Yes, Your Dog Needs Sunscreen, Too. But Only 1 Brand Is FDA-Approved

The answer, according to veterinarians, is a resounding yes. “Just like … for humans, [sunscreen] shields your pup’s delicate skin from sunburn and potential long-term damage,” like skin cancer, Dr. Lisa Lippman told HuffPost. Lippman is a board-certified veterinarian and the Director of Virtual Medicine at Bond Vet.

Using sunscreen is especially important “if your pet has a white or thin coat, [or] light-pigmented nose, eyelids or ears,” according to Lippman, as these features indicate that your dog is at greater risk for sunburns.

But don’t jump to share your personal favorite sunscreen with your pup: You must use sunscreen that’s formulated specifically for dogs, she emphasized. This is crucial since many of the ingredients found in sunscreens for humans, like zinc, are lethal for dogs when ingested. Dog sunscreen is designed to be safe for pups to lick — “because let’s face it, dogs can’t resist giving themselves a little taste test now and then,” Lippman noted — and “tak[es] into account their unique skin composition and fur coverage.”

Based on Lippman’s advice and our research, we’re convinced that Epi-Pet’s SPF 30 dog sunscreen is a good pick — primarily because it’s the only one that’s actually approved by the FDA.

That’s because, for starters, Epi-Pet’s sunscreen is the only FDA-compliant sunscreen available for dogs, according to the brand (and supported by our own research). The vast majority of pet sunscreens on the market haven’t been approved by the FDA, which means that their SPF ratings haven’t actually been tested or verified.

It’s also the only dog sunscreen we found that satisfied all of Lippman’s requirements, with the exception of its vanilla-scented fragrance (no surprise since it was developed by a veterinarian). It provides protection from UVA and UVB rays, is free from zinc and propylene glycol, and is safe for dogs to lick.

As an added bonus, it helps condition pups’ skin and coats using vitamin E and is sweat- and water-resistant. This sunscreen can also be used on horses, though cat owners should take note: It’s not safe for cats.

Since this option is a spray sunscreen, you can spray it directly onto your pup’s body, including its belly and legs. (Lippman recommended focusing on “areas with less hair coverage — think noses, ears, bellies and any areas with exposed skin.”) To apply to your dog’s face, the brand recommends you spray the product onto your hands and then gently rub the formula around your pet’s muzzle, ears, nose and eye area. In other words, don’t spray the sunscreen directly into your pup’s face.

Pick up a 3.5-ounce bottle from Amazon and check out what reviewers have to say below.

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