Here at LUCA Sunscreen, we have Dr. Karl to remind us about sun safety and tips for having fun in the sun!  But what about Fido or Fluffy? The American Association for Animal Hospitals (AAAH), Healthy Pet website has some great information on keeping your extended family member safe from the perils of the sun!   Just follow these few summer pet safety tips and you can keep your animal friends healthy and enjoy the months of sun and fun.

  • Never leave your pet in the car. Did you know the sun can raise the temperature inside your car to 120 degrees Fahrenheit in a matter of minutes, even with the windows rolled down? Best leave your pet at home when running errands.
  • As you’re outside enjoying the warm weather, keep your pet leashed. It will keep them from getting lost, fighting other animals, and eating and drinking things that could make them sick. This tip isn’t just for dogs–even cats can learn to walk on a leash if you train them.
  • Water, water everywhere. Whether you’re indoors or out, both you and your pet need access to lots of fresh water during the summer, so check the water bowl several times a day to be sure it’s full.
  • Pets need sunscreen too. Though all that fur helps protect your animal, they can get sunburned, particularly if they have light skin and hair. Sunburn in animals can cause problems similar to those it can cause in people, including pain, peeling, and skin cancer. So keep your pet out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and when you do go out, rub a bit of LUCA Continuous Spray 50 or LUCA Max Sport 30 on unprotected areas like the tips of ears, the skin around the lips, and the tip of the nose.
  • Watch out for antifreeze. Hot weather may tempt your pet to drink from puddles in the street, which can contain antifreeze and other chemicals. Antifreeze has a sweet taste that animals like, but it’s extremely toxic. When you’re walking your pet, make sure they don’t sneak a drink from the street.
  • Be cautious on humid days. Humidity interferes with an animals’ ability to rid them of excess body heat. When we overheat we sweat, and when the sweat dries it takes excess heat with it. Our four-legged friends only perspire around their paws, which is not enough to cool the body. To rid themselves of excess heat, animals pant. Air moves through the nasal passages, which picks up excess heat from the body. As it is expelled through the mouth, the extra heat leaves along with it. Although this is a very efficient way to control body heat, it is severely limited in areas of high humidity or when the animal is in close quarters.
  • Make sure your pet doesn’t overexert herself. Though exercise is an important part of keeping your dog or cat at a healthy weight, which helps their body stay cool, overdoing it can cause them to overheat. Keep the walks to a gentle pace and make sure you’re carrying plenty of water. Excess panting means its’ time to stop.
  • Take it easy on pets that can’t deal with the heat. Elderly, very young, and ill animals have a hard time regulating their body temperature, so make sure they stay cool and out of the sun on steamy summer days. Overweight dogs are also more prone to overheating, because their extra layers of fat act as insulation, which traps heat in their bodies and restricts their breathing capabilities.
  • Bring them inside. Animals shouldn’t be left outside unsupervised on long, hot days, even in the shade. Shade can move throughout the afternoon, and pets can become ill quickly if they overheat, so keep them inside as much as possible.
  • Keep an eye out for heatstroke. Heatstroke is a medical emergency. If you suspect your pet has heatstroke, you must act quickly and calmly. Have someone call a veterinarian immediately. In the meantime, lower the animal’s body temperature by applying towels soaked in cool water to the hairless areas of the body. Often the pet will respond after only a few minutes of cooling, only to falter again with his temperature soaring back up or falling to well below what is normal. With this in mind, remember that it is imperative to get the animal to a veterinarian immediately. Once your pet is in the veterinarian’s care, treatment may include further cooling techniques, intravenous fluid therapy to counter shock, or medication to prevent or reverse brain damage.

Signs of Heatstroke:

  • Panting
  • Staring
  • Anxious expression
  • Refusal to obey commands
  • Warm, dry skin
  • High fever
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Vomiting
  • Collapse

Even with emergency treatment, heatstroke can be fatal. The best cure is prevention by just following the outlined tips.  Your pet counts on you to keep them out of harm’s way.  Both you and your furry friends can enjoy those long, hot, dog-days of summer without a care in the world!


This is a highly contested subject!  But its’ summertime and the living is easy…outside!  No one wants to slave over an oven!  Too hot!  But we did the research and here’s our list of Top 10 things to BBQ!  Or as Crocodile Dundee would say “Top Ten Things to Grill on the Barbie”!

Now this list may vary if you’re a charcoal purist or cheat and use gas!  Is using a gas grill REALLY Barbequing?

#10 Authentic Brats or Homemade Italian Sausage (Johnsonville works but I like Boar’s Head)

#9 Pacific Northwest Salmon Grilled on a Plank

#8 Zucchini or any grilled vegetables on a skewer (Try roasting Garlic on the grill then use it like butter on a fresh roll)

#7 White Sweet Corn grilled with the Husk on (A Bobby Flay favorite)

#6 Bone in Pork Chops with Fresh Peach BBQ Sauce (Tenderloins work too.  Fresh Peaches are a must)

#5 Beer Can Chicken (Any beer will do)

#4 All Beef Hot Dogs (This is completely a regional preference)

#3 Gorgonzola Stuffed Hamburgers (Really any cheese works and Ground Chuck is a must!)

#2 Bone in steaks especially Rib Eyes (KC Strips are a great substitute)

#1 Baby Back Ribs (Google Rattlesnake Ribs. You will thank me!)

Actually this really doesn’t need to be in order and I know we’ve missed a few things like Goat, Rabbit, Brisket and the like.  They just aren’t on my Top Ten list of things to grill on my Barbie!

What did I miss?  ARE YOU HUNGRY YET?



There are over 5,500 charities in the U.S. alone.  With the economy still in a slump, unemployment rates high, you want to give something but which charity do you pick?  How much of the money you give actually gets to the mission of the charity?

Some decisions are easy.  If you have a family or friend with a particular disease like Cancer, Heart Disease, Parkinson ’s disease and Alzheimer’s.  Then there are catastrophic events like the Joplin, MO tornadoes, Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami in Indonesia.  You also have the charities right in your own back yard; the local Humane Society, your church charities, soup kitchen.

Fortunately there is a place you can go and check out most all of the US charities in one place .  Charity Navigator is America’s largest independent charity evaluator.  You may want to donate to a breast cancer charity but there are so many to choose.  Susan G Komen is by far the largest Breast Cancer charity, but have you heard of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation in New York.  They get a 4 out of 5 star rating.  Money goes to research to eradicate Breast Cancer.

Have a family member who has an autistic child?  Did you know that Autism charities are the fastest growing charity in the U.S.? There’s , and .  All of these get 4 stars.  Every major city has a local Autism charity.

So it’s tough to decide and weed out the good from the bad.  There are other sources to evaluate charities besides Charity Navigator.  You can try The American Institute of Philanthropy at even the Better Business Bureau   evaluates charities .

A note of caution; it is easy to mistake watchdog ratings for measures of organizational effectiveness, including financial efficiency.  A more appropriate measure of organizational effectiveness would measure the extent to which organizations are achieving their promised goals.

So as always, do your research.  The perfect charity is out there for you to help make a difference in research and individual lives.   Plus the bonus benefit to giving, no matter the donation amount, is that you’ll feel great!


William and Kate are doing it!  It’s not what you’re thinking.  They are just NEWLYWEDS! The Prince and his bride recently competed in a Dragon Boat race on Prince Edward Island!  (Prince William won!) If you don’t know what Dragon boat racing is, you’re really missing out on a spectacular event.

A dragon boat is a human paddled water craft traditionally made in the Pearl River delta region of southern China of teak wood to various designs and sizes. It is one of a family of traditional paddled long boats found throughout Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands. For competitive events, Dragon boats are generally rigged with decorative Chinese dragon heads and tails; while most are paddling there’s also drums.  Yes, drums!

With its roots in ancient China, Dragon boat racing has become huge in the U.S.! There are many Dragon Boat festivals across cities like Charleston, SC, Tempe, AZ, Tampa FL, Portland, OR, and Lake Parsippany, NJ!  That’s just scratching the U.S. competition calendar!

The history of dragon boats in competition reaches as far back as the same era as the original games of Olympia in ancient Greece. Both dragon boat racing and the ancient Olympiad included aspects of religious observances and community celebrations along with competition.

If you haven’t seen a competition, definitely put it on your things to do list!  The pageantry, the competition and with most of each festivals’ proceeds going to various charities, it’s not only fun to watch but an opportunity to give back to local communities. This is canoeing on steroids. Don’t miss it!