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Pet Sunscreen

Published on August 11th, 2015

The summer months have officially arrived. If your pet loves the sun and spends a lot of time sunbathing, has a thin coat, has a short coat, and/or a pale nose, he could be at risk for sunburn, sun damage, sun-induced aging, and skin cancer. Puppies and aging pets are also at a high risk for sunburn since they tend to have thinner skin.

Just as you would protect your own skin with shelter, shade, sunglasses, hats, clothing, and sunscreen, consider doing the same for your pet. Here’s what you need to know about finding a pet-safe sunscreen product:

Pet-Safe Products

Not all products are OK to use on a pet. Try and pick a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays or if it’s labeled as “broad spectrum”.  Also search your favorite pet store for a brand labeled just for pets. Products made for humans shouldn’t be used on your pet due to the fact that when they groom themselves, they risk ingesting potentially toxic ingredients.

  • Cats:

    Whether your kitty is sleeping in his outdoor stroller or perched in his favorite window, long periods of sun exposure can be dangerous for cats. When selecting a product for your cat, avoid using products that have Octyl Salicylate. Rather, Titanium Oxide is safe when used sparingly on the tips of ears and noses.

  • Dogs:

    Zinc Oxide is a powerful sun-blocking ingredient found in many sunscreens for humans, but it’s toxic for dogs especially when ingested.

Tips

Provide pets with clean, accessible water at all times. Provide outdoor shelter or find a shaded area where your pet can escape the direct sun and avoid heatstroke. Never leave your pet locked in a car. Avoid too much time outdoors when the sun is at its highest points between 10am and 2pm.

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