To keep your pup cool, it’s important to provide a way for your dog to escape the sun’s rays. “They will also need some shade to get out of the direct sun,” Proietto says. “If this is not possible then beach trips should be reserved to only short periods in the morning and evening before the temperatures are at their peak.”
Before applying the SPF to your own skin, make sure your pet is protected as well. “Pet-friendly sunscreen is important for pets, especially white or light-colored dogs or pets that have a sparse hair coat,” Proietto notes.
When applying the sunscreen, you will want to pay close attention to the vulnerable parts of your dog’s body, including the “ear tips, nose and abdomen (belly), as UV light can reflect off of surfaces they walk on,” Proietto explains. “Too much exposure without sunblock can cause burns and cancers much like in humans.”
Pet-friendly sunscreens can be found at any pet supply store and, in a pinch, dog owners can use baby sunscreen that does not contain zinc or para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), both of which can be toxic to dogs.
When you’re all done for the day, be sure to rinse your dog’s coat with fresh water, and scrub off the sea salt, sunscreen and any other beach minerals or critters your pup picked up on the trip.