SAN DIEGO, August 25, 2020 – Part of what makes summer enjoyable and fun is sharing it in a variety of ways with our beloved pet companions. The summer sun coupled with COVID adds another level of preventative measures needed for enjoying the great outdoors with our four-leg and furry friends.
Dogs are prone to sun-related skin cancer
Believe it or not, the family dog needs protection from the sun and heat all summer long!
Protecting your pet from the summer sun
According to Dr. Horvath-Ungerboeck, a veterinary dermatologist from the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, animals like dogs that enjoy lying on their backs and exposing their bellies to the sun are particularly susceptible to sunburn.
Dogs who have little or no hair, who has pink or white skin pigmentation or who are thin-skinned are more highly susceptible.
However, no dog is exempt from skin cancer, and it can also be found in breeds with substantial coats.
The most common forms of skin cancer in dogs may be found on the body, face, nose, muzzles, ears, toes, and mucous membranes.
There are three major forms of skin cancer in dogs, according to WebMD:
1. Malignant melanoma.
2. Squamous cell carcinoma, which is most commonly associated with sun-related cancer.
3. Mast cell tumors
Find a dog-friendly sunscreen that is approved by a veterinarian.
Child safe sunscreen is a major step in the right direction for protecting a best-friend throughout the summer months. However, be careful to choose a sunscreen that does not contain zinc oxide, PABA or other ingredients that are known to be toxic to dogs.
Simple lifestyle changes throughout the summer, such as taking walks and engaging in outdoor activities before noon or after 3:00 pm when the sun is at its lowest point provides automatic sun protection for both dogs and humans.
Stylish canines might enjoy wearing fashion-forward protective eyewear, rash guard shirts and cool visors.
Ensuring a best-friend has an ample supply of water and a shady area is critical for sun protection and heat exposure.
Taking the family dog for an annual examination with a qualified veterinarian to be examined for overall health and skin condition is highly recommended as a preventive measure.
COVID-19 safety measures for your pet
Our four-legged companion is ready and eager for the next great summer adventure, but your pet needs to social distance as well. Keep your dog leashed and 6 feet away from others. Try to avoid dog parks, dog beaches and other crowded spaces.
Cats and ferrets are more susceptible to COVID than dogs the FDA states, so don’t let your pet interact with anyone outside of your home.
Always willing to please its people, the family dog needs to be loved and protected from everyday elements and exposures, especially from the intensity of summertime sun. And never forget the most important defense, plenty of clean, cool water.
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!
(Main image: Thanks to Lenin Estrada for making this photo available freely on @unsplash 🎁