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Best Sunscreen For Dogs: Stay Safe in the Sunshine!

best sunscreen for dogs

Do Dogs Really Need Sunscreen?

Yes! Just like humans, dogs need sunscreen too when they’re out in the sun for long periods of time.

Doggy sunscreen is especially important for dogs with white fur or light fur, and for dogs with thin fur. Dogs with pink, white skin are also especially susceptible to burns.

Dr. Michel from Pet Health Network explains why dogs need sunscreen, just like you do.

How to Choose a Dog Sunscreen: Different Application Methods

For human sunscreen, there are all kinds of options for application, including spray, sticks, and lotions. Well, the same applies to doggy sunscreen too!

The best type of sunscreen will be one that works for you and your dog. Think about your dog’s disposition and personal preferences, as well as your own.

  • Creams. Sunscreen creams are one option for protecting your pooch from the sun. Creams provide solid, reliable coverage for your dog’s sensitive nose and ears. However, cream-based products can make a big mess on larger, furrier areas of your dog.
  • Sticks. Sunscreen sticks are another option. They can be applied directly to your dog, or you can rub the stick on your hands and then apply to your dog manually with your hands.
  • Wipes. Sunscreen wipes can be easily spread all over your dog, and the sunscreen dries fairly quickly. This is a great method for those who want a mess-free application.
  • Sprays. Easy to apply all over your dog’s body without too much hassle. You can get great coverage with sprays. However, some dogs may not appreciate being sprayed, especially in their faces.

Sunscreen + Dog Tips

  • Don’t Use Sunscreens With Zinc Oxide. Zinc oxide is a thick white cream that is an effective sunscreen for humans, but is toxic and very dangerous for dogs. Don’t use a sunscreen on your dog with zinc oxide!
  • Test Before Full Application. Make sure to apply the sunscreen to a small area of your dog’s skin to test out how your dog responds to the sunscreen before applying a full application.
  • Use Treats to Keep Your Dog Still. If your dog won’t stand still for sunscreen (or try to lick the sunscreen off), try using a bone or treat to keep them occupied while you apply the sunscreen and while it dries.

Epi-Pet Sun Protector Spray for Pets

About: Epi-Pet Sun Protector Spray for Pets is a highly-recommended, FDA-approved sunscreen for dogs that is applied via a spray can.

sunscreen for dogs

Price: $$$
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  • Easy Spray Application. Spray sunscreen can easily be applied all over your dog’s body, even in tough-to-reach areas.
  • Skin + Coat Conditioner. This spray also contains ingredients that help condition your dog’s skin and coat, which is a nice little bonus.
  • Non-Greasy Solution. This dog sunscreen spray is non-greasy and non-oily, so you won’t have to be grossed out petting your dog after applying!
  • FDA Compliant. Epi-Pet Sun Spray actually the only FDA approved pet sunscreen, which gives it some serious street cred. This brand also comes trusted by veterinary dermatologists, so you know it’s reputable.
  • Waterproof + Lick Proof. Once dry, which is almost instantly, this sunscreen is waterproof and lick proof!
  • Blocks UVA + UVB. Blocks out both UVA and UVB rays, and is said to have a rate equivalent of 3-40 SPF.

Pros: Owners note that the spray method allows them to get hard-to-reach areas of their dog’s body, such as the groin or armpit areas. The spray also goes on very light and dries quickly. As a bonus, it also smells great!

Cons: Owners who prefer to spray the sunscreen on their hands and then apply it to their dog manually found this sunscreen troublesome since it dries almost instantly on contact.

Petkin Doggy Sunwipes

About: The Petkin Doggy Sunwipes are an ultra easy, convenient way to apply sunscreen coverage through your dog with super portable wipes.

dog sunscreen wipes

Price: $
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  • Wipe Application. These sunscreen wipes can simply be wiped on your dog for coverage, which some dogs may find more appealing than being sprayed (especially for face coverage).
  • Non-Greasy Formula. These wipes can be applied to your pet without leaving him or her greasy and sticky, with the sunscreen drying quickly.
  • SPF 15 Equivalent. These wipes are the equivalent of an SPF 15 rating for human sunscreen.
  • Refreshing Scent. These dog sunscreen wipes have a vanilla coconut scent, so they smell great on your pooch.

Pros: Extremely easy to apply, with some owners noting that their dogs preferred this method over spray. These wipes are especially suited to travel, since they are light and easy to transport. You could even just keep a pack in your car for unexpected beach-time trips!

Cons: Some owners noted that with the wipe application method, it’s difficult to know for sure if you did manage to provide your dog with any kind of coverage.

Petkin Doggy Sunstick

About: The Petkin Doggy Sunstick is another dog sunscreen from Petkin, this time in the form of a bar rather than wipes.
dog sunscreen reviews

Price: $$$
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  • Stick Application. This dog sunscreen stick can easily be applied all over your dog. The stick is soft enough to applicate with minimal pressure, but still holds up fall apart.
  • Non-Greasy Formula. The sunscreen stick has a non-greasy formula, so it can be applied to your dog without making him or her greasy and oily.
  • SPF 15 Equivalent. This sunscreen stick provides the equivalent of an SPF 15 rating for human sunscreen.
  • Refreshing Scent. The sunscreen stick has a vanilla coconut scent, so your dog can smell good while staying safe from the sun!

Pros: Owners note this sunscreen stick is very easy to use, and in addition, owners can wipe the stick on their own hands to gather the sunscreen, and then apply to their pooch. Some owners may prefer this method for more confident coverage, since the stick won’t instantly dry like the spray and wipes method.

Cons: One owner noted that their dog like the smell so much, that she ate the entire stick! So this might be something to keep an eye out for.

My Dog Nose It

About: My Dog Nose It is dog-friendly natural, non-toxic cream that prevents sun damage.

sunscreen for dogs cream

Price: $$
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  • Creamy Sun Protection for Nose. This cream isn’t sunscreen exactly – it is more of a protective barrier, designed to keep your dog’s nose safe, moisturized, and sun-damage free.
  • Moisture + Healing. In addition to protecting against sun damage, My Dog Nose It also heals your pup’s nose and adds moisture for healthy, happy snouts.
  • Non-Toxic and Paraben-Free. This protective cream is non-toxic, paraben-free, and prevents your dog’s nose color from fading.

Pros: Owners love that this cream is non-toxic and does a great job at keeping pups’ noses safe.

Cons: This product only cover UVB rays, not UVA. Since the product is cream, it can also be quite sticky, and is really only suitable for a dog’s nose, ears, or other areas with minimal to no fur.

Dog Sunscreen Alternatives

Not all dogs appreciate the protective benefits of sunscreen. If your dog can’t stand sunscreen, there are a few alternatives you can resort to to protect your pup from the sun.

  • Doggles. Doggles are canine goggles that your dog can wear to protect his or her eyes from the sun. They’re primarily used for protecting your dog’s eyes riding in a motorcycle or any kind of open vehicle where your dog might need protective eyewear.
  • Shade. Another option is to simply keep your dog in the shade as much as possible, and use canopies or umbrellas if you’re taking your dog to a sun-heavy area.

Have you ever used sunscreen on your dog? What has been your experience? Share your thoughts in the comments!

About the Author Meg Marrs

Meg Marrs is the Founder and Senior Editor at K9 of Mine. She loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!

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