Dear Heloise: My kids want a rabbit as a pet. Are they good pets? Are they expensive to care for? What hints do you have for caring for a rabbit?
Jody D., Calumet City, Illinois
Jody, rabbits are cute, and they can be excellent pets. Here are some hints to keep in mind:
You can train the rabbit to use a litter box.
A rabbit is quiet, so no barking! Your pet rabbit needs human interaction. Rabbits are indoor animals. An outside cage is a big NO-NO.
A rabbit will develop a fun personality, just like a dog or cat.
A lot of care is important. Rabbits are delicate creatures and can't be handled roughly; children need to understand this. Rabbits can bite and kick.
Regarding expenses: An indoor crate is necessary, which can run about $100; the animal will need medical checkups with a veterinarian, including a spay or neuter; special rabbit pellets; lots of fresh vegetables; hay for bedding; and litter.
Search rescue groups to adopt a rabbit. There are different breeds; a larger breed usually is better for kids.
Rabbitproof the house. Rabbits are known to chew.
With some work, as all pets require, a rabbit will be a fun and loving member of your family! Ask your veterinarian for more information about having a rabbit as a pet.
Readers with rabbits, submit pictures of your pet rabbit for our Pet Pal feature. Email Heloise@Heloise.com.
Dear Readers: Sharon in San Antonio picked up Duncan, a 2-year-old mini rat terrier mix, from Animal Care Services just a few weeks ago as a scared, dirty and broken-spirited dog that ACS had found running on the street.
Now he is calm, clean and happy, and relaxing comfortably. Sharon says to visit a shelter and find a friend — adopt! To see Duncan and our other Pet Pals, visit www.Heloise.com.
Dear Heloise: I enjoy all of your clever tips and look forward to each new idea as it comes along. My casseroles were too salty most of the time, so I started putting bits and pieces of corn chips and wheat chips in a plastic bag with breadcrumbs and giving them a good shake.
The salt merges with the bread, and the chip bits are much nicer to use as a topping for the casserole.
Jane A., Beavercreek, Ohio
Dear Readers: Spray a dedicated new toothbrush with a bit of hair spray, and brush your eyebrows UP. Carefully snip any wild hairs that appear. Then brush brows back into place.
Dear Heloise: Every time I see a live earthworm on a sidewalk, I carefully move it to the nearest grassy area. Earthworms are beneficial to the quality of the soil and are a good food source for birds such as robins. Thank you.
Mary, via email