If you own a Labradoodle, you probably know how much they love to be outside. And your dog probably also loves to be around the water as much as any fish.
Well, when you are going outside on a hot summer day, one of the precautions you take is to use plenty of sunscreens. You have most likely been sunburned at least a few times in your life and know how painful those can be.
What about your Labradoodle?
Can your Doodle get sunburned? YES. Labradoodles can get sunburned just as easily as people. While their coats provide UV protection to most of their bodies, there are several places on their bodies that are sensitive to sunburn including their eyes, belly, nose, and mouths.
Sunburns are equally as painful for your Doodle as they are for you.
You should do everything in your power to prevent sunburns and knowing how to treat them if your Doodle is unlucky enough to get one can also prove priceless.
What causes sunburns in Labradoodles
Sunburns on humans are due to the same cause as on your dog: Ultra Violet light from the sun or some artificial source like the light bulbs in a tanning bed light(which I hope you don’t use for your dog though!).
The particular UV light ray that is normally associated with sunburns and is called UV B.
The other type is called UV A, and that is the typical source that’s connected to skin cancer in both animals and humans.
So, when looking to protect your dog against sunburns, be on the lookout for methods that can block light rays from both the A and B spectrums simultaneously.
Do not think for even a second that your dog is safe just because you are only exercising him on a cloudy day.
The Mayo Clinic has a page on sunburns and skin cancer, and according to that, 80% of the damaging UV rays can easily cut through the clouds and damage your pup’s sensitive parts.
Are sunburns on dogs the same as human sunburns?
Dogs and humans share many similarities, and the cause of your dog’s sunburn is exactly the same as your own sunburn.
An example of this is that when you get exposed to the UV rays of the Sun, your body starts to increase its’ production of melanin. This makes the skin on humans turn darker.
This is what we call a suntan.
And Labradoodles can technically get a suntan as well.
And just like with you, your dog’s body will also increase melanin production. And that is great because melanin is fantastic to protect the body against the UV B rays that are the cause of skin cancer.
You have most likely noticed that if there is a part of your body that is covered when you are outside, you won’t get a tan in those areas?
Think about where you are wearing a watch band or a ring.
Your dog’s coat acts like a raincoat. It protects almost all of his body against the disastrous effects of UV B.
Areas on your Labradoodle that get sunburned
Unfortunately, there are some places that are not protected from the sun’s beastly rays. Those include:
- Ears (tips and inside flap)
These are all less hairy parts of your Labradoodles body and they are at risk every time you take your dog out into the sun, no matter what the temperature or the time of year it is.
This is why a lot of skiers end up with harsh sunburns even though it is the middle of the winter.
Some of these areas can be a bit more tricky than others to protect.
For that purpose, I have created a complete guide to protecting your furry friend from the harmful UV B rays below, including the best possible products you can buy to save your Doodle from days of painful recovery.
What color of Labradoodle is more prone to sunburn?
The fact that Yellow Doodles naturally have less pigment in their skin, means they are more at risk than their darker counterparts like a Black Doodle.
This is even more pronounced in the lighter colors of Labradoodles that lack pigment in their noses and eyelids.
Prevent Labradoodle sunburns
There are quite a lot of products, both good and bad, that you can use to protect your dog from the sun. And they can be found on any online marketplace that deals with pet supplies.
Allow me to mentions a few of my preferred methods for keeping my dog safe and comfortable while we are outside and about during the hot summer days.
Keep him inside or in the shade
The first advice I can offer is also the most basic method for protecting your dog during the most intensely hot months of the year, and that is to pretty much keep them out of the sun.
Taking your Doodle for walks in the colder hours of the evening or morning when the UV rays are not as strong is a pretty much guarenteed method to avoid getting sunburned.
Your dog will typically seek out the shady places in the garden if he can’t be inside with you. So, make sure that your garden has some shade to offer for all hours of the day.
Staying in the shade all day isn’t always an option, maybe you are camping or you just don’t want to let the sun keep you inside.
There are quite a few sunscreen options for a dog.
NOTE: DON’T USE THE SAME SUNSCREEN ON YOUR DOODLE THAT YOU DO YOURSELF.
There are two ingredients in the sunscreen made for people that are TOXIC to dogs.
Here are a few suggestions of brands found on Amazon that I’ve previously tried and would recommend.
All Natural Sunblock! My Pet Sunblock
This sunblock not only protects your dog’s nose against the sun, but it also adds a little moisture as well.
Protects against not only UV-A, but also UV-B and UV-C.
A great thing about this product is that it’s non-greasy, which means that it doesn’t collect any dirt, and it’s also waterproof.
This is the most expensive product on the list for the reason that it is probably also the most durable you can buy, and the risk of this fading or being flushed away from your dog is highly improbable.
Epi-Pet Sun Protector Skin Treatment
Another one of the more expensive of my Labradoodle sunscreen recommendations. And the reason for that is because it is also one of the most “heavy-duty” products you can get.
Epi-pet sunscreen is made for both dogs and horses. It is waterproof and lasts longer than less-expensive brands.
Just a little reminder that this product is not an appropriate sunscreen for people. It is intended to protect dogs and horses only. So, don’t try to put it on your kids.
Petkin SunScreen Products
Petkin is a manufacturer that makes quite a few products to help prevent doggy sunburns. Here are the ones I’ve tried with my dog with great success.
The Doggy Sun Mist is one of my favorites for the simple reason that it doesn’t require me to get my hands dirty. I can have Monty just lay down and then I can spray him before going on a hike or outside in the sun.
One thing that might be an issue with this product is that it is not waterproof. Water is the method to get this product off of your dog. So if you are planning on going to the beach, it is less than ideal.
If you are looking for a waterproof spray, get the Epi-Pet Sun Protector spray I showed earlier. It will cost you a bit more, but that is the price of having a dog that loves being in the water.
Another fine product from Petkin that a lot of people really seem to like is the Sun Wipes. It’s pretty smart how these works, and it’s really nice that you can quickly apply the sunscreen using these wipes without the greasy mess of regular creams.
These seem nice because you can carry them with the rest of your dog gear pretty easy. Having a regular sunscreen container leak into your bag would usually mean a lot of mess, but not with these.
This is a product that I also love to use for my son, and they are also called swim-shirts.
What’s great about these is that they don’t expire or wear off like sunscreen, so you don’t have to worry about reapplying it during the day.
And you can also get them for dogs now!
PlayaPup Pro Sun Protective/Lightweight Dog Shirts
These PlayaPup Pro Sun shirts are UPF 50+. What that means is that they protect your furry friend against 98% of the UVA and UVB whether they are wet or dry. I would consider these shirts perfect if you are going hiking or swimming.
The shirts are made from a 4-way stretch fabric, that dry quickly and also helps to keep you Doodle cool.
Amazon.com has these ranging in sizes from XX-small to 4XL. There is a handy sizing chart to make sure you get one for your Doodle that fits perfectly.
Canine Friendly Solis UV Sun Protection Coverup Dog Shirt
Like the PlayaPup, the Solis UV Coverup Dog Shirt is another great option where you can equip your dog with it and not have worry about it during the day.
Using shirts like these means that you will only have to make sure to keep up with sunscreen on your Doodles’ nose and ears, but a shirt such as this will take care of its’ belly during the entire day.
Goggles for dogs
Finally, let’s see what options there are for your dog’s eyes.
I don’t know if you have ever sunburned your eyes, but I have, and let me tell you that it is an unbearable experience.
But is it in any way possible to prevent it? You can’t exactly apply sunscreen to your eyes, and would probably feel even worse than the actual sunburn.
The best option for us humans is, of course, a good old pair of sunglasses.
So, let’s look at the same thing for a Labradoodle.
There are several options of UV protected sunglasses for a dog.
When looking at user-reviews, this is the pair I recommend that you try if you want to make sure your dog’s eyes are protected during your next outdoor adventure.
PEDOMUS Dog Sunglasses
These PEDOMUS sunglasses can be adjusted to always be a perfect fit for your specific dog, and they can be used anywhere from a sunny day at the beach, to a ski trip to Aspen.
How to know if a Labradoodle has a sunburn
There aren’t really any big differences in sunburns between us and our dogs, the biggest difference really is the fact that it is much harder to spot in our dogs.
When my legs or back is sunburned, it is painfully obvious for everybody to see because such a large area has been affected.
Signs that your Labradoodle is sunburned include
- Lack of appetite
- Pinkness or redness in the skin
- Skin that feels hot to the touch
- Skin that is painful to the touch
If you see that your dog looks to be in pain whenever you touch him or if he feels especially warm in any of the areas I talked about earlier, you should really give him a good checkup.
As with most sunburns on humans, the skin turning red is your first indicator. If you notice your dog’s skin has a red or pink hue and it feels warm to the touch, it is very likely that he has a sunburn.
The deciding factor is if you notice that simply touching him is a cause of pain.
If your dog whines and/or tries to move away from your touch, then it is time to look into some home remedies to help him with the pain.
But the most important thing to do if your dog has a sunburn is that you will need to take some actions that will help him maintain body temperature in the area between 100 and 102 degrees.
Treating your Doodles’ sunburn
For the simple or mild sunburns, an easy solution is to use a cool compress. A wet rag is often enough if your dog will remain calm enough for it to stay in place.
If you experience that the wet rag keeps falling off, you can always get an old t-shirt and soak it and then put it on your dog and let him cool off that way.
Setting a fan beside the dog with a wet t-shirt will also provide some additional help to keep him cool.
If you end up contacting a vet, you might also be provided an aloe vera gel that is approved for use on animals. Don’t just go buy any random product off the shelf without consulting your vet first.
With more severe burns, especially anything involving blisters and the like, you will have to consult your vet right away.
Your vet will then be able to put your mind a bit at ease and can probably also offer some comfort that will help more than any home remedy you might have found online.
The consequences of sunburn
A dog doesn’t have the best of systems to control their body temperatures.
The best home remedies from above will be those that can help ease your Labradoodles’ discomfort and cool his body at the same time.
If you notice your dogs’ body temperatures start to climb above 102, you will face additional problems that can prove fatal.
Those possible fatal issues that sunburns can lead to include:
- Heat exhaustion
- Liver and kidney failure
Just because of the serious nature of some complications related to heat, I would advise that you check your dog’s temperature often. How often you should measure it depends on how severe the sunburn is.
If the sunburn is serious enough that you find yourself quite worried about your dogs’ temperature, then you should surely seek the advice of the nearest qualified vet.
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