What Type Of Sunscreen Can I Use On My Dog?
What type of sunscreen can I use on my dog is a question that my pet sitting clients have asked me and I always tell them to look for one that’s safe for human babies or sensitive skin. Do a test area if you are not sure.
Too much time in the sun poses similar health risks for our dogs and cats as it does for ourselves. Like humans, pets can experience sunburns — which not only can be painful but also can increase the risk for certain types of skin cancer. Topically applied sunscreen can protect your pet from the harmful effects of the sun, but should always be used in conjunction with efforts to reduce overall sun exposure by providing shade and other sun barriers whenever possible. Use a non-toxic, hypoallergenic sunscreen formulated specifically for use on pets, as your pet could lick and ingest some of the product after it has been applied.
Even if you select a sunscreen you believe is safe, there’s a chance your dog may have a reaction to it. Put the sunscreen on a small area, and keep an eye on the skin as well as your dog’s behavior to see if there’s any problem. Just apply it to exposed areas The most common sites for sunburn in cats and dogs are the bridge of the nose, ear tips, skin surrounding the lips, and any other area where skin pigmentation is low. You don’t need to cover your dog all over, just in the areas that will be exposed to the sun. Dog hair doesn’t need protection.
Never use sunscreens that contain zinc oxide on your dog as it is very toxic. If you are not sure if the sunscreen you are going to use on your dog always check with your vet.
One veterinarian I consulted, who specializes in dermatology, recommends a BullFrog sunscreen that contains no zinc oxide and low amounts of octisalate — a salicylate that is a frequent ingredient in sunscreens. He recommends this product for pets at risk of sunburn and skin cancer due to thin coats or pale noses.
The best way to minimize UV exposure in pets is to avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. by keeping the pet inside.