Summer is here which means the garden loungers are out, the ice cream men are parked on every corner and everyone is living their best lives. The sun just seems to put everyone in a happier frame of mind and whilst we all enjoy the warmer weather, it is crucial to ensure we are protecting ourselves from the harmful UV rays the sun releases into the atmosphere. Hats, beach cover-ups and of course, suntan lotion are all essential in the warmer climates.
However, one thing we may not take into consideration when preparing ourselves for a day in the sun is our dog’s health. Just as we need to protect ourselves from the strength of harsh heat, we also need to shield our furry friends too! While it’s true that dogs have some natural protection from their coats, they can still suffer from burns, and serious sunburn can increase your dog’s risk of skin cancer. Using a high-quality dog safe sunscreen will help to keep them happy and healthy, and protect them from dangerous UVA and UVB rays from the sun, which are associated with: Skin cancer, cognitive function-senility, cataracts, renal disease, heart disease, mammary gland tumours, immune-mediated hemolytic disease and many more.
Take a look at our list of the top ten dog sunblocks available.
The Best Dog Sunscreen
A dog’s nose is one of their most delicate areas. Consisting of thousands of nerve endings which help them to smell and discover the world that surrounds them, it is the area that is most at risk to sun damage. If it is not properly protected in severe heat, the damage could be disastrous and may even be permanent.
This Snout Soother dog safe sunblock from Natural Dog Company is specifically designed to be used on your dog’s soft nose skin. The Snout Soother is an all natural, organic and one hundred per cent vegan solution to keeping your pooch protected in the sun. Recommended by thousands of veterinarians from across the globe, it is a soothing balm-like remedy that is completely fragrance-free and contains no perfumes to ensure your pup’s nose is not irritated.
This dog sunscreen has received over 2,000 positive, glowing reviews on Amazon by happy pet parents and their doggies. What makes this sunblock so effective for your dog is that contains several key ingredients that work to protect their skin from harmful UV light. It blends together hempseed oil, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil and natural vitamin E, which when combined, become a natural sunblock for your dog’s delicate skin.
If your dog has suffered a bit of sun damage, don’t worry! You can use this comforting balm as an ointment to calm the painful symptoms. It can be applied to your dog’s nose to deal with cracked skin, dryness and many other common issues associated with sun exposure, such as discoid lupus and hyperkeratosis. And the benefits don’t stop with your pooch – you could also use it for your own chapped lips and dry skin! However, we wouldn’t recommend sharing, get one for both you and your dog separately!
Over 2,000 positive reviews on Amazon
Recommended by vets
Contains grapeseed oil, hempseed oil, jojoba oil and natural vitamin oil which creates natural sun protection
- BrandNatural Dog Company
Whilst this product may not be specifically designed for your pooch, it is a broad spectrum suntan lotion and boasts an incredibly gentle and safe for sensitive skin formulation. Just like many of the other sunscreens on this list, it contains no titanium dioxide, which is considered a dangerous carcinogen in many countries.
Packed full of vitamin D, it is a perfect shield from ultraviolet light. In addition, it has an SPF rating of 25, meaning it is one of the most protective of the list.
Contains no titanium dioxide
Enriched with vitamin D
Getting your pooch to stay still for sun lotion application is no easy feat, but with this handy spray from Epi-Pen, you’ll have no trouble at all. With a unique nozzle that allows you to spray from any angle, including upside down, even if your doggy is wriggling and squirming, you’ll be able to make sure they have a fair coating of sunblock.
Its formulation is super water resistant, so even if you and your dog take a trip to the beach, it will stay strong and keep them well protected. However, the manufacturers recommend that the product should be reapplied to your dog’s skin every two to four hours, particularly if they are spending more than eighty minutes in the water. Better yet, this sun protection lotion is not only suitable for dogs, but equestrian parents can also use it on their horses, too!
Able to be sprayed from any angle
Can be used on horses
Sometimes it can be difficult to get your pooch to stay still, and you might find it increasingly difficult to rub the lotion into their skin sufficiently. When they are excited, all they want to do is run and play, so they don’t have any patience to wait for you to put their sunblock on. However, this uniquely designed sun protection for your dog is just the thing you need for a doggy that just won’t sit!
It is a solid balm stick, so can be simply streaked on for instant sun protection at any time. Be sure to pay attention to your dog’s nose and ears, the most delicate areas that are more prone to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Amazingly, this sunscreen is comparable to SPF 15 for humans.
Solid balm design for easy application
Compares to SPF to humans
- Weight1.44 ounces
As we all know, dogs noses need protection in the high sun, as it is one of the most vulnerable areas, including the ears. Unlike human suntan lotion, My Dog Nose It! Sunscreen Nose Balm is completely safe for pets and formulated to be extremely gentle. It is made from natural ingredients which moisturise your pup’s skin and is fully waterproof, so even if your dog enjoys splashing about in the paddling pool, they will still be safe from the sun. It dries super quickly and will prevent any soreness or colour fading occurring on your dog’s fragile nose skin. The balm texture is easy to apply and non-greasy to the touch and will soothe any tender areas. Using this lotion on your dog greatly reduces the risk of sunburn and skin cancer.
Waterproof and moisturising formula
Balm, non-greasy texture
- BrandMy Dog Nose It!
- Weight0.48 ounces
You want to make sure that whatever you put onto your dog’s skin, it is completely safe and free from harmful chemicals that will irritate them and potentially cause more damage. The moisturising formula is free from titanium dioxide, benzophenone, zinc and oxybenzone. While these chemicals are safe for humans skin, they are not always recommended for use on dogs. It also is free from other harmful carcinogens that could lead to impaired endocrine function, zinc toxicosis, allergies and immune system failures. It is also fragrance-free to prevent further irritation.
To make sure your pooch skin is kept soft and supple, Beach & Dog Co Canine sunscreen consists of a lovely blend of natural ingredients. These include aloe vera and shea butter, which help to protect their skin from salt damage, perfect for sunny days at the beach! In addition, it contains beeswax, grape seed oil, organic coconut oil, bentonite clay and other essential oils.
Natural ingredients such as beeswax, grape seed oil, organic coconut oil, bentonite clay, aloe vera, shea butter and other essential oils.
Chemical and fragrance-free
- BrandBeach & Dog Co
- Weight5 ounces
You may be the lookout for a bit of a treat for your dog’s skin, and for that, we’ve found the perfect sunblock for the job! With this sunscreen, it’s all in the name and you can expect an especially conditionally, luxurious experience. It contains several enriching vitamins and essential oils in addition to both UVB and UVA inhibitors. These assimilate ultraviolet sun rays before they have the chance to cause damage to the skin or hair. These natural, active ingredients are neem oil, lavender extract, lanolin, coconut oil, olive oil and jojoba oil.
Neem oil originates from India and is often used in a lot of cosmetics we ourselves use, such as hair products, soap, body hygiene cleansers and hand creams. Lavender oil is thought to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory qualities, which is useful to treat and heal minor burns and bites. There has also been research into it treating insomnia, anxiety, depression and restlessness.
Lanolin is known to have strong moisturising effects on both skin and hair and the properties of olive oil have been well documented for many years. It is used to treat many dry skin conditions. Coconut oil is a very popular home remedy at the moment, and have a plethora of health benefits, including improved digestion, hair care, skin care and immunity against many diseases and infections. And lastly, the jojoba nut has been used by the Native American tribes for the longest time. The O’odham tribe call it the ‘hohowi’ nut, and they turned it as a paste to treat their skin and hair.
A cruelty-free formula, it is also completely biodegradable. It has received several amazing reviews from their clients, with dog owners saying that since they have used this product their precious pooch has not suffered from sunburn, although they have been out in the sun daily! Even dogs with sensitive skin will love this sunscreen.
Contains natural, active ingredients such as neem oil, lavender extract, lanolin, coconut oil, olive oil and jojoba oil.
Received several positive reviews from clients
Contains several enriching vitamins and essential oils in addition to both UVB and UVA inhibitors.
- BrandGerrard Larriett Aromatherapy Pet Care
When you are on the go, you need fast, easy sun protection. We all know that when your dog wants to play, they will not wait for anyone or anything, least of all, their suntan lotion! Petkin have come up with the ultimate solution with their Sunwipes. Enriched with moisturising, dog safe sun protection lotion, these handy wipes are the perfect option for a quick sunblock top up. All you need to do is simply wipe it on for instant protection from the sun’s rays.
It has a non-sticky, non-greasy formula making for easy application and is just as good SPF 15 when compared to humans.
Suntan lotion enriched wet wipes
Super quick non-greasy, non-sticky application
Comparable to SPF 15 to humans
This option from Warren London contains FDA approved ingredients that protect canines skin from ultraviolet rays and was crafted in the United States of America. It dries completely non-greasy in textures, so you can stroke and cuddle your doggy to your heart’s content with no nasty oils on your hands afterwards!
It continues natural aloe vera which helps to keep your pooch’s skin and nose moisturised and hydrated in hot weather. It has a useful spray bottle which makes application so easy – all you need to do is spritz an even coating of the lotion on your dog and they will be protected for hours. It also dries in seconds, so is fully lick-proof from curious pups.
FDA approved ingredients fully safe for your dog’s skin
Dries in seconds and is non-greasy and lick-proof
Contains natural aloe vera
- BrandWarren London
Make sure that your beloved family pet is just as shielded from the sun as you are. This moisturise rich sunblock is just as protective as SPF 15 is for we humans, so you can be sure that your dog will be safe from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.
It is important to make sure that your dog’s muzzle, snout, nose, ears and the pinker areas on their skin are well coated with suntan lotion at all times when in high sun. This handy sun mist will be a lifesaver for you and your furry companion.
Comparable to SPF protection
Instant sun protection
Best Dog Sunscreen Buying Guide & FAQ
Do Dogs Need Sunscreen?
There are certain areas of a dog's body that are at more risk than others. For example, because most breeds are covered in thick fur, the bulk of their bodies do not need as much protection from the sun's rays. In comparison, our own fleshy bodies need to be slathered with layers of suntan lotion in order to make sure we are shielded proficiently.
The area where your pup is most vulnerable is their snout and their nose. The skin of your dog's nose is very delicate and is home is to thousands of nerves which allow them to pick up scents that help them to navigate the world around them, so it needs to be treated with care. There are a few options on our list of the best dog sunscreens that are specially designed for this area and are often in a balm formulation for an easy and comfortable application.
If you have a dog who has a few bald patches or sparse areas of fur, you will need to pay close attention to these. There may be many reasons that your pooch has bald patches – they could be suffering from a skin condition or health condition that is causing their hair to fall out. If you do notice that your dog's hair is starting to thin, you should always contact your vet to rule out any underlying issues.
What to Consider when Buying a Dog Sunscreen
You know your dog better than anyone, and you know what makes them tick, what they can't stand, and of course, what makes them feel ill. Before purchasing something that will be applying to their skin, be sure to check the ingredients for any allergens you know your dog is sensitive too.
You also need to consider how furry your pet is. If your pooch is covered in thick fur, they won't need as much suntan lotion on their body, however, if they have thinner fur or bald patches, you will need to take special care. Select a dog sunscreen that has a good level of SPF and will offer your doggy the best protection possible.
Different Types of Dog Sunscreen
Just like our own versions of suntan lotion, there are a few different varieties of dog sunscreens. Some are specifically designed for areas of the dog's body, such as their nose and ears. However, most suntan lotions are able to be applied all over. Some of the formulations are lotions or sprays and will need to be rubbed into your dog's skin. Other options will be balm-like, similar to chapstick and are easier to apply. And others, such as Petkin Doggy Sunwipes, are wipes covered with suntan lotion. These simply need to be wiped over your dog and are arguably the quickest and simplest to apply to your pooch.
Can a Dog Get Skin Cancer?
You might have always considered cancer as a disease that only humans can contract, but the truth is, almost any animal can suffer from some form of cancer. In fact, research shows that one in three dogs can contract cancer at some stage in their life. Sadly, cancer in the largest causes of death in dogs over the age of ten. Put simply, skin cancer is categorised by the uncontrollable growth of abnormal skin cells. There are, of course, many things that can cause this form of cancer, but the harmful UV rays from the sun is definitely one of them.
There are actually quite a few different kinds of skin cancer that can be found in canines.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
The first form of dog skin cancer we are going to look at is squamous cell carcinoma. This kind of skin cancer is the one that we are most likely to be concerned about in the hot weather, as it is often caused by overexposure to the sun. Affected areas could appear as legions or as a tumour, so it is a good idea to keep an eye on your dog's skin and be aware of what is normal for them. According to some scientists, there is thought to be a connection between the development of squamous cell tumours in canines and the papillomavirus.
A type of skin cancer that also occurs in humans, malignant melanoma affects pigmented cells in your dog, known as melanocytes. These tumours are often discovered on the areas of a dog's body where they have hair, with around 10 per cent being found in hairy patches, although some develop on mucous membranes or on the mouth. They grown incredibly fast and often spread to vital organs such as the liver or lungs. It's not clear how or why these tumours develop, however it is widely believed that genetics seemed to be involved. Vets have suggested that trauma to an area or compulsive licking could accelerate the chance of cells multiplying, increasing the likelihood that these cells will mutate and become cancerous during the division process.
Best Dog Sunscreen FAQ:
Q: Are sunscreens safe for dogs?
A: Yes! Your dog need needs to have sufficient protection in the sun, and if you choose a dog-friendly sunscreen such as one of the options we have listed above, your pooch will be perfectly safe and happy.
Q: Can I use human sunscreen on dogs?
A: You should always aim to select a suntan lotion that has been specially designed for canine skin. This will minimise the risk of any skin irritation that may occur and will prevent any queasiness should your pup become curious and attempt to lick the lotion. Your moisturising, mango-scented suntan lotion might be perfect for your skin, but your dog won't be thanking you when they've puked up their dinner. You probably won't be too happy, either!
We've come up with plenty of options for the best sunblock for dogs on the market that will suit every pooch and every budget, so there is something for everyone. However, if you are going to use a human sunscreen on your pooch, be sure to select a broad spectrum sunblock, which is fragrance-free and preferably for children's skin.
Q: Which dogs can get sunburned?
A: All dogs are at risk of getting burned by the sun's harmful UV rays. Sunburn, as we all know, is very painful and uncomfortable and can take some time to recover from. Burning, whilst painful, is the not the real danger. Too much exposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer and while all dogs are at risk, some breeds are more prone to it than others. For example, dogs who have lighter coloured coats are more in danger to developing cancerous tumours. This is because, when it comes to the crunch, dogs are actually quite similar to we humans. Think about your friends – chances are, the ones who are fair-skinned, blonde or red-headed burn easier than darker skinned and brunettes.
Pups with thinner coats and those have less fur, such as Chinese Crested dogs, are also at risk. You will need to make sure their bodies are fully covered with suntan lotion. In hot climates, bigger dogs are more prone to overheating, so also be aware of this.
Q: How do I apply dog sunscreen to my pet?
This really depends upon how hairy your dog is! When you apply sunscreen to yourself, depending on how thick your hair is, you might need to add some to your scalp. Use this logic when putting suntan lotion on your pooch, if some areas of their fur look a little sparse, be sure to apply some sunscreen there.
As we have discussed within this article, the most vulnerable areas of your dog when it comes to sun damage are the ears and the delicate skin of the nose. Pay close attention when rubbing the lotion in and make sure you are spreading it on in an even application.
Our Top Pick
Natural Dog Company Snout Soother – Dog Nose Remedy
We've picked the Snout Soother Dog Nose Remedy from Natural Dog Company as our ultimate dog safe suntan lotion! Designed to be used on the delicate skin of your dog's nose and snout, this sunblock is made from an all natural, organic and one hundred per cent vegan formulation and has been recommended by thousands of vets from all over the world. It's fragrance-free and is a soothing balm-like texture to alleviate any dryness.
With more than 2,000 positive, reviews on Amazon, it's clear that this product is loved by dog owners and dogs alike. It contains a blend of various key ingredients that protect your dog's skin from the sun. These are hempseed oil, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil and natural vitamin E. Working together, these become a natural sunscreen for your dog.
Even if your dog has a touch of sunburn, this balm can be used as an ointment to treat the painful symptoms. It will calm the symptoms of cracked skin, dryness and many other common issues associated with sun exposure, such as discoid lupus and hyperkeratosis.
- Over 2,000 positive reviews on Amazon
- Recommended by vets
- Contains grapeseed oil, hempseed oil, jojoba oil and natural vitamin oil which creates natural sun protection