Summer 2023

Does your dog need sunscreen?

How to protect your canine companion from the summer sun.

Dogs can and do get sunburns, and some are more vulnerable to sun damage than others. But pet parents can protect their canine companions the same way they protect other family members – with sunscreen.

As with people, sun exposure can lead to painful sunburns, and will increase the risk of some cancers. Dogs who are hairless or who have only patches of hair such as the Xoloitzcuintli (yes, that’s a breed!) or the Chinese crested are at high risk for sunburn and must be protected with sunscreen before any sun exposure. Dogs with thin coats, or coats that are thin in areas, also need protection from the sun, as do dogs with white or light-colored coats.

Xoloitzcuintli dog on the beach

What about those pets with plenty of fur? Even the furriest of dogs have little coverage in certain areas, most notably the top of the nose, ear tips, groin, belly and lips.

How to choose and apply sunscreen

High-risk dogs need sunscreen or protective apparel whenever they’re exposed. For others—people included—it’s never a bad idea to protect exposed areas during the hottest part of a sunny day. Reapply before venturing out, throughout the day if you’ll be outside for extended periods and after swimming.

Applying sunscreen to forearm while holding dog

Your best choice is a pet-safe sunscreen made for dogs. In a pinch, sunscreen for babies and children can be used, but even then, it’s best to check with your veterinarian first. The primary concern is to avoid any product with zinc oxide or fragrances, as they can lead to toxic reactions. Test any new product out on a small area and watch for skin irritation or reddening. Try another product if there’s a problem.

Be sure to monitor your dog after application to allow the product to be absorbed and prevent ingestion. Put small dabs onto your hands first and then apply to your pet. When applying on the face, be careful to avoid your dog’s eyes, and inside of the mouth or nose.

As with anything new in your pet’s life, approach applying sunscreen with an upbeat attitude, and praise your dog for cooperating. (A tiny treat can help them realize sun protection is not so bad.)

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Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet

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