DIY Homemade Sunscreen for Your Dog

June 25, 2015

Dogs often love the things that can hurt them: the frisbee that hits them square in the eye, the Giardia-breeding puddle they want drink from, and the sun. Yes, dogs have sun sensitivies just like humans.

Not only can the sun leave dogs susceptible to heat stroke, it can also burn sensitive areas of their skin like their nose, belly, and areas where there's little fur to protect them.

Keeping your dog's skin protected against the sun is easy with a dab of sunscreen, but not all sunscreens are safe for dogs. Many human sunscreens contain zinc oxide, which is toxic to dogs if they were to--say, lick the dab of sunscreen on their nose.

Many pet retailers sell dog-friendly sunscreens, but you can also make your own homemade dog sunscreen.

Homemade All-Natural Sunscreen for Your Dog

3 TBSP Sesame oil
2 TBSP Coconut oil
1 TBSP Emulsifying wax or natural beeswax (use more for thicker lotion)
1/2 cup pure green or black tea brew (or half & half)
1 tsp Calcium Montmorillonite Clay
3 TBSP Pure Aloe Vera (no alcohol)
6 drops Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) Essential Oil
5 drops Peppermint (Mentha piperita) Essential Oil
2 drops Carrot Seed (Daucus carota) Essential Oil
2 drops Myrhh (Commiphora myrrha) Essential Oil
2 drops Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) Essential Oil
1 drop Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum) Essential Oil

Mix sesame oil, coconut oil & wax in a double broiler and heat until melted.  Remove from heat and mix in essential oils.

In a bowl, mix tea brew, aloe vera, and calcium montmorillonite clay together and bring to lukewarm temperature on stove or in microwave.
Whisk vigorously while slowly adding tea mixture into the oil mixture.
Pour into a dark glass jar and store in the refrigerator.
Apply only as much as necessary on exposed areas and reapply after swimming.  Your dog will need a bath after their day in the sun is done.
Caution:  Experts recommend diluting essential oils considerably for use with pets. Please do not increase the amount of individual ingredients without increasing carrier oil and do not overuse.  Resist the urge to add citrus oils for scent as they can actually increase UV damage.  Avoid eye area and do not apply directly to genitalia.  Keep all essential oils out of reach of pets and children.
When sunscreen is not handy, provide your dog with plenty of shade and hydration, maybe opting for trails and paths in shady, wooded areas with water access.

Happy Trails, Rad Pack! 

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