How to keep your pet safe from sun damage

As you slap on your sunscreen and venture out into the summer sun, don’t forget about your pets. They need protection from the rays too.

Your pets’ skin can be susceptible to UV damage, sunburn, and skin cancer. However, before you reach for the same sunscreen you use on your body, it’s essential to understand that your pets’ needs are different.

Do pets need sunscreen?

While most dogs and cats have plenty of hair to protect them from harmful UV rays, exposed skin and light hair may require extra protection. Any areas with inadequate hair cover − such as muzzles, limbs, stomachs, and ears − can be sensitive to sun in the same way our skin can be when it’s not adequately covered.

Can you put human sunscreen on pets?

The most common ingredients in sunscreen for humans can be harmful to animals. As a result, pet owners should always shop for animal-specific sunscreen and sun protection products.

Zinc oxide, which is present in most of our sunscreens, can cause zinc toxicosis in pets. This condition is generally associated with the swallowing of metallic zinc objects but can also be caused by prolonged ingestion of zinc oxide creams, such as nappy rash cream, shampoo, and sunscreen lotion.

What alternatives are there?

There’s an abundance of pet-friendly options on the market. Sunblock sticks, lotions, sprays, wipes, and even sunglasses and pet rashies may all be suitable protection options. However, these can be tricky to apply and could cause your pet distress or discomfort. Ask us about the best options for your pet.

When you’re getting ready for the sun during your next summer adventure, don’t forget to plan for your pet’s protection too, and ensure they have access to shelter and water at all times.