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Preventing Pet Sunburns

dog-sun-burnHumans aren’t the only creatures prone to sunburn and skin cancer. Household pets are also at risk.
Canine breeds that are most sensitive include German Shorthaired Pointers, Staffordshire Terriers, Pit Bulls, Boxers and Bull Terriers. Felines with white ears, eyelids and noses should also be protected, as severe burns may also result in skin infections.
To protect your pets on those sunny summer days, provide them with ample shade and apply sunscreen when possible. Here are a few handy tips about which sunscreens to use and where to apply them.
1) Apply sunblock to sun-sensitive areas such as ear tips, nose, and belly and groin areas that typically have thinner skin and sparse hair coverage. Cats love to sunbathe, as do some dogs – especially with their bellies up. Additionally, many people get “summer cuts” for their dogs and cats to reduce matting and keep the pets comfortable in the heat. Be aware that these cuts can increase the potential of sunburns.
2) Consult with your veterinarian regarding pet-specific sunscreens. While the risk of using most human sunscreen products is low, ingredients like zinc oxide can be toxic and cause gastrointestinal problems if ingested. Products should have an SPF of 15 or higher, be fragrance-free, waterproof, and block both UVA and UVB rays.
3) Felines can be particularly sensitive to sunscreen ingredients. Again, be sure to avoid products with zinc oxide, as well as those with octyl salicylate, homosalate and ethylhexyl salicylate (common sunscreen ingredients). Products containing titanium dioxide as an active ingredient are fine to use on noses and ear tips. This ingredient works by physically blocking the sun’s harmful rays. So the skin doesn’t absorb much of it. Be sure to read the label carefully.
Make sunscreen application fun by rewarding with Loving Pets treats. For canines, check out Loving Pets Pure Poultry™ 100% all-natural Chicken treats that also offer a fun summer BBQ theme. Felines will purr away over Loving Pets It’s Purely Natural® Beef Lung, Shrimp, Chicken and Buffalo treats, featuring single ingredient meats gently freeze dried for maximum flavor and nutrition.