There's nothing like lounging on the beach, or in the yard on a blanket and soaking up the sun's warmth. Your dog probably likes it too, and will show you by rolling around in his back with his tummy to the sky-- a state of pure bliss. Unfortunately, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and just like humans, some types of dogs have to be extra careful in the sunshine.
Pups Most At Risk
It's important to remember that all dogs are at risk of getting too much sun, and can even be at risk for skin cancer. No matter what your pup's breed, you can discuss sun safety measures with you pet. Still, dogs with certain traits are more at risk than others, so if your dog has any of the risk factors listed below, you'll want to be extra super careful. Here are the traits to look for:
- White Dogs: Just as pale humans seem to bake the fastest in sunlight, dogs with white fur are also more likely to burn easily compared to their dark-furred counterparts. You can protect your light-furred pooch with pet-safe sunscreen recommended by your vet.
- Dogs With Short Coats: Short haired dogs have less protection from the sun, and can benefit quite a bit from sunscreen. Just make sure you buy pet-safe sunscreen that is free from zinc oxide, as the ingredient is toxic for dogs.
- Hairless Dogs: Duh-- if your dog has no hair he or she has even less protection than a dog with short hair. Hairless breeds like the Chinese Crested, Xoloitzcuintli and Peruvian Inca Orchid should wear sunscreen and not spend too much time in bright sunlight.
- Light-Nosed Dogs: If your pooch has an adorable pink or light-colored nose it means he is at higher risk for sun damage. These pups naturally have less pigment in their skin and are therefore more exposed. Even if your pup has a thick coat covering most of his body, your vet may recommend applying sunscreen to the parts of the body that are not fully covered in fur, like the belly and nose.
- Sunbathers: If your pooch is a sun worshiper, you need to keep an eye out. Veterinary oncologist Dr. Ann Hohenhaus says dogs who love lying in the sun on their backs are particularly prone to developing squamous cell carcinoma in the thinly haired region of the tummy.
Sport Some Shades
If you take care of yourself when it comes to spending time in the sun, it should feel natural to extend this love and care to your pooch, and everyone can still have a great time in the great outdoors! Also, it's hard to beat the cute-factor when it comes to dogs wearing human sunglasses. Show us your dog in rocking your favorite pair of shades by tagging us on Instagram (@Brindlesnyc) and you never know, your pooch could show up on Fifth + Bark!
Photo Cred for images above: all fromIG @bull.w.w.b_papa, @jessichat31 (x2), @jwblueberry, @kelleimartin, @lvmydoxie, @scoopz, @threecheersforcorgis, and @xi30n