Over the past 2 decades, there has been more and more interest, education and products related to protecting people from sunburn. Better knowledge and popular news about various skin conditions have helped people shift their interest from having artificial tans to taking on proper skincare routines and protecting their bodies from the sun’s harmful rays, even from infancy.
Now more than ever, our focus on sun and skin care protection is turning to our pets. White pets, animals with naturally thin hair coats (or those who have none at all), as well as those who have haircuts are more sensitive to the sun than their thicker haired counterparts, and they are very likely to go through the same ills as humans. Avoid sunburn and skin cancers on your pet by following these important precautions for protecting them on sunny days:
Like humans, pets should have sunblock applied to sun-sensitive areas such as tips of ears, nose the belly and groin areas that typically have sparse hair coverage and thinner skin. Cats love to sunbathe and some dogs will too, belly up. Additionally, many people get “summer cuts” for their cats and dogs to reduce matting and keep the pets comfortable in the summer heat. Sunburn is a definite possibility, and groomers should warn pet owners of this possibility.
What Products Are Safe?
It should be remembered that dogs and especially cats are adept at licking off topical lotions, sprays, and creams.
These substances can be toxic to dogs and especially for cats. It was once recommended that anything safe for human babies would be OK to use on pets with supervision (let the lotion soak in before licking can occur), and that is a guideline, but with the following considerations in mind.
- Using products on a species not covered by product usage guidelines is off-label usage.
- Please consult with your veterinarian prior to using any human products or medications on your pet.
- It is very important to read all instructions and directions before applying any product to your pet.