The sun is shining brighter and hotter temperatures can be felt from dawn until dusk. However, it's important to remember that too much sun can be dangerous for your pets. While most animals have fur to protect them from the sun, white-skinned animals (including dogs and cats) are at risk of getting sunburns or even skin cancer from excessive sun exposure.
Animals with white fur and pink skin are most susceptible.
Animals with white fur and pink skin are most susceptible. This is because of the way their bodies absorb and reflect light. White fur reflects the most light, while dark colours absorb it.
If you're planning on going outside for long periods of time in hot weather with your pet—or if they'll be spending some time outdoors during peak season—you may want to consider applying sunscreen anyway.
Sunburns and sun damage cause pain, discomfort, and later on, cancer.
Sunburns are painful and can also be dangerous. Some of the long-term effects of UV exposure include:
- Skin cancer
- Skin damage and aging of the skin
- Eye damage (cataracts and blindness)
Watch for signs of a sunburned pet.
If you suspect your pet has a sunburn, keep an eye out for the following symptoms:
- redness (looks like a rash)
- dryness (feels rough to the touch)
- itchiness (your pet will scratch or bite at it)
- pain (your pet may whine or cry)
If any of these symptoms are present, contact your veterinarian immediately. Your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection and/or steroidal creams to ease discomfort.
Few pets like to wear protective gear, but it can help keep your pet from getting sunburned.
If you spend a lot of time outdoors with your pet, it’s essential to be aware of the sun’s harmful effects on their skin. Pets can get sunburned much like humans, and they may not be able to tell you when they are in pain. Fortunately, there are special kinds of sunscreen designed specifically for use on animals—but not all options are created equal!
The best way to keep your pet safe is by protecting them from UV rays with protective clothing that covers as much skin as possible. As always, though, take care when using any new product on an animal so that you don't inadvertently expose them to something other than what was intended by its manufacturer.
It is often easier to apply pet-safe sunscreen indoors in a dry area where pets will stay still.
If your veterinarian recommends that your pet uses sunscreen, it can be easier to apply it indoors before heading outside. This can be done by rubbing the sunscreen into the skin, and then gently brushing it over the pet's coat. This step should be repeated as many times as needed until all of the pet's exposed skin is covered with sunscreen.
Pets that are going to be outside for an extended period should have their coats brushed out after they come in so that any loose fur does not clog their pores and prevent them from absorbing the sunscreen (this is especially important for cats).
Any kind of skin that's not covered by fur may need extra protection
Sun exposure can be harmful to the skin of your pet and could cause skin cancer. Any kind of skin that's not covered by fur can get burned, including the tips of ears or noses, eyelids, armpits, and belly folds. Cats and dogs have skin that is more sensitive to the sun than humans do and their baking in the sun can lead to painful burns, lesions, and even blindness.
Be careful when taking your pets out in the sun and make sure they're hydrated on hot days
Be careful when taking your pets out in the sun and make sure they're hydrated on hot days.
- Keep an eye on your pet's body language. If you see them panting heavily, it's likely because their tongue is dry and they're thirsty.
- Know the signs of dehydration in dogs and cats, including decreased urination or defecation, sunken eyes, and gums, lethargy/lethargy, lack of appetite, or vomiting. If your dog or cat experiences any of these symptoms after being outdoors on a hot day, bring him inside immediately to get some fluids into his system before he gets worse!
Pets deserve to enjoy the sunshine, too! Just keep an eye out for signs of sunburn and don’t forget to bring water if you plan on spending time outside together.