Since our canine companions have a furry coat we rarely think about sun damage. But, dogs can develop lumps and bumps just like us, so it's important to get familiar with the landscape of their skin in case something sketchy pops up. It's always best if you can catch it early.
Step one: go through your dog's fur head to toes to get a baseline. Dogs with lighter and shorter coats are more prone to skin cancers.
Make sure you look between the toes! Growths on the feet can get infected and misdiagnosed so be keen as to what is normally there and use your instincts if you feel like the growth should be tested. Your vet is a great resource for this.
Call your vet if a growth is new and seems suspicious at all. Many can be benign, but malignant melanoma can grow fast in dogs. There are lots of options for removal, testing, and treatment if something does show up, especially if caught early.
Excessive chewing or licking an area could draw your attention to a growth, so take note.
Bathe and brush your dogs regularly. It keeps their skin healthy and keeps you more in tune with the landscape of their bodies. They really do rely on us for this!
Skintastic! Now you have a few gems to keep your dog healthy!