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DEAR READERS: Let's look at what we can do to keep our pets safe and healthy in 2020:

• Microchip. Make sure it's up to date. Collars and ID tags can break or fall off.

• Spaying and neutering. The stray animal population is much too high.

m. Shots. Diseases such as distemper and parvovirus are preventable with vaccines. Also inquire about booster shots.

• An all-over physical, sometimes called a wellness exam. Don't wait until your pet is ill.

• Dental health. Don't you hate having a toothache? Your pet does too, so get the teeth checked at least once a year.

• Finally, fleas and ticks. Your pet should be on a year-round preventive medicine.

Visit with the veterinarian in order to keep your pets in tiptop shape.

DEAR HELOISE: More households are buying almond, soy, cashew and coconut milks in the half-gallon cartons with plastic lids on the side of the cartons. These lids are generally not recyclable because they pose a health threat of eye injury when they go through the machines in recycling centers.

My family goes through about five cartons a week, and by the end of the year we have trashed 260 plastic lids. Please advise manufacturers that we are perfectly able to open cartons at the top ends like we did for decades, before they decided plastic lids provided easier access. If we want to be environmentally friendly, can we start with the small, attainable things?

-- Bernie S., Colorado

DEAR HELOISE: Reheating food can be tricky -- the food often comes out unevenly heated, with cold spots. I've solved this. I create a circle in the middle of the plate of food. This allows for more equal heat distribution.

-- Tamara W., Missouri

DEAR HELOISE: When I receive furniture that has to be put together (end table, etc.), if it comes with a tool such as an Allen wrench, I always tape the tool under the piece I put together. If the screws come loose, I always have that tool to fix it.

-- Johnna T., via email

DEAR HELOISE: If you have a garage door that has windows, you can buy a frosted film at your home-improvement store and cover the windows from the inside for security.

-- Nancy P. in San Antonio

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

[email protected]

HomeStyle on 01/11/2020

Print Headline: Helpful Hints

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