Ask Doctor Dog: Do Dogs Need Sunscreen?
When people head to the beach, SPF 50 is a must. When dogs head to the beach, however, most pet owners assume their fur provides plenty enough sun protection.
But skin cancer isn't just a people thing. Doctor Dog, our in-house, four-legged pet expert, has the information you need to keep your furry loved ones safe and healthy.
You can ask me any questions whenever you want. Then look for my responses in my Dear Doctor Dog advice column on Always Pets.
The Question: Can Dogs Get Sun Damage?
Dear Doctor Dog,
My Chihuahua, Moose, loves laying out in the sun. He finds the sunniest spot in the house to nap, just like a cat. As he's gotten older, however, his fur has gotten thin in places. The other day, I realized there was enough skin showing for him to get a sunburn. He's fine, but now I'm wondering what I can do to keep him warm and comfortable without getting burned. Is dog sunscreen a thing??
— Janice Wethers from Austin, Texas
Doctor Dog's Answer: You Bet Your Tail They Can
Thanks for noticing Moose's discomfort. Many dog owners don't realize that some breeds can get sunburned just like people. Any skin that's not covered by fur is at risk, and over time, frequent sun exposure can raise the risk of your dog developing skin cancer.
Fortunately, dog sunscreen is a thing. A spray like this one is easy to apply and will keep your dog's skin safe on trips to the beach or out for long walks on a sunny day. Since it has to be reapplied frequently to be effective, it may be easier to find a comfortable, well-fitting sweater to provide more coverage. As long as Moose doesn't mind wearing clothes, they can be a big help.
Thanks fur the great question.
— Doctor Dog
More Infurmation About Sun Protection for Dogs
Have a Question for Doctor Dog?
Leave any questions for me here, and look for my responses in my Dear Doctor Dog advice column on Always Pets.
Have questions about cats, bunnies, hamsters or any other critters? Shoot. I may be a dog, but I'm here to help all your animal companions, whether they have four legs or fins.
Important reminder: Doctor Dog is happy to provide general pet care guidance, but she cannot provide formal medical recommendations or diagnoses for your pet. Your pet's veterinarian should always be your primary resource for serious questions regarding your pet's health.