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Hints from Heloise: Be prepared when traveling with your pet

Dear Readers: Through the years, I've learned a few hints when traveling with our miniature schnauzers. We now have our third, Cabbie — or should I say she has us as her people.

Being prepared can make road trips enjoyable for all! Read on for some helpful travel pet hints.

You will want to pack for your dog, too! Here are a few suggestions of items a dog will probably need: food and water dishes, collar (with tags and your cell-phone number so you can be reached), a leash, grooming items, vaccination records (if traveling far from home or to another state) and medications. We always bring Cabbie's pillow and blanket and keep her bright-pink Cabbie bag ready to go.

Do some research before leaving, because there are many pet-friendly hotels out there. We always stay in one or two chains that welcome pets. When calling to make reservations, check on the hotel's pet policy.

Dogs should be in travel carriers during a trip, and be sure the carrier is the right size for your dog. Let your pet stay in the crate or carrier at home to prepare for the upcoming trip. Pet carriers need to be tied down so they can't shift around. Pets should not be allowed to roam loose or stick their heads out of the windows.

DO NOT leave your pet in a parked car, no matter the time of year. Hot or cold weather can kill!

— Heloise

Dear Readers: Phyllis Jeanne Caron-Valeriano of Willimantic, Conn., sent a photo of her goddaughter, Suzanne, with her son's service dog, Goldey, helping her read the paper, and her other dog, Little Buddy, curled up and sleeping.

To see Goldey and Little Buddy, visit

— Heloise

Dear Heloise: When I read the headline for your column in the Erie (Pa.) Times-News, I thought I should share my hint for old, lidded containers.

I have a couple of long-haired dogs that need brushing frequently. When the weather is good, I do it outside, and even then I don't like to let the hair just blow around. I discovered that if I keep one of those containers handy, I can just shove the hair into the container, and it does not get away. — Marie, via e-mail

Dear Heloise: I had the scare of my life when my kitten cried strangely. I called him and got no answer. When I investigated, I found that he had gotten caught under the bed in the gauze lining attached to the bottom of the box spring. He and his buddy had ripped part of the gauze lining, and a piece of the fiber somehow got caught around his neck. I found him literally strangling from a thin, but very strong, piece of gauze fiber.

Please, please share this important caution with your other pet lovers. I would hate to think of this happening to another precious pet. — Sharon, Alberton, Prince Edward Island, Canada

© King Features Syndicate Inc.