***Dogs experiencing hair loss require special treatment and you should consult with your veterinarian for proper care.***
You’d think with all that fur and hair you wouldn’t have to worry about protecting your pup from the sun, right? Wrong. Don’t underestimate the power of the great big ball in the sky. Dogs can sunburn just like people.
So here are 7 ways to protect your pup from the summer sun.
1. Provide shade.
This one’s a no-brainer. Wherever you decide to play outside, find any natural shade in the area provided by trees or buildings.
If there is no natural shade, bring a parasol. 🙂
2. Do NOT shave your pup.
That doesn’t mean no grooming, but your dog should keep as much of their natural fluff as possible. Their hair will not only block the sun but help regulate body temperature.
3. Consider protective clothing.
No, this does not mean digging all of your pup’s winter sweaters out of the closet. Find something breathable your pup can wear comfortably in the heat that will also prevent unnecessary exposure to UV, like Body Glove’s Dog Rash Guards.
4. Limit sunbathing.
Dogs love to lay in the sun. Some prefer laying on their backs, which increases the chances of developing tumors on their tummies. Keep it to a minimum! (Come to think of it, this goes for hoomans too.)
5. Find a dog-friendly sun screen.
Oh yes, it definitely exists, but make sure you pick the right one. Avoid any products that use zinc oxide, as it’s toxic to dogs. And since almost every human sunscreen uses zinc oxide, DO NOT USE HUMAN SUNSCREEN ON YOUR DOGS.
Epi-Pet Skin Treatment is currently the only FDA compliant sunscreen for dogs on the market.
Many products claim to be natural sun blocks that do not harm dogs, but definitely consult with your vet before trying any of these on your pup.
But feel free to get creative.
7. Play inside!
It’s worth noting that as much fun as it is to play outside, you should always reinforce positive associations with indoor play so your dog will be happy to come in out of the sun when they’ve been out too long.
Peak sunlight hours tend to be between 10am and 2pm, so consider designating that indoor play time, or maybe just a good time to rest in the shade!