Guess what? Humans aren't the only ones who can get sunburns—dogs are affected by harsh ultraviolet rays, too. Check out our top 5 tips for sun safety before you and the pooch hit the beach this summer.
1. Extra Care for Fair-Skinned Dogs
If your dog has a pink nose, take extra precautions to keep her protected during long periods of exposure in the sun. Like fair-skinned humans, light-skinned dogs can more easily get sunburns. When your dog starts panting while laying out in the sun, it's time to bring her back inside before she gets a sunburn.
2. Forgo the Buzz Cut
Don't get your dog's coat shaved too short during the summer. It's fine to get his fur buzzed a little bit if your dog has a really thick undercoat and you live in a particularly hot climate, but try not to buzz his coat too short as it can expose his skin to sun damage.
3. Grab Some Sunscreen
That's right—sunscreen works for dogs, too! The best sunscreen for dogs are either dog-specific sunscreens or ones formulated for children and babies as they are gentle enough and contain great, soothing ingredients like Shea butter and Vitamin E.
4. Avoid Zinc Oxide
Zinc oxide is a very traditional ingredient found in many natural sunscreens, but make sure the sunscreen you select for your pooch contains zero traces of zinc oxide as it is highly toxic for dogs. After picking a safe sunscreen for your pooch, test it out on a small area of her skin and if she shows no adverse reaction to the sunscreen, go ahead and apply it to the rest of her body.
5. Sunburn Treatment
Dog sunburns look very similar to human sunburns—his skin will look noticeably redder than usual and feel thicker to the touch. If your dog does get a sunburn, give him a cool (not cold) bath to lower his elevated body temperature, then apply aloe vera or witch hazel to his skin to soothe the burn.