Remember – dogs need sunscreen too!

So, why do dogs need to wear sunscreen?

Now that the Summer weather seems to be upon us I want to share some advice; This beautiful boy is Ziggy and the inspiration behind Stardust Doggy Care.

He will be 11 this year and acts like a 6 month old pup! The SSPCA told us that we had saved him the day we adopted this big guy 10 years ago but the reality is that he saved us.

This boy is my world and has got me through so many dark days that life without him is incomprehensible. Two years ago, Ziggy’s future however was uncertain after a friend found a lump on his head whilst scratching his ears.

When I looked at it and saw the level of pigment I knew it wasn’t good. We went straight to the vet and they confirmed my worst fears, it was Melanoma.

I was asked if he liked to lie in the sun, which I confirmed he did, the silly big dude is a sun worshipper. The vet then asked if I put sunscreen on him, I was totally puzzled by this, never in my life had I even considered putting it on a dog!

In all my years of animal psychology and dog handling training, this has never cropped up.

Hands up, I was totally ignorant to this. I mean Ziggy had a full fur coat, surely Mr Sun couldn’t get to him through that? Oh yes he could and the realisation that my boy was sick and I could have prevented this was truly devastating. So, Zig went in to be operated on and have the lump removed, the vet checked for any others but thankfully there was just one.

The operation was a success and the samples were then sent to be analysed, it was the longest 2 week wait of my life. Ziggy is terrified of the vet and did not easily forgive me for his op, every time I looked at him I burst into tears.

Finally the vet called with the results and thankfully the operation was a complete success, all of the Melanoma had been removed and Ziggy was cancer free.

I vowed from that day on that he would have the best sunscreen I could afford. Zig still loves to lie in the sun, any tiny spec and he’s lying in it, I do however limit his time outside and try to close blinds etc to make sure he’s not exposed too long. He also wears sunscreen, I use a spray on one all over his body and I also rub it into his balder bits like his nose, head and tummy.

He hates it and moans when I put it on but we have a chat about how it’s to keep him safe and well. The Stardust team also carry sunscreen in the doggy vans, our gang are sprayed with sunscreen on sunny an hot days to keep them safe, whilst on walks.

As a cancer survivor Ziggy also runs race for life every year to raise funds for those in need. He was one of the lucky ones and we are grateful for that every day. Don’t put your dog at risk, make sure you apply sunscreen to them as you would yourself!

For a link to Suncreen wipes for your dog, click here

The Startdust Doggy care team