If you are a dog owner you probably have chased your dog down yelling “what did you get into this time”! Dogs for some reason find certain things tasty and sunscreen is one of those items the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center gets regular calls about during the summer months. If you look at the ingredients listed on your sunscreen you will see that it contains a number of ingredients some you may recognize the name of and other you shake your head and wonder what is that.
Generally, the primary reported issue for a pet who has ingested sunscreen is gastrointestinal upset; occasionally those signs may be severe and include bloody vomiting and diarrhea. As reported by the ASPCApro, sunscreen generally contains two primary ingredients that everyone dog owner should know about.
Many sunscreens contain salicylates, often more than one kind at a variety of concentrations.
Salicylates have several effects in the body that ultimately result in a respiratory alkalosis and a compensatory metabolic acidosis; rarely hepatoxicity may be seen. Gastric ulcerations are also possible with exposure to salicylates.
While these more serious effects are not commonly reported when sunscreens are ingested, more caution may be warranted when large amounts or higher concentrations of salicylates are ingested.
Beside sunscreen, zinc oxide is also commonly found in diaper rash creams. The most common sign reported is vomiting—and because it often occurs soon after exposure due to the irritating nature of zinc oxide, pets may decontaminate themselves this way.
Rarely, however, allergic reactions are reported with ingestion of zinc oxide—typically manifesting in facial swelling and pruritis. While not common, zinc toxicity is possible if sufficient amounts of zinc oxide are ingested.
Both Salicylates and Zinc Oxide can be toxic to dogs when consumed in large quantities and since a lot of sunscreens contain both when a dog ingest the sunscreen it can be extremely harmful to dogs.
4 Legged Sunblock has removed zinc oxide from its formula and never contained salicylates. We continue to strive at keeping our 4 Legged Friends and Family Members health and safe.