Yes! Pets, just like people, can get a sunburn. Most pets have fur which does provide some protection from the sun’s burning rays, but pets don’t have fur on their noses or pads of their feet, and many pets have very thin or no hair on the tops of their snouts, the tips of their ears, their bellies, groins, and armpits. Dogs with pink skin and/or pink noses are especially prone to getting a painful and dangerous sunburn. Also just like people, sunburn puts pets at a higher risk of skin cancer. So what can you do to protect your pet from sunburn?
- Keep your pet indoors or enclosed in a shaded area during sunny hours of the day. In the summer, this may include the early morning and evening, as well as the middle of the day.
- Limit sunbathing. Even indoor pets are at risk if they like to sunbathe in sunny windows. If your pet is a sunbather, consider closing those shades, especially when the sun is strong.
- Use Sunscreen! Both cats and dogs can benefit from pet-safe sunscreen if you can’t keep them safely out of the sun. DO NOT USE HUMAN SUNSCREEN on a pet! Some have ingredients that are okay for humans but unsafe for pets. Ask your vet for a sunscreen recommendation.