We have just adopted a white doberman from our local paws humane society and I believe because of his albinoism he needs sunscreen but I'm not sure what kind to get. I have been trying to research online but I get contridicting information on what kind is the best and if they can use people sunblock. I was wanting to know if I'm correct in using sunscreen to begin with and which brand would be best. I will be taking him later in the week to get established with my vet but didn't know if I need to use something on him before then. I would hate for him to get sunburned or anything. Thanks!
Good for you for being proactive with your new dog, sun damage is much easier to prevent than to treat. There are several sunscreen creams and sprays labled for dogs, but they often come in small bottles, so I generally recommend using an over the counter baby safe, waterproof sunscreen lotion or spray for people, spf > 25. Areas that tend to be most severely affected are the poorly harired areas such as the groin and armpits, but in all white dogs the damage can also occur anywhere on the body that is exposed to prolonged sun, so keeping your dog inside during the peak sunlight hours of 10am-5pm is recommended, and never let him sunbathe. If keeping him inside is not an option, there are UV blocking dog sunsuits available online (www.designerdogwear.com), since use of a sunscreen all over the body can be difficult and messy.
Kimberly Coyner, DVM DACVD
Thank you for the tips! He will be a primarily indoor dog but when he did go out I wanted to be careful. I read that they can be more prone to skin cancer because of their pale skin and I would rather try to prevent it then worry about treating it.
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