Dogs can get sunburned; use only sunscreen OK’d for canines

Credit: Barbara Perenic

Credit: Barbara Perenic

Question: I think my dog got sunburned. How do I know and what can I do?

Answer: When dogs get sunburned they can have red irritated skin and hair loss. Dogs with thin hair, shaved coats, or light-colored coats are the most likely to get sunburned. Your dog's ear tips and nose are very sensitive and burn easily.

When your dog is going to be out in the sun it is best to make sure that they can get into shady areas. Have plenty of fresh water for them and take frequent breaks to find shade. Make sure to use only sunscreen that is approved for use in dogs, as some human preparations can be toxic. Your dog is likely to lick the sunscreen so I recommend immediately taking your dog for a walk after applying and keep him moving quickly so that he can’t stop and lick. You can also purchase dog hats, T-shirts, and sunglasses!

When dogs do get sunburned, I like to use aloe to soothe the skin. For severe burns, you will need to see your veterinarian.