Although a dog’s coat acts as a natural barrier between their sensitive skin and harmful UV rays, extended periods of time spent outdoors can cause sunburn in dogs. Some dogs are more at risk of this than others, but when the sun is out most of the day, it's possible that pet owners need to look for the best dog sunscreen brands out there.
What’s more, not all areas of a dog are covered in thick, protective fur. Some particularly sensitive areas include the dog's nose, tips of the ears and the underbelly. Dogs with white coats and/or pink skin are especially vulnerable to sun damage if not protected by a dog sunscreen or always kept in shade, away from the sun.
Our pets are also susceptible to developing skin cancer which is even more reason to consider putting one of the best dog sunscreen products on your canine companion before going for a long walk or hike on a sunny day. Even on cloudy days, sun protection is important if you plan to spend a lot of time outside with your dog.
There are several products in the pet care market specifically designed to safeguard dogs from ultraviolent damage (and subsequently from solar dermatitis and related issues) that are both efficient and safe. After testing and reviewing a number of these over a few years, we've picked out the seven best dog sunscreen brands that you can currently buy.
7 Best Dog Sunscreen Brands
1. Handy Hound Snout Screen
- Price: $19.97
- Size: 2 oz.
- Get it here
A plastic tube applicator makes it easy for you to apply a protective layer of this organic, all-natural sunscreen to your dog’s nose (as well as other areas). Organic ingredients, such as lavender, raspberry, and carrot juice make this product safe if ingested by the dog. Handy Hound Snout Screen is also a natural bug repellent as well as a skin moisturizer, so you can rest easy during a sunny afternoon, knowing your dog is protected from all outdoor elements. Many owners even use this Snout Screen solely as a moisturizer, helping heal a dry, cracking nose. The Handy Hound brand prides itself on vegan and natural ingredients and also develops a popular product called Paw Butter for dogs with dry or cracked paw pads.
2. Sun Worshipper Dog Sunscreen
- Price: $24.99
- Size: 2 oz.
- Find it here
The Sun Worshipper brand is known for its commitment to cruelty-free, quality-ingredient products. Originally selling sunscreen to humans, this company now also has sunscreen specifically created for canines. The main ingredients include shea butter and olive oil which also naturally moisturize your pet’s sensitive nose. This product also contains zinc, and while some zinc is present in the typical dog’s diet, it can be toxic if they consume a large amount. To ensure this doesn’t occur, keep household products, including some of your pet’s accessories, in drawers or up high where they’re out of reach. Alternatively, many animal-care professionals recommend crating your dog while you’re not home to better ensure they don’t get into potentially toxic items.
3. Petkin Doggy Sunstick
- Price: $8.79
- Size: 5 oz.
- Find it here
Since the 1980’s the Petkin brand has been formulating and selling merchandise for household pets. Recently, they’ve launched initiatives to add and improve their organic product line by utilizing more organic ingredients. The Petkin Doggy Sunstick comes in a convenient tube applicator so application is easy and stress-free. Some of the ingredients include beeswax and mineral oil, however this is not a solely natural-ingredient product. Owners appreciate the Sunstick because of its non-oily texture and that it roughly equates to 15 SPF. The petite packaging makes it easy to take along with you during outdoor excursions but may also be too small for owners of dogs who need large portions on a daily routine (such as canines with white coats and/or pink skin).
4. Petkin Doggy Sunwipes
- Price: $5.99
- Size: 20 count
- Find it here
Another Petkin product that dog-owners love is their Doggy Sunwipes. However, it is not recommended for owners of double, thick, or long coated-dogs as the wipes can make it difficult to reach and treat the skin. It’s also not suggested for dogs with open sores or healing injuries as the ingredients of the wipes can sting or, worse, irritate and disrupt the healing process. The package comes with twenty wipes and the non-greasy formula means you can easily apply sunscreen to your pet without necessary or time-consuming clean up. While this is not a 100% organic product, ingredients include aloe and chamomile extract which are natural hydrants and offer a pleasing scent.
5. My Dog Nose It! Moisturizing Sun Balm
- Price: $12.95
- Size: 0.5 oz.
- Find it here
The My Dog Nose It! brand specializes in canine-safe sunscreens and is owned and operated in the United States. This product is available as both a balm and a non-aerosol spray; however, the balm doubles as a moisturizer for your dog’s skin, nose, and paws. An active ingredient is cinnamon oil, with parabens and zinc not being present at all. The Sun Protection Balm is also quick-drying and water-proof, allowing any beach-loving dog to enjoy a full day of play without a worrisome owner. However, veterinarians recommend reapplying sunscreen immediately following time spend in water.
6. Epi-Pet Sun Protector Spray
- Price: $17.95
- Size: 4 oz.
- Find it here
Epi-Pet is best known for its ability to boast raw materials all sourced within the United States not only for their canine and equine skincare line but also for their Omega Fatty Acids oral supplements. Epi-Pet’s sunscreen comes in a spray can and comes out as a light mist, allowing it to form a protective, quick-drying protective blanket over the dog’s coat and skin. When applied every two to four hours, your canine companion can enjoy a full afternoon of outdoor adventuring or a lengthy backyard nap without you worrying. This product is FDA-approved, veterinarian recommended, and safe for consumption should your dog choose to lick at their snout or groom themselves after application.
7. Beach and Dog Company Dog Sunscreen
- Price: $21.95
- Size: 8 oz.
- Find it here
The Beach and Dog Company is a non-corporate business owned and ran by a former veterinary professional. The U.S.-based company also sells pet accessories, such as baskets, leashes and collars as well as paw healing salves, hot spot relief items, as well as sunscreen. All ingredients are wholly organic plainly listed on the packaging with full transparency which helps a pet-owner feel confident in their ability to provide their pet with a safe, non-toxic sunscreen. Beach and Dog Co.’s sunscreen comes in a four-ounce container as a balm. With the main ingredients being coconut oil and shea butter, this product is also a natural salve for your dog’s skin, nose, and paws.
Why We Need the Best Dog Sunscreen Products
The first and main reason we need to buy one of the best dog sunscreen products for our pooch is to protect them from the sun, which ties into the next point – use of human sunscreens on dogs. It is NOT recommended to share sunscreen with your dog, as human-grade sunscreens can be toxic to animals. Particularly, human sunscreens containing zinc oxide and/or para-aminobenzoic acids, often coined PABA, as these have been known to cause toxicity if ingested by the dog (and your dog is likely to lick it).
Parabens are also avoided by many pet owners as they’re known to contain EDCs (endocrine disrupting compounds). Typically, a large quantity of EDCs would have to be consumed to cause toxicity symptoms, such as vomiting, seizure, lack of coordination, dizziness, and organ failure; however, smaller breeds and puppies may be more at risk. Since the top of the snout is one of the most vulnerable to sun damage, it’s important that whatever best dog sunscreen product you do apply to your dog is safe if they lick it, because they always, always will.
It’s also possible for contact dermatitis, skin allergy or for other dog skin problems to occur when a human-grade sunscreen is used on a dog.
Before you use any of these best dog sunscreen brands…
Test it out first in small amounts. When you purchase any product your dog hasn’t come in contact with before, even if it’s specifically formulated for canines, you should apply a small amount to an area of their body (the inner back leg is a good region as it’s typically hairless and easy to see).
If within the next hour the application site becomes inflamed, your dog could be allergic to an ingredient in the product and you should avoid applying more. If you are in the market for the best dog sunscreen brand, you may also ask for recommendations from your veterinarian or canine groomer, especially if your dog has proven to be sensitive or allergy-prone in the past.
Do not use any products on this list on other pets, such as cats, rabbits or any other animal, as they're not designed for them. For example, in cats using a dog sunscreen could cause feline toxicity.