It might seem very odd, but animals are not immune to sunburn. The ultraviolet rays can harm your pet, particularly if the animal has a thin coat of hair. It means that your dog or cat could be susceptible to skin cancer as well. Just as you are concerned about getting sunburned, you should also be worried that your pet is safe from the sun. There are some ways that you can see to it your little friend is not hurt.
Sunblock can be considered the first line of defense. It should be applied to sensitive areas such as belly, nose, ears, and groin of the animal. This application is valid for both dogs and cats. A word of caution is not to use human sunscreen on your pet. Animals groom all the time and licking is one of the things they do. Human sunscreen can be toxic and make them ill. There are some pet safe sunscreens on the market, but you need a little guidance on this. It is well worth a call to the veterinarian’s office to find out what sun creams or ointments are safe to use. Make certain that any sunscreen you use on your pet does not contain zinc oxide as an ingredient.
Shade from the sun is an excellent safety precaution for your animals. Having a beach umbrella or shaded patio can protect your pet from ultraviolet rays in the coming summer months. Shade is going to be something of extreme importance for any dog kept outside. There should be easy access to a tree or covered area for your animal. One thing to remember is that sunburn is not the only possible problem. An outside dog is susceptible to heat stroke. It makes having a shaded area outdoors even more important.
Knowing the time is going to do a lot to help. It is not that difficult to find out when the hottest time of the given day is going to be. Those are the hours in which your cat or dog need to be inside, preferably in air-conditioned rooms. Outdoor time should be limited to just a few hours in the summer at the most. Those pet owners who have short-legged dogs have to mindful of the time spent outdoors because of the grass. Believe it or not, but the sun will reflect off the lawn (or concrete driveway). Small dogs have their stomachs closer to the ground and are at risk.
Other dogs are in danger because of the good intentions of their owner. No one wants to have a pet suffer in the hot sun, and many people will have their pet’s hair cut short. What is essential is to see to it that the haircut is not too short. Shaving the animal places even larger sections of the body in direct contact with ultraviolet rays. If you do this, you have to monitor time spent outside just as carefully as you would a smaller dog. You can go one step further and buy protective clothing for your dog. Such protection will come in handy if you are going hiking or perhaps spending time on a sailboat.
If you watch your dog outside, you will know that he or she loves to lay out in the sun as much as any human. They will roll around on their backs to expose their tummies to the warm sun. Your pet may get a sunburn in spite of all your efforts. A bath in fresh water will help. A pet shampoo will help ease some of the pain.
Of course, prevention is the best way to avoid having your pet get sunburn. Cats don’t mind spending time in the house; they enjoy it. Having your kitty inside is not going to be a problem for the animal whatsoever. Dogs need much more attention to prevent getting harmed by the sunshine. Perhaps the best idea is to exercise the dog in the very early morning or the evening. These are times when the sun is not bombarding the area with ultraviolet rays. You would take care to make sure that you do not get sunburn yourself. The same precautions are needed for your pet. A final source of information would be your veterinary physician to find out what is best for the breed of animal you own.