Dear Readers: Here are some commonly asked pet questions. Give them a read and see if you know the answers.
• Is your cat getting into your plants? You can do several things: Put the plants up and away from those prying paws. Put pine cones or rocks over the soil their paws won't like that. Spray the leaves with a commercial anti-chew product.
• What should you do when you first get a new bird? Avian experts say that you should take it to the vet annually for a checkup. But if you notice a change in your bird's behavior, take it to your vet right away.
• How often should you groom your dog? Pet experts say it depends on the kind of dog and how active it is. Dogs with short coats can be brushed once a week; dogs with long coats should be brushed daily. If your dog runs around outside, you might have to brush and bathe it more often than every three months.
• Should you keep a goldfish in a bowl? No fish experts say that goldfish should be placed in a 20-gallon aquarium. Chat with the fish experts at a pet store.
• How often should I change my bird's water? Avian experts say to change it daily. Your bird should always have cool, fresh, clean water available.
• Are there foods I shouldn't feed my dog? Yes never give your dog grapes, raisins, poultry bones, chocolate, coffee, onions, alcoholic beverages or yeast dough. Heloise
Dear Heloise: As an owner of three dogs, one of which is a natural-born runner when the door opens, my hint is that if your dog/cat/other pet is microchipped and wears tags, please put "microchipped" or "chipped" next to its name.
Many people move and do not update their address, but the vet usually has the current information from pet checkups. Many people won't even try to take a pet to a vet to check for microchipping, because they don't think or know about this. Hopefully this will reunite more animals with their owners and out of overcrowded animal shelters. Diane Neely, Dallas
Diane, a lost pet can't tell you where it lives, but a microchip can get the pet home! Cabbie, our mini schnauzer, says, "I'm microchipped; it's cool." Heloise
Dear Readers: Hazel Komar of St. Johnsville, N.Y., sent a photo of her daughter's (Janet) pet cat, Moses, sleeping in his favorite spot the bathroom sink. HeloiseDear Heloise: I wanted to pass along something my pest-control company told me. If you go outside after spraying is done, don't wear those shoes into the house. You sure don't want to bring in any pesticides that could harm your pet. M.M., Albany, N.Y.
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