How to Help Your Dog in the Texas Sun

texassunYour dog needs a safe haven from those harsh ultraviolet rays, just as much as humans do. Here are a few tips to help your pet enjoy the great outdoors this summer, without feeling the burn.

Don’t Leave Dogs In Cars

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, “The temperature inside your vehicle can rise almost 20°F in just 10 minutes. In 20 minutes, it can rise almost 30°F… At 60 minutes, the temperature in your vehicle can be more than 40 degrees higher than the outside temperature.” Leaving your dog to suffer in hot vehicles can cause heat stroke, seizures or even death.

Don’t Shave Your Long-Coated Dog for the Summer

While your long-coated dog needs a cool summer cut, don’t shave it too short. Your pet needs protection from the sun’s rays. Also, keep in mind that some double-coated dogs (labs, collies, huskies, etc.) are better off left unshaved, since their coats help them regulate temperature naturally.

Protect Serious Sunbathers

Some dogs are serious sunbathers, and could happily fry themselves for hours, but don’t let them sizzle! Animals who worship the sun while lying on their backs risk developing tumors on the inguinal area, that vulnerable stretch of skin where the belly and hind legs meet; this area is unprotected by hair even on furry breeds. When you notice your sunbathing dog panting, it’s time to bring him back indoors before he sustains a sunburn. Make sure to take extra precaution if your dog’s snout is pink. Light-skinned dogs, like light-skinned people, are more prone to sun irritation.

How to Help a Sunburned Dog

If your dog did sustain a sunburn, give him a soothing bath with cool water and a gentle, soap-free product such as TheraNeem Pet Shampoo. Before lathering up, add 5 drops of Neem Oil to the shampoo in your palm, then work the mixture through your pet’s fur, down the skin. Wait a few minutes before rinsing with cool water. Non-toxic Neem works safely and quickly to heal heat as well as chemical burns.

Select the Proper Sunscreen

For an ounce of prevention, use sunscreen on your dog. Select a sunscreen for you dog that is safe for human babies. A couple great examples are Aubrey Organics Green Tea Sunblock for Children with SPF 25 and Jason Kids’ Block with SPF 46. There’s also an all-natural balm available designed to prevent and soothe sunburnt dogs.

Watch Out for Zinc Oxide

Whenever choosing a sunscreen for your dog, make sure it contains no zinc oxide, as it is toxic to pets. You can try putting the product on one small area of your dog’s skin before spreading it further and if there’s no adverse reaction, go ahead and apply the sunscreen to your dog’s inguinal area and snout. These are the key areas; there is no need to coat your entire dog with sunscreen.

Consider Protective Clothing

If your pet had to be shaved for a surgical procedure, protect that area from the sun using a T-shirt that you customize to fit him. If you anticipate spending a few hours out in the sun with your dog, consider performance sun protective dog clothing such as RashGuard.


Summertime is for fun, so we hope these tips allow you and your dog to have fun while staying safe and cool. Contact All Pets Veterinary Medical Hospital with the link below for more information!

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