With summer in full-swing, you're probably spending more time outside. Don't forget to protect yourself and your family against the painful effects of the sun. Sunburns can be extremely painful. They can also increase your risk of developing skin cancer. You might not realize this, but your dog faces the same risks when it's outside during the summer. If your dog is going to be spending time outside this summer, don't forget to protect it from sun exposure. Here are four steps you can take to protect your dog this summer:
Wait Until Things Cool Down
When it comes to the hazards of sun exposure, you can alleviate some of the risks by staying out of the sun during the peak sunlight hours, which are between the hours of 9:00 am and 3:00 pm. Those are the hours when the sun is at its brightest, and the risk of sunburn and sun-related illnesses are at their greatest; including for your dog.
Slather on the Sunscreen
If you're going to go outside with your dog during the peak sunlight hours, make sure to slather on the sunscreen. Your dog will need protection on all the areas that are at the greatest risk for sunburn, including the ears, nose, and belly. When applying sunscreen to your dog's ears, be sure to apply some to the delicate skin inside the ears. If your dog has short hair, apply a spray sunscreen to its entire body, and then rub it in. Rubbing it in will ensure that your dog's skin is protected.
Protect Those Little Paws
If you're going to be walking around outside, don't forget about your dog's paws. If the ground is too hot for you to walk on while bare-footed, it will be too hot on your dog's paws, too. To protect your dog's paws from burning, invest in a pair of sun booties. They'll keep your dog's paws comfortably cool, and protected from the hot pavement – or sand.
Soothe the Burn with an Oatmeal Bath
If your dog does happen to get sunburned this summer, you'll need to soothe its skin as soon as possible. One way to do that is with an oatmeal bath. Simply fill a clean, white sock with raw oatmeal. Toss the sock in the bathtub, and fill it with cool water. Allow your dog to soak in the oatmeal water for about 15 minutes, or as long as it wants to. The oatmeal water will soothe the burn and speed up the healing.
Now that summer is here, use the tips provided here to protect your dog against sunburn. Contact a veterinarian like Robert Irelan DVM for more information and assistance.