Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Skin cancer is not only a danger in humans, it is also a big danger for dogs as well. It has been estimated that approximately 1 on every 200 dogs (or about 0.5%) will develop some type of cancer or have a tumor each year. The article below discusses what you should look out for and some precautions to reduce the chances of your dog getting skin cancer.

Common skin cancer in dogs is the result of DNA damage caused by excessive exposure to UV rays (sunlight). Animals with light pigment, bare patches of skin and certain breeds like bull terriers are more at risk to skin cancer than other dogs.

Below are 4 ways to minimize the chance of your dog getting skin cancer:

1) Apply Sunscreen - Sunscreen should be applied to the belly, underarms and nose as well as any other areas that have fair skin or are light in pigment.

2) Choose Appropriate Dog - When selecting a puppy or dog, if you live in a hot area choose breeds with dark pigmented skin and a longer coat.

3) Keep Out Of Direct Sun - Working all day means your dog is often kept outside all day. Consider leaving your dog indoors whilst you are at work. Also, try not to walk your dog between 9am-4pm in the daytime where the sun is at it's strongest.

4) Dog Vests - Clothes such as jackets and vests can minimize the effects of the sun, but often slip up, get torn or are played with by the dog. You should also not walk your dog in the middle of the day (between 9am-4pm) as this is when the sun is at it's most strongest.

If you follow these tips as well as regularly examine your dogs skin, you will reduce the chances of your dog getting cancer.