Dear Readers: Halloween is next week; what are some safety hints for your pets? According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (, these are the top hints:

■ Candy is an absolute “No” for your pets; some treats are toxic!

■ Does your jack-o’-lantern have a real candle in it? Keep it away from your pet — a fire hazard!

■ That decorative corn is a temptation. It’s not poisonous, but it can upset a stomach.

■ Putting a costume on your pet is cute, but make sure the animal can move freely and see clearly. If your pet is in distress, take the costume off.

■ Strangers arriving at your home can cause anxiety. Make sure all animals have a collar with ID and a microchip in case they dart out of an open door.

Enjoy the holiday, but make it an early evening for your pets. — Heloise

Tiny holes

Dear Heloise: I was having trouble cleaning the tiny holes in my hummingbird feeder. I thought of the brush I use to clean under my dental bridges; it was just right!

You can find the brushes in the toothpaste aisle near the dental floss. I read your column in the (Warren, Ohio) Tribune Chronicle every day! — Roseann in Vienna, Ohio


Dear Heloise: I love garlic in the recipes I prepare, but not a strong, overpowering garlic flavor. Here’s my hint: I pierce the clove of garlic to release some of its flavor and drop it into the sauce or food. Before serving, I just pick out the clove. — Anna E. in St. Louis

Anna, I’m a big fan of garlic too, especially in marinades, sauces and seasonings. FYI: Garlic bulbs should be full, round and firm, not spongy or soft, when you purchase them. Definitely pass on shriveled garlic. — Heloise

Why doesn’t glue stick to the bottle?

Dear Heloise: I was working on an art project and wondered, “Why doesn’t my glue stick to the inside of the bottle?” Silly question, maybe, but I got on the company’s website, and in its frequently asked questions (FAQ) section, I learned that the glue has to react with air in order for the water to evaporate and the glue to harden and stick! — Emma J., age 12, in Dallas

Emma, here’s a Heloise high-five! Great use of materials that the company provides. Never, ever stop wondering. — Hugs, Heloise

— Send a great hint to: Heloise, P.O. Box 7950000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000; fax: 1-210-HELOISE; email