Check out these top four reasons why your dog might need sunscreen, plus, better, natural solutions to protect him from the sun’s rays! We have a recipe for a dog's sunscreen on the recipe page.
1. Your dog is an outdoor enthusiast
If this is your dog, she likes spending the entire day at the beach, in the pool or hiking the trails.
2. A clean, close shave
Does your dog have naturally short hair? Are you a fan of the “summer shave?” If either answer is yes, than you might want to pay attention to how much time your pup stays in the sun. Shorthaired dogs have a higher occurrence of sunburn compared to their furry counterparts.
3. The dreaded bald spot
Surgery incisions, balding and bare bellies are three reasons your dog will need sunscreen if they’re staying in the sun for more than 15 minutes.
4. The nose knows
Dogs with light noses are basically asking for it. Light noses need extra protection against sun worshiping.
So, how can I naturally protect my dog from the sun?
We will get to that shortly but first …
The dreadful truth about sunscreen …
Efficacy and SPF measurability of natural oils are a constant debate. Yes, skin cancer is on the rise but so are environmental toxicity and malnutrition. There’s a myriad of toxic ingredients found in commercial sunscreens. This toxicity is a big deal for dogs because they lick their skin and fur.
Many FDA compliant, “dog approved” sunscreens boast all-natural ingredients that are safe to lick and ingest. I would disagree. As I discuss later, all natural is just that, natural. Read your labels!
A good place to start your research is with the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Chemical Database. They even have an app you can download to your phone so you can check ingredients while you shop.
Here are some dangerous ingredients in two popular “dog safe” sunscreens on the market…
Distilled Water, DMDM Hydantoin, Glyceryl Trioctanoate, Propolene Glycol, Dicaprylate Dicaprate.
DMDM Hydantoin has a high toxicity rating; Propylene Glycol is a skin irritant and, with repeated exposure, an organ toxin.
Octonoxate, Oxybenzone Carnuba wax, corn starch, Ethylhexyl Stearate, hydrogenated caster oil, ozokerite, Castor Seed Oil, Mongongo kernel oil, silica, Sorbitan Sesquioleate and talc.
Octonoxate and Oxybenzone score 6 and an 8 on the toxicity scale. The biggest concern I have with Octonoxate is that it can interrupt thyroid function. Oxybenzone absorbs quickly and acts like estrogen in the body. Both substances are dermal allergens along with Sorbitan Sesquioleate.
So what can you do? …
The Five-fold Path To Simple Sun Protection
You can’t get more natural than veggies and greens. Whole foods can help protect against UV radiation by boosting the antioxidant levels of the skin. While these foods can’t replace sunscreen for extended sun exposure, they can become part of your dog’s summer diet rotation.
Unprocessed meat contains higher amounts of the amino acide histidine, which helps the skin protect itself from molecular damage through the production of urocanic acid.
Essential Oil Sunscreen Protection
I have an essential oils sunscreen spray on my website that is SPF 4 but it is a good start and the oils are fine if they are ingested so your dog can lick them and it is safe.
I am a Subtle Energy Animal Practitioner & Healing Touch for Animals Practitioner. I am P4EO Certified in using Essential Oils with animals.