Sun Protection for Pets

What about our pets... Do they need sunblock too? 

Light-skinned or white-coloured animals are particularly at risk from skin cancer and the areas that have no fur – ear tips, bridge of nose, lips, tummy of dogs that love lying on their backs. 

How can we help our pets minimise their risk for contracting Skin Cancer or sun-related tumors? 

There are pet friendly products on the market to help prevent skin damaged by the sun, but there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to protecting our pets skin. 

Lets take a look at them:


Can I use ZINC on my pet's nose and ears?

No.  Zinc is toxic for animals and should be avoided at all costs.

Zinc oxide is an irritant to the stomach. In cases of short-term exposure or when smaller amounts are ingested, signs include vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, abdominal pain, and generalized depression. With long-term exposure or when large quantities are ingested, signs also include severe intravascular hemolytic anemia, blood in the urine, jaundice, weakness, multiple organ failure, and death. Source : PetEducation


Is there a sunblock specifically for pets in South Africa?

Yes, Petscreen SPF23 is available in stores and online.

PETSCREEN SPF23 contains 4 different sunscreen agents in a quick-drying base, giving a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 23 with broad- spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB components of sunlight. Safe to use daily on light skinned pets.  Buy Now.

What else can I use to protect my pets from the sun?

Zinc-Free Sunblock for babies SPF30 and higher can also safely be used on your pets skin.

How does one apply the sunblock?

  • Most pets do not like the spray (or the sound of it), so its best to spray some on your hand or on a cotton bud and then rub onto their skin.
  • Do not put sunblock on open wounds or scratches.
  • Avoid getting sunblock in the eyes or mucus (ie, do not get the sunblock on the tip of the nose)

The next time you go for a hike or a walk on the beach, remember to rub on the sunblock before you go!


Skin cancer in cats and dogs

Many types of skin tumors, both benign and malignant, exist.  Approximately 20-40% of primary skin tumors are malignant in dogs and 50-65% are malignant in cats. Wikipedia


Vetstreet on Cancer
Both dogs and cats can develop skin cancer, and the common forms of skin cancers found in humans —melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma and basal cellcarcinoma — are also seen in pets. Fortunately, basal cellcarcinoma is relatively uncommon in animals, but melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma are all too common.


PetMD on Cancer
Just as in people, malignant melanoma is a type of skin cancer in dogs that affects pigmented cells known as melanocytes. Dogs often develop benign tumors in pigmented cells that do not metastasize, which are called melanocytomas. These tumors are found on areas of the dog's body that have hair.





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