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Sunburn is damage to the tissues caused by exposure to the sun's rays and ultraviolet radiation.
Animals are usually covered by hair, fur, or pigmented skin that protects them from the harmful rays of the sun. Some pets do not have highly pigmented skin, and other circumstances may occur that remove this natural protection allowing the pet to receive enough ultraviolet radiation to burn.
Some sunscreens contain substances (such as zinc) that may be harmful if licked off of the skin or ingested. Talk with your veterinarian to discuss the particular options that are best suited for your pet.
What to Do
- Prevention is much better than treatment. Keep your pets out of direct sunlight.
- If your pet must be in the sun, apply sunscreen as you would for yourself, and prevent your pet from licking it off.
- If your pet has burned, apply liberal quantities of an aloe vera preparation and seek veterinary attention.
What NOT to Do
- Do not apply any other form of medication without first discussing it with your veterinarian.
- Do not give any over-the-counter or prescription medications to your pet unless directed to do so by a veterinarian.
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