July is UV Safety Month!

Skin cancer is the most common cancer. About 5.4 million basal and squamous cell skin cancers are diagnosed each year. Though the statistics are sobering, skin cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer! There are many ways to protect your skin from harmful UV radiation, and you need more than 1 step for full protection. People should follow as many tips as possible:

  • Slip on a shirt
  • Slop on sunscreen
  • Slap on a hat
  • Wrap in sunglasses to protect your eyes and sensitive skin
  • Use the UV Index forecast to know your UV exposure risk. (A higher UV Index on a scale from 1 to 11+ means more skin damaging UV radiation is reaching earth).
  • Limit the amount of time you spend in the direct sun, especially when the sun’s rays are the strongest, generally from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
  • Wear protective clothing when you’re out in the sun, including long sleeves, sunglasses, and a hat that shades your face, neck, and ears.
  • Wear sunscreen with broad spectrum protection and an SPF of 30 or higher on all skin that isn’t covered.
  • Never loo directly at the sun.
  • Use extra caution when near water, snow, and sand.
  • Use an umbrella for shade from the sun.

 

Did you know? Most people don’t realize that dogs with short legs are susceptible to sunburn than other dogs. This is because their bellies are closer to the ground, therefore it’s easier for the tummy area to get sunburn from the sunlight being reflected off of the ground.

  • Apply a dog sunscreen. Put it on your dog’s nose, belly, ears, and groin. Any spot that is normally “pink” on your dog – including any skin that shows when your dog is shaved – should be protected with sunscreen prior to being outdoors for long.  Avoid using dog sunscreen around the eyes.
  • Keep your dog indoors during the hottest part of the day. This applies year-round because sun exposure is sun exposure, whether it’s summer, winter, spring, or fall. If your dog will be in the backyard for long periods of time, make sure to provide some shade for your dog.
  • Don’t cut your dog’s fur too short. Your dog’s hair is one of the things that helps to protect the skin from sun exposure. If your dog have at least half-an-inch of fur, then it would be highly unlikely that sunburn would ever occur. However, if your dog is shaved, then be very careful whenever he is exposed to the sun. That said, fur alone isn’t the best source of sun protection.
  • Buy sun protection dog clothes. In addition to mid-length dog shirts, look for a full-body dog sun suit. Ideally, you want at least 30+ Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF). Dog sun suits with 50+ UPF are best.
  • Protect your dog;s eyes. The eyes are a common spot for canine melanoma. That’s why doggie sunglasses, like Doggles, are so popular.