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|Do Dogs Get Sunburns?
How to Identify and Treat Sunburns on Dogs
By Angela Tague, published Jun 20, 2007
Does your dog love to lay in the yard and soak up the summer sunshine? Does he lay on his back exposing his pink tummy? Catching a few sun rays may be fine for Fido, but if he's in the sun too long, he can get sunburn.
Your dog is especially at risk for sunburn if he has white or light-colored fur or is a hairless breed, such a Chinese Crested or American Hairless Terrier. Even if your dog is darker in color, those cute pink noses, bellies, ear tips and pads of the paws can become sunburned too!
During sunny days be sure to provide your dog with a shaded retreat. The best way to avoid sunburn, is to stay out of the sun! If your dog will be in the sun during a walk, out on a family boating trip or if he is a working breed, try using a product by Nutri-Vet called Sun Defense Sunscreen for Dogs. The spray, which is available at PetCo, blocks UVA and UVB rays and is comparable to SPF 15 sun-block that a human would use. The special formulation is safe for dogs, but they should still be discouraged from licking it off. Never use a human brand of sunscreen on your dog. Human grade formulas may be toxic if ingested.
Typical signs of sunburn on a dog include red skin, blisters, peeling skin and soreness. If any of the skin is broken, raw or showing signs of infection, visit your veterinarian immediately.
If you pet does get a little too much sun, help cool him down my spraying him with a cool, not cold, water mist. Also, dampen a washcloth and rub it over his belly and other sunburned areas. When the washcloth gets warm, be sure to re-dampen it with cool water and keep applying to sooth your dogs discomfort.
Once your pet has cooled off, it is safe to apply aloe vera to the sore red areas of his skin. Since it is a natural product, you don't have to worry if he licks a little off, but try to discourage this, so the aloe vera can help sooth his sunburn. You can find nearly pure aloe vera gel at health food stores. The gel contains enzymes that will break down inflammatory proteins and promote healing.
If you pet doesn't show signs of improvement in 2-3 days, visit your veterinarian.
Be sure to take care of those gorgeous pink noses puppies. Mommy will be sure to pick up some puppy sunscreen before the weather gets nice!
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