Prep your pet in case of disaster

DEAR READERS: Meet Lacy. She’s getting her summer off to a great start, leaping and splashing into Lake Moxie in Maine. Lacy has some “moxie,” doesn’t she? Thanks to Joyce in West Gardiner, Maine, for sharing! Do you have a pet pal? Email a picture and description to

— Heloise

Dear Readers: Summer’s underway, and June is Pet Preparedness Month. Do you have a disaster plan for your pets?

Hints from Heloise sig

You’ll need to put together a pet emergency kit. What should you include? Let’s take a look:

• Water and bowl, food, a toy, leash and/or carrier and meds.

• Photo of the animal and history of vaccinations.

• First-aid kit: Gauze bandages and hydrogen peroxide.

Some other things to consider:

• Pet tags should be up to date and secure on the collar.

• Do you have your pet microchipped? A computer chip the size of a grain of rice can reunite you with your pet if it gets lost.

• Make sure your neighbors know what pets you have with notes about your animal’s behavior.

• Have the phone number to your veterinarian programmed into your phone.

— Heloise

Keeping kitty away

DEAR HELOISE: I love animals, but I’d really rather keep my neighbor’s tomcat away from my garden. Is there anything that will deter this sweet kitty from spraying my plants and flowers?

— Lois G., Carson City, Nev.

Lois, try using vinegar around the outer edges of your garden, or sprinkling chopped onions or chives might do the trick. Most cats do not like a strong scent.

— Heloise

Choosing a pet

DEAR HELOISE: My husband wants to get our 4-year-old son a dog, but I think that’s way too young to have a pet. What do you think?

— Renee E., La Grange, Ky.

Renee, you might want to wait until your son is old enough to help with the pet’s care. Pets should never be given as gifts to anyone.

Experts also say you should take into consideration the size of the animal, the yard size and the expense of pet ownership. Never get a dog or cat and leave it outdoors. A pet is meant to be primarily an indoor family member.

When you finally decide to get a pet, look first at animal shelters to save an animal’s life.

Then head to the vet for a checkup to be sure your new pet is up to date with its shots and to see if it needs to be spayed or neutered.

— Heloise

Scent sense

DEAR HELOISE: For those of us with allergies, asthma and migraines, please, please, I beg all of your readers to not bring anything with a scent on an airplane!

We can become very ill from your beautiful fragrances. We know you love them, and they may smell wonderful, but they make us sick!

Please use unscented everything when you will be in close quarters.


— Patti H., via email

Test your Hint IQ

Dear Readers: What does an ice cream cone have in common with an eggshell? Each can be used as a seed starter!

Poke a drain hole in the bottom of an empty eggshell or cone. Fill with rich soil and drop in seeds.

Mist often; you should see growth within two weeks. A fun project for kids!

— Heloise

Fresh treat

DEAR HELOISE: We make fresh fruit pops by freezing lemon-lime soda with different fresh fruits: pineapples, blueberries and watermelon.

— Gaby E., San Antonio

One caution: Not for the little ones; I’d recommend a plain pop. The fruit could be a choking hazard.

— Heloise

Sent hints to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001 or email

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