Dogs developing skin cancer is a major concern just as it is for humans developing skin cancer. About 1 in every 200 dogs (or approximately 0.5% of dogs) will develop some form of tumor or skin cancer per year. Read on below for some advice on how to check your dog for skin cancer and how to minimize your dog’s chances of developing skin cancer.
Skin cancer in dogs occurs due to too much UV rays reaching the dog (sunlight) and affecting the dogs DNA causing cancer. Dogs with light skin, bare patches, light pigment and certain breeds such as bull terriers are more at risk of developing a form of skin cancer than other dogs.
So how can you check your dog for signs of skin cancer? Firstly, you should regularly feel around your dogs skin. This will help you to notice bumps or lumps that were not there before. You should also pay attention to your dogs behavior. A tired or lethargic dog that is eating less or vomiting may have cancer. If your dog has any of the symptoms for more than a day, you should always visit your vet immediately for a checkup.
Below is 4 tips to reduce the possibility 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) Pick The Right Dog – If you live in a hot climate, pick a dog with dark pigmented skin and a medium to long 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 Clothes – Fitting dog clothes can offer some UV protection, but these clothes often either simply fall off after a few hours or get used as a toy by the dog.
If you follow these tips as well as regularly examine your dogs skin, you will reduce the chances of your dog getting cancer.