Pets used to be allowed to spend inordinate amounts of time in the direct sun. We now know that the consequences of overexposure include skin damage or worse for pets. That’s why pet sun protection is becoming a priority for all pet owners, regardless of how furry their pet is.
One More Thing to Do
Most of us wouldn’t think of spending hours on end in the blazing sun. We know it’s bad for us, and our skin pays the price. So, we don wide-brimmed hats, sunscreen, sunglasses, and protective clothing to help us combat ultraviolet rays. If we’re prone to sun damage, why wouldn’t our pets be?
They’re Like Us!
Ultraviolet rays are separated by the ways they impact the skin. Ultraviolet A (UVA) rays penetrate deeper into the skin than Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. UVA destroys the skin’s elasticity, contributing to wrinkles and skin cancer. UVB rays are responsible for burning just the outside layer of the dermis, turning the skin bright red.
Where to Start
Quite possibly the easiest, most effective approach to pet sun protection centers on when they have access to the outdoors. Of course, you can’t stay home every day, but on the hottest days the hours between 10am-4pm are considered the most dangerous. We get some ferociously hot temperatures in Austin, so please plan your pet’s outdoor access accordingly.
Test Drive Some Products
Your pet may easily adapt to sunblock, or they’ll resist it 100%. Either way, we recommend sampling a few different varieties of pet sun protection products to see what they’ll tolerate the best. Either choose a pet-specific sunblock or baby sunblock, as both are without harmful ingredients like zinc-oxide, PABA, and salicylates, which are toxic to pets.
For Your Own Good!
Generally speaking, your pet’s nose, ear tips, abdomen, armpits, and groin are the hardest hit by UVA/UVB rays. Try rubbing a little bit of sunblock on these areas, while distracting them from licking it off.
Easy Pet Sun Protection
If they absolutely can’t abide by sunblock, invest in some protective clothing, like SPF shirts. Similarly, try not to cut their coat too short or thin during the summer in order to protect their skin.
Remember, the lighter coat a pet has, the higher risk to their skin. Always seek shade and provide lots of fresh water.
If you have further questions about pet sun protection, or how to get ready for the summer’s heat, please let us know. Our team is always here for you at Brodie Animal Hospital.