immagine Come pulire e disinfettare la casa e gli oggetti dei nostri animali

How to clean your house and your pet's toys

 Litter must be emptied, hair must be removed, bowls to be washed and floors to be disinfected and mopped. These are daily operations that dogs and cats owners must face to ensure the cleanliness and hygiene of the house. However, do we really do them right? Let's find out how to clean and disinfect the house and our animals object in an effective and natural way, but above all without putting their health at risk.

The litter box

Cat owners have a very important and often annoying task: cleaning the litter box. All cats, in fact, need at least one litter box to be able to do their own needs. The problem, however, is that if these are not removed often enough or if the litter box is not emptied regularly, the odours will spread throughout the house.

The type of litter we use inside the house plays an essential role in the odours of our home. However, it is essential to ensure an excellent level of hygiene and cleanliness, without harming the cat.

Here's what we need to do.

  1. Empty the toilet bowl entirely, removing even the most evident encrustations with a shovel;
  2. Apply white vinegar to the most encrusted areas and add boiling water;
  3. Let it act for at least 30 minutes;
  4. Eliminate the mixture of water and vinegar;
  5. With a cloth remove the encrustations, which will have softened thanks to this mixture;
  6. Dry the litter box and sprinkle the entire bottom with common sodium bicarbonate;
  7. We pour a homogeneous and fairly thick layer of clean litter.

pulire casa pavimenti lavare cane

With this simple operation, the encrustations can be permanently removed thanks to the vinegar, while the bicarbonate will ensure an excellent seal against odours, as well as a high level of hygiene.

The floors

We must never use ammonia and bleach to clean floors, especially if your dog or cat tends to go to the toilet around the house. Ammonia is also contained in the urine, so the animal would sense its presence and would try in every way to cover it by peeing everywhere.

Bleach, on the other hand, releases very volatile substances, which can be easily inhaled by us and our animals. Think, moreover, that the dog and the cat are much shorter than us, so the distance between their mouth and the floor is minimal, so they would instantly breathe the bleach in. In addition, this product misused by many pet owners tends to fix odours rather than remove them.

There are detergents on the market specifically designed to ensure excellent floor hygiene, in a totally safe way for animals. Alternatively, choose an organic detergent and combine it with hot water.

Going to the toilet on furniture and carpets

It may happen that our four-legged friend chooses to "free himself" on the sofa, bed or carpet. To remove urine, stool or vomit stains from tissues, we need to follow a few steps:

  1. Sprinkle the area with bicarbonate, which will absorb moisture and odours;
  2. In a spray bottle, combine white vinegar with hot water and spray on the stain;
  3. We wait for it to dry;
  4. With a toothbrush we rub the mixture;
  5. Rinse thoroughly with a damp sponge.

Alternatively, we can also use oxygenated water (hydrogen peroxide):

  1. In a spray bottle, combine white vinegar with hot water;
  2. Spray the mixture on the stain;
  3. Let it dry;
  4. Mix some baking soda in a bowl with a finger of oxygenated water and a few drops of neutral soap;
  5. Apply the mixture with a toothbrush;
  6. Rinse thoroughly with a damp sponge.

The bowls

The dog and cat bowls should be washed thoroughly every day. Food residues could deteriorate, becoming harmful to the animal and would also smell badly after a while. We use boiling water, which will soften food residues and sterilize the bowls. We can use a few drops of neutral soap, to be rinsed thoroughly.

After we put all these tips into practice, pets' stains and smells will be a distant memory.

immagine Natale, periodo di feste per tutti, anche per i nostri animali

Christmas, a happy holiday for everyone, even for our pets

cani albero di natale

The long-awaited period of the Christmas holidays has arrived, with the tree, decorations around the house and typical sweets. We must remember that Christmas and New Years bring many dangers for our animal friends, starting from the New Year's barrels to the decorations and typical dishes. 

The decorations

During the holidays, almost all families choose to decorate their home with the traditional Christmas tree. Those who live with a dog or a cat should know how interesting animals can find the decorations that are used to embellish both the tree and the crib.

In fact, many large and small objects can be gnawed or swallowed by the dog or cat, such as:

  • Balls
  • Light cables
  • Tapes
  • Ribbons
  • Polystyrene
  • Iron hook
  • Artificial snow

To prevent our pets from getting hurt, without necessarily giving up Christmas decorations, we can take some simple precautions.

  • Choose a tree that is not too big: the risk that the tree may collapse during play times and the cat's climbing habits is greater if the tree is large. A smaller tree, on the other hand, will stand up longer;
  • Avoid real trees: nowadays there are few people who prefer to buy real trees rather than synthetic ones. Lets remember that, although ingesting real or plastic needles is always dangerous, in the case of a real tree the risks increase. The cat or the dog can gnaw the bark and ingest it;
  • We place the tree in a safe place: the tree should be protected from the "attacks" of our animals. We try to secure it as much as possible to the surrounding furniture, perhaps using sturdy threads of transparent nylon. They will not be seen, but they will be able to keep the tree in place. Another trick is to avoid furniture nearby from which the animal can jump. A very small kitten suspended from the Christmas tree will probably do no harm, but imagine 6 kilos of feline flying on the branches;
  • Choose the decorations well: the tree, the nativity scene and the decorations on doors and windows can be just as beautiful even without some elements that are more dangerous for our animals. We should avoid artificial snow, glass objects that can fall and break into a thousand sharp fragments and lighted candles;
  • Make the decorations less interesting: we could use a repellent spray, easily available in all pet shops, to spray around the tree and on the crib. The cat and dog, disgusted by the intense smell, will run away. We also avoid all objects that reflect light and trinkets, which the cat can easily mistake for preys;
  • We fasten the decorations to the tree well: balls, figurines, pinecones and all the decorations must be firmly fixed to the branches of the tree, for example by tying them very well with sturdy threads. We avoid the hooked metal hooks, which are simply placed on the branch, because the animal could easily remove them and ingest them;
  • We decorate only the highest parts of the tree: we avoid decorating the lower parts of the tree because they are the first to be reached by the legs of our animals;
  • We choose larger figurines for the nativity scene: for those who do not want to give up the tradition of the nativity scenes in our home, a great idea may be to choose larger figurines;
  • We protect electrical cables: Christmas lights are a must on the tree, on the crib and on the balconies. However, we should try to protect the electrical cables by covering them with insulating adhesive tape, to prevent animals from getting shocked;
  • Watch out for gifts: Christmas Eve is a joy for everyone, but when we arrive at the fateful moment of exchanging gifts, let's remember to collect all the ribbons and bows that can be ingested by your pet.

If we have cats in the house, we must also pay attention to plants. Not everyone knows, but poinsettias are very dangerous for felines, because they contain substances that, if ingested, are poisonous.

cane mangia caramella natale

Typical holiday dishes

Our family is already in the kitchen and we can't wait to taste all the sweets and typical dishes of the Christmas tradition.

Here are some of the most dangerous foods for dogs and cats:

  • Chocolate: it is highly toxic to animals;
  • Sweeteners: xylitol is very palatable for our animals, but at the same time is dangerous if ingested;
  • Panettone and pandoro: leavened products can annoy the digestive system of dogs and cats, so let's avoid them. In addition, they may contain raisins, which are very dangerous for animals;
  • Exotic fruit: during the holidays we often decide to enrich our dining table with exotic fruits. We should pay particular attention to avocado, which is poisonous for dogs and cats.

As you can see, it is not true that those who live with a dog or a cat must necessarily make sacrifices. The important thing is to follow some simple and practical advice to peacefully experience the party atmosphere all together. 

immagine Cosa fare se il cane o il gatto non vogliono salire in auto

My pet refuses to get in the car. What should I do?

 The car is a necessity for most of us during daily chores. Traveling by car is often the only solution to go to work, for domestic errands, to reach places quite far from home and, why not, to take a nice trip. In some cases, a simple gesture, such as driving, can become problematic if we decide to bring the dog or cat with us. This aspect becomes even more difficult if our friend just can't deal with the fear or anxiety of car travel. Let's see what are the causes of this situation and what to do if the dog or cat does not want to get in the car.

Problems related to transport

A very important factor to keep in mind is that almost all cats hate cars. This is because of their very particular personality, as we all know well. For some of them, the mere sight of the pet carrier can trigger panic.

For dogs, the situation is usually different. Most dogs, in fact, are quite enthusiastic when traveling by car. This happens especially if the owner has used the car for other activities rather than just going to the vet, but also to reach pleasant places, for example a countryside or a dog area.

However, it may happen that the car is automatically associated with something negative, so the dog or cat will refuse to get in, becoming dangerous for themselves and for those driving.

Causes that can trigger their refusal:

    • We only used the car to get to the vet's office;
    • It is the first time you get into the car;
    • Something bad happened during previous trips, such as an accident or sudden braking;
    • Suffering from motion sickness;
    • Cannot stand places that are too closed, such as the pet carrier;
    • Tends to threaten other animals in the car.


If the dog or cat does not want to get into the car for some unknown reason and they are tense and worried during the journey, we should be able to identify the source of the discomfort.

An animal suffering from motion sickness will need specific advice, which you can find in the detailed article. We remind you that the symptoms of carsickness can generate a strong discomfort in the dog and not only physical, but also mental, so let's contact our veterinarian to evaluate the problem in more depths.

If, on the other hand, we believe that the discomfort is caused by a behavioral problem, we can act through some precautions.

  • We get the animal used to getting into a car from an early age;
  • We use the car for pleasant experiences, for example to reach a beautiful countryside and let him run freely;
  • We try to stay calm while driving, talking to him naturally;
  • We avoid turning up the volume of the radio;
  • For the first few times, we bring with us an object of the dog, for example a blanket or a towel, which he will associate with the positive experience of the car ride;
  • Lets stop often on the way;
  • Do not let him eat for a few hours before getting him into the car;
  • We bring water with us to offer him during the stops;
  • We use the travel accessories (pet carriers, cages, separation nets and safety belts for dogs) according to the needs and personality of our pet. By doing this, we will ensure greater safety for us and our friends during the journey and ensure that we remain in full compliance with the regulations on the transport of animals;
  • We place special ramps or platforms to facilitate the entrance.

We must communicate that moving by car can also be a positive experience. In fact, in most cases, the dogs and cats that refuse to get in the car are precisely those who have not accumulated other "automotive" experiences other than visiting the vet.

We then stimulate the positive association, using the car more often, enriching the moment with many pleasant stimuli, which can include caresses, as well as reward snacks, his favourite blanket and the desired destination of the animal’s choice.

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 misurare la temperatura nel cane e nel gatto

How to measure the temperature in dogs and cats

 Even our animal can experiment temperature rise and fever. It is often very difficult for owners to distinguish a fever from a milder illness. For this reason, it is very important to be able to perform a simple operation by yourself such as measuring the temperature of the dog and cat. Let's see together how it's done.

What is needed?

What you need is:

  • Alcohol
  • Cotton wool
  • Digital thermometer
  • Vaseline or other lubricants

As for the thermometer, we have specified the type precisely to avoid the use of the classic mercury thermometers, now obsolete and even forbidden even for "human" use.

Choose a digital thermometer for children or pets, with features that make it as easy as possible to measure the temperature. The ideal would be to be able to get a thermometer with a thin and flexible tip, which follows the movements of the animal without causing pain.

It is also important that the measurement is very quick, because the dog or cat is unlikely to accept this type of operation. Make sure, therefore, that the thermometer is fast and that it has a buzzer to signal the end of the measurement.


  1. We take the animal and place it on the table or in any case on a high enough surface, to feel more comfortable during the measurement. Always let someone help us to keep the dog or cat still;
  2. We ask our assistant to immobilize the animal as far as possible, without feeling forced. In the case of the cat, if it really doesnt want to cooperate, we can use the classic towel method, wrapping it around the cat's body, keeping the paws inside, so that it doesn't scratch us;
  3. Disinfect the tip of the thermometer with a cotton swab soaked in alcohol. We wait a few moments, in order for the alcohol to evaporate;
  4. We apply Vaseline or another specific lubricant to the tip of the thermometer;
  5. We lift the tail of the animal and locate the anus. In the female, it is the opening immediately below the tail, while in the male it is easier to visualize;
  6. We insert the tip of the thermometer slowly and gently into the rectum, making sure that they remain inside at most 2-2.5 centimetres, depending on the size of the animal;
  7. We hold the thermometer slightly tilted and wait for the acoustic signal;
  8. We observe the temperature indicated on the display;
  9. Disinfect the thermometer again;
  10. We reward the dog or the cat.

misurare temperatura cane termometro Lately, digital thermometers now allow you to measure the temperature directly from the animal's ears. In any case, the temperature is taken more accurately via rectum.

Some people argue that it is not necessary to use thermometers, but that it is sufficient to evaluate other parameters, such as the humidity of the nose or the temperature of the ears. These are absolutely inaccurate methods, which cannot provide precise information on the actual temperature of the animal.

How to correctly interpret values

As we have extensively explained in the article on fever in dogs and cats, the ideal temperature varies according to the age, species and size of the animal.

The reference values ​​are:

  • Puppies and kittens: 38.8-39 ° C;
  • Adult cats: 38-38.2 ° C;
  • Small dogs: 38.5-39.2 ° C;
  • Large and giant dogs: 37.5-38.5 ° C

gatto febbre misura termometroHowever, a slight increase in temperature can be considered normal in some situations. For example:

  • After intense physical activity;
  • Staying in a very hot environments;
  • Fear, for example during a visit to the vet;
  • Anxiety and stress.

For this reason, it is always important to observe other symptoms that the animal with a fever normally manifests. Between these:

  • Sleeps a lot;
  • Refuses to eat and drink;
  • Has no desire to move;
  • He feels discomfort if we try to pick him up;
  • Breathing is more frequent;
  • The nose and ears feel warm to the touch.

In these cases, we can proceed with measuring the temperature rectally, if the animal agrees to be manipulated. Next, we will need to contact our vet to find out the cause of the fever.


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.