a dog walking in a flower field

Tips for flea and tick-free spring

The butterflies flutter around outside, the birds chirp and the flowers bloom: spring is back in the country! Time to go into nature with the dog or chill out in the garden with your cat. But with the warmer weather, all those pesky little critters will be back. Here are some handy tips for a nice spring without fleas and ticks.

How to prevent a flea infestation?

With temperatures rising again, fleas are also becoming active again. Fleas love your pet's blood, causing itching and irritation. And once your dog or cat has fleas, getting rid of them is quite a job. Fortunately, you can keep these mini-vampires away with a few simple tips.

Prevention is better than cure, so make sure you treat your pet regularly with an appropriate flea medicine, such as drops or a collar. It is also important to keep your home and your pet's sleeping places clean. Regular vacuuming and washing the beds goes a long way to preventing fleas. Do you suspect your pet has fleas? If so, consult your vet for the best treatment options to get rid of those pesky little creatures fast.

Preventing or removing ticks

Ticks are spider-like creatures that feed on the blood of mammals, including your pet, but also yourself! Not only do they look unsightly, they can also carry all kinds of diseases, such as the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. So a good tick check after an outdoor adventure is certainly not an unnecessary luxury.

There are special collars or pipettes you can use to prevent the bite of these bloodsucking creatures. Check your pet regularly too, especially if he spends a lot of time outside. Does your dog or cat have a tick? Then remove it with special tick pliers or cards. These will remove the tick completely, preventing nasty infections.

What to do about worms?

Your dog or cat can contract worms by eating worm eggs from contaminated soil or faeces, by eating infected (gnawing) animals and even by fleas. Worms are everywhere, so it is important to protect your dog or cat properly. Therefore, de-worm your pet regularly (about 4 times a year) with a worm cure, especially if he spends a lot of time outdoors.

There are many different types of worms and also many different symptoms. Think small worms in the faeces, vomiting, 'sledding' (rubbing their butt on the ground) and other nasty things. Think your pet might be suffering from worms? If so, consult a vet. He/she will check if it is indeed worms and help your dog or cat become worm-free again.

Can your pet suffer from oak processionary caterpillars?

The oak processionary caterpillar is a small, hairy caterpillar that -the name says it all- likes to feast on oak leaves. In spring, the eggs of this caterpillar hatch and crawl into the trees. It is not the caterpillars themselves, but the tiny burning hairs they release that bother you and your pet. Think rash, swelling, red eyes and itching.

Has your dog come into contact with this caterpillar and its hairs? Then do not rub the spots where the hairs are, but remove them with tape, for example. Afterwards, rinse your dog well and do not forget the eyes, nose and mouth. If your dog still has itchy or painful symptoms, consult your vet.