Is Sunscreen Poisonous To Cats Or Dogs?

Is sunscreen poisonous to cats or dogs? In short, sunscreen can be harmful or toxic to cats or dogs if ingested or if it gets in their eyes. It is important to keep sunscreen out of reach of pets and to clean up any residue on their fur or skin after application. Consult a veterinarian if your pet ingests sunscreen or shows signs of irritation or illness.

The Effects of Sunscreen on Cats and Dogs

The most common effects of sunscreen on your pets are given below:

Ingredients in sunscreen that may be harmful to pets

Some studies have shown that oxybenzone and octinoxate, commonly found in sunscreens, can be toxic to pets. These ingredients can be absorbed through the skin or ingested and can cause various symptoms in pets.

Symptoms of sunscreen poisoning in pets

Symptoms of sunscreen poisoning in pets can vary depending on the level of exposure and the specific type of sunscreen. Common symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty breathing.

These symptoms can be caused by the pet ingesting the sunscreen or by the pet having contact with the sunscreen through their skin. In severe cases, pets may experience organ damage, such as liver or kidney failure and even death.

It is important to note that these symptoms may not appear immediately and may take several days to manifest. If you suspect your pet has been exposed to sunscreen, it is essential to seek immediate veterinary care to prevent further complications.

is sunscreen poisonous to cats or dogs

Potential long-term effects of sunscreen on pets

It is important to note that prolonged exposure to the harmful ingredients in sunscreen can lead to chronic health issues for pets. Organ damage, such as liver and kidney failure, can occur with repeated ingestion of sunscreen. Topical application can also lead to skin irritation, allergic reactions, and in some cases, even cancer.

It is crucial to be aware of the ingredients in sunscreen and to keep it out of access to pets at all times. It is also recommended to use pet-safe sunscreens that do not contain harmful ingredients like oxybenzone and octinoxate.

The Importance of Sunscreen for Pets

Pets, especially those with short or thin fur, are at a higher risk of sunburn and skin cancer. The ears, nose, and belly are particularly susceptible to sun damage, as these areas have less fur and less protection from the sun’s UV rays. Sunscreen for pets is essential to protect them from these harmful effects and to keep them safe and healthy.

Types of Sunscreen for Pets

There are two main types of sunscreen for pets: physical and chemical. Physical sunscreen, also known as mineral sunscreen, reflects the sun’s rays away from the skin. Chemical sunscreen, on the other hand, absorbs the sun’s rays and converts them into heat, which is then released from the skin.

Both types of sunscreen are effective, but it is essential to choose a sunscreen that is specifically designed for pets and does not contain any ingredients that could be harmful to them.

Can any sunscreen be used on pets?

No. Sunscreens formulated for humans may contain ingredients that are toxic to pets, such as zinc oxide and para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA). It is essential to use sunscreen specifically formulated for pets, which will be safe for their sensitive skin.

It is also necessary to consider the application method; for example, spray sunscreens can be inhaled by pets and cause respiratory problems. Instead, look for a lotion or cream form that you can easily apply with your hands or a pet-specific brush.

Tips for Keeping Your Cats and Dogs Safe

To protect your pets from the potential risks associated with sunscreen, it is essential to take the following precautions:

  • Do not apply sunscreen to cats and dogs without consulting a veterinarian first
  • Choose a sunscreen that is specifically designed for pets and does not contain any potentially harmful ingredients.
  • Avoid using spray sunscreens, as they can be inhaled by pets and cause respiratory problems
  • Keep all sunscreen products not within easy reach of pets.
  • Watch your pets closely when outside, and provide them with plenty of shade and water.
  • If you notice any signs of illness or discomfort in your pets after applying sunscreen, contact your veterinarian immediately.


In conclusion, sunscreen for pets is an essential tool for protecting your furry friend from the harmful effects of the sun. By choosing a sunscreen specifically designed for pets and applying it correctly, you can help to keep your pet safe and healthy.

Whether you’re spending time at the beach or walking around the neighborhood, remember to protect your pet from the sun’s harmful rays with sunscreen.

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *