Thin Hair and Fair Skin

Protect our pooches from sunburn

Even though summer has come late for some parts of the country, by now most of us have experienced a few scorchers. Just as we need to be aware of our pet’s potential for getting overheated, we also need to remember to protect our pooches from sunburn.

Thin-haired and fair-skinned breeds such as Bull Terriers, Boxers, Dalmations and Whippets are especially vulnerable, but all dogs have areas on their bodies where hair is sparse, such as the abdomen, hind legs and the areas surrounding their noses. Prevention is the best approach for avoiding the affects of prolonged and excessive sun exposure.

Find some shade for outside activities and stay inside between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to prevent sunburn as well as overheating on those really hot days. Not only will your pooch thank you for avoiding discomfort, but you’ll also be protecting him or her from increased susceptibility to diseases related to excessive sun exposure.

Chronic sun damage, also called canine solar dermatitis, can set the stage for later development of neoplasms associated with squamous and basal cell carcinomas.

When sun exposure can’t be avoided, consider covering your dog with a t-shirt or a specially designed canine sun suit. Sunscreen lotions are another option for reducing the risk of damage, but check with your vet first for a product recommendation that won’t irritate your pet’s skin or be toxic if she or he should lick it off.