you during outdoor activities or regularly walk them, be careful during midday. Walking along the sidewalk or roads can also burn the bottom of your dog’s paws during summer. Always test the ground before taking your dog out. If you can’t hold your hand to the ground or the ground is too hot for your feet, it is certainly too hot for your dog’s paws. Try to avoid going on walks during the middle of the day, and do your best to stay in the shade or carry your canine friend across hotter pathways and roads.
How Do You Protect Your Dog Against Sunburn?
You don’t need to coat your dog in thick layers of sunscreen until they look like Casper the Ghost to keep them safe. However, if your dog stays outside for long periods, even for lounging in the backyard, you need to protect their skin from the harmful effects of prolonged sun exposure. Here are a few ways to protect your furry friend:
How To Apply Dog Sunscreen
How do you put sunscreen on your dog? Whether they’re a wiggly little menace or a calm sitter, the answer is the same: carefully.
Beat the Heat
Enjoying time outside with your dog is incredibly fun and rewarding. Whether you’re lounging in your backyard or sightseeing on walks and hikes, ensuring your dog is protected from the sun is extremely important.
Even if you don’t think your dog is at a greater risk of getting sunburned, you should always assume it is a possibility and take the necessary precautions. Limit your dog’s activities in direct sunlight, invest in protective gear, and always take the time to apply sunscreen before going on adventures outdoors. If you suspect your dog may already have a sunburn, always contact your veterinarian for medical assistance and a specific action plan.
Featured Image Credit: Piqsels