How does heat and the sun affect a dog?

Did you know your dog can get burned if you don’t properly protect it from the sun?

Perro en la playa
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Not all animals tolerate the heat and the sun in the same way. It depends on the skin type the hair that covers us, amongst other things. It is always best to protect ourselves against the effect of the sun so it does not have any negative consequences on us.

Sunburns

Despite what some may think, dogs may have sun-related problems such as the appearance of burns. The areas of the dog’s body most vulnerable to sunlight are those with the least melanin: the muzzle, the tip of the nose, the tips of the ears and mouth, the inside of the legs, the abdomen and the groin. This is where we should apply a special sunscreen on our dogs. Experts recommend sun protection for all dogs, not only for the most vulnerable (short-haired and white specimens).

As with recommendations to humans, we should not allow our dog to be exposed to the sun at the time when the sun is most prevalent, that is between 11:00 in the morning and 5:00 in the afternoon. If the dog comes with us to the beach, you should make sure to look for space for the dog that is in the shade or have space for the dog under the umbrella.

Sunscreen

The correct sunscreen will not only prevent unpleasant burns but also premature aging of the skin, blisters, burning and, most importantly, cancer. So, to prevent all this, besides avoiding exposures in the middle of the day and keeping a shady area for the hairy, therefore you should apply sunscreen to your dogs as well. It is important to use sunscreen specifically for dogs. You can find specific sunscreen products for dogs in cream, gel or aerosol format and with a protection factor of 30 or 50 SPF. A dog with short hair and light skin should necessarily use a factor of 50.

What if we forget the dog’s sunscreen or haven’t bought it yet? Is it better not to apply anything or use sunscreen for humans? To apply our sunscreen on our dogs various factors need to be taken into account:

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Check whether the cream contains octyl salicylate (octyl salicylate) or zinc oxide, as these ingredients can cause serious problems such as anaemia, gastrointestinal disorders and animal poisoning.

- The cream should be as natural as possible, no odours or fragrances, solar dyes or colours and be hypoallergenic. These characteristics are usually typical of baby creams and creams for sensitive skin.

- If you notice the danger of ingesting the product, do not apply a drop of cream to your dog because it could become intoxicated in the case of it being licked.

- Do not apply too much product so that the dog’s skin can absorb it before it licks it.

Heat and a double coat that isn’t taken care of is a bad combination

If your dog has a double coat of fur, it does not need to be cut in summer, it will simply need to be well cared for. Brush your dog daily and remove any possible entanglement. An ill-kept mane will not ventilate the space between the hairs and will increase the temperature of your dog’s body.

For your dog not to suffer in the summer, you must follow a few simple steps:

• Maintain a hygiene routine: brushed, proper haircut and grooming.

• Keep the dog away from direct sun rays. Make sure it always has a shady corner where it can cool off.

• Refresh the dog with frequent showers and special protective creams.

• Make sure it always has fresh water to drink.

If, however, you notice that your dog’s nose is red, that it is panting often or that it is suffering from flakes in some area of its body, go to the veterinarian.

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