We know that exposing a lot of time to the sun to our pet can produce a heat stroke. However, there are times when the sun is not so strong and We would like our pet to accompany us to a hiking route, for example. How does the sun affect the skin of our pets?
In this article, we will explain how it affects you and what precautions you should take.
The sun and the skin of our pets
The sun in large doses can cause serious problems in our skin like burns or cancer, but we are not the only ones. Although our pets have their coat and pigmentation to protect themselves from this, large exposures to it can cause severe and irreversible damage.
Dogs have a high level of melanin in their skin. This is a micropigmentation that protects the skin from the effects of the sun. However, it is not infallible to avoid any kind of damage.
In fact, excessive exposure and without precaution could cause a solar or actinic dermatitis, or in the worst case, cancer. It could also modify its pigmentation causing dark spots on your skin that weaken its protection from the sun's rays.
Thus, It is necessary that you do not remove your dog when the sun is too strong. And if you do, do not keep it for a long time and apply sunscreen of at least factor 30 in areas where there is no pigmentation or fur.
How to know if my dog has solar dermatitis
The symptoms of dermatitis can go unnoticed if we are not attentive to our pet. These are the symptoms, some more noticeable than others:
- Injuries. Your animal may have injuries caused by scratching due to heat or sweating.
- Dryness. The sun drains the skin enormously, so if your dog is having dry skin problems, it is possible that it is beginning to have a dermatitis.
- Peeling and redness. This is the next step to dryness. Therefore, if before this happens you noticed that your pet had dry skin, apply a moisturizing lotion. Try not to have chemicals, as this could make the situation worse. A good ally will be aloe vera, for example.
- Loss of hair. If your hair falls out more than usual, you may have dermatitis caused by sun exposure.
- Ulcers. If you have ulcers on the body, especially in the nose, eyelids and ears, these could have been caused by undue exposure to our yellow star.
The sun can also cause carcinomas that could become a deadly cancer for your pet. Do not take for granted any small change that you see in the body or in the attitude of your dog.
And what about hairless animals?
There are many breeds of cats and dogs without fur or without pigmentation on the skin. The effects of the sun are much more damaging to them, so you have to take more extreme measures. In fact, you should avoid any type of sun exposure.
A dermatitis or even cancer can happen in moments, so as the saying goes, "prevention is better than cure". If there is no need, do not expose your pet to the sun, as this could cause great damage.
If you are not sure of what products you can apply to your pet, talk to your veterinarian, he will always be your best counselor and will give you the best options for you to take care of your friend and watch for their welfare.
Remember that the sun's rays are not only harmful in summer, but they can be strong and harmful at any time of the year.