For the majority of dogs, they will not need extra sun protection.  Fur is a natural sun protectant.  But if your dog loves to lay in the sun, a canine-friendly sunscreen can keep your dog safe from UV rays.

Color matters

Dogs lighter in color, like white or tan, can be more susceptible to sunburns.

Dog's health

A dog's health can affect their skin.  Canines with allergies can have inflamed skin and bald spots.  Dogs on chemotherapy, immunosuppressants, or some antibiotics, can be more susceptible to sunburn.

Bottomline, if the skin layer is irritated, there is  little protection against UV rays.

Water fanatic

If your dog loves to play in the water, it may be hard to get your pup to take a break in the shade.

Sunscreen

Sunscreens are not created equal.  Certain ingredients can be harmful to a dog, due to their smaller size and potential to lick their skin.  Try to buy sunscreens that are formulated for dogs and include all-natural ingredients.

Even if a product is all-natural, it can be toxic to a dog.  Zinc creates a skin barrier and prevents absorption of sun rays.  But zinc can be harmful to a dog due to toxicity in larger amounts.  Try to stick to products that contain natural herbs or oils such as:  coconut oil, sunflower oil, green tea or aloe.

Application

Always test a small area of skin before rubbing a new sunscreen product all over the body.  Your dog could be allergic if redness, inflammation, or itching occurs.

If your dog has dry, cracked, or irritated skin, limit sun exposure until skin is healed.  Once healed, bald areas should be protected with sunscreen.

Limit exposure

If your pup is a sun-worshipper, limit time in the sun to 15 minutes or less.  A dog pool can keep your pup cool when in the sun.  Take regular breaks in the shade.  Keep a water bowl accessible to prevent dehydration.

Avoid being outside between 10 AM - 4 PM when the sun rays are the strongest.  Even on cloudy days, UV rays can penetrate clouds, which can be harmful to your dog.

Most Frenchies can't tolerate the sun for too long due to their potential to overheat .  Limit exposure and wear sunscreen.

For more information about "natural and safe" canine sunscreens, visit the following sites:

** 4 Reasons Why Your Dog Might Need Sunscreen by Rita Hogan

** Finding a Safe Sunscreen for Dogs

This blog is for informational purposes only. The information given should not be used as a substitute for veterinary evaluation.