How to spot and prevent skin cancer in dogs

A Jack Russell relaxing in the grass
Look after your dog this summer (Picture: Getty)

Summer is just around the corner, and one thing that’s very important to remember when the hot weather approaches is to look after your dog.

The sun can be very harmful to dogs, causing skin damage and even cancer.

Richard Setterwall, general manager at Rover.com, a dog walking and sitting service, says that over the last couple of decades dog owners are starting to become more aware of pup sun protection – with more people buying doggy suncream.

Richard said: ‘From using sun-screen wipes to knowing the early signs of sun damage, it’s important for owners to be clued up on how to properly protect their dogs.

‘What’s more, overheating can also cause heat stroke in dogs – a state of extreme hyperthermia – so it’s really important to make sure you’re taking the proper precautions whilst your dog’s enjoying the sun.’

So, how can we go about protecting our lovely fur babies?

An owner walking their dog in the park
Check their skin for signs and symptoms (Picture: Getty)

Well, Richard recommends using a mist or similar to protect your dogs, paying extra attention to vulnerable areas like their ears, belly and nose – where they have less fur.

You should also minimise the number of hours your pup spends in the sun. Of course it’s lovely to take them to the park, but don’t let them get over-heated.

A carabiner is a quick and easy way to leash your dog.

It’s also important to create shaded spaces so that they can cool down and escape the rays.

Richard adds: ‘There are some fantastic sun protection products available in stores across the UK and online, all specially made for our pooches – you can visit B&M, Amazon and Pets At Home for sun-screen wipes, sun cream and even sun hats.’

Worried your dog might already be suffering? There are a few ways to spot the signs of skin damage and skin cancer in your dog.

Check your dog’s skin to see if it looks red or tender, especially if they are scratching or whimpering, as this means they may be suffering with sunburn.

Like humans, unexplained lumps and bumps can be a sign of something more sinister.

Make sure you’re regularly checking your dog and even if it turns out to just be a skin tag, if it is causing you concern, speak to your vet.

You should also keep an eye out for lesions and scabs – as it can be something you might want to chat to your vet about.

So, make sure you’re looking after your dog.

Do take them out, let them run around and have fun, but monitor their sun exposure, ensure you are checking their skin regularly throughout the heat and make sure they have some cooler spots for them to relax in.

Use a Roll of Packing Tape to Pick Up Loose Pet Fur. Do your clothes pick up dog hair like crazy? Don’t have a lint roller on hand? One of my favorite life hacks for dog owners is using packing tape to pick off all that dog hair that gets all over your clothes.

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