It's not just the hairless pups getting sunburned! All dogs and outdoor cats are at risk with those with light skin, light-colored or recently shaved fur, or pink noses having a slightly higher chance of this problem. Sunburn can cause ulcerations, which makes pets more susceptible to yucky infections, and as sun damage occurs, skin cells die and can release proteins that inappropriately trigger the immune system. Because the repeated, excessive exposure to UV radiation can lead to issues like squamous cell carcinoma, breeds that are predisposed to cancer (such as boxers and Weimaraners) need extra protection no matter what!
Next time you lather on the sunblock and head out for some summertime fun, don't forget to protect your pets, too! To learn which areas are at risk,
Common problem spots in pets include tips of ears, bridges of noses, and any area with shorter hair or exposed skin – apply sunscreen here first. However, I was surprised when my vet also told me that stomaches, groins, and insides of legs are at risk, too! The sunlight reflects up on these areas from the hot sidewalk or sand and the sunblock put there can be the first to be rubbed off in the grass or licked off by inquiring tongues. Make sure to protect your pets and follow all our tips for the Dog Days of Summer!