Dog owners warned over sun danger as vet calls for sun cream

-Credit: (Image: PA)
-Credit: (Image: PA)

You should be creaming up your dog as well as yourself as the weather gets hotter, according to a vet. While we are all used to slapping on the Factor 50 when it gets warm, we often forget our pooches.

Dr. Anna Foreman, the in-house vet at Everypaw Pet Insurance, has issued a warning about dogs being left in the sun for too long and is urging pet owners to apply sunscreen to their pets. She pointed out that dogs can burn just the same as us.

The sun is also a greater danger to dogs, who can struggle to regulate heat. Dog owners are advised to ensure their animals are kept out of direct sunlight and given plenty of water.

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She explains: "Dogs like to sunbathe for the same reasons we do enjoying the warmth and bright light! It provides a relaxing sensation which promotes rest and wellbeing. However, much like with us, dogs can suffer from sunburn and heatstroke if they are in the sun for an excessive period of time [so] should be limited to sunbathing for a maximum of 45 mins to an hour when the sun is particularly intense (11am-3pm).

"Sunburned skin is painful in animals as it is in humans. More chronically and seriously, repeated sunburn can lead to cancerous changes we particularly see this on the ear tips and noses of white animals, especially cats."

Prevention is the best cure, she advises, which includes using sunscreen and limiting sun exposure. Human sun cream is unsuitable for animal use due to the chemicals used within them, much like human toothpaste has too much fluoride for animal use, so an animal-specific one should only be used.

Just like humans, dogs can also suffer from sunburn which appears as pink tender skin that may blister. If a heat burn is noticed, it's advised to seek veterinary help. In the interim, running cool water over the affected area can offer some relief from the pain.