Dear Heloise: Thanks for telling pet owners to put collars with licenses for identification on their pets. Please also continue to recommend microchips. Our animal shelter has scanners, and our kennel technicians check every dog and cat that comes through our doors. We have reunited many pets and owners because the animals had a microchip. We handle nearly 8,000 pets every year. A collar with a tag can be lost, but a microchip remains under the skin forever.
We microchip every animal adopted from our shelter, and we offer low-cost microchipping to the general public. Pets can be brought to the shelter, plus we often go out to public events and offer low-cost microchipping. Veterinarians also have the scanners and can help identify lost pets.
Carolyn G. Kramer, Animal Friends Humane Society, Butler County, Ohio
A microchip can be a lifesaver and bring a beloved pet home. Our Cabbie, a mini schnauzer, says, "Get chipped." Heloise
Dear Heloise: Here is my favorite cat hint: Instead of buying specialized cat-box liner bags, I just use kitchen trash bags (13-gallon size). I found that the cat doesn't scratch through the thick bags, and they are much cheaper than buying cat-box liners. Elizabeth, via e-mail
Elizabeth, you're right this can save your household budget a few dollars. Thanks for sharing this money-saving pet hint with us. Heloise
Dear Readers: Betty Boyer of Munster, Ind., sent a photo of her wire fox terrier, Zeeman (which means "sailor" in Dutch), sitting comfortably, resting his leg on the arm of a sofa. Betty says, "He is 11 years old and is a wonderful pet and companion."
To see Zeeman, visit www.Heloise.com. Heloise
Dear Heloise: My mother and I are having a discussion: Is it OK to give a kitten or cat milk? I say no, and she says yes. What do you say? Mary Michelle in Texas
Well, on this particular topic, you win, Mary Michelle. Pet experts say that you should never give a cat cow's milk. It is hard for cats to digest and could upset their stomach. There are plenty of healthy treats available. Check the pet aisle of your favorite store. Heloise
Dear Heloise: I read your column daily and thought this is something I have to share: When I brush my dog, the hair seems to go everywhere, so now I use static spray on the brush before brushing her. It is easier to clean the brush and also keeps the hair from flying around while brushing. I have a beagle and it is shedding time, so I brush often, and it doesn't hurt the dog. Patty Ball, Weirton, W.Va.
Thanks for this hint. I'm all for making the weekly grooming chore easy and cleanup even easier. Heloise
Dear Heloise: In the blink of an eye, a pet can escape. I've spent time helping a heartbroken dear friend prepare fliers to post in an attempt to locate his missing friend. The dog is microchipped; however, he was not wearing his county rabies ID. If a pet is in the house and unsupervised, removing the collar might be OK. Otherwise, if you love your animal, please don't remove it. An Animal Lover, via e-mail
Dear Heloise: I feed my cat wet cat food mixed with dry. If you don't use a whole can of wet and put it in the refrigerator, it gets stiff and hard to mix. Try putting it in the microwave for a few seconds. A Lancaster, Ohio, Reader
(c)2008 by King Features Syndicate Inc.