If you own a dog and you love having fun outside in the summer, you need to know more about dog sunburns. Dogs can get sunburns on their noses, the pads of their feet, and around their eyes. The ears and the belly can also get sunburned, especially if the dog is lighter in color.
Protecting your pet from sunburn is important to prevent more serious health conditions like heatstroke. Many people are not aware that dogs can get sunburned until their pet has become overheated or has a serious burn that requires lots of care. Knowing more about dog sunburns can make it much more enjoyable for you and your pet to have fun in the sun.
How Do I Know That my Dog Has a Sunburn?
In many ways, dog sunburns can appear a lot like human sunburns. Recognizing the signs of sunburn is helpful for many reasons. Dog owners should be sure that they know what a sunburn looks like so they can provide care and ensure that their pet is not getting overheated.
Flaky, Red, Irritated or Blistered Skin
Dogs who have gotten sunburned will exhibit flaky and red skin on the ears, nose, belly, the pads of the feet, or around the eyes. Light-colored dogs might have irritated skin all over their body when they get a sunburn. Pets with severe sunburns might even get blisters or have open sores on the skin that has suffered a sunburn. It can take a few weeks for a severe sunburn to heal, and some pets might be at risk for secondary infections related to their sunburn.
Itchy or Sensitive Skin
Some dogs might not show immediate symptoms like peeling or redness of the skin, but they might seem to be itchy or act sensitive when you touch their face or their feet. Skin sensitivity can be the first sign that your pet has gotten a sunburn, and you should pay attention to see if they develop other symptoms that might indicate that they have gotten a sunburn.
Are Some Dogs More Susceptible to Getting Sunburns Than Others?
All dogs can get sunburned. However, does with light-colored skin can be more likely to be sensitive to the sun. Hairless breeds are the most at risk for sunburn and skin cancer. Dogs that are dark in color are still able to get sunburned and should still be protected from the sun when they are outside.
Other than the hairless breeds, which are very prone to sunburn, there is no breed of dog that cannot suffer when they have been exposed to the sun for too many hours. Any pet owner who enjoys taking their dog with them camping, to the beach, or on long walks in the summer should be prepared to care for their pet’s skin to prevent sunburn.
How to Prevent Sunburn in Dogs
Preventing sunburn in dogs is easier than you might think. With a little preparation, you can make sure that your pet does not get burned or need to visit the veterinarian due to being overheated.
Dog Safe Sunscreen
There are various sunscreen products that are made to be safe for dogs. You need to be sure that you do not use human sunscreen on dogs because these products can contain chemicals that are toxic to dogs.
You will need to reapply this sunscreen throughout the time that you are outside to make sure that your pet’s skin is protected from the sun. Dogs can tend to lick off sunscreen throughout the day, and pets that are playing in the water might wash off the sunblock that you have put on.
Dogs can also benefit from wearing protective gear like dog booties. This can be a great way to keep your pet from burning their feet when you are walking them when it’s hot out, and it can also prevent sunburn on the pads of their feet.
Putting on sunscreen and dog booties doesn’t have to be a struggle. Just make sure to practice with your pet and remain positive and patient as you teach them about their new booties and sunscreen routine. Most pets get used to the use of these items with ease and are quite happy to allow you to make use of them when the weather is sunny and hot.
Check the Weather
Also, be sure that you do not take your dog out to enjoy the nice weather when it is too hot for your pet to remain safe. Once it is over 80 degrees out, your pet should not go outside for extended periods of time, walk on hot pavement, or exert. Dogs are not very good at cooling off their bodies once the ambient temperature is too high, and they can be at risk for heatstroke. Using sunscreen and having your pet wear dog booties will not protect them against heatstroke.
Sunburn Can be Readily Prevented in Dogs
If you are prepared to protect your pet against sunburn, you and your pet will have a great time enjoying the nice weather during the warmer months of the year. Make sure to get a pet-safe sunscreen to apply to your pet’s skin, and consider getting your dog protective booties or a sun shirt to wear. Also, avoid taking your pet outside to have fun with you when the temperature is too warm for your pet to stay safe and healthy. Dogs are not very good at cooling their bodies down once the ambient temperature is too high, so it might be wise to leave your pet home from some adventures during the middle of the day.
Dogs with serious sunburns might need to see the vet or could be very uncomfortable for a couple of weeks as their skin heals. It is important to avoid this problem so that you and your pet can have uninterrupted fun while the weather is warm. Taking the time to have the right products and gear on hand can ensure that you and your dog can make lots of memories together this summer.