Although the temperature has dropped over the last week, it’s set to rise again throughout May. In the hotter weather, not only do we have to look after our own skin, but that of our pets too.
Megan Jerred, vet expert from animalfriends.co.uk said “We've seen a 20% increase in sun and heat related conditions in dogs since 2014, including dehydration and skin cancer - which can cost owners an average of £528 in vet bills.
“It often comes as a surprise to owners when they hear that pets can suffer from skin cancer, as some assume that fur will protect them from the sun.
“Unfortunately, this isn't an effective barrier, and white-furred pets are at highest risk because their skin lacks natural pigmentation which helps to block out the harmful UV rays.”
As well as keeping your pet out of the sun in the peak hours on hot days and making sure they always have access to shade, Megan Jerred recommended that owners use sun cream made specifically for pets, which can be purchased in many places online and instore. It should especially be used on pets with lighter, short fur or with areas of exposed skin (often, the tips of ears are more exposed than other areas).
It’s also possible to use sun cream that’s safe for human babies if you can’t find any pet sun cream, however you need to make sure it doesn’t contain zinc oxide, as this can be toxic to pets. It’s also best to test the sun cream first on a small area of their body to make sure they won’t have a reaction to it.
Pet owners should always contact their vet immediately if they notice any differences to their pet’s skin, such as sore patches or ulcers.