Dear Readers: Okay, we are just going to go there, lay it bare and talk about it. Why do dogs sometimes eat poop? This is called coprophagia, and there are several reasons for it. Let’s check them out.

When puppies eat stool, they are most often emulating the mother. Mom (by instinct) will eat the waste of her puppies during their first few weeks of life to get rid of the odor to discourage predators. Puppies may never grow out of this habit. Keep the yard and puppy pads spotless to try to stop this behavior.

If Puppy continues, he may have digestive troubles. An exam by a veterinarian is called for.

Adult dogs can eat poop as a reaction to being bored or stressed, or they can be trying to compensate for not getting enough food.

To stop this behavior, make sure your dog has a good quality diet, fresh water, lots of playtime and socializing, and attention. Never punish the dog for eating poop; rather, correct the cause.

Dear Readers: Meet Tiger. John M. sent two pix of this white-and-tortoiseshell-colored cat. So sweet, with big eyes. Tiger is sitting by a clock reminding us that the time we have with our pets is shorter than we would like.

To see our other Pet Pals, visit Heloise.com and click on “Pet of the Week.” Do you have a funny and furry friend you’d like to share? Email a picture or two, along with a description, to Heloise@Heloise.com.

Dear Heloise: I put peanut butter on both sides of the bread and the jelly in the middle. This prevents the jelly from making the bread soggy.

— Erin T., age 11, in Ohio

Dear Readers: When’s the last time you did a good detail cleaning of your baseboards? Can’t remember? It’s time.

You do hopefully dust the baseboards on a regular basis. This will make a deep cleaning easier. A barely damp microfiber cloth can attract dust.

Chemical cleaners and those with ammonia should never find any woodwork in your home — it can be drying and damaging. Mild detergent diluted with water will work just fine.

Furniture oils can moisturize to limit drying and cracking. Wax can harden the finish and lessen the look of scratches. Read the labels on these products.

For long-term care of baseboards, limit their time in the sun, and keep the humidity in your home low, between 25 percent and 50 percent.

Dear Heloise: I use a box grater (Grandma called her metal one a knucklebuster — ha ha!) to grate cold cheese, butter and cream cheese. It saves thawing time. And for these items, I usually just eyeball the amounts needed for a recipe, so measuring isn't an issue.

— Kali T. in Ohio

Dear Heloise: My hairstylist recommended to always use the matching shampoo and conditioner of a brand. They are made to chemically go together, to complement each other.

— Heather W. in New York

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at washingtonpost.com/advice. Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com.

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