Enjoying the great outdoors by way of lounging poolside, hiking to a beautiful lake, or just relaxing in the backyard is what spring and summer are all about. Your pet will also be happy to get out for some sunshine and fresh air with you as you walk, play, jog, and do other pet friendly activities together. But the sunny weather has many of us slathering on sunscreen and donning our hats and sunglasses. Did you know your pet needs protection, too?

In order to prepare for the sunnier, warm weather, your team at Shiloh Veterinary Hospital wants to stress the importance of pet sun protection. You may be surprised to learn just how important it is to protect your furry one from those harmful rays. 

Keep Them Shaded

Skin cancer is not so uncommon in our pets, especially dogs who spend more time outside. When the harmful UV rays are at their worst, it’s best to avoid the sun rays by keeping your pet inside during midday. Any time you are outside, make sure there is shade available to them. Go to a well shaded park or walk along a tree lined neighborhood. When on a boat or the beach or lake, give them shade through the use of umbrellas or other shade screens.

Use Pet Sunscreen

Even if your pet is especially furry, they can also be prone to sunburn if their nose, ears, belly, and other sensitive areas aren’t covered with pet sunscreen. Hairless breeds must be protected when outdoors, as they are more susceptible to sunburn and skin cancer. Never use human grade sunscreen on pets as it is toxic. Opt for a sunscreen suitable for pets. There are a wide variety of them online or in pet supply stores.

Choose Protective Clothing

Putting your pet in a shirt may seem counterintuitive when it is hot outside, but there are some clothes  that can keep a pet cool and shaded. If your pet has short fur, light colored fur, or is hairless, you can opt for sunscreen clothing for pets. Dogs that are sensitive to the sun’s rays can also be helped through doggles, or pet sunglasses. 

Pet Sunburn

Be cautious when you enjoy the sunshine with your pet. Any exposed part of your pet’s body is susceptible to sunburn and damage from the sun. Signs of sunburn in pets include:

  • Redness
  • Swollen skin
  • Dry, flaky skin
  • Cracking
  • Hair loss
  • Infection
  • Wounds that won’t heal
  • Painful when touched

Warm Weather Awareness

When the weather begins to warm, be aware that your pet will be more likely to become dehydrated when exercising outside. Always keep extra water and a bowl for your furry one on walks, in the yard, and during travel. Use shade as you and your pet’s best defense against sunburn and other damage.

For more information on sun damage and pet sun protection, give your team at Shiloh a call. Stay sun aware out there and have fun!