immagine Come rimuovere le zecche da cani e gatti

How to remove ticks on dogs and cats

Spring and summer are the most critical periods for our animals. In fact, they have to deal with fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and other parasites. In most cases, adequate prevention with pesticides can be sufficient to ensure lasting protection, but some of these unwelcome guests can still stick to the skin and coat of animals, compromising their health. We are talking above all about ticks, which must be removed, even if we have already applied a pesticide. Here's how to do it.

If you ask grandparents and elderly relatives almost everyone will answer that to eliminate ticks attached to animals, we should pour a drop of olive oil or alcohol on them. The more  scrupulous people may suggest to eliminate it after a few seconds with tweezers or other tools available. By doing this, the tick will feel suffocated, allowing itself to detach easily or even falling on its own.

stadi di zecca ninfa larva adulto

Totally wrong! The ticks, in fact, once anchored to the skin with the rostrum (the "mouth" of the tick), will begin to feed on the animal's blood within a few hours, and will detach only once satisfied, to go and lay their eggs in the surrounding environment. By sprinkling them with oils and similar substances, it is true that they will feel suffocated, but the effect is absolutely not beneficial for the animal. In these cases, in fact, the so-called "regurgitation" can occur: the tick will pour into the blood of the dog or cat everything it has "eaten", even any harmful microorganisms that it hides inside its organism.

At most, we could moisturize the tick's body with a few drops of pesticide, being careful not to use an exclusive product for dogs on the cat, to avoid possible permethrin poisoning.

In fact, ticks can contain very dangerous agents, responsible for some important diseases, such as Lyme borreliosis, erlichiosis, babesiosis and the typical tick fevers. For this reason, we must always be careful to remove ticks correctly, to prevent them from biting us or remaining partially attached to the animal’s body.

To do this, we need to equip ourselves with some essential items, which we should always carry with us during the daily walk:

  • Eyebrow tweezers or tick-removing hook
  • Alcohol
  • Cotton wool
  • Lighter or match
  • Disinfectant
  • Latex gloves

We put on latex gloves, which will help us to not get stung by the tick. Then we run our fingers along the coat of the dog or cat, until we find the tick. At this point, we take our tweezers. On the market, you can find various types, specific for animals, with long and curved tips, or special plastic tick-removers. Alternatively, we can also use a normal eyebrow tweezer, which we will only use for this purpose.

We place the tweezers as close as possible to the animal's skin, without crushing the tick's body in any way. Our goal is to ensure that the tick is removed perfectly, without breaking its body. So once we grab the base of the tick firmly, let's make a small rotation to our tweezers, as if we wanted to unscrew the parasite. At the same time, we gently pull towards us, continuing to rotate, until the tick decides to detach itself from the skin.

Once the tick has been removed, we disinfect the area with a common disinfectant or alcohol. If we notice the presence of a black dot, probably the beak of the tick (rostrum) has remained inside, exposing the animal to various problems. We try to remove it with the tip of a sterile needle or definitely go to your vet.

zecca rostro infezione malattia We wrap the tick in a cotton swab impregnated with alcohol and let it burn completely, to prevent it from infesting the animal and the house again. Alternatively, wrap it in a handkerchief and close it tightly in an envelope, which we will throw in the trash.

If the animal feels itchy even after removing the tick, don't worry. On the contrary, if the itching persists for several days, increasing more and more in intensity, or if the area is red or swollen, we immediately take the animal to the vet. Other symptoms, such as weakness, fainting, loss of appetite, and fever may also cause concern so we will need to proceed with a thorough examination.

We should always remember to apply the pesticide with a certain regularity. We should choose the perfect product for our four-legged friend. In addition, every time we return from the walk, we scrupulously check the entire body of the animal, especially on the head, groin, armpits and between the pads. We do not hesitate to remove any ticks attached to the animal if we find any.


immagine Come curare la bellezza e l’igiene dei gatti a pelo lungo

How to take care of cats with long hair

Let's face it. Everyone is fascinated by a long-haired cat. Whether it's a Persian, rather than a "moderate" Norwegian Forest Cat or a Turkish Van, no one can question its beauty. Nevertheless, how much can it cost owners, in economic terms and effort, such a perfect and well-kept coat? Here are our recommendations.

It is a fact that cats with long or medium-long hair need more care than normal ones. For example, let's compare the fur of these felines with the one of a European cat. Surely the second will not need frequent brushing, much less washing, because it is perfectly capable of doing everything by itself.

For the Persian cat, on the other hand, as well as for the other long-haired cats, the situation is much more complex. The coat, in fact, is quite thick and in some cases also soft and woolly. This aspect, combined with the length of the hair, can inevitably represent an obstacle in the normal grooming operations all cats dedicate themselves during the day.

gatto tosato rasato

 The owners of these cats will surely have witnessed the vain attempts of their friend to wash the hair on their back or on their belly. What happens in most cases is that the longer hair under the neck prevents it from reaching other parts of the body, so the animal will tend to wash only that area.

The consequence, in addition to the accumulation of dirt and impurities on the coat and on the skin, is mainly linked to the formation of knots, which in some cases can compromise the aesthetic aspect of the animals and in others they can represent a source of discomfort and pain in the cat. It is common, in fact, to hear owners who are forced to have their pets shorn; because the knots become so problematic they prevent the cat from even walking or eating, pulling the skin in several places.

Why does this happen? Surely not only for a predisposition due to the length of the hair. The most important factor is to ensure the animals grooming. Those who choose to buy or adopt one of these wonderful felines must be aware of the fact that they need constant care, especially during the moulting periods.

On the other hand, many owners tend to neglect this aspect, so they only brush the cat when it most convenient for them. In addition, another typical problem that you may have to deal with might be cats that refuse to go through with the grooming and cleaning process. As soon as you approach them with this strange tool (the brush), the cat runs away or scratches us violently. In these cases, the situation worsens further.

Here are some tips for the proper grooming of long-haired cats;

  • Get them used to this routine from the first months of age: an adult cat who does not know the brush will hardly accept that you use it on him. For this reason, if you have just adopted a cat, start brushing it every day, enriching the grooming moments with many positive stimuli, such as snacks or cuddles;
  • Choose suitable brushes: there are so many types of brushes and combs on the market. The most suitable for long-haired cats are above all the metal combs with mediumly narrow teeth. Another option could be the carders, very useful for the softer and more woolly hair;
  • Buy sanitizing wipes: search the shelves of any pet shop and choose the most suitable wipes for your cat, from a wide selection. For example, those sanitizers, deodorants, degreasers and even those with natural pesticides are excellent. The important thing is that the cat likes them.
  • Use a specific product for grooming: ask your dealer or groomer for advice. In fact, there are many products that can help untangle small knots, making brushing easier. You can use them just like a balm, after a bath, or on dry hair at any time;
  • Buy a pair of scissors: if you have already located some pretty important knots and all the other methods you have tried have failed, you just have to cut them. Choose rounded scissors that cut well. Avoid handling the knots if they are too close to the skin, and just cut the most superficial ones;
  •  Place toys that stimulate the cat to scratch himself: you can use a simple brush you use to clean radiators, fix it at the bottom of an old chair, so the cat can pass underneath it and scratch himself with the bristles;
  • To extreme evils, extreme remedies: if it is too late and your cat is already full of knots, you just have to take it to the groomer. In some cases, a minimum sedation by the veterinarian may be necessary, but be careful of the "professionals" who advise you to anesthetize the cat without a medical opinion.

Always remember that consistency and patience is the first solution to keep the cat's coat always nice and clean. So, make sure you brush it every day with the correct methods.


immagine Come pulire le orecchie al cane e al gatto

How to clean your pets ear

 We often underestimate the importance of our pet’s ears. In fact, many of us only look at them when the dog or cat tends to scratch or shake their heads, without taking the time to clean and pay attention to daily hygiene. In some cases, our animals may not be able to bear this operation, because they are not used to it or because they experience real pain. Most of the time we don't do it because we don't know where to start. Let's see how to clean their ears in a simple and safe way.

Why it is important to keep their ears clean?

Our ears and those of our animals are very delicate. The structures that are located in depth, in fact, are rather fragile and include a series of nerves, essential for hearing and balance. For this reason, a violent impact or the presence of a foreign body could be enough to cause serious consequences.

otite acari cerume orecchie cane gatto

Some breeds of dogs, with short and lowered ears, have an advantage in this respect, because the innermost structures are rarely exposed to external threats. Others, however, with long and dangling ears such as Basset Hounds or Cocker Spaniels, or with thick hair inside, are more likely to collect impurities and foreign bodies, which inevitably end up inside the ear. Among the breeds most prone to ear problems, we also find the German Shepherd, which by genetic predisposition tends to produce more earwax, or those with a narrow pavilion, such as Bull Dog and Chow-Chow.

The first weapon the body uses to protect the ears is represented by earwax. This dense and oily substance is constantly produced to "trap" all potential threats, such as dust, bacteria, parasites and small foreign bodies, which will be more easily eliminated.

In some cases, however, earwax fails to fully protect the ears, which are still exposed to a large number of potential harmful agents. It may also happen that earwax is produced in immense quantities, accumulating more and more inside the ear. Any microorganisms trapped in the earwax can thus remain in contact with the skin and the innermost parts, causing severe irritation and infections.

Ear inflammation, generally known as ear infections, can cause itching, redness, abundant production of earwax and in some cases even pus. In the long run, if the situation is not contained, the inflammation can become so strong that it also involves the infection of the innermost structures, with very serious consequences.

How should I clean them?

It takes less than 10 minutes to clean their ears and it is sufficient for the dog or cat to get used to it.

What we need is a gauze or a simple napkin and a specific solution to clean the ears of the animals. We choose the one we like best, always taking care not to buy products for human use;

  1. applicare lozione orecchie al caneWe take the ear with one hand and gently pull it upwards, so we have more space to reach the most hidden part. The ear canal, in fact, has a typical shape that starts straight, and then curves horizontally.

  2. Place the bottle with the cleaning lotion on the opening of the ear and pour in a generous amount. During this step, the animal may experience some discomfort, simply due to the accumulation of liquid inside the ear. So make sure to hold the animal's head firmly, to prevent it from starting to shake it, spreading the liquid all over the place.
  3. At this point, continue to keep the ear raised, we massage both sides energetically for a few seconds, to facilitate the contact of the liquid with the entire internal surface.
  4. Stop holding the ear up and let the dog shake its head freely. By doing this, a part of the earwax, mixed with the applied liquid, can begin to flow out of the ear.
  5. This operation is not sufficient to guarantee perfect drying but we should take a sterile gauze or a common napkin and with our fingers and pass it inside the ear. This step is fundamental, because the stagnation of liquids can favour the proliferation of fungi, such as the dreaded Malassezia, responsible for some otitis. 

We should avoid using the classic cotton buds, which should never be used even for us. Their shape, in fact, instead of capturing and extracting the earwax, simply pushes it deeper and deeper into the ear, increasing the risk of ear infections and injuries.

As for the cleansing lotion, always choose it according to our needs. You can find a large variety of products on the market. Some trap and eliminate the earwax, whilst others contain specific disinfecting agents for ear infections from bacteria, fungi or mites.

Once the operation is finished, we look and smell the earwax we have extracted. If it appears very dark, reddish, particularly smelly and if there are traces of blood, let's go to our vet as soon as possible so he can identify the exact problem.

immagine Cosa usare per trasportare cani e gatti in auto

What can I use to transport my animals if I have to go by car?

 Most dog owners often transport their four-legged friend by car, for pleasure or necessity. Even cats in some cases require effective and safe transport, especially for visits to the vet or for short trips and holidays. What we have to do is make sure that the transportation can take place without any risk for both of us. Let's look at some advice.

As we saw in the specific article, the regulations for the transportation of animals by car are very clear. If we want a dog or cat to travel with us, we can leave it free in the passenger compartment, always relying on our common sense. This means that if he is a quiet type, accustomed to traveling by car, he can sit on the back seats, without resorting to the trunk or carrier. On the contrary, if it is a cat or a lively dog, unaccustomed to traveling, the use of some protective supports would be preferable.

In order to have a safe and pleasant trip with your animal, here are some tips:
gatto con cintura sicurezza auto

  • Dog safety belts: these are special nylon strips with a double closure. On the one hand, they can be attached to the collar, like a normal leash, whilst on the opposite side we find a particular closure, identical to the normal seat belts supplied by the car. For greater safety, you can also buy a special bib, more enveloping and comfortable than normal walking models. Not all dogs can handle the seat belt because they often feel constrained and limited in movement. In any case, this is a problem that can be easily solved with a little habit;

  • Car partitions: they are surely one of the safest solutions. They can be adjustable or fixed, depending on the needs and model of the car. The adjustable models are more suitable for infrequent movements, and can be applied both to the special lateral supports on the bodywork and to the headrests. Fixed models, on the other hand, although more resistant, must be declared with the Civil Motorization. On the market, we can find dividers with different characteristics based on where we want to apply them. For example, we can decide to use them to create a space in the trunk or between the front and back seats. Furthermore, some models are adjustable in height and width, to ensure greater safety. The dividers are excellent for transporting animals, because they offer great freedom of movement, while protecting passengers;


    rete sicurezza cani gatti autoProtective net: it is an economic and very simple solution to apply. It is a non-elastic net, which is hooked to the four corners with fixed or adjustable supports. It is the ideal remedy for those who want to transport rather calm animals, respecting regulations;

  • Kennel, pet carrier or cage: it is the most suitable method especially for cats. The classic pet carrier or kennel is generally made of rigid plastic, with several slits for the air and an opening door on the front. Alternatively, we can choose a metal cage, more resistant and less "claustrophobic" than the pet carrier. Both are available in many sizes, from the minimum ones for rabbits and kittens to those for large and giant dogs;

  • Bags: very useful for cats and small dogs. They can be temporarily fixed to the front or back seat, and are generally made of soft or semi-rigid material, with numerous openings for the air and allow the animal to look outside;
  • Seat cover: this is an alternative solution, not suitable for lively or large dogs. It attaches to both the front and back seats, creating a "boat" coating that at the same time protects the upholstery and prevents the animal from reaching the front of the vehicle whilst we are driving.

To facilitate the entry in the car, especially if it is fearful dogs, small in size or with joint problems, we can buy a special ramp, to be placed diagonally between the asphalt and the trunk.

These are the main methods used to transport animals by car. In any case, before using them, we must give our four-legged friends time to get used to these objects, which are so strange and difficult to understand for them.

If the dog or cat really does not want to get in the car, we can follow the advice proposed in this article.

immagine Animali e caldo: alcuni consigli utili

Heat for animals: some useful tips

The summer season is almost here, together with the inevitable heat waves that make us despair in the hottest days. However, we usually refresh ourselves with fresh showers, ice cream and by going to the beach. On the other hand, our four-legged friends have a worse situation as they suffer from heat the same way that we do. Here are some useful tips to help dogs and cats cope with heat.

How do animals normally protect themselves from heat?

As many of us know, animals such as dogs and cats cannot sweat, because by nature they lack glands for this purpose, except in the very small area of ​​the fingertips. However, they are equipped with other mechanisms that serve precisely to ensure the dispersion of excess heat. For example, by hanging their tongue out.

cane davanti al ventilatore bassotto

This is just one of the mechanisms they use to evaporate the heat through saliva. Furthermore, when it is too hot, the animals can breathe more rapidly and laboriously, putting in place the typical "polypnea". It is rare for the cat to breathe with their mouth open, unless the temperature is too high.

Among other mechanisms available to them, we also find the hair licking, an activity that takes up most of the cat's days in particular. The wet hair, in fact, will feel like a nice regenerating shower for them.

Furthermore, during the warmer seasons the animals lose their soft and fluffy winter coat, and keep their shorter summer coat. By doing this, they will be equally protected from all dangers of the external environment, including the sun's rays.

 The greatest danger is represented above all by the infamous sunstroke and heat stroke, two apparently similar situations, but different in other respects. Heatstroke occurs when the body is no longer able to disperse excess body heat, for example if we leave our dog locked up in the car for too long. The sunstroke, on the other hand, is due to the direct action of the sun's rays on the animal's body. In both cases, some specific symptoms will appear, such as:

  • Increased salivation, with denser saliva;
  • Red gums and tongue;
  • Tremors;
  • Diarrhoea;
  • Fainting;
  • Coma and death in severe cases.

That is not all. The heat can also create other discomforts, such as annoying burns, which can predispose to the formation of some very aggressive skin cancers, such as squamous cell carcinoma.

 Tips against heat

The main tips we can give you to fight this important problem affecting your animal are:  

  • cane gatto bevono acqua fontanellaDo not leave the dog and cat in the car: this advice is the most important, because many of us cannot even imagine what happens inside a closed car, especially during the hottest hours of the day. In fact, the temperature reaches very high peaks in a very short time, causing the death of the animal if immediate action is not taken. If you happen to see a dog or cat locked in a car, immediately call the police, who will immediately rush to free the animal;

  • Always leave fresh water available: make sure your friend can drink whenever he feels the need. The heat, in fact, makes you feel more thirsty. Avoid water that is too cold, which could cause unpleasant problems, but try to always keep it fresh and clean;

  • No to air conditioning for them: Air conditioning is not beneficial both for us and for our animal. In any case, avoid using it as it could create strong temperature changes between the inside and outside of the house. Rather, choose a good fan, which moves the air, without aiming it directly towards the animal;

  • Walks in the cooler hours: Try to avoid long walks after lunch or in the early afternoon. A short visit to the park will be essential for daily needs, but make sure that the dog can enjoy the cooler temperatures of the evening or morning for longer walks;

  • Always carry a bottle of water with you: if you decide to take your dog or cat out, always remember to keep a bottle of water with you, so you can stop and give them some fresh water during the hot summer days;

  • Apply sunscreen: on the market there are several specific sunscreens for animals, to be applied only in areas without hair, such as nose and ears, to avoid sunburn; 

  • Buy a cooler gadget: one of the latest news on the market is a wide range of products specifically designed to cool our animals. Mats, bandanas and toys made of materials that can be stored in the freezer or not, perfect for summer;
  • Wet the legs and head of the animal: to give relief from excessively high temperatures, there is nothing better than a little warm water on the face and legs.

Remember to always apply these tips, to make summer a slightly more pleasant season for our four-legged friends.

immagine I consigli per allungare la vita dei nostri animali

Tips to extend your pets lifespan

 As soon as they enter our homes, as puppies or as adults, dogs and cats become in all respects an integral part of our family, and as such, we would never want leave them alone. Unfortunately, however, the time comes for each of us to say goodbye to our friend. What we can do is delay that fateful moment as much as possible by following some tips to extend the lifespan of our animals.

What does life span depend on?

Compared to several years ago, dogs and cats can now boast a truly remarkable life expectancy. Certainly much of the credit goes to the progress achieved by veterinary medicine, but it is also true that our vision of the relationship with animals has drastically changed. In the past, in fact, there was a tendency to consider dogs and cats from a profit point of view, rather than company. The dog is a valid ally to watch the courtyard, look after the flock or go hunting, whilst the cat "served" above all to keep mice away.

Over the years, the concept of pets has developed more and more, so the dog and cat have definitely become faithful allies and members of our family. Therefore, attention to their health has also increased significantly. The veterinarian, (who previously was called almost exclusively to treat large farm animals) today has specialized in the care of dogs and cats, increasing their life span.

Among the conditions that can most affect the quality and life span of our animals, we find:

  • Sterilization
  • Home life
  • Vaccinations
  • Drugs
  • Prevention
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Proper nutrition
  • Dental care

In addition to these aspects, we also find a series of individual factors, related for example to the animal itself or to breed, species and age, such as:

  • gatti randagi mangiano per stradaBreed: crossbreeds have a greater resistance than pure-bred animals, for a phenomenon called "hybrid vigour" or "heterosis", thanks to which the positive genetic characteristics of the ancestors are increasingly strengthened with each generation. Pure breed dogs and cats, on the other hand, often tend to reinforce some "negative" characters, which mostly correspond to some ailments or diseases. The typical example is the German Shepherd's hip dysplasia. For more information, you can visit this interesting database from the University of Cambridge, which collects all the main conditions related to the breed;

  • Species and size: cats generally live longer than dogs, in particular in comparison with large and giant dogs, as we saw in the article on the age of animals. The reason is that larger organism will require more work by the individual parts that compose it, to function optimally, unlike a cat or a small dog;

  • Age: it is clear that a young animal will have stronger health, (in the absence of other secondary or congenital problems) compared to an elderly dog ​​or cat more prone to typical age disorders, such as arthritis, cardiovascular problems, diseases sight, deafness;

  • Lifestyle: animals that live on the street or in gardens and courtyards are more exposed to the dangers present outside, for example environmental parasites, cars, encounters and clashes with other animals and sudden changes in temperature. Likewise, sedentary lifestyle can also adversely affect health, increasing the risk of incurring overweight and obesity, joint problems, cardiovascular disease and many other ailments;

  • Congenital problems: some animals can be born with weakened or manifest diseases during growth. These are mainly malformations, often also linked to the breed they belong to, as we have seen previously;

  • Stress: the mental well-being  has a significant influence on the life of animals. In particular, stress is really a bitter enemy for our health, because it acts negatively on the whole psychophysical balance, overloading our most important organs and weakening our immune system, thus making us more exposed to infections.


Now that we have analysed the factors that influence our pet’s lifespan, we are ready to comprehend some fundamental tips:

  • Sterilize your animals: take a look at the article on sterilization to evaluate the importance of this surgery for the health of the dog and cat, both in males and females;

  • Adopt from kennels and associations: if you are thinking of expanding your family, avoid feeding the market of purebred animal breeding, try to adopt dogs and cats from kennels and associations;

  • uomo anziano con cane bulldogPhysical activity: stimulate the cat to play with you, transforming your home into a real playground, and often take the dog out for long walks. You will improve his mood, but also the body’s health;

  • Keep an eye on weight: try to keep the body weight of your four-legged friend always within normal values, through balanced nutrition and adequate physical activity. Overweight and obesity are enemies of good health;

  • Conscious feeding: pay attention to what you feed your pet. Poor quality foods can be as bad as a poorly balanced home diet, and the consequences would be noticable in the long run. Do not choose at random, but ask your vet for advice;

  • Prevention: vaccinations, pesticide treatments and deworming are absolutely mandatory to prevent some very dangerous diseases. In addition, ask the veterinarian to visit your dog / cat thoroughly at least once a year for a check-up , possibly with additional diagnostic procedures, such as ultrasounds or x-rays, to assess the presence of congenital or age related problems;

  • Consult your veterinarian: always consult your veterinarian for a simple screening check or the appearance of even a minor ailment.  Normal symptoms can also symbolize the presence of some serious problems that the veterinarian will be able to diagnose and treat

Although they seem numerous and tiring to follow, these tips should be the standard to follow for every owner. Once you have started to put them into practice, you will notice the difference and can enjoy many more years together with your four-legged friend.