Vet Stuff with Dr. Steph

Fun in the sun!

By January 9, 2020 No Comments

Summer for most of us consists of trips to the cottage, beach, hiking and more time spent outdoors.

It also means the sun is out longer and with our ever-changing environmental worries the UVA and UVB risks are a growing concern. We often think about protecting ourselves and our families but did you know we can protect our dogs too?

 Dogs are at risk of developing different types of skin cancers from prolonged exposure to the sun.

Those with a white hair coat, non-pigmented skin and who like to sun bathe on their backs are at high risk, but all dogs need protection around the areas of the body with sparse hair such as ears, abdomen and noses. 

There are a lot products that should NOT be applied to your dog and more importantly for cat owners, NO PRODUCT should be applied to your cat. Cats groom themselves and no sunscreen should be ingested, sorry kitties, you will have to stick to the shade. But, there are some products that are safe for dogs. 

 How do you know what product is safe?

Look for a product that has protection against UVA and UVB (a broad-spectrum sunscreen), one that DOES NOT CONTAIN ZINC, IT IS TOXIC TO PETS and unfortunately it is a common ingredient in most mineral and baby sunscreens, so be cautious when choosing your product.  

Also, avoid the ingredient Octyl Salicylate, this too is TOXIC to pets.

Find one that is fragrance free and non-staining (steer clear of “bronzing” or “shimmering”) and SPF 30 or higher is ideal.

 Finding a safe product is important and the application is too. Avoid contact with your pets eyes, if the product you have is a spray, apply it to your hands first and then rub into your pets skin.  

If your dog has a history of skin concerns or allergies please consult your veterinarian BEFORE APPLICATION.

 If you are unsure of a product that you want to apply to your pet, bring the bottle in or take a picture of the label and send it to us, we would be happy to help you!

 And, If all else fails, a cute T-shirt and matching hat and a shady tree will work too!

Leave a Reply