9. How to protect your dog from canine skin cancer
When it’s a problem: When most dogs get skin cancer, it’s not due to sun exposure. That said, shorthaired dogs with light skin pigmentation are more likely to develop sun-induced squamous cell carcinoma, which tend to appear on sparsely haired areas, such as the belly. While skin cancer is very rare, it would look like blood blisters on your dog’s skin, says Kim.
Skin cancer isn’t the only danger, either: Because they don’t have a lot of fur and may like to lie belly-up in the sun, dogs like bull terriers, whippets, beagles, and Dalmatians are most susceptible to solar dermatitis, a sun rash, says Kim.
Solution: “Should I put sunscreen on my dog?” is a common question, but it doesn’t have a simple answer. Many sunscreens (at least those intended for humans) contain aluminum; it’s not good for dogs to consume, which is a risk because dogs lick themselves. In general, fur protects dogs from the sun, she says. For extra measure, consider outfitting your dog in a shirt, like this Gold Paw Sun Shield Dog Shirt (prices start at $23.97).
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