This week is Safe Sun Week, an initiative that encourages people to protect themselves from the harmful effects of the sun. Dogs, like humans, are also susceptible to sunburn and other sun-related health issues. Here are some tips for keeping dogs safe during Safe Sun Week:
- Provide plenty of fresh water to keep your dog hydrated.
- Protect your dog against sunburn by limiting their exposure during the day and providing shade. Dogs with short hair, white fur, and pink skin are especially prone to sunburn.
- Consider using pet-safe sunscreen on your dog's ears, nose, and other exposed areas. Be sure to use a sunscreen that is specifically designed for pets and does not contain zinc oxide or PABA 13.
- Avoid walking your dog on hot pavement or asphalt, as this can burn their paws. Try to walk them on grass or dirt instead.
- Be aware of signs of heatstroke in dogs, which can include excessive panting, lethargy, and vomiting. If you suspect your dog is suffering from heatstroke, seek veterinary care immediately.
- Plan walks around when the sun is at its highest and hottest. Aim for early morning or late evening for cooler strolls.
- Shady areas – look for shady areas when out on walks so that your dog can take a break. Also make sure there are some shady areas in your house and garden too!
- Look at cooling your dog’s food in the fridge, so that it is more palatable and enjoyable on those hot days.
- Consider getting a paddling pool or a fan to allow your dog to cool down at their own leisure.
- Try freezing a dog toy and let your pet play with it.
- Move their bed to a cooler area of your house, away from windows and glaring light.
- Keep an eye on your dog for signs of heat stroke including excessive drooling, heavy panting, difficulty breathing, vomiting or collapse. If you notice any of these symptoms, try to bring down your dog’s temperature immediately and take them to your vet as soon as possible.
- Protect the paws from hot surfaces. You wouldn’t want to be walked in the scorching hot sun and neither would your dog!
- Do not leave your dog in the car, even if you have left the window open. Even with windows partially open, your dog can quickly over heat causing heat stroke, suffocation or even death.
- Groom your dog before summer to remove and additional coat that they do not need.
Remember, taking care of your dog's health is important for their well-being. Enjoy the sun safely with your furry friend this Safe Sun Week!