Dogs Get Skin Cancer Too

Dogs Get Skin Cancer Too

Although I’ve been a dog owner my whole life, it’s never occurred to me that my dogs needed protection from the sun.  If it’s never occurred to you either – dogs get skin cancer too.  I recently learned this first-hand, and now I want other dog owners to be aware.


My Vizsla Lucy loves to sunbathe, and a few weeks ago I noticed some odd spots on her abdomen.  At first they looked like tiny bruises, but over time transformed to look  more like moles (but bloody in color).  My vet recommended that we remove them, so we scheduled surgery and had the spots sent off for testing.  When they called with the lab results, I was told that Lucy’s tumors tested positive for skin hemangiosarcoma.  I was glad to know that removing the spots was action enough to remove the cancerous cells, but now I have to protect her from the sun to prevent more spots… and now my little redhead is wearing doggy sunscreen (welcome to the club, Lucy).  Yes, you read that correctly, Dog Sunscreen is a thing.

If your dog “sunbathes” belly-up like my Lucy, you might consider getting some, as the tummy is particularly sensitive to excessive UV light.  The skin that’s most important to protect is anything light-colored – like a nose, ears, or the soft underbelly/inner thigh area.

Please note:  If you’re going to protect your dog with sunscreen, it’s important to know that you CANNOT use sunscreen made for humans.  Most of them contain zinc oxide, which is toxic to dogs.

dog sunscreenBarque is proud to now stock the only FDA compliant dog sunscreen formula.  It’s easy to apply, non-greasy and dries quickly, so even if your pet licks the applied area, it won’t harm them.  This sunscreen is also water and sweat resistant, which makes it great for beach or lake dogs.  Maufacturer’s instructions recommend that you apply the sunscreen every 2-4 hours if the pet is outside or is in the water for more than 80 minutes.  This sunblock is ideal for Boxers, Bull Dogs, Pit Bull Terriers, Bichons, Poodles, Schnauzers, Dobermans, Retrievers and any pups who like to sun belly-up.  Get yours today in-store or on our website.

{You can see this product featured on the TODAY show here.}



How to Make a Dog Tuxedo

How to Make a Dog Tuxedo

To get your pup red carpet ready, you will need:

– a white button-up shirt (I got mine in the Men’s section at Goodwill for $3 – just make sure the neck opening is clsoe to your dog’s neck size)

– scissors

– stapler

– black permanent marker

– bow tie with elastic (from a party store for just a few bucks)


Use the scissors to cut the collar and cuffs off the sleeves.


Then use the cuff to test the size of your dog’s “wrist”(make sure it’s still large enough to slide over their paw), folding it over and then removing it from your dog. Staple the cuffs in place, being sure to staple from the INSIDE so the sharp part of the staple will point away from your dog.


Take a permanent marker and color in the buttons.


Wrap the bow tie around the neck of the collar with the elastic on the inner crease, so the collar flap folds over it. Gently place the collar on your dog’s neck. DO NOT button the collar – you want it to fit loosely around their neck (and the elastic should hold it in place anyway).


Linus didn’t mind trying his on one bit. Ha!


Once you’re ready, slide the cuffs over the front paws. Then take a picture (or 83, if you so choose) of your dapper pup.


Happy New Year’s Card

Happy New Year’s Card

This year I had grand ideas for doing a “frozen” themed holiday card – pretty powder blue envelopes with silver glitter liners… a pic of the pups in the frosty snow…  Well, nature had other things in mind – like a 70 degree Christmas day and a record-setting blizzard the next!  So while I was waiting to get my “snow shot”, I had to improvise with a New Year’s card instead of a Christmas card.

A few props from the party store and a photo shoot later with the pups, I was actually glad it worked out this way – it was fun – despite the fact that Linus was scared of the balloons.

Can you spot the cans of soup?  Those were my secret for keeping the mylar balloons in place – I photoshopped them out of the card later.

… Aaannndd the aftermath looked like an actual party happened.

July 4th Dog Safety

July 4th Dog Safety

DSC_0177While celebrating July 4th is fun for us humans, it can be very stressful for our dogs.  In fact, July 5th is one of the biggest days of the year for animal shelters.  The loud noise caused by fireworks can make a dog panic and try to escape to a “safer place”.  {Hey, if I suddenly thought bombs were going off all around me, I’d be trying to get to safety too!}  Unfortunately, that means they might be put in even more danger by getting out – winding up lost, injured or killed.

Here are a few steps you can take to prepare your dog for the holiday weekend and its firework displays:

1.  Make sure your pet is properly identified.  If they are micro-chipped and have ID tags, they have a better chance of getting back home in the event that they do run away.  My dogs have their name and my phone number embroidered on their collar too, just as an added precaution.

2.  Keep all gates and doors secured and locked (with a combination lock if possible).  Let your furbaby know that they are SECURED at home.

3.  Leave your dog at home, and stay with him if you can.  While is seems like fun for Fido to enjoy the outdoor festivities with you, a crowded, unfamiliar and noisy place might make him freak out and seek shelter.  {And no, leaving him in the car is NEVER acceptable.}

4.  If can’t be home during the fireworks and commotion, there are a few simple things you can do to make your dog feel more at ease.  Bring him indoors- ALWAYS.  Leave the lights on, close the draperies, and turn on a familiar noise at a normal level {tv or music} to help muffle the fireworks.  Keep your dog confined to a small area – if it’s a crate, cover it with a blanket.  If it’s a small, inner room in your home, make sure they have familiar bedding and fresh water.  If they become too worked up, water will give them a chance to cool off and calm down.

5.  Always check on your dog as soon as you can after the fireworks have finished.  Be prepared to give them some special attention and treats… it was a stressful night for goodness sake!

Wishing you and your pupalups a Happy {and safe} July 4th!


Happy St.Patrick’s Day

Happy St.Patrick’s Day

Happy St.Patrick’s Day from me and my little redheads!

(I can’t even tell you how many tries it took to get a shot where Linus wasn’t trying to eat the hat off of Lucy’s head!  I guess I got lucky!)

linus and lucy st pats sm

May there always be work for your hands to do.

May your purse always hold a coin or two.

May the sun always shine on your windowpane.

May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.

May the hand of a friend always be near you.

May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

– Irish Blessing

Wishing you all the best of luck (and blessings)… and for your dogs, an extra treat or two!