Dog Health Advice: Fur Not Good Sunscreen


You might think the most important bit of dog health advice would be to let your furry loved one spend all day enjoying the outdoors. But you’d only be half-right.

You know we must protect our children and ourselves from the sun. But do you know that leading canine health experts now say that the most important dog health advice they can give is to protect your dog from the sun, too?

Dog Health Advice: Identifying Dog Sunburn

Like we humans, dogs need sunlight to help balance their bodies’ levels of calcium with their metabolism.

Yet too much ultraviolet radiation can irritate our dogs’ skin as it does our own, causing sunburn.

Dog sunburn begins as redness and hair loss.

Where sunburn first appears:

  1. bridge of the nose
  2. tips of the ears
  3. belly

Dog Sunburn Dangers

  1. aggravates any existing skin problems
  2. skin ulcers (sores)
  3. infection
  4. cancer

Sunburn and Dog Breed

  1. Pale and short-hair dogs are particularly prone to sunburn, usually on the nose, abdomen, groin, and inside of the legs. Being close to the ground, they not only are affected by the downward sunlight, but also by sun reflecting up from pavement or hot sand.
  2. Some breeds, like Weimaraners and Boxers, are predisposed to cancer. Therefore, they must have extra protection from the sunburns and UV rays to avoid a kind of skin cancer.

How you can protect your pets:

Think about the precautions that you take to prevent yourself from sunburn and UV exposure. You stay out of the sun at the peak hours like noon to 3PM, use sunblock and cover up, don’t you? Those same suggestions can work for your dog.

Sunburn prevention tips especially for dogs:

  1. Be sure that your dog is inside the house or in a shaded area during the sun’s peak hours, even on overcast days.
  2. Apply sunblock to the bridge of the dog’s nose, ear tips and other small, sensitive areas whenever the dog is outside for more than a few minutes.
  3. Consider some sort of covering for your dog. Some veterinarians say that the most important and effective protection is a type of bodysuit for dogs, which is designed to block ultraviolet rays and prevent sunburn.

In the end, it’s still good dog health advice to let your dog play outdoors. But spare your “best friend” the pain of sunburn and its consequences.

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