The Sun and Your Pet: Things to Keep in Mind This Summer

The Sun and Your Pet: Things to Keep in Mind This Summer
By: Vale Park Animal Hospital Last Updated: June 24, 2015

Summer is great. Warm weather, vacations, and fun in the sun. But as we all know, too much time in the sun can be a real pain (pun intended) thanks to sunburns. Not everyone gets burnt, some lucky individuals just tan.

Did you know that unhealthy sun exposure applies to your pets, too? Some pets with short hair or thinner coats are at risk for sunburn, and just like humans, they are at risk for developing skin conditions like melanoma and skin cancer.

So what do you do with pets during the summer? Unless they are strictly inside pets, you can't keep them cooped up in the house all day. Find a shady place for your pets to play or rest like under a tree or beach umbrella, and make sure that they have plenty of water to drink. Or limit their sun exposure. If there is no shady place, just shorten their time outside.

And don't forget that heat exposure not only comes from above, it comes from below. The sun can heat some surfaces like asphalt, concrete, or a sandy beach to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit on a warm summer day. This can damage the skin on your pets paws. We don't always feel the heat because we have shoes, but animals don't wear shoes. Be mindful of your environment and don't let pets wander on hot surfaces for too long.