Can pets get sunburned? Tips for keeping your pets protected

Most dogs love to stretch out and take a nap in the sun. Don't let them overdo it.

Dr. John Angus, a veterinary dermatologist, says your pooch can get a sunburn and that can increase the risk of skin cancer.

"The biggest problems we see are usually on the abdomens of dogs that like to sunbath lying on their back and expose their underbelly," Dr. Angus says.

Dogs with short coats and those with white fur are most at risk. A T-shirt will help. Or use a sunscreen on the abdomen or areas with little or no hair.

Dr. Angus says you can get a pet product or use a children's sunscreen - as long as it's not zinc-based.

"The pediatric ones or the titanium-based sunscreens are probably the best. Zinc can be toxic if it's licked off or ingested in high quantities," says Dr. Angus.

Yes, cats can also get a sunburn.

"Even indoor only cats can get significant sun damage on their ear tips and on their nose. With white cats or very lightly pigmented cats that like to sit in windows, we'll actually see squamous cell carcinoma in those areas fairly commonly, even in Seattle," Dr. Angus says.

The rules for being in the sun are the same for people and our pets - have fun, but don't over-do it and always use a sunscreen to protect the skin.

More Information:

Protect Your Pets From Getting Sunburned

What You Need to Know About Pet Sun Protection This Summer