rock the block health t ip s Our pets are always ready to have some fun, but how do we make sure that they stay safe in the process? In this edition’s Health Tips, we’ll shine a light on heat tolerance in furry friends and rev our safety engines to dish summer road trip tips. You’ll also learn about pet-safe sunblock, high-rise hazards and how to patch up heat-damaged paw pads. by dr. kim smyth Luckily, most pets are almost fully covered by fur. The exception is white pets, whose skin is more exposed to harmful UVA and UVB rays. At-risk areas include ear tips, noses, and the bellies of sunbathers. When choosing a lotion, steer clear of sunscreen containing zinc oxide and/or salicylates. These are toxic to dogs and cats when ingested. There are several pet-safe sunscreens on the market, but be sure to double check the ingredients — especially for cats. If you’re unsure, call your vet. The best way to prevent sun damage is to avoid exposure. Keep your pets inside from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to avoid peak sun times, and if your pet is amenable, outfit him in a UV-protectant rash guard to prevent exposure. For cats and dogs who sunbathe in the window, remember that glass offers some protection, but it’s not sun-proof. Invest in a UV blocking window film for your pet’s favorite perch. Did you know that pets can get sunburned, too? It’s true! But before you slap on the sunblock, there are some things you need to know. First, pets are susceptible to poisons that we aren’t. Second, pets often ingest sunscreen from licking (especially cats, whose fastidious grooming puts them at risk with anything we apply to their skin).
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