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Sun Protection For Your Pets

Just when you thought it was safe to go outside ...

Just when you had the whole sunscreen thing figured out, here comes Sarah to give you one more thing to think about. Maybe you've ditched the sunblocks that contain harmful chemicals in favor of less toxic formulas so you can protect everbody's skin without poisoning them in the process. You've bought the sun hats and SPF-rated beach cover-ups. But have you thought about your pets?

The AVMA (American Veterinary Medicine Association) just released a report stating that pets can suffer the same effects of overexposure to sun as humans: heat-stroke, sunburn and skin cancer. How can you protect your horses, cats and dogs?

Unfortunately it's not as easy as lathering them up as they finish their morning bowl of kibble. While the four-legged crowd may not wriggle and complain while you lube them up, they will—almost immediately—begin the process of licking it all off right after you finish. Aside from removing the protection, many sunscreens contain chemicals that are non-digestible and potentially toxic.

Happily, the FDA has approved a safe sunblock for dogs and horses—though it's not safe for cats. Cat lovers are left waiting in the wings while scientists work on a cat-safe sunscreen. Don't you love that image? I do.

Whether you choose to apply sunscreen or not, use common sense in the summer. Always provide shade and water, never leave your dog in a closed car—not even for five minutes—and keep them in during the heat of the day.

Sarah Hodgson June 05, 2012 at 10:55 AM
Where is there a pack of wild labradoodles? Now that would be a site!
Sarah Hodgson June 05, 2012 at 11:28 AM
You're on a roll!!!
Sarah Hodgson June 06, 2012 at 02:24 AM
I love your comments. Yes- it's true what you say...dogs talk through postures, not verbalization and you can hear them much better when they're not shouting...aka barking! I still love that dog spelled backwards as God...something I pointed out to my brother when I was 6 years old!
Sarah Hodgson June 06, 2012 at 02:28 AM
Perhaps we should have a breeder or groomer weigh in here: while I adore dogs I have only had shedders..and heavy shedders at that! I do know it is better for the dog to be groomed regularly, and to avoid the buzz cuts at all cost. It's funny but a dog's coat protects them from the elements: cold, ice, sun and heat. When you shave them down it hampers their temperature regulation. But sometime a groomer has no choice if the dog is matted down to the skin. If your dog is ever shaved this close immediately check their elbows and nipples for nicks from the shaver...they can get seriously infected if left untreated.
Sarah Hodgson June 06, 2012 at 02:30 AM
Dogs do say more in moments of quiet...and we can understand them so much more. Good for you to be so aware. Your dog is a lucky one!

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