Organic and Natural Sunscreen for Dogs

Dogs can get sunburn, just as humans can, so if you are taking your dog hiking, provide him with sunscreen for dogs. This will protect his skin and reduce the risk of skin cancer. Dogs at high risk include dogs with short, thin hair, light hair or pink skin. Dogs are especially susceptible on their noses, stomachs, foot pads and ears.

Sunscreen for Dogs

There are several sunscreen products for dogs, many of them claiming to be natural, but most of them contain hazardous products that concern owners looking for a natural sunscreen. It's especially important to use natural products on your dog since they will often lick creams applied to their body and may be ingesting some of the chemicals as well. Sunscreens are loaded with chemicals, but a few to watch out for include:

  • Benzophenone-3
  • DMDM Hydantoin
  • Triethanolamine
  • Imidurea
  • Methyl Paraben

The best dog-specific sunscreen appears to be Veterinarian's Best, but it doesn't list all its ingredients and is not completely natural, though it does contain aloe vera.

Sunscreen for Humans

The best option for choosing a sunscreen for your dog appears to be using an organic or natural human-grade sunscreen for both you and your dog. Good ingredients for your dog's skin include sunflower oil, green tea leaf, chamomile flower, calendula flower, gingko leaf extract, aloe and vitamin E.

There are several all natural choices for humans. These are just a few choices that are also effective for your dog. Aubrey Organics' Sun Shade includes all-natural herbs, essential oils and natural vitamins. Bebe Baudelaire's Sunshield is almost entirely water, aloe vera gel and sunflower oil. Rachel Perry's Environmental Skin Protector consists of antioxidants such as pine bark  and grape seed extract and natural vegetable oils. Kiss My Face also has several brands that are oat-based or natural that can be applied to your pet.

Additional Natural Methods

If you are concerned about the ingredients in your sunscreen, there are other natural ways to avoid sunburn, the easiest being providing shade for your dog. Consider carrying an umbrella that you can hold over your dog or allow him to lie under while you are relaxing. Hike in shady areas where your dog isn't exposed to direct sunlight.

Provide your dog with clothing, such as a visor or shirt, that can cover exposed areas, especially on dogs with thin air. It may take some time for your dog to adjust to his new clothing, so practice at home before trying this method outside. Use treats to encourage your dog not to shed his clothing. Remember to provide plenty of cool water so he doesn't overheat.

Natural Sunburn Relief

If your dog does get a sunburn, there are some natural remedies that heal the burn while relieving some of the pain. Aloe vera is still the top remedy for sunburn relief, best if it comes directly from a broken aloe leaf. Cream can also be used if it's all natural.

Witch hazel has antiseptic properties, which can clear up a burn. This can be applied with a cotton ball several times daily. You can also break open a vitamin E capsule and squeeze the contents onto your dog's burn once or twice daily. It's an antioxidant that will also reduce scarring.

No matter which of these methods you choose, monitor your dog to make sure he doesn't lick off any cream.