Here’s Lolli, my Jack Russell Terrier. She is a SUN WORSHIPPER. You may have a dog like this too. Even on the hottest summers day, where all my other animals are taking comfort in the shade, there she is – panting away, belly up towards the sun.
Very cute, but being mostly a white dog, with very short fur and almost none on her tummy, she tends to burn rather quickly.
Pets are no different and just as it is with humans, there is a risk of chronic sun damage that can lead to skin cancers and other nasties.
So, I’ve had to resort to sun block. She’s not super keen on it, but when I’m going to be out and can’t keep an eye on her between 10 and 3 on those sunny days, it’s a rule that just cannot be broken!
We stock sun block at Tasmanian Animal Hospitals. It’s different to sun block for humans. Most human sunscreens have ingestion warnings on them because the ingredients can be toxic if a child or dog ingest them, so it’s best just to get a pet safe one from the pet shop or vet clinic.
So, can your cat or dog get sunburnt….? Yes! Sunburn can appear as red skin or hair loss. If you notice this on your pet, it’s best to get them examined by your vet who can advise the most appropriate type of action. Sunburn can irritate or exacerbate existing skin conditions such as allergies or hot spots. Animals that have light coloured noses and thin, very short, or missing fur are in most need of protective sunscreen. The groin, inside legs and abdomen can also need sunscreen because hair is very thin there and UV light can reflect off concrete surfaces to affect that skin.
If you intend to use a sunscreen on your cat, make certain the product labelling specifically says that it’s appropriate and safe for cats.
Happy Tanning everyone !