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June 20, 2006

Dogs with sunburn are 'one of the No. 1 pet issues over the summer'

Sunscreendogglesuiui

Who knew dogs can get sunburned?

I sure didn't until I read Jennifer 8. Lee's story in yesterday's New York Times.

Here's the article.

    Pale Mutts Take Cover

    The dog days of summer are not dog-friendly at all.

    Dogs, like humans, can get sunburn from ultraviolet rays, which is why veterinarians recommend that pet owners use sunblock on their dogs and shade them when possible.

    "You basically treat them just like the way you treat yourself," said Kelly Connolly, a specialist with the Humane Society of the United States. "You want to limit your pet's exposure to the sun."

    During summer months vets often see pale dogs suffering from sunburn. "It's one of the No. 1 pet issues over the summer," Ms. Connolly said.

    Symptoms include signs of redness, hair loss and skin sensitivity. Be especially wary of any red lesions that may emerge on your dog's skin that are not from a fight with a neighborhood cat. In extreme cases, it may be early signs of skin cancer. Yes, dogs can get skin cancer, too.

    Dogs with light-colored short hair are the most vulnerable. That includes breeds like bull terriers and Chihuahuas. "Anything with a lighter tone with less shaggy mane," Ms. Connolly said. "You don't want to clip your fur too short because it does act as a sunscreen, a sun shield."

    But don't slather Coppertone over Fido, as human sunscreen may be toxic to dogs. Dog-specific sunblock is important since dogs, more so than humans, lick themselves. What starts on the outside may end up inside the dog. A two-ounce spray bottle of SPF 15 Pet Sunscreen sells for about $10 online and at some pet stores.

    As with humans, sunblock may need to be reapplied on the dog several times a day. Ms. Connolly advised that sunscreen should be put where the fur is thin and the skin is exposed: tips of ears, nose, lips, groin area. Lastly, Ms. Connolly added, "If your dog rolls around on his belly a lot, you might want to put it on his belly."

....................

A 2 oz. spray bottle of SPF 15 Pet Sunscreen (top) is $9.99.

Q. Can I use my dog's sunscreen if I run out?

A. Arf. (That means "sheesh")

June 20, 2006 at 03:01 PM | Permalink


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