Summer is time for daily romps at the park or splashing about on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain. Outside activities are excellent for pet health and happiness, but they can come at a price. Too much exposure to ultraviolet light can be extremely harmful to skin tissue for pets, however, and protection is essential. Pet sunscreen is an important element of summer pet safety.
Fur Coats and Sun Protection
A pet’s haircoat can protect their skin to a point, but there are many reasons to give their skin added layers of protection from the sun.
Pet sunscreen is especially important for pets with light or white hair or skin, short-haired, or hairless breeds. That said, however, even thick-coated breeds can be vulnerable to the sun’s effects on the skin.
Not only can pet sunscreen reduce the likelihood or severity of sunburns, an ongoing approach to sun protection can decrease the chance of skin cancer. Pet sunscreen is effective at protecting the skin on the nose, ears, and areas of the body where hair is thin, completely absent, or patchy.
Where It Matters
Due to certain ingredients like zinc oxide and salicylates, sun protection products designed and intended for human use are not safe for pets. Be sure that when using these products on you and/or children, your pet doesn’t lick the skin and ingest harmful chemicals. In the event of a pet poisoning from human sunscreen, you may see vomiting and other troubling signs. Please do not delay in seeking emergency help.
Application of Pet Sunscreen
There are many non-toxic human sunscreens available that are also safe for use around pets. When choosing a pet sunscreen, however, only use products specifically intended for animals.
Apply a small amount of pet sunscreen to test for a skin reaction on your pet’s leg or abdomen. If nothing occurs, you can begin to apply the product to the bridge of the nose or ear tips about 20 minutes before heading outside. You may have to distract your pet with tasty treats or a game so they don’t lick it off before the skin absorbs the sunscreen.
In addition to pet sunscreen, you can lean on the following to shield them from the sun:
- SPF clothing
- Sunglasses or goggles that cover their eyes can reduce glare and sun damage
- Stop for long breaks in the shade, and encourage water drinking to promote hydration
- Limit their outside time to dawn and dusk hours
Summer Pet Safety
The summer season has a lot to offer adventurous pets. With a solid approach to summer safety, pets can have the most possible fun with their human companions.