Many people feel that their pet is as much of a family member as their human counterparts, so why spare them the same body protection that you provide for yourself? In this case, we are talking about protecting your pooch from the potentially harmful effects that the sun can have on our bodies. To provide ultimate protection for a day playing in the sun, you will want to cover your dog’s unprotected areas with sunscreen, but not the same stuff that people use. Here are a few important points to consider and tips to follow.
Why Your Dog Needs Sunscreen
Before you head off to the store to buy a lifetime supply of dog sunscreen, know that not every dog needs a full coat of sun lotion 24/7. Many dog breeds’ natural fur takes care of most sun-related issues, but certain situations may be cause for a slathering of lotion. If your dog spends most of his time outside, then you will want to apply lotion regularly. Sunscreen is also essential if your dog is losing hair or has any large bald spots, as these exposed areas aren’t protected and could easily be sunburnt.
Tips for Applying Sunscreen to Dogs
Applying sunscreen might seem simple, but there are a few things to keep in mind. First, pay particular attention to any hairless areas, such as the space between their legs and their snout. You also need to be mindful of the ingredients in the sunscreen and be sure to avoid any brand that contains zinc oxide, as it can be harmful to many dog breeds, notes Cesar’s Way, Cesar Milan’s official website.
Before going all out, apply a tiny amount of sunscreen to a test area first and watch that spot to ensure that your dog does not have an adverse reaction to the lotion. Finally, it may go without saying, but don’t apply just any sunscreen – ask your vet to recommend a sunscreen brand or see if they have a variety that is specifically designed for your pooch.
If you are uncomfortable with spreading lotion, there are other ways to keep your dog protected from the sun’s harmful rays. Obviously, avoid overexposure to the sun and make sure that your dog has access to shade and fresh water.
Hair is a dog’s friend, so avoid shaving your dog completely if you have the choice. If you do want to trim up your dog’s fur coat, take a Goldilocks approach – not too long, not too short, but somewhere in the middle. You want your dog’s coat to still be long enough to protect your pup from the sun, but not so long that they overheat or get matted or tangled fur.
Your dog is your best friend, so of course you want to keep them protected. With a few proactive steps – and a dollop of sunscreen – both you and your pup can enjoy a fun day in the sun.
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