Hotel booking platform urges Brits to use sunscreen this summer…on their dogs

Dogs – especially those that like to tan – should also be soaped up this summer

A hotel booking chain is advising people to lather up their dogs with sunscreen this summer as temperatures hit record highs.

A survey of 2,000 dog owners found that 51% plan to take their pet on a summer vacation this year, with 88% having purchased a puppy during the pandemic taking them on their first vacation.

But 46% didn’t know dogs needed sun protection, while 55% were unaware of the potential side effects of their dog’s sunburn.

And 70% have no idea how much sunscreen to put on their dogs.

Worryingly, 57% never apply sunscreen when taking their dogs outdoors, while 40% think it’s okay to use human sunscreen on dogs, despite it containing often chemicals that can be toxic to them.

Following the findings, hotel booking platform hoo launched a campaign to encourage dog parents to slather their precious pets with sunscreen to protect them from the sun’s rays.

Veterinarian Anna Ewers Clark, head of research and veterinary standards at the national pet charity Blue Cross, stressed how important it is for dog owners to think about protecting their four-legged friends at Sun.

She said: “Fur is a very good natural sunscreen. But there are areas where they won’t have much fur, and those are the main trouble spots we’re concerned about, like their ears and the tip of their nose.

“A lot of dog bellies have little hair. If you have a pet that has a light, very fine coat, they are much more susceptible to sun damage.

“A lot of dogs will naturally avoid the sun, but not all of them. One of the biggest problems we see is with dogs that like to sunbathe.

“People love to see their pets lying in the sun, they think it’s so cute.

“But even if it’s not hot, we know that temperature isn’t always related to UV damage.”

The study also found that, reassuringly, 46% of people surveyed, via OnePoll, are aware of their dogs’ SPF needs, with 21% making sure their puppies are properly protected every time they go outside.

Gen Z – those aged 18-24 – are more aware of their dog’s sunscreen needs, with 65% knowing that dogs should use SPF or sunscreen.

A third claimed that although the importance of putting SPF on their dog is new information to them, they will do it all the time now.

And an additional 28% will do so “when they remember”.

Dr Anna Ewers Clark added: “Human sunscreen contains a number of additives and fragrances that can be irritating to dogs’ skin, so using a pet-safe sunscreen is the best way to go.

“Make sure you apply it before you go out in the sun – ideally 15 minutes before you give it a chance to soak in.

“If you’re using SPF 30 on your dog, reapply every 30-45 minutes. It’s very difficult to over-apply it so if in doubt, put on another coat.

“The minimum safe SPF for dogs is 30. But with any new cream, test it on your dog before you need it.

“One of the things with pets that we don’t have to think about so much with people is making sure they don’t lick it right away.

“I sometimes recommend that if you have a dog that likes treats or puzzle feeders that you put some sunscreen on him and give him the puzzle feeder to distract him for a few minutes while he gets soaked, otherwise he’ll lick it off right away.

“It’s easier to reapply when you’re away because they’re distracted by everything that’s going on. Reapplying is important, so take it with you.

“When you put some on yourself and think it’s a little warm and it’s been a while since I’ve put it on, be sure to put it on for your pet as well.”

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