Dear Readers: Here are some favorite pet hints from Heloise Central to help you take care of your pet:
• If you are involved in an emergency evacuation, pet experts recommend that you do not leave your pets behind, because they could be trapped with disastrous consequences. Make plans ahead of time to deal with this.
• Getting fish? If you decide to have a fish tank, explore the varieties of coldwater fish that are available. If you decide on exotic fish, be aware that they may need extra-special care.
• If your pet has extremely bad breath, this might be an indication that it should be taken to the vet for a tooth examination. There could be serious dental or other medical problems.
• If you are going to take a dog or a cat on a long trip, get your pet used to the carrier/crate before the trip. Put a familiar piece of clothing or bedding in it, along with a favorite toy or two.
• Is it OK to give dogs real bones to chew? Pet experts say no, because the bones could break or splinter, and the bits could cause serious internal injuries to your pooch.
• Keep the lid on the trash can! Curious dogs or cats can get into the trash and eat food that could be bad or dangerous for them.• Give your pets home checkups. You take care of yourself do the same for your pets. Look under their fur to see if there are bumps or scabs. Examine ears and eyes for problems like redness or mites. Pay attention to changes in eating habits or energy. Heloise
Dear Heloise: For some reason, my cat has stopped using her litter box, opting instead for an area in a spare bedroom. I am desperate to make her stop any suggestions? Cat Lover in Arizona
Cats, just like humans, can get "stressed" if things change around home. A new baby, a houseguest or a new pet can cause them to take on some bad habits. They also may stop using their litter box because they don't like the litter (have you switched brands?) or the box isn't being cleaned regularly. Try getting some new litter and keeping the box clean, and see if that makes a difference. Keep the door to the spare room closed so your cat doesn't have access. Hope this helps! And, if this behavior continues, you need to take your cat to the vet for a checkup, as there might be a medical cause. Heloise
Dear Readers: Bobbie McGowan of Londonderry, N.H., sent a photo of her dog, Riley, lying on the couch in all his glory. Bobbie says, "Riley is 1 year old and a mix of Peke-a-poo and Pomeranian, and his favorite position and place to sleep my living-room sofa." Heloise
© King Features Syndicate Inc.