According to Barbara Cohen, Executive Director of Animal Cancer Foundation, our pets aren’t immune to skin cancer risk either.  Melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma and hemangiomas can occur due to sun exposure.  “Pets that like to sunbathe or exercise outdoors for long periods of time are at risk for overexposure to harmful ultraviolet rays, especially pets with pink skin at the nose, ears or underbelly.  Dogs can develop melanoma in the mouth or around the digits (toes) as well, but thankfully these are not solar-induced.  Just as in people, early detection is key and pet parents should contact their veterinary professional about any unusual lumps and bumps.”   As for our feline friends, they are less likely to be diagnosed with melanoma but do run the risk of squamous cell carcinoma, so vigilance is key for them too.

4 Ways You Can Protect Your Pet’s Skin

  • Seek out shade for your pet to avoid overexposure to sun
  • New UV clothing designed for pets is available or you can use a human UV tee for protection for long hikes or days in the sun
  • Use a pet-safe sunscreen for exposed non-pigmented (pink, white furred or hairless) areas like noses, ears and underbellies
  • Reminder – zinc oxide is toxic to pets – and even pet-safe sunscreen should be allowed to dry thoroughly on application, so your pet doesn’t ingest any. Window loving pets need protection too – try UV film on glass windows