Thinking about taking your fur babies out to the beach with you this summer? Make sure to think about sun protection for your pets before you head to the water. Even daily exposure to sun on a walk around the block could be enough to cause health problems in your pet. Dogs who spend a lot of time outdoors are also susceptible to issues associated with excessive sun exposure. When it comes to vet care for cats and dogs, seasonal pet tips can help you stay focused on what’s best for your pet. Have questions? Visit Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth for an annual check-up and get some solid, professional advice. Need help? We are also a Southeastern Massachusetts emergency vet and see patients from Rhode Island to the Cape, providing quality veterinary and emergency services.
Pets and Skin Cancer
A lot of pet owners are unaware that pets can get skin cancer too, just like people. In fact, both dogs and cats are susceptible to a lot of types of sun damage. Too much exposure can result in sunburns, burns on the sensitive pads of feet, and even deadly skin cancer. While most pets have hair that serves to protect them from damage caused by the sun year-round, others might have shorter hair, less hair, or even have balding patches as they age. It is important to protect your pet’s sensitive skin any way that you can.
When out at the beach, pets are even more vulnerable to the sun’s harmful rays. Areas that aren’t typically covered by hair, such as the eyelids, lips, nose, and ears are often the first to get skin cancer or sunburns. Even your pet’s belly, which typically has less fur than the rest of their body, can be exposed to the sun during naps or playtime in the sun and end up with a sunburn or skin cancer. Light-colored pets are more susceptible to sun damage than darker-colored or multi-colored pets, as well as pets with shorter or thining hair. Keep reading to see what you can do to prevent a trip to the local Southeastern Massachusetts emergency vet as you enjoy the beaches of Cape Cod and the Southcoast region together.
What You Can Do
Like any good pet parent, you will probably want to know what you can do to minimize exposure and reduce the chances of your pet getting burned. If you have specific questions about your pet beyond the basic care provided here, call or visit Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff can answer any questions that you might have about vet care for cats and dogs while providing you with tips you can use to keep your pet safe this summer season.
- Reduce Exposure – The first thing you should do is to keep your pets inside when the heat and sun are the strongest. This will also protect them from dangerous heat stroke due to too much time outdoors. While some days are hotter than others, the typical period to keep pets – and probably kids – indoors on a hot day, is between 11 am and 3 pm.
- Vet-Approved Sunscreen – There are now sunscreen options available for pets. To find out if this is okay for your pet, ask your local veterinarian. As with other medications and products, keep the sunscreen up and away so your pet can’t get into it when you aren’t looking. Consider pet-safe sunscreen for at least your pet’s ears, nose, and any other area that might be vulnerable to the sun. Like with children, avoid getting the sunscreen in your pet’s eyes and make sure they don’t try to eat it. Unlike human sunscreen, which carries toxic ingredients that can be harmful to pets, look for vet-approved sunscreens that are safe. Don’t just assume that every pet sunscreen is safe – speak with your vet before use.
- Solar Clothing – There are a few lines of pet-safe protective clothing now made for dogs and cats. If you have a pet who likes to lay out in the sun each day, consider some pet-safe clothing. While a light-colored T-shirt can be helpful for some pets, others who have had sunburns or experienced skin cancer in the past should definitely wear protective clothing made specifically for being in the sun.
Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth
We have cared for pets in the Southcoast region since 1975. Our team of highly trained, skilled, and knowledgeable veterinary professionals provides quality vet care for cats and dogs, rabbits, and pocket pets. To learn more about our practice, the services that we offer, and our Southeastern Massachusetts emergency vet hospital, please give us a call at 508-996-3731. We can answer any questions that you might have, provide seasonal pet tips, or schedule an appointment for a veterinary check-up to ensure that your pet is healthy year-round.