Protect the pup on warm and sunny days!

Dante and Jake Pastel of Westlake, avid yacht dogs, practice both boating and sun safety.
Just like humans, our animals are prone to skin cancers and other consequences of the heat.

“If we feel hot, they even feel hotter!”

According to local veterinarian Stephanie Dean, the main point about dogs and heat stroke is that because of their fur coats and the limited mechanisms of heat exchange (panting and sweating through their feet), if we feel hot, they even feel hotter, especially on those humid Cleveland days.

Brachycephelic breeds (example: boxers, bostons, pugs) and overweight dogs and others with health issues are particularly at risk because of their compromised breathing and panting ability. Panting is not an ideal way to cool as it requires a lot of muscle activity, which in turn generates more heat.

If a dog's core body temperature remains at 160 degrees for a significant amount of time, damage occurs to the brain, blood and organs. A core body temperature of 110 degrees for even a few minutes can result in death. The canine typically start out with a body temperature of about 100 degrees.

So be safe and smart and let your canine companion take a dip, offer shade and NEVER leave your pets in a vehicle. Offer lots of fresh water.

Canines are also susceptible to sunburns and skin cancers. One little mole on a pet can spread and metastasize in one week. Just like in humans, watch those moles and have your vet check them regularly.

Pets that have bald spots, short and light color fur or existing skin conditions are like the blond-haired and blue-eyed humans – at higher risk.

Dr. Dean recommends when out with your dog for extended time to protect those vulnerable parts (ears, nose and underbelly). A SPF 15-30 should be applied and reapplied. There are products formulated just for pets but human products with UVA and UVB spectrum coverage will also work. If Fido licks it off there should be limited or no side affects. Licking the product off will just diminish the protection, so make sure to reapply.

If your dog likes to make a fashion statement, check catalogs and locals boutiques for the latest in protective seasonal attire.

Read More on Pet Care
Volume 1, Issue 4, Posted 10:23 PM, 09.24.2009