With Summer comes outdoor activities and fun times. Of course, our pups are family members and that means they will be spending a good amount of time outside, hiking, barbequing, boating, swimming and picnicking. Even at home, dogs love to lay in the sun.
You are very likely protecting yourself and your human family members but what about your dog? UV rays are harmful to dogs as they are to humans.
With some dogs, you may notice that the sun, not just the heat, is causing your dog serious discomfort. Some dogs are more susceptible to getting burned by the sun. Hairless dogs and cats, white dogs such as Maltese, Bichon Frise and short hair dogs such as pugs, Boston Terrier, Frenchie and Pit Bull tend to have fair skin underneath their hair and fur. They have greater potential for sun damage such as hair loss, skin dryness, sun burn, skin redness, skin pigments and itchiness. Sun allergy (solar dermatitis) in dogs causes skin irritation in any part of the skin exposed to sunlight on a regular basis. This condition is similar to a bad sunburn in people and can have the same damaging results (skin cancer) if not treated and protected. This condition can also cause dermal fibrosis, cysts, and bacterial infections. The signs of sun allergy are redness, sores, scales, wrinkles, bald spots, and thickened skin in spots.
Dogs can get overheated just like we do. However, they can't perspire, as humans do, so to cool themselves off they have to pant. If the air that they are taking in is too hot(as it is in a parked car in hot weather), then panting has little cooling effect and the dog quickly overheats.
It is a common practice that many dog owners shave their dogs or trim their hair short, which is called,” summer cut" to keep them cool. However, this practice exposes “virgin” skin to the sun.
Grooming all dogs, even dogs with short coats, helps to keep them comfortable as the seasons change. A natural coat that has been groomed offers protection from sunburn and acts as cooling insulation. Shaving your dog’s coat will take away that protection. If you give your dog a close cut for summer, she may need protection from the sun, Dogs with bald patches or minimal coats may need sun protection, as well as Nordic breeds of dogs, who are prone to auto-immune-related sun diseases.
For double coat breeds, that hair is protecting their skin from UV rays, and if they’re shaved, it leaves them more exposed. Instead, you can help keep them cooler by using an undercoat rake regularly to get rid of dead hairs. If you have a dog with a very thick coat who seems to suffer from the heat, some veterinarians suggest shaving them when the mercury rises. Resist shaving shorter-haired breeds because not only do they get no benefit from it, but they also run the risk of sunburn once shaved.
It is especially important to protect senior pups from temperature extremes. Older dogs can be more sensitive to hot weather than their younger peers and may fall victim to heatstroke more quickly than younger ones.
Cody is one of the two dogs at Animal Haven in New York that was admitted with the worst Cushing's Disease the staff had ever seen. The dogs received extensive treatment from the staff for their skin condition. We sent them a couple of our cooling sun shirts with UPF50 that were added the pups overall skin therapy. Here's a photo of Cody enjoying the outdoors in the summer heat and sun in our shirt.
I researched and studied this matter. For over a year of research and development, designed a relaxed fit shirt with the highest technical fabric that is cooling while providing UPF50 which is 98.9% protection from the sun. I have used on my Maltese for over 4 years and he is extremely happy playing outdoors. The shirt is ultra-light (silk weight) with no harmful chemical and dogs love to wear it, even the ones that don’t like clothes. The design is loose with raglan sleeves with flat seams to avoid discomfort and moves with their body. Many pups love having it on and it helps with healing the wounds and skin conditions. It protects their stomach from bugs and sun reflection from the asphalt. Also, it keeps them clean and there is no need to be washed that often, which dries out their skin.
Give your pup maximum sun protection with one our selection of Sun Cooling Shirts.
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Disclaimer: We are not a veterinarian. Ours recommendation are based on our own experience and research. We can’t guarantee you will have the same results, nor can we say how it will affect your dog.