Dear Heloise: Just a reminder to pet owners that pets need dental care, too. I worked as a veterinary assistant at a cat clinic for four years, and we always encouraged cat owners to watch their cats' teeth for tartar or problems. When the tartar builds up, bacteria build up in their systems and can cause heart, liver and kidney problems.
Dental care can be pretty expensive, but it's cheaper than trying to treat a cat with a failing kidney or liver. Plus, it's much more fun to have a healthy pet around. Jacqui Anderson, Omaha, Neb.
Jacqui, an excellent hint, according to our expert veterinarian, Dr. Tom Vice, who agreed that dental disease can lead to health problems in animals as well as humans! Heloise
Dear Heloise: I have included a picture of my brother's dogs and my two nieces, Maria and Selena. Daisy, the blond dog, was adopted from a local dog pound. Chico, the brown one, is 2 years old, and they are celebrating his birthday. Each dog is wearing a headband with brightly colored streamers and stars, with a doggie birthday cake in front of them.
Keep up the excellent work -- you have helped so many people with your column. Irene Najar Lewis, Boerne, Texas
Irene, thank you for the kind words and this wonderful picture of the birthday celebration. Since the party headbands are red, white and blue, I thought this photo would be perfect for the July Fourth weekend. Visit my Web site, www.Heloise.com, and click on "This Week's Pet" to see it. Heloise
Dear Heloise: I have two small dogs who love to ride in the car. Because I have leather upholstery, I keep nonskid shelf liner on the backseat, then cover it with a sheet. This helps them keep their footing when moving around and so far has prevented any damage to my leather upholstery. The sheet is easily removed and washed, since it gets the bulk of the dirty paws and shedding hair. M.J., via e-mail
Dear Heloise: I've discovered an easy, inexpensive and convenient disposable cat litter box for short-term use. I purchase a large aluminum roasting pan at my local store where items are a dollar. When I'm ready to throw it away, I simply slip it into a garbage bag and toss it! Edna Wolcott, Madison, Miss.
Dear Heloise: When leaving pets at a kennel, in addition to taking their blanket, bed, toy, etc., please take a recently worn shirt or jeans of the owner's for the pet to have as company.
Thank you, Heloise, for your numerous columns about compassionate, responsible care for pets. I'm sure there are many who have great respect for you for this public service of kindness to our animal companions. Susan Nelson, Rapid City, S.D.
XSend a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to (210) HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com.
King Features Syndicate