Sun Protection For Both of Us!

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Sun Protection And You

Hello! Welcome back. It is hot out there today, isn’t it? It’s just way too warm for leggings and a long-sleeved tee [my usual choice]. Adjusting my wardrobe for the warmer weather is always fun. Because we are indoors with air conditioning, most of us [ I know that I am not alone] wear layers of clothing that’s comfy but covers more skin to ward off the occasional chill that comes from blasting the blessed thermostat into sub-zero temperatures as our own measure of ‘comfort’ begins to register.

Anyhow, I am watching Sophia shiver a bit, and then I make the necessary thermostat adjustment. We are preparing for our Lunch hour walk and the environmental swing really rests with her. I grab the lead and the poo bags, and the paw balm and the sunscreen.

What?? Too much?? No, it’s not. I know she’s got the insurance coverages but why put Sophia in the awkward position of prolonged discomfort due to sun exposure? Paws, noses, ears, tails, tummies, and private parts can burn during warm weather exposure. As pet parents, we simply must prepare for these temperature swings for the dogs the same as we do for ourselves.

Depending upon the breed of dog, sometimes the entire body of the dog may suffer due to over-exposure to the sun, as in the case of the Chinese Crested.

Other breeds requiring special consideration:

  • Peruvian Inca Orchid
  • Xoloitzcuintli
  • American Hairless Terrier

Let’s take a look at sun protection for both of us [you and your dog].


I Don’t Need To Do That…Do I?

Well, that depends on who you are. I’ll share with you right now that I get a lot of flack for so-called ‘babying’ Sophia. Yup. I have been accused of spoiling her and treating her as if human. But, know what I say? It’s common sense. The dog’s experience during outdoor activity is NOT my experience. Think on this for a moment. Whenever we prepare for a walk, a great pair of shoes is the first thing that I grab. Sophia, on the other hand, on most days, does not wear footgear. During the snowy months, yes sir…she’s got boots on to protect her from frost-bite and winterizers [salts]. During the spring and summer, she’s natural. Have you ever walked barefoot on the asphalt on a day when the temperature reaches 82 degrees? The dogs do it all the time. How do you think it feels? Grassy areas help to lessen the burning and searing sensation, but you do see where I am going with this.

The same applies to rear-end care for dogs. On that same hot and blistering day, I can be seen with a guffaw on my face as I observe pet parents commanding their pets to ‘sit’ while they wait for the traffic light to change before crossing the street. Boy doggies… I sympathize with you! I’d like to see the opposite of this. If you can ever swing it, walk your dad to the corner on a hot day [no pants or skivvies of course] then tell himself to have a seat…just for a moment…go on…. that wouldn’t go over well. And for all dogs, boys and girls…my heart goes out to you. I do not wish to see your anus sizzle against the pavement. Proximity is important! I can see all of the shocked pet parent faces now saying, it’s not actually touching the asphalt — so that’s how I know it’s okay.

hmmph! How do you know the griddle is hot? Do you touch it? Or do you just get close to it to know? Anyway….

It’s Hot Out

Humans benefit from sunscreen usage, obviously. The skin protection keeps your skin tone even, for one. And two, it reduces the risk of developing a fatal cancer. Besides, owning great-looking moisturized, young-looking skin is a worthy goal! Besides, there are many choices available on the market [I go for the full-sized products vs the travel-sized products, personally] and you’ll have a great time shopping for your individual choice, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or however often your sun protection requires replenishing.

But, can you use your sun protection on Scruffy? I mean, it couldn’t hurt, right? WRONG. Sun protection for humans is not to be used as sun protection for the dogs too. You could do damage, unfortunately.

Now What?

When you do decide to take the plunge and utilize sunscreen on your furbaby, a few rules apply.

It is of the utmost importance that you apply only formulas which have been manufactured specifically for use as a sunscreen for a dog. Your product should never contain any zinc oxide or any PABA [para-aminobenzoic acids]. Don’t think that the dog won’t lick their skin and coat after application. These ingredients are toxic to dogs. So, if ingested you’ll be faced with monitoring for GI upset. GI upset is significant enough that it can result in dehydration. Dehydration is a whole ‘nother’ article but do watch for vomiting [with and without diarrhea], panting, and dry nose if ingestion occurs.

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  1. What you say is very true. There is a big difference between working dogs and (mostly indoor) pets. Where I am, people ” dress” their dogs. Scarfs around their necks covering part of the dog’s back. 

    Exercise areas in parks, although grassy, are often without shade. And while the smaller dog will enjoy its time in there, sunburn can be a real problem if left in the open for too long. The beach is another place dogs sometimes struggle to find shade. 

    Highlighting that “human” sunscreen is toxic to animals is an exceptionally good point. I am sure that is valuable information to many dog owners. 

  2. My sister has a lovely Xolo dog, and she spend a lot of time taking care of her dog, she use to put some cream on the dog skin, as she was telling me about the need to protect her dog from the sun, I never though that could be possible, but after reading your article, I see my sister is right, I will forward your article to my sister, as I’m sure she will love to read it. 

    • Thanks for sharing the article with your sister, Alejandra. Xolo skin definitely requires extra care. This is a beautiful and interesting dog breed. They were allowed to compete for the very first time in history at the 136th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York. 

      Does your sister have any special skincare tips for Xoloitzcuintli that she can share with our readers? Have her leave her comments here. 💕🐾

  3. Hi Jacquelyn. Thank you for a very interesting article. To be fair I had no idea how dangerous the sun can be for dogs, and I never thought about extra protection for my pupil. Never heard about sunscreens for dogs, but now I will definitely buy one. It completely makes sense that animals need protection as well and I don’t know why I didn’t think about it earlier.

    • You know, Cogito, that is the point. Sometimes the thought just doesn’t come to mind. There are several breeds with eyes that protrude, for example. I’d certainly say that in that case an extra protective step will be required to keep the animal safe from UV damage. In addition to sunscreen, pet parents are adding hats, tee shirts, and goggles too. Check it out.

  4. Details in your article are very true. Different types of dogs are adapted to different environments. We have dogs that can survive well in sunny conditions and others cannot. The whole information is really valuable to anybody who owns a dog. I think I can forward this article to my brother who owns a number of dogs from different breeds. 

    • Thank you for commenting. Your point is right on target with this article, Gad. “We have dogs that can survive well in sunny conditions and others cannot.” 

      By all means share this article with your brother and be certain to visit us at Facebook. Have a great day!

  5. Hi, Jacquelyn!
    Truth be told, I’ve never thought of sun protection as far as pets are concerned. However, the way you put things makes perfect sense! Your arguments are perfectly valid but I doubt most people would take care of their pets as you suggest. I strongly believe that if one doesn’t really have the need for pets and taking good care of them, leave them be…!
    Thanks a lot for sharing and keep safe!

    • Hello, Antonio. It’s great hearing from you. You are so right. In order for those pets to live their best life, pet parents really do need to engage with them and care for them on more than a perfunctory level. My intention to is to create awareness within the pet parent community and to stimulate a different response to pet parenting that improves the quality of the pet/pet parent relationship. 

      Thank you for your comment, Antonio.🐾

  6. I am a big animal lover. I have several cats and now 3 dogs. I had several, but unfortunately, they are no more. I take care of them as best I can. In general, products for humans are not ok for animals. Thus, your post is welcome for at least two reasons: 1. We must take care and protect them during the summer from the sun and heat, as we do for us 2. We must use products created specifically for dogs, and in under no circumstances should we use products that we use.

    • Hello, Carmen. Welcome to thedoggyperspective.com. It’s lovely to hear that this post contained relevant information for you and for your pet family. It is important to acknowledge their needs, and not take shortcuts there. In doing so, pet parents could unintentionally cause harm. Thanks for commenting.

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