What Sunscreen is good for dogs?

Food, Fitness and how to keep them healthy.

Postby Xarpolis » March 9th, 2010, 9:24 am

Hey guys, I have a pretty simple question for you.

What type of sun screen or SPF lotion would you advise for using on Baku's face/head? The weather this past week has been very warm (60ish?) and we're keeping the front door of the house open. Baku has since taken to sleeping in the sun and enjoying himself while being lazy at the same time.

The problem is, last night I noticed that his face was getting REALLY red. It's all around his eyes, on his nose, a bit on his forehead and all over the jowls. He seems to be in a bit of pain, based entirely on his slow eating of his dinner. Usually he devours everything in under 30 seconds. Last night he spent upwards of 2 minutes eating, which is uncharacteristic. He also flinched his head away when I went to pet him (before noticing just how red he was).

If you guys have any suggestions, I'm all ears. I just know that laying by the door is going to be his new favorite hobby, and I want to make it so that he doesn't get hurt for doing it.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » March 9th, 2010, 9:47 am

I just use sunscreen formulated for babies. I figure if it's safe for babies it's safe for my dog. They do make specific dog sunscreen but I think it's expensive.
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Postby amazincc » March 9th, 2010, 10:16 am

Yup... always use baby sunscreen on my guys as well. :wink:
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Postby Xarpolis » March 9th, 2010, 10:18 am

Thanks. I'll pick some up on my way home from work.
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Postby PoodleMaMaKat » March 9th, 2010, 4:33 pm

Try to get something with both UVA and UVB coverage. Anything over about 45 SPF isn't going to give very much more protection as it will be rubbed off before you can see the effect.
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Postby PetieMarie22 » April 5th, 2010, 9:47 am

Anything you can do to help soothe SUN BURNS? Petie must have been laying in the sun while she was in her pen, she is bright pink all over her belly, chest and around her eyes. She is acting very lathargic, but still eating and drinking ok.
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Postby mnp13 » April 5th, 2010, 11:32 am

PoodleMaMaKat wrote:Try to get something with both UVA and UVB coverage. Anything over about 45 SPF isn't going to give very much more protection as it will be rubbed off before you can see the effect.

Why do you say that?
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Postby PoodleMaMaKat » April 5th, 2010, 8:37 pm

mnp13 wrote:Why do you say that?


SPF measures how much sun protection the lotion provides, a combination of sun intensity and duration of exposure. The higher the number, the higher the protection. In an ideal world this is true, but this only occurs to an extent. When you get up into the really high numbers (60+) the sunscreen can't provide any more protection against sun intensity and it won't stay on the skin to see an effect with duration. Simple activities will cause the lotion to be absorbed or rubbed off and it is now ineffective. By the time you would see the effect from the higher SPF's the lotion is gone.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommended you use at least an SPF of 15 and reapply sunscreen AT LEAST every 1.5-2 hrs no matter what the SPF. The FDA is also looking at sunscreen and the SPF rating system and revising it. Some countries you can't label higher than 30+ or 50+ and it looks like the US is going there too.

So why spend more on the higher SPF's when it isn't providing any more protection?? Just my two cents. I burn like no tomorrow and I use 30 or 45 and reapply often about every 2 hours with no problem depending on what I'm doing. I had found a good article a few years ago but I can't find it now. I'll look again when I have more time if you're interested.
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Postby call2arms » April 6th, 2010, 12:18 am

Aloe gel soothes sunburns, I got a really bad one on my back last year, and when it got painful I broke off some of my aloe plant and rubbed the gel on it... instant coolness. It does get sticky when it dries. They also sell some at the drugstore, keep it in the fridge and it makes it even more soothing when applied.
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Postby tiva » April 9th, 2010, 10:21 pm

Don't use any sunscreen with Zinc Oxide or with PABA. Both are very common in lots of human sunscreens, but both are toxic for dogs. Zinc oxide is in many, many baby sunscreens, so read the labels. Online, you can find dog sunscreens for much less than baby sunscreens.

Red, flushed skin on the inside of the ears can mean a dog is having heat stroke, which is a lot more serious than sunburn: http://www.bullmarketfrogs.com/articles/heatstroke.htm
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Postby tiva » April 9th, 2010, 10:24 pm

pitbullmamaliz wrote:I just use sunscreen formulated for babies. I figure if it's safe for babies it's safe for my dog. They do make specific dog sunscreen but I think it's expensive.


Eek! Not true--see above. Zinc oxide is in lots of baby sunscreens but it's very toxic for dogs. Dog sunscreen is only $3 online.
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Postby call2arms » April 10th, 2010, 1:01 am

This article is about zinc toxicosis, but it seems like it's much more likely to happen when a dog ingests a source of zinc (like a penny). The article mentions something like 100 mg/kg of zinc salt for toxicity. Zinc oxide is usually the Zinc source in most foods as an additive - it's likely that your dog's food, if it's kibble, has some in it. So I'm not sure if this exact source of zinc is even absorbed through the skin in sufficient amounts to actually reach the bloodstream and the organs to cause any hemolytic anemia. :| Not saying it's not possible, but I guess the dog would need to literally eat the bottle - in a sense it's licking some of the sunscreen off it's face, so I guess that counts as ingestion in the long run.
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