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Beware Unprotected Sun Exposure for Pets

Beware the catnap sun trap for dogs and cats this summer

It’s undeniable that dogs and cats love sunbaking in any slice of sunshine they can find. But as pets can be as prone to skin cancer as their owners, lazing in front of a window may not be as harmless as it first appears, especially on hot days. 

Prolonged sun exposure can increase the risk of skin cancer in cats and dogs. The University of Melbourne reports skin cancers account for a third of tumours found in dogs and a quarter in cats. Over half of those tumours found in cats (50 – 65%) are malignant and can spread throughout the body [1]

For this reason, vets advise dogs and cats with white fur shouldn’t be outdoors during the hottest parts of the day

But what about the UV radiation coming through untreated glass doors and windows inside a home? 

To stop the UV and still enjoy the view and light afforded by glass, pet owners have the option of installing solar control window film. While all films have different performance levels, they can block as much as 99% UV radiation, 80% total solar energy and 90% glare. 

Ally Cronan, President of the Window Film Association of Australia and New Zealand (WFAANZ), comments, “It’s a neat solution. Hiring a professional to install window film in your home means you not only protect your pets and family from UV, you will also control your home’s temperature, which will cut electricity bills and improve comfort. A WFAANZ member should be consulted to provide recommendations as to the type of film that’d work best in your home.” 

One such WFAANZ member is Brendan Mates from South Side Tinting, NSW, who recently installed solar control film at a Caringbah home with four cats. 

Brendan said, “When the client contacted me to discuss installing window film, they made it clear their main reason was to protect their cats from the sun. This resonated with me because two years ago my cat, Sarah, was diagnosed with skin cancer on her head. Thankfully, she’s OK today but it was a scare, and the cost of radiation and medication does add up.” 

South Side Tinting installed a dual reflective 35% VLT window film on a north-facing glass door and six-pane window in the living room – a favourite haunt of the four cats. 

Brendan adds, “To demonstrate how effective film is, during the installation I had the homeowner stand in front of an untreated glass door, and then in front of one I’d just tinted. The results are immediate and noticeable. The client was so impressed I’ve been asked to go back to tint the bedroom windows.” 

If you’re considering window film, WFAANZ recommends talking to a professional window film installer with the experience and credentials to ensure you get the most from the job. WFAANZ members abide by a strict code of practice and uphold the highest industry standards. For more information please visit

[1] University of Melbo
urne, ‘Skin cancer in pets’,

MEDIA RELEASE, 11th December 2019

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