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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Protecting Your Furry Friends from Sun Overexposure – Animals Get Sunburn Too!

Summer is just around the bend and with that comes sunny days, cool breezes and long walks in the parks and trails, at least for me and my pups.  After a long winter being cooped up in the house my dogs are more than ready to hit the trails and let loose!  I usually pack lots of water, treats and a few toys to toss around but after last summer I realized that my pups need the same type of sun protection as I do. After a long afternoon of trails and splashing around in the lake one of my pups came home with what looked like a sunburn.  I was a bit surprised so I decided to take some extra steps to ensure that wouldn’t happen again.
Easy Shade for A Quick Cool Down
Cooling Off
Cooling Off
If your pups are anything like mine, putting a halt on play time stinks!  I came up with a play area that I can set up either under a large beach umbrella or a shade tent. I create my own shade with a lightweight UV blanket designed for babies that has stretchy ties on the four corners which I tie between either 2 beach chairs or from the back of one chair to a tree. I put things like cold water, food and some Kong toys filled with peanut butter to ensure once they get a sniff they will stay under the shade for a longer period of time making cool down time still fun.  I also check for signs of sunburn or any kind of overheating.
Sunscreen for Pets
At first I had no idea this stuff existed, but when my poor little Japanese Chin burned his little ears I went searching for pet friendly sunscreens.  I was shocked to see so many great products were out there that help pets stay safe from harsh UV rays.  I found a brand called Epi-Pet and it works great, I simply rub some on his ears, nose, belly, forehead and any areas that will be in direct sunlight. I make sure it’s all absorbed before I let him run off just to make sure he won’t lick it off.
I take additional steps as well, since I live in an area where the sun can be harsh I never take my dogs out between 10am-3pm,  I find that they enjoy the morning or early evening weather better and are less prone to wearing out or getting overheated.  I also try not to trim their hair too short, shaving them makes it easier to get sunburns and it causes them to itch. When I do take them out I make sure that all areas are covered with a non-toxic sunscreen and I have my sunshade, treats and water in hand. Once I find a good area I usually set up and allow them to see everything laid out, this way, when I call them back they will come running without much fuss.  My dogs love the outdoors so finding ways to let them play while still proving adequate shade, sun protection and overall safety is a good feeling!

Do you have a great idea for protecting your pet from the sun? We would love to hear your stories, tell us about it!
Sarah Shade (Guest Blogger)
Sarah Shade is a long time writer that brings tips, education, and the latest trends in all things heath, fitness, technology & green living. She lives in Sterling and is mommy to Mikey and Foxy the BEST dogs on the face of the earth!


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