7 Best Dog Sunscreens to Protect Your Pup

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If you've never protected your pup's skin from the sun, it's time to start. A little SPF can go a long way toward keeping your dog healthy.

Before you head out for a day in the sun with your dog, you should take a few precautionary measures. Not only should you make sure your dog has plenty of water to stay hydrated and prevent heat stroke, but your pup also needs sun protection. If the ground is hot, your dog could benefit from some doggy shoes, but most importantly, your dog should wear sunscreen.

Yes, dog sunscreens are a thing, and it’s an important step in skin protection. Despite being covered in fur, your dog is still exposed to the sun (especially their nose, ears, and paws) in the same way humans are. Learn more about how and why to use sunscreen on your pups and shop a few options on the market right now.

Why dogs need sunscreen

Your dog’s skin is just as vulnerable in the sun as yours is. Though it’s wise for humans to wear sunscreen any time they’re exposed to the sun’s rays, you may not need to be quite so aggressive with your pups. The American Kennel Club advises dog owners to find sunscreens specific for dogs to protect them from harmful UV rays.

Though all dogs can get sunburned, some breeds are more susceptible due to their lighter or thinner fur. The AKC points to Xoloitzcuintli, Chinese Crested, and American Hairless Terrier as breeds that are particularly at risk of sun damage due to how little fur they have. If you have one of these breeds, it’s important to make sure you take extra care in protecting them from the sun. Dogs with white or light-colored fur are also more prone to sunburns. And don’t forget, dogs need special shampoo for their coats too.

As with any treatment of any kind—even sun care—you want to be sure you’re using a formula that’s safe for your pet. It’s not a bad idea to check with your vet before you start using dog sunscreen. The vet can also give you proper tips for application and use. Interested in dog sunscreen for your furry friend? Here are our favorite dog sunscreen options.

Dog Sunscreensvia chewy.com (7)

Best dog sunscreens

Lucky Pup Sunscreen Dog Balm

This moisturizing balm is designed for doggy noses, elbows, and paws. The all-natural formula helps with dry skin while also protecting from the sun. It doesn’t have a smell or taste, so hopefully, your dog won’t want to try to eat it, but even if he does, it’s non-toxic. Plus, it’s waterproof, so you can put it on for a beach day and let your pup play in the water!

Petkin SPF 15 Doggy Sun Mist

With SPF 15, this sunscreen is easy to apply to your dog. All you have to do is spray it all over—with special attention to noses, paws, and any other visible skin—and go! It’s not greasy, so you don’t have to worry about your pup getting uncomfortable wearing it, either.

My Dog Nose It! Sun Protection Balm

The best part of this sunscreen balm is truly the instructions. You’re told to kiss your pupper on the nose, rub on the balm, pat them on the head, and give them a treat. But in all actuality, this natural balm will keep doggy noses safe from harsh sunlight. Just remember to reapply every two hours while you’re outside.

Epi-Pet Sun Protector Skin Treatment Spray

This sunscreen works just as well on horses as it does on dogs! It’s designed for dogs with white or light-colored hair because those animals are particularly vulnerable in the sun. Spray this sunscreen all over your dog before you head outside for maximum protection.

Petkin SPF 15 Doggy Sun Wipes

For a more targeted application, try these dog sunscreen wipes. Aim to use these on all your dog’s sensitive areas, noses and paws especially, and keep them protected from UV rays while you’re outside playing. There are 20 in a pack, so they’ll last you at least a few outings!

Warren London Dog Sunscreen Spray

Another good dog sunscreen option is this Warren London spray. It has aloe vera in it and serves as a moisturizer, providing an all-around delightful experience for your pup’s skin. Plus, this sunscreen is non-toxic so in case your dog licks any of the spots with sunscreen, it won’t be harmful.

Emmy’s Best Pet Products Sun Skin Protector Dog Spray

Free of zinc oxide and other harmful substances, this dog sunscreen is also nourishing on your pup’s coat of fur! It’s easy to apply and doesn’t leave greasy residue behind. You can feel comfortable using this spray on all dog breeds, too.

More dog sun protection options

Another option for sun protection is a sun shirt. We love this PlayaPup Dog Sun Protective Lightweight Solid Shirt with UPF 50+ protection. The shirt keeps your dog’s body protected from the sun, but keep in mind that his nose and paws are still exposed. Sun shirts can be beneficial for light-colored dogs who will be outside for long periods of time, but these can also make them heat up quickly. Though these shirts are made with thin material, it is still an extra layer that a dog isn’t used to.

Your vet can guide you toward picking the correct option for your pup so you both can have the maximum amount of fun outdoors!


Hedy Phillips
Hedy is a lifestyle writer covering beauty, shopping, and pop culture. She devotes 99% of her time to snuggling with her cats and 100% of her money to following Harry Styles around on tour. She's always on the lookout for another slice of New York pizza and she's never met a Starbucks drink she doesn't like.