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dog sunscreen

It is hot and sunny in New Mexico and this summer is definitely no different. Before you go outside to play, work, or just sit, you need to make sure to slather on that sunscreen. But as you are protecting yourself, should you be putting sunscreen on your dog?

Dog’s do come with some of their own built in defenses to the sun, mainly their fur, but that doesn’t mean they cannot be burned. And just as a sunburn hurts us, it is painful to your dog as well.

Hair Loss. If your dog is losing their hair, or you have a hairless dog, that exposed skin is vulnerable. Make sure to put sunscreen on their bald spots.

Sunbathing pooch…or even just spending a lot of time outdoors. If you have a dog that just loves to lay in the sun, you should put sunscreen on a couple of their vulnerable spots, such as the space between their back legs, and their nose, if they have a pink snout. 

Do’s and Do Not’s of Doggie Sun Protection

DO NOT shave your long hair dog. That hair keeps them protected from the sun. Keep them cool by using a undercoat rake brush to remove dead hairs, or take them to a groomer to have strategic spots shaved to help keep them cool.

DO pick the right sunscreen. Just because you can wear it does not mean it is safe for your dog. Remember there is a good chance your dog is going to lick some of the sunscreen, and not all sunscreen is ok for your dog to ingest. Pick up sunscreen from a pet supply store and make sure it is formulated as pet safe. If you cannot find a pet safe sunblock, try one that is safe for babies. 

DO NOT use zinc oxide. It can be toxic to dogs if they eat it.

DO test the sunscreen on a spot of skin to make sure that your dog is not allergic or doesn’t start licking it like crazy. If your dog won’t stop licking it, not only will it remove the sunblock but could also create a hotspot. 

DO NOT cover your dog from head to tale in sunblock. You only need to apply it to exposed areas. Their hair does not need sun protection. 

DO get sun protective clothing. If your dog has a negative reaction to sunscreen you can dress them in light clothing. Look for light weight and lighter colors. This will help keep the sun from directly hitting their skin. 

DO provide shade. If you are spending a lot of time outside, or they are, make sure they have a place to go and sit that is away from the sun. 

DO provide fresh cool water. Even though this is not a sunscreen issue, it is very easy to overheat in the summer. Help your dog stay cool by providing them with fresh cool water. 

If you think your dog has overheated, call your Los Lunas vet immediately. Take them out of the heat and bring them in somewhere cool as well. 

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2510 Main St. NE #1 Los Lunas, NM Phone: (505) 865-0662

Veterinarian Clinic Website: www.loslunasvetco.com


The information provided on this website is written by Vetco staff. All information is meant to be informational and is not meant as veterinary advice. If you have a health question regarding your pet, their treatment or anything concerning their veterinary care, please call Vetco to consult with a veterinarian.