When your pet plays in the sun for hours, it is normal to ask yourself if a dog or cat can get a sunburn. It is thought that since they have fur that protects them, they are not vulnerable. But the fact is: yes, they can get a sunburn. Some dogs and cats are more sensitive to sunburn than others.
Can a dog or cat get a sunburn? What precautions can be taken to avoid this? What to do in case of too much exposure? We tell you everything.
How to recognize a dog or cat that is particularly sensitive to sunburn?
The signs of vulnerability are almost the same for dogs and cats, but the resistance to sunburn is different for the two species. Dogs and cats with the following characteristics get sunburned more easily than others: redness on the skin, hair loss, short hair, white or light-colored hair, sensitive skin, little depigmentation, skin disorder.
It should be noted that some of these traits are part of the symptoms of a sunburn. It is therefore important to notice them when they appear to determine whether they are the cause or effect of sunburn because the treatment will depend on them. Indeed, skin problems in cats and dogs should not be taken lightly, as they may be linked to cancer.
How to avoid sunburn in a dog or cat?
To prevent your dog or cat from getting sunburned, there are medical and non-medical options available to you, and they are complementary.
The use of sunscreen
Sunscreens for dogs and cats are available. To find out which one best suits your pet’s skin type, it is advisable to take a prescription from your veterinarian. If you have insurance for your pet, the costs will be covered by it. The prescription will not only allow you to justify the disbursement but also to know which dose to apply on the skin of the dog or cat.
When applying the cream, be sure to target the most exposed areas, such as the nose, ears, paws, belly, and pads.
Nanomedical prevention of sunburn in dogs and cats
To avoid sunburn, it is advisable to limit your pet’s exposure, especially if he is particularly sensitive. For example, avoid walks and outings between 10 am and 2 pm (when the sun is at its zenith), and let your dog or cat play indoors during this time. It should be noted that this is a matter of limiting sun exposure, not preventing it, because just like humans, animals need their share of vitamin D.
It is also important to give your cat or dog plenty of water because a dehydrated animal is all the more vulnerable to sunburn.
Finally, be aware that even in the shade in your car, your dog or cat can get heatstroke. Therefore, it is important to avoid leaving your dog or cat alone indoors.
What should I do when my cat or dog gets sunburned?
If despite these precautions your cat or dog gets a sunburn, the best thing to do is to go see your veterinarian. Only the veterinarian can cure your pet by prescribing the right treatments. Only he can establish a good diagnosis of what is really wrong with your pet. In fact, sometimes more serious illnesses such as skin cancer can be mistaken for a simple sunburn. Apart from these confusions, sunburn can also cause tumors and chronic skin diseases in cats and dogs.
In short, cats and dogs can get sunburned. Although dogs are more resistant to the sun than cats because of their longer and denser hair, neither is immune to the pain it can cause.