Summer is here, and it can be extremely dangerous for pets. Spreading the word on the importance of keeping your animals safe from those harmful UV rays and heat can save lives! Just like humans, dogs and cat’s skin can be extremely sensitive to the sun. Those with a lighter, shorter coat (Labs, Pit bulls, Boxers, etc.), or even hairless coats are more susceptible to becoming sunburned, and may cause extreme discomfort to your pet.
During the hottest parts of the day, and when the sun is at its peak (typically between 11am and 4pm), is when the UV rays are the strongest. Any animal, whether it’s a farm animal or pet should always have shelter outside so they can remove themselves from the sun. Try to limit their outdoor time as this may also prevent heat stroke or heat exhaustion. If you leave your dog outside while you are away because they are destructive inside your house, try entertaining them inside with fun activities such as, bones, busy toys (slow treat feeders), safe chew toys and peanut butter Kongs, so they don’t even think of destroying anything.
If you are unable to keep your pet inside, consider putting pet friendly sunscreen on your pet. It is important to apply the sunscreen to the tips of their ears, the top of the nose and other areas that may be vulnerable to the sun (places with little, to no hair). Some areas that can easily get sunburned are the ears, nose, and their stomach. These areas often have little to no hair on them and are very susceptible to sun damage. Remember, try avoiding getting any sunscreen into their eyes – it burns! Some human sunscreens contain ingredients that may be toxic if you pet ingests the sunscreen. Please consult your veterinarian for recommendations on different types of sunscreen to apply to your pet’s skin and other ways to keep your pet safe from that sun. Don’t forget to have water available to your pets at all times!