Five Reasons your Dog needs to be Careful in the Summer

Updated: Feb 18

We all love the summer and the freedom of the outdoors that it brings into our lives. But…put

yourself in your dogs paws for a moment. When you’re out and about with them - you need to be

aware of a few dangers lurking. Here’s our guide to a safe summer with your furry friend.


It’s a little known fact that your dog could be as exposed to the affects of the sun as much as you

are. If you plan to spend your day in the outdoors, walking, playing at the beach, camping etc, then

there are ways you should consider protecting them.

Dogs can be known to get skin cancer - and certainly sunburn isn’t something that you want to risk

inflicting on them wither.

Pets who live outdoors for the majority of the time can suffer squamous cell carcinoma that affects

the tips of their ears and noses; ulcerated sores that have to be treated immediately before it

spreads and they lose their lives.

Dark-skinned, densely-coated dogs like many labradors or terriers, are usually alright. But a white,

light-coloured, sparse-coated dogs like a Bichon Frise are especially at risk. That’s why we do not

recommend that you shave their pets down during the height of the summer season unless you are

fully aware of the risks of sunburn.

If you think your dog has been sunburned then the one treatment is the most natural one; aloe

vera. However, if the situation looks more serious then it might entail a trip to the vet.

Prevention is better than cure however, and there are a section of sunscreens for dogs available

on the market. This comprehensive guide from Pet Life Today lists a lot of them and this article

from Good Housekeeping also has some good tips. There are also ideas in this article from All

Natural Pet Care for things you can feed your dog that will protect them from the inside out in the

most natural way.

However, you may pay through the nose for many specialist items! So its good to know that any

“natural” sunscreen meant for children should also work on your dog as they have the very same

skin as us. These creams tend to be lower in the more nasty-if-ingested chemicals, such as zinc

oxide, which your dog WILL lick off their nose.

Ensure that it is fragrance-free, non-staining and contains UVA and UVB barriers of SPF 50. Avoid

those with zinc or PABA as they are very toxic if ingested. Products containing titanium dioxide as

an active ingredient are okay to use for your pets. Apply the cream to their muzzle, tips of ears, top

of nose, groin, inside legs, and abdomen.

Epi-Pet sunscreen is pH-balanced for pets and designed for dogs and horses. It is a non-greasy,

quick-dry formula that is safe if licked after applied. It is water and sweat repellant. The sunscreen

is even virtually silent when sprayed.

But it isn’t just their skin that you should be aware of. Pad burns, which can happen to dogs walked

on hot asphalt or sand, can be very painful ending up in blistering burns that need to be see by the

vet. Just remember, if you couldn’t walk on it without shoes, then the dog probably can’t either.

Heat Exhaustion

When we are hot we sweat to expel heat. Our furry friends, however, only perspire around their

paws, so to cool down, they pant. This enables them to take air through their nasal passages,

picking up excess heat from the body, which is then expelled through the mouth.

Heat exhaustion can rapidly progress to heatstroke and become an emergency situation. Be aware

of the signs:

Excessive panting

Dog becomes anxious

Lack of response to commands

Rapid heartbeat

High fever