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HELOISE: Don't let pet collars be a pain in the neck

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Dear Heloise: Owners of cats and dogs need to be sure to check their pet's collar every day, especially if they still are growing.

An animal outside, if the collar is not checked at all, can have problems.

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There should be room for two adult fingers when putting on a collar, and it should be checked often for the pet's comfort and safety. -- Sue S. in Alabama

This is a great reminder, Sue! Our furry friends rely on us to keep them safe and healthy! Two fingers (side by side), slipped between the collar and the pet's skin, is the recommended standard for a well-fitting collar.

There also are breakaway collars, which are particularly good for outdoor pets. They fall off if they get caught on anything as the pet wanders around or tries to jump over things, especially a fence. -- Heloise

MASKING SCUFFS

Dear Heloise: Whenever I vacuum, I always manage to turn my baseboards black from the rubber on the vacuum sliding against it. A friend recommended sweeping the dirt away from the baseboards first and then vacuuming, but I don't want to go around the edges of every room twice! Help! -- Jolie in Wisconsin

Well, the fun way is to put on an old pair of socks and run your foot along the baseboards! You'll get a little exercise, too! Or cover the edges of the vacuum cleaner with masking tape. It'll keep your baseboards free from marks, and you free from extra housework! -- Heloise

MEDICATION REFILL

Dear Heloise: I went to the pharmacy to pick up a new prescription; my normal cost per prescription is from $7 to $21. I was charged $23 and said this must be a mistake. The lady behind the counter checked it out, and sure enough, it was an error. I should have been charged only $7.

My hint: Write the cost of each prescription on the label when you pick up the medication. Take the label when picking up the next refill. By doing so, you will be able to question the cost, if it is different. -- Bob, via email

TAMING TRASH

Dear Heloise: Take a long, cardboard box and cut out the ends. Put the box inside a trash bag (Heloise here: with an open end up) and spread it open to fit the bag. When full, just lift the box up and out of the bag. Everything is compact and ready to close. So easy and convenient. -- Roberta G. in Indiana

Handy hint! We tried this in Heloise Central and liked it. You also can put the bag inside the box, which keeps the box clean for future use. -- Heloise

RECYCLE BIN

Dear Heloise: I have a trash can that I use like a computer recycle bin. I throw things that I might need later in this can, and I clean it out whenever it gets too full. -- Jimmie E., via email

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