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Sunscreen for Dogs? Seriously?

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Jessie, the sun-kissed dog: Well, as summer begins to tailspin into fall, I still want to take every opportunity to worship the sun and maintain my sexy glow.  Now that the kiddos in the neighborhood are back in school, I have the pool side to myself.  Tried to get that darned house cat of ours to serve me some fun umbrella drinks, but he wants nothing to do with that.  Geez!  Is putting sunscreen on me really such a big deal?

What?  Are you freaked out about a dog wearing sunscreen? Just like humans, we need protection from the sun and its potentially-damaging  UV rays.  Dogs can, in fact, get sunburned.  In fact, dogs are quite sensitive when it comes to sun exposure, and those dogs with lighter-colored coats really need some protection from the sun.  If dogs are over-exposed to the sun, it can lead to serious sunburns, ulcerations, autoimmune skin diseases, and other problems. They can even get skin cancer.

As with humans, it is best to  limit time spent in the sun or just stay out of the sun between the hours of  10 a.m. and 4 p.m.  Even in the winter…as snow reflects the sun!

When deciding on which sunscreen protection factor to use on your dog, you should take into consideration the length of his hair,  the color of his coat, and his skin. Lighter-skinned dogs, as well as those with shorter hair, will require a greater protection factor cream.  If you have a long-haired dog but cut its hair short for the summer, you will need to take that into consideration, as well.

Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about the proper sun protection product you can use on your dog.  To prevent any possible allergic reaction, opt for the fragrance-free kind. DO NOT USE HUMAN SUNSCREEN PRODUCTS!  Those may contain zinc oxide, which is toxic to dogs.

Use sunscreen on your dog whenever you would use it on yourself.  To apply it, use a sponge or your hands…and don’t forget the nose, tummy, and private parts!  If you are using a spray version, be careful not to let it get into your dog’s eyes!

Now, enjoy the sun, but be careful!  And be sure to tip that darned cat a dime or two if he brings you a soda and some dog biscuits!  We have to keep him around to do all the dirty work, you know!  Being a sun goddess takes time and energy!

(Thanks to for this cool information!)


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