Natural sunscreen is important for people and pooches. My friend Kelly made me think of this tip. She has a small Dachshund, Bailey, and occasionally rubs some of her sunscreen on him. While she never has him out in the sun for too long, we do live in sunny Florida and the little guy is mostly white with very short hair.
Many veterinarians recommend sunscreen for pooches with the same characteristics as Bailey, short hair, light-colored fur, pale skin. Hairless dogs are definitely at a much higher risk. Even if your dog has dark fur, his pink tummy or the tips of his ears could get burnt. I know my mother’s dog, Oscar, loves to lie on his back and nap with his legs straight up in the air.
Dogs are most likely to get burnt on the abdomen, nose, groin and inside of the legs. Remember, light from the ground can reflect up from the pavement or sand and burn the underside of your dog. You should always provide your dog with shade if you will be out in the sun for any extended length of time.
Sunscreen: If you opt for sunscreen, make sure to use a non-toxic, non-skin irritating sun screen. Dogs lick themselves and your pet’s skin can be very sensitive to synthetic fragrances and chemical additives just like people. They do make doggie sunscreens, many of which come in a spray bottle for easy application. You can also just use the same, natural sunscreen you use on your own body to protect your dog.
E-The Environmental Magazine wrote a good review of safe sunscreens. They give prices, ingredients to look for, and a rundown of the sunscreen basics.
If your dog is prone to getting a sun induced red nose you could try a nose balm. The Well Adjusted Dog Company makes a vegan nose balm that contains unrefined natural Shea Nut Butter, which is supposed to provide natural protection from the sun.