A blue jay tries to snack on decorative Indian corn on the fall door hanging put up by Mr. and Mrs. Roger Clapp of Skowhegan, Maine.

Dear Heloise: I read your hint in the (Salem, Ore.) Statesman Journal about pet dishes for water and food. Here's my hint:

Our veterinarian asked how often I wash the dishes I eat from, and I answered, "Every time." She told me it is best to do the same for pets' food dishes also. It helps to have five or six matching bowls that are just for your pet. Also, with all the information advising people not to reuse plastic water bottles, it might be best to stop using old plastic food containers for water bowls. Replace them with ceramic or glass bowls, and wash them often as well. The super-hot water in the dishwasher works very well. — Karen in Oregon

Karen, this is a hint to think about. A lot depends on the type of food — dry or canned, etc. — and the "slobber" factor of your pet. Daily washing might be a bit much for most, but keeping them clean can be as easy as rinsing and drying with a paper towel. — Heloise

Dear Readers: Mr. and Mrs. Roger Clapp of Skowhegan, Maine, sent a photo of a blue jay enjoying their fall door decorations. She said they hung decorative Indian corn on their front door, and a hungry blue jay thought it was dinner.

If you have a unique pet photo you'd like to share, send it to: Heloise/Pet Photo, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000. — Heloise

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