HELOISE: Lilies can do harm to animals

Dear Readers: Poinsettias are bright, beautiful red, white or pink holiday plants, but are they harmful to pets? Well, they can cause stomach upset and diarrhea, but that’s about it. Yes, the myth continues. Poinsettias are not deadly, but they should be kept from animals and small children anyway.

Lilies are different. Whether stargazer, Asian or tiger, they are extremely dangerous to animals. A cat’s kidneys can fail with just a small nibbled amount. Suspect your pet has eaten a holiday flower? Call your veterinarian right away!


Dear Readers: Judi Clark of Fillmore, Calif., sent us a picture of her two Chihuahuas, Callie and Jack, sitting under the decorated Christmas tree on a festive flowered tree skirt. To see Callie and Jack, and our other Pet Pals, visit www.Heloise.com, and click on “Pets.”


Dear Heloise: My grandson came up with a new no-cost toy for our dog. He took a 16-ounce empty water bottle and removed the cap. Then he put the bottle into an old sock and knotted the end of the sock. The dog loved it, and the crunchy sound kept him busy. It lasts about three to four days — by then, he gets it flat, and it’s time to change bottles.

Brandon Williams in Rancho Cordova, Calif.

Dear Heloise: I would like to share a simple hint for those of us who have parakeets. Their soft, puffy feathers tend to fly all over and end up out on the floor. I take clear packing tape (about 2 inches wide) and lay strips along the lowest part of the cage wires with the sticky side facing in. The sticky side traps most puffy feathers and some seed hulls. Simply lift off and apply new strips as needed. Makes a huge difference!

Judi B. in Balch Springs, Texas

Dear Heloise: Canned-pet-food manufacturers need to know that it is very frustrating to try to get all the cat and dog food out of a can when it constantly gets stuck in the ridges around the top of the can and crevices in the bottom. Why not make a smooth interior so that you don’t have to dig the food out that is stuck?

A Reader in Monroe, La.

The ridges on all metal cans do serve a purpose. They make the can stronger and more rigid, and help to prevent it from collapsing.


Dear Heloise: My neighbor’s cats get into my plants. I put mothballs in the flower beds and flowerpots, and this helps to keep the cats out. The squirrels were eating my iris bulbs, so I put mothballs around those, too. It worked — the mothballs kept the squirrels out of my bulbs!

B.H. in Mississippi

As long as there is not a chance a child might get hold of the mothball, this hint works for many people.


Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com.

King Features Syndicate