Dear Heloise: I have a tip for medium-to-large-breed dog owners. Large, high-quality dog beds are expensive, and they don't last long before getting too flat.
I purchased a crib mattress for only $29. A crib mattress is big and sturdy -- it will never get worn out. It's also much easier to take the crib sheet and mattress protector off and throw them in the wash.
It has a lot of support for older dogs that might become lame with old age. Striker loves her new bed! -- Peg Haust-Arliss, Clyde, N.Y.
Bet she is one comfortable dog! Also, you can find pretty good crib mattresses at garage sales. Check the classified section of your newspaper -- you might find one for sale and not have to run all over town. -- Heloise
If you see your cat scratching at its ears and shaking its head, take it to your veterinarian. Usually you can't see any problem deep in your cat's ear canal. The vet can spot problems using a scope.
Neglecting an ear problem can cause serious problems. It might be an infection or ear mites, which can be quite common and can be cured with medication.
Dear Heloise: I would like to share how to clean up that dingy patio furniture that has become discolored from body and suntan oils.
I figured that since laundry pre-wash sticks remove body oil from clothing, why not give them a try on my patio furniture? Sure enough, after applying the pre-wash and letting it sit for about two hours, I took a soft brush and scrubbed off the dingy brownish color. I could not tell the areas that were previously discolored from the areas that were not.
The pre-wash is easy to apply, as it does not have to be mixed but can be applied from the applicator it comes in. What a simple, easy way to restore old patio furniture. -- Evelyn Kubach, Wadsworth, Ohio
Well, pre-wash products do have great cleaning properties, so the stick form should work as well as the spray form -- which we know cleans extremely well. -- Heloise
CLEAN CAGE PERCHES
Dear Readers: When cleaning out your pet bird's cage, don't forget to clean the perches. Bacteria from bird droppings forms on the perches, and when a bird wipes its beak on them, it can cause the bird to become ill.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, if there is more than one bird in the cage, the disease can be transmitted from bird to bird from the contaminated perches when their beaks, feet or feathers come in contact with them. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: My cat, Deli, loves to bat around a sponge hair curler. She keeps amused by slapping at it, her claw catches it, and then she shakes it off. She does this all day, then picks it up in her mouth and takes it with her wherever she goes.
This "toy" sure saved me money. I bought her a couple of cat toys, and she never played with them. Now I only give her a new hair roller when the other gets lost or wears out. -- J.B., Via E-mail
SEND A GREAT HINT TO: Heloise
P.O. Box 795000
San Antonio, TX 78279-5000
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