Toronto Veterinarians - Pet Wellness Network

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Contact Willowdale Animal Hospital

Open 24 Hours, Year Round

256 Sheppard Ave. West
Toronto, ON M2N 1N3
(416) 222-5409

Growing up with fair skin, freckles and red hair, I was hyper-vigilant about sun protection. I never left the house without slathering on SPF 45 or higher, wearing an obscenely large hat and carrying extra sunscreen so I could reapply if necessary. Now you may not take quite the precautions that I do but by now we are all aware of risk that comes with high exposure to UV rays. I know that if you are planning a day in the sun, at the beach, or on a boat, or what have you, you make sure to slap on some sunscreen.

I consider myself well-informed about all things skin-protection, sunburn and heat stroke related but recently I got some news dropped on me that I was blown away by. Did you know that dogs get sunburned too? That, even with their coats they are not fully protected from damaging UV rays? What the what? And here I was walking confidently down the Beaches trail in my sun hat and summer dress totally unaware that Seamus, my dog, was feeling the burn, literally!

I contacted my local vet at the Beaches Animal Hospital to find out more and to see how I could best protect Seamus. Turns out the dogs with short hair or lightly-coloured coats are at the most risk for sun damage (poor Seamus is both, you know what they say about pets and their owners being alike.) Even dogs that have thicker coats but thin fur on their noses and ears are susceptible. My vet said that to prevent a ‘hot dog’ (hehehe) there are two simple things to do. One, provide them with shade when you are out in the sun and two, apply sunscreen. The areas most prone to burning are their bellies, the inside of their legs, the groin, tips of the ears and the snout so make sure to get those spots.

If your dog does happen to get sunburned there some things you can do to alleviate the pain. Apply a cold cloth to the area or some pure aloe vera to help sooth the burn. If your dog is in a lot of discomfort bring him to your nearest vet. And remember an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

For more information call Beaches Animal Hospital at (416) 690-4040.


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