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  • Jamie F., CVT

Sunsational Pups: Keep Your Dog Safe from the Sun

Summertime fun is just around the corner! But did you know that our dogs need sun protection just like we do? Like humans, dogs are at risk for sunburn and skin cancer from too much sun exposure. In addition, dogs with white coats, lightly pigmented noses and eyelids, a thin coat, or hairless breeds will be more at risk for skin damage due to sun exposure.

Sun Protection Tips For Your Dog

Sun protection products for dogs including a sun hat, UV shirt, sunscreen, and dog googles

Canine sunscreen

There are many options of dog-safe sunscreen available to purchase. This is especially important for areas of the body with little to no hair, like the bridge of the nose, ear tips, belly, and thighs. Be sure to test your dog-safe sunscreen on a small area of your dog’s skin first to make sure your dog tolerates it well. Applying sunscreen at least 15-20 minutes before sun exposure is best. After you use the sunscreen, keep your pup busy for about 10 to 15 minutes to allow the sunscreen to fully absorb into the skin before they decide to lick it off! Reapply as directed on the bottle and especially after swimming!

Sun hats

Sun hats are perfect for dogs with lightly pigmented skin, thin hair or those who never warm up to the Doggles idea!

White dog wearing lime green sun shirt and doggles

SPF Sun shirts

Canine SPF sun shirts can be a super convenient (and cute) way to protect your pup from the sun! These are typically made with breathable material so your pup doesn’t get overheated.

UV Dog Goggles

Sunglasses for dogs! Not only super fashionable but also perfect for protecting your dog’s eyes from harmful UV rays. It may take a little training and time for your dog to welcome wearing sunglasses, but it can be a great addition to your pup’s sun protection. Start with putting the glasses on for very short periods with lots of treats and praise. Slowly increase the length of time the glasses are on until your dog is comfortable.

Paw protection

Walking in the sunshine sounds like the perfect outing for you and your pup, but your pet’s paws may be at risk for burns! The pavement can become extremely hot. During outings in the warmer months, options such as dog booties or paw protectant balms are critical to protect your pup from burning their paw pads.

After Sun Care

All of these tips can be helpful additions to your dog’s sun protection. However, whenever possible, try to time outings during the cooler times of the day to prevent heat stroke, and try to provide a shady place for your pet to retreat from the sun to cool down. As always, make sure your pet has plenty of fresh, cool water when out in the sun.

If your pet has developed a sunburn, you can treat mild burns with cool compresses and aloe vera gel (make sure they don’t lick it off!). However, if the skin is broken, blistered, extremely red, or painful, your pet should be evaluated by their veterinarian for additional treatment. Have more questions, we are here to help!


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