• “Keep cats indoors during very cold weather. They are particularly vulnerable to freezing. If you can leave the curtains drawn on a window where Kitty can look outside and sunbathe, she probably will be happy.” — M.R. in Washington
• If you have lots of outdoor or feral cats in your area, here is some good advice, given to me by my grandmother: Start your car with a bang — on the hood, that is. When the overnight temperature dips, cats know to find someplace that is wind-shielded and off the ground, and sometimes that means they will climb up into your engine area to hunker down. If your car starts while they’re there, they can be hurt or even killed. Give the hood a good knock to let a cat know to get out quick. — JoAnn
• Pet paws need extra care in the cold months, especially dogs that must be walked in icy and snowy conditions. Here’s a great tip from Y.L. in New York: “I keep a small towel with me on my daily dog walks, but I also wash off my dog’s paws with a warm washcloth when we return. I also rub petroleum jelly into her pads once a day. They really take a beating, having to go out three times a day in salty, muddy, cold conditions. She won’t wear doggie booties, so this works best for us.”
• If you keep birds, here’s a reminder: Never preheat pans on high heat — especially nonstick pans. They can let off a chemical that you or I cannot detect but can be a health hazard if your bird friend is in the kitchen area. Don’t keep birds in the kitchen when cooking.
• Spread a teaspoon of peanut butter thinly on a paper plate, then when the dog is busy with its treat, you can trim its nails. Or sometimes just having it nearby as a promised treat can do the trick to distract your pet. Good luck!
Send your tips to Now Here’s a Tip, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475 or e-mail JoAnn at email@example.com.
(c) 2014 King Features Syndicate, Inc.