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Burns Healing Kit

All-Clear Ointment & Ouch Away Spray

USD $52.90
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Do Dogs Need Sunscreen? Protecting Your Pup From the Sun

Vet Talks 3 min read
Photo of a jack russell terrier dog playing in the sand on a sunny day to illustrate a blog that answers the question: Do Dogs Need Sunscreen ?

If the question “do dogs need sunscreen?” ever crossed your mind, we are here to give you the answer. Let’s talk all about sunburn, photosensitivity, breeds that require extra care, and ways to protect your beloved canine companion from solar rays. With these tips, you and your pup will be ready to have fun in the sun all summer long!

How Sun Exposure Affects Your Dog

Just like humans, prolonged exposure to the sun can damage a dog’s skin and coat. The sun’s UV rays can cause sunburn, dryness, itching, and even skin cancer in dogs. Some dogs are even allergic to the sun, a condition known as photosensitivity. 

The sun’s UV rays can cause sunburn, dryness, itching, and even skin cancer in dogs.

Over time, excessive sun exposure can also lead to premature aging, hair loss, and skin discoloration. These concerns are especially worrisome for the less furry friends or short-coated pups who are at more risk of exposure.

Signs of sunburn in dogs may include red or inflamed skin, sensitivity to touch, hair loss, blistering, and peeling. Sunburn can be particularly painful for dogs, causing discomfort and irritation. Certain areas of a dog’s body, such as the nose, ears, belly, and areas with thin or no fur, are more prone to sunburn.

If you suspect your dog may be sunburnt or allergic to the sun, please consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis. Treatment options may include avoiding direct sunlight during peak hours and applying prescribed medications or ointments.

The NHV Burns Healing Kit can be used for post-emergency care in these cases or for long-term healing after concluding the vet-prescribed treatment. In this kit, you’ll find NHV All Clear, our natural topical ointment for protecting and encouraging the healing of dry, cracked skin, and NHV Ouch Away, an herbal spray that helps soothe inflamed skin and can help with fur regrowth.

Breeds that Require Extra Care on Sunny Days

Dogs with light-colored or thin coats, such as Dalmatians, Boxers, Bull Terriers, and Greyhounds, are more susceptible to sunburn. Similarly, dogs with sparse fur, bald patches, or those that have undergone recent grooming may need extra protection. 

It is important to note that some naturally bald breeds, like the Mexican Hairless Dog, Chinese Crested Dog, and other furless pups, are even at a higher risk of sunburn since they lack that layer of natural protection.

Additionally, breeds with shorter noses, like Bulldogs and Pugs, often have less natural protection from the sun due to the shape of their snouts. For brachycephalic breeds, it is important to note that they are more prone not only to sunburn but also to heat stroke. Due to their short snouts, they are incapable of naturally cooling themselves, so sun time should be strict for these breeds in particular.

Do Dogs Need Sunscreen? Protection Tips!

Photo of a Chihuahua dog sunbathing to illustrate a blog that answers the question Do Dogs Need Sunscreen ?

Plan your dog’s outdoor activities during the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening, to minimize sun exposure. At any time of the day, pet-specific sunscreen can help protect your little one from sun rays. Choose a sunscreen specifically formulated for dogs, as human formulas may contain ingredients that are toxic to them. Focus on spreading the lotion to areas prone to sunburn, such as the nose, ears, belly, and other exposed skin.

Creating shaded areas in your yard where your dog can rest and seek refuge from the sun is another great idea. Consider using umbrellas, canopies, or outdoor dog houses for this purpose. You can also consider using sun-protective clothing designed for dogs, such as lightweight shirts, hats, and sunglasses. These can help shield sensitive areas from the sun’s rays. Some companies even have cooling jackets and neck protectors that are perfect for keeping our furbabies cool during the hotter days.

Lastly, consider your pet’s diet and hydration needs on a sunny day. More often than not, pups may eat less when it’s too hot. NHV Multi Essentials may help to prevent dietary gaps in these cases. This supplement can be given at any life stage and helps fill out any nutritional gaps our pups might have. Also, ensure your dog always has access to fresh water to stay hydrated when it’s hot out. 

Quick recap time! The answer to “do dogs need sunscreen” is yes. There are plenty of ways you can protect your little one from the sun and ensure a safe and fun summer for the whole furmily. If you have any questions about holistic support at any time of the year, please reach out to us by clicking the button below. We are always here for you, come shine or come rain! 

Dr. Rebeca Oliveira DVM

Dr. Rebeca Oliveira DVM

Dr. Rebeca is a holistic veterinarian from Brazil with a passion for natural and integrative medicine. She’s been studying integrative medicine and alternative (and healthier) diets since 2015, and now started to study the power of herbs with the NHV Family. In her spare time, you can find her spending time with her golden retriever, Kuga.

Published: July 4, 2023

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