While you are busy slathering on sunscreen and throwing on sunglasses and a cap, have you ever wondered: is your furry companion missing out?? The short answer is yes.
Just like how fair-skinned people with less melanin in their skin burn more readily and quickly, if your dog has pale skin, white fur, fine or thinning hair (or completely hairless), they can easily get sunburn on exposed skin- red, tender, dry and cracked patches. Though sunburn may seem to be no biggie in the short term, watch out- excessive UV exposure is correlated with malignant skin cancers in dogs, which can spread to other body parts and become fatal.
What have dog lovers come up with to save our beloved furry children from UV damage, you ask? Popular protective gear available on the market include dog sunscreen, hats and sunglasses. Like all things in life, each has its pros and cons. Hats and sunglasses both provide shade. As its name suggests, sunglasses only cover the eye area- be wary to only buy those that state the goggle lens have been treated with an anti-UV material, otherwise you may end up with cute but non-functional tinted eyeglasses.
Hats work in several effective ways to protect your dog: protect your dog’s eye from half the UV rays she would normally be exposed to; shield the nose and mouth areas, which are most prone to sunburn; lower the risk for and potentially reversing the effects of hypothermia by providing a cooling shade. Anti-UV treatment in dog hats’ fabric is important, too. St Bark’s hats are made of Specortex, a patented eco-friendly fabric which is anti-UV, ultra quick-drying and anti-bacterial. It makes perfect pet’s outdoor apparel to provide good sun protection plus other perks (such as keeping dry and fresh) for your dog!
Sunscreen is versatile because you can apply it wherever you need topically. Before you run out to buy your favourite brand of human sunscreen for your pet, stop and remember that zinc oxide, an ingredient in most human sunscreen, is toxic to your dog when ingested. There is a reason that zinc-oxide-free dog sunscreen exists!
Our dogs usually only stay with us for 10-20 years, so their time with us is precious and their health is of tantamount priority to us. There is no 100% guaranteed way to completely protect them from UV light damage, but we love them and will do what we can to prevent illness from coming their way. Leave a comment if you agree!