What To Do If Your Dog Has Sunburn?

Much like humans,  dogs can also get sunburn. It is therefore crucial for any conscientious dog parent to prevent sunburn in your pet.

Areas On Dogs At Risk For Sunburn

The parts that are most likely to get sunburnt on a dog are the nose, ear tips, the belly, the top of the tail and, based on the dog’s breed, the eyelids and the area around the mouth.

Symptoms Of Sunburn In Dogs

Symptoms of sunburn in dogs typically tend to pop up after a few hours after overexposure to UV rays, such as a long day at the beach or a sunny walk. Below are some of the signs that can occur in dogs suffering from sunburn:

  • Pink or red skin in infected areas
  • Dryness and tenderness of the skin
  • Peeling of the skin
  • Blisters 
  • Fever

More extreme sunburn would be a darker shade of red, a rich purple, and these symptoms need urgent veterinary treatment.

Protecting Your Dog From Getting A Sunburn

Limit Sun Exposure

Try not to spend a long time in the sun when the UV rays are at their peak.

Sunscreen

Never use a human sunscreen on your dog and use one that’s made for dogs. Many human sunscreens contain zinc oxide and other chemicals which cannot be licked or consumed. They’re poisonous to your dog and can be deadly.

Shade  

Always try to give some shade where possible. Get under a tree, use an umbrella, place a sun cover over your dog’s outdoor kennel, or use an elevated canopy bed to get your dog’s fur off the hot ground while providing shade simultaneously.

Protective Clothing 

Sun resistant clothing is another safe way to shield the skin of your dog. Sun apparel is made of materials that guard against UVA and UVB sun rays. Most of them are light to wear and dry easily. They also reduce the need for sunscreen in the areas that are covered.

Treatment For Sunburnt Dogs 

Sunburn in dogs is somewhat identical to those of human beings, and much like them the seriousness of the sunburn will decide which medication is required. Mild sunburn can cure on its own but dogs should be kept out of the sunlight until they’ve recovered. In more severe cases if the skin has blisters, wound washing, pain relief and topical ointments would be prescribed and in more acute cases, advanced dressings, fluids and antibiotics will be needed. It’s better to get a vet’s advice about sunburn, even if it doesn’t look serious.

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About the Author: Mary Gates

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