Summer is Coming!

Summer is Coming!

Summer is just around the corner and here in New Mexico our pets are enjoying the longer days basking in the sun, both indoors and out. As pet parents it is important to educate ourselves about the potential risks to our pets’ health from sun exposure. Just like us, our pets can experience negative effects from sun exposure. They get painful sunburns that scab and peel. And, they can get skin cancer associated with sun exposure including: malignant melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and basal cell carcinoma. At particular risk are animals that have light skin pigmentation and/or have very short fur, including pets that have been shaved for the summer. Here are some steps that you can take to keep your pet healthy this summer, while still enjoying our amazing Santa Fe weather. Routinely check your pet’s skin for abnormalities. When examining your pet pay particular attention to the muzzle, ears, lips, and to the skin around the eyes and nose. Exams on dogs should also include a thorough inspection of the belly and inner thighs. Look for red or black spots / crusts – they can be as small as a pinprick – and scabs / wounds that do not heal. It is a good idea to schedule a monthly reminder to check your pet’s skin and ask your groomer or anyone else involved in your pet’s care to let you know if they notice any suspicious areas. Consider keeping your pet in the house during peak sun hours (in New Mexico that is from about 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). When your pet is outside, ensure that there...