As the last cold days of the winter season begin to give way to the warmer, sun drenched days of spring and summer it is important to remember that our pets are just as susceptible to getting burnt by the sun as we are.

It may not seem obvious, due to the fact that most domesticated animals like our pets have a thick coat of fur but overexposure to the sun can potentially cause skin cancer in your animals, just as it can with humans. Animals with lighter skin, or thinner coats are even more susceptible. The ears, eyelids, nose, lips and belly are often areas that are almost hairless For this reason it is important to make sure that your furry friend is protected from the sun all season long.

Fear not! There are plenty of simple and most importantly, effective methods for making sure that your animal is safe from the rays of the sun.

Don’t Overgroom

Fight the urge to have them completely shaven when you take your pet to the groomer for a trim. Since the days are now hotter, your animals will begin to lose a bit of the winter coat they grew to insulate their body from the cold. By shedding, they are ridding themselves of excess fur. However, the remaining fur not only helps them by blocking the sun but it also regulates their body temperature by slowing down the process of heat absorption according to James H. Jones, an expert in the field of comparative animal exercise physiology at University of California Davis. [1]

Also be sure not to let the groomer trim your animals eyelashes, as the longer lashes help to shield their eyes from the sun.

Provide Shade

This probably goes without saying but any time you are playing outside always try to utilize any areas of natural shade provided by trees or nearby buildings. If you know that you will be playing in an area where there is not much shade to be had, you might have to bring some shade with you in the form of a gazebo, parasol or anything you’d use to stay out of the sun on the beach, even a small pop up tent would do the trick.

Limit Time Outside

Even with a place to provide shade for your pup, you’ll still want to be conscious of the sun’s positioning and avoid being outside during the hottest hours of the day. Usually this time ranges from 11:00 am until about 3:00 pm in the afternoon but this may be different for you, depending on where exactly you live. It is important to create a positive association with being indoors during these hours, so you may think of designating this as a special indoor play time for the dog, but you could also make this your dog’s time to nap in the shade.

Dress for the Weather!

There are tons of stylish options for your dog that are not only functional, in providing cooling relief from the heat of the sun, but affordable as well! The Cool Pup Cooling Harness contains a fabric blend that is lightweight and breathable so your dog can enjoy cooling comfort without becoming weighed down. The harness is completely adjustable, allowing you to fit it on any dog or breed type.

Did you know that there is sunscreen for pets? Just as humans must cover themselves in sunscreen when planning to be outdoor for long periods of time, dogs need it too! If your dog just can’t stay out of the sun, or you have a dog with a thinner coat you’ll want to utilize veterinarian approved sunscreen on your dog’s nose, the tips of their ears and anywhere else that might be prone to sun damage. Make sure to avoid any kind of product that contains zinc oxide because it is highly toxic to dogs!

 The final thing to remember now that we are entering springtime, and since the heat of summer will be upon us before we realize, always make sure that your dog has plenty of water to drink and that they are always well-hydrated. You’ve definitely noticed your pup doing a bit of panting because of the heat. Panting serves the function of allowing for evaporation of water and heat across the surface of the tongue. While this helps to regulate body temperate, it can also lead to dehydration so be sure to provide your dog with plenty of water to drink.

 If you follow these simple steps, your dog will be able to spend plenty of time having fun in the sun, and you will be able to rest easy knowing that your companion is protected from any potential sun damage.



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