Help! My Dog Is Getting Sunburn!

Don’t you just love dogs?

Their sweet faces and wagging tails – nothing compares to the joy of having a best buddy for life!

Taking care of dogs requires understanding that they’re babies, no matter how old they are, and precautions must be taken to ensure their safety. One of the main hazards dogs suffer from are burns. These burns could be due to a kitchen accident, walking on a hot pavement, or even burns caused by hot liquids and electricity.

Now that summer is rolling around the corner, here’s how to treat dog sunburn at home.

Know That Dogs Can Get Sunburned

Your pup probably loves hanging out on the beach with you and your friends and loves those garden picnics you’ve got planned for Saturday morning.

But be aware, dogs are very susceptible to sunburns. In fact, prolonged sun exposure can lead to harmful burns and cancer.


Know Which Dogs Are Susceptible

Dogs with white fur or white skin under their fur are more likely to get sunburns. Dogs like Siberian Huskies or Russian Samoyeds have long hair which shouldn’t be shaved off during summer as tempting as it seems. The long hair protects their skin from getting scalded by sun exposure and keeps the heat burns at bay.

Hairless dog breeds like the Terrier, Chinese Crested, and Peruvian hairless dogs are susceptible to sunburns because they don’t have a protective coat.

Help My Dog is Getting Sunburn

What Are the Symptoms of Dog Sunburn?

Knowing how to identify sunburns on dogs is the first method of prevention.

Some basic symptoms of Dog Sunburn are:

  • Leathery skin
  • White patches
  • Some blisters
  • Red and tender skin around the eyes and ears and skin
  • Crusty and dry nose
  • Dry, curled or cracked ear tips
  • Discoloration of skin
  • Constant scratching and whimpering while doing so due to pain/discomfort
  • Broken skin
  • Signs of being in pain

Some other pointers to consider when diagnosing dog sunburn at home are:

  • Superficial Burns: These only redden the skin of the top most layer; there’s no presence of blisters but are equivalent to first degree burns in humans.
  • Deep Partial Thickness Burn: These burns affect the top layer and extend deeper too. These burns can let you see through the burns to the deeper layers.
  • Full Thickness Burn: As horrendous as third degree burns are, this kind of dog sunburn are quite severe, penetrating through to the tissue underneath the skin and requiring immediate help.

Treating Dog Sunburns at Home

Luckily, there are various ways to treat dog sunburn at home. In fact, these remedies are great to use quickly if there’s no access to a vet at the current time.

Help My Dog is Getting Sunburn Aloe

  1. Aloe Vera: The gel squeezed from the leaf of the aloe plant helps soothe inflamed skin. It’s recommended to be used up to three times a day.
  2. Witch Hazel: Applying this to the sun burnt area twice a day will help facilitate healing and soothe your dog’s skin while bringing down inflammation.
  3. Vitamin E Oil: Known to regenerate skin cells, a vitamin E capsule broken and dabbed onto the ears, nose, belly and reddened skin will help to soothe and heal your dog’s sunburn.
  4. Ice: Using ice or a bag of frozen peas to compress the affected area will help to cool down mild burns and subdue the pain.
  5. Oatmeal Soak: Soaking raw oatmeal in a bath and letting your dog play in that is a great way to soothe their paws and bellies which have been sun burnt.
  6. Over-the-counter Sprays: Solarcaine and Lanacane work as topical painkillers to relieve the pain of sunburns

How to Prevent Dog Sunburns

The weather can’t be defeated, so taking precautionary measures as temperatures rise is very important.

Remember that the most susceptible time of sunburn is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., depending on where you live; it’s better to change up your pup’s walking routine till cooler weather rolls around. It’s also a great idea to use child-safe SPF on sensitive areas like the nose, ears, paws and bellies if you can’t find a canine-friendly sunscreen. However, avoid sunscreen with zinc oxide!

Also, let your buddy roll around in a paddle pool of ice water every now and then to cool their skin after a long hot day at the beach or after a walk. It’s a great way to keep the burns and heat related problems at bay.

A Happy Summer Pup

Remember to take the precautionary measures this summer so your pup can enjoy this summer along with you!

However, be wary of your dog’s symptoms and keep in touch with a vet when necessary!

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