While you are enjoying your fun in the sun this summer, you may not realize that your dog can also face the painful wrath of a sunburn too. Ouch! Even though they have fur, canines can still get burned – yes, the sun’s rays are that powerful.
Dogs with light colored noses, white fur and thin coats are especially vulnerable. The areas on a dog that tend to get sunburned most commonly are their nose, the tips of their ears, around the mouth, along their underbelly or the eyelids. For the well-being of your dog, it is important that you educate yourself on dog sunburns
Types of Dog Sunburns:
Superficial Partial Thickness Burns: This type of dog sunburn involves the top/outer layer of their skin and is the equivalent to a first degree burn on a human. Whether they have fur on the affected area or not, the skin will appear red but there will be not be any signs of peeling or blistering.
Deep Partial Thickness Burns: This is a type of dog sunburn that affects the surface layers of a dog’s skin, as well as some layers that go deeper than the surface. There will not be any blisters, but the skin will boast a bright red color and more than one layer of their skin may be visible.
Full Thickness Burns: The equivalent to a third degree burn in a human, full thickness burns are extremely painful to dogs. These burns are so severe that it penetrates through all of the layers of their skin and has the potential to damage the tissue that is beneath the final layer of a dog’s skin.
Treatment for Dog Sunburn:
Depending on the severity of the burn, you may be able to treat your dog’s sunburn at home. Aloe vera, witch hazel and vitamin E, are all holistic methods that can help soothe a dog sunburn. If the area is blistering, peeling or if your dog seems to be in pain, they should be taken to the vet immediately for professional treatment.
How to Prevent Dog Sunburns:
– Keep your dog out of the sun during the hottest time of the day. If they need to be outside, make sure they at least have an umbrella to lay under.
– When your dog is going to be outside for a long period of time, use pet sunscreen which can be found at most pet stores. You can also use a baby sunscreen that does not include zinc oxide because it can be toxic to dogs.
– Purchase protective dog clothes to shield them from the sun.
Just like humans, dogs can develop skin cancer too. With that being said, it is important that you protect your dog from the sun’s damaging rays and to treat their sunburn properly. Knowledge is half the power, be sure to protect your pooch next time they are soaking in the sun this summer!