You wouldn’t dream of spending time outside in the summer without protection for your skin. But what about your dog? Being proactive in ensuring your best friend has summertime skin protection can go a long way in making it a safe, carefree summer.
Ensure Fun in the Sun
Every dog is different when it comes to its coat and fur length. However, every dog is still susceptible to sunburn. The most common areas for sunburn include your pup’s ear tips, the skin around the lips, its nose and the bridge of the nose, and even its belly.
Pet sunscreens are available if your dog doesn’t have a shady option. Just make sure to use a pet-friendly brand that doesn’t contain the potentially harmful chemicals found in some human sunscreens. Dogs tend to lick sunscreen, so you don’t want them ingesting unwanted toxins. And remember, just like a human, if your dog is playing in the water, may sure to reapply sunscreen.
In hot weather, and especially when their activity level increases, dogs need three to four times the normal amount of water. One ounce of water for each pound of their body weight per day is a good benchmark for normal days, with the need to amp that up in hot weather. Here’s the why: water keeps dogs’ essential electrolytes in the proper range, allowing circulation, digestion, and bowel movements to work smoothly and comfortably. Water also keeps the organs and cardiovascular system operating properly. Signs your dog isn’t getting enough include dry, sticky gums, as well as less energy and a loss of appetite.
Summer heat can lead to canine skin that’s flaky, crusty, spotty, itchy, greasy, and unpleasantly smelly. It can also worsen allergic dermatitis and other skin issues. Luckily, you can support your dog’s skin with supplements geared to maintain adequate moisture content. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) can help promote healthy skin and fur. These fats are needed but not produced in the canine body. That makes supplementation vital. Giving your dog a full spectrum of omega fatty acids that includes omega-3, -6, and -9 from organic plant oils is an excellent way to help maintain canine skin moisture. Choose a formula with organic plant oils such as flax, pumpkin, sunflower, or sesame. And don’t forget the cod liver oil! This type of supplemental omega fatty acid formula added to your pet’s food can help maintain the normal moisture content of the skin. It’s so effective that, in one two-month clinical research study, dogs with atopic dermatitis who received supplemental fatty acids experienced an improvement in their skin’s structural layers.
Another study found that adding a blend of omega-3 and omega-6 to food stopped severe itching (pruritus) due to atopic dermatitis in as little as seven days. In addition, after 12 weeks, increasing healthy dietary fats significantly improved hair-coat glossiness and softness.
Incorporate these tips into your summertime sun-care regimen for your dog and enjoy a safe, sunshine-smart summer.
Keep Fido Cool and Comfortable
Need more tips to help your dog deal with the heat? How about a dip in a kiddie pool (a.k.a. doggy pool) to cool down your canine companion? Another tip? Rinse a bandana in water, squeeze out the liquid, and fold it. Pop it in the freezer and then use it as a refreshing cool-down tool for the heat.