Dear Heloise: I just took my cat to the veterinarian and found out that he is OVERWEIGHT. Apparently a lot of animals are overweight now. Do you have any hints for how to keep our pets at a healthy weight? -- Janice W. in Minnesota

Janice, it’s sad but true! According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, more than 50 percent of adult cats and 50 percent of adult dogs are considered overweight. There are a few positive things you can do to help maintain a pet’s weight that will keep them healthy. Here are some hints:

* Feed only at the scheduled times, preferably two to three small meals a day.

* Don’t feed pets any “people food” unless okayed by the vet.

* Use praise and love instead of food. Most commercial treats are loaded with sugar, which can be a big factor in obesity.

* If you must feed your pet treats, limit the number they receive each day, or use healthy ones.

* Get out and exercise with your pets! Make playtime a daily event to keep them active. Exercise not only keeps the weight off, but relieves boredom and anxiety in pets.

For more information, you can visit the APOP’s Web site at -- Heloise

P.S.: Cabbie, our 11-year-old mini-schnauzer, gets bites of fresh carrots as treats.


Dear Readers: Kathy Hamric sent a darling photo, via e-mail, of her miniature schnauzer Kassie sitting in a chair posing for a photo with a favorite stuffed toy. Kathy says: “Kassie turned 11 in January, and she has brought joy beyond words to our lives. I can’t imagine a moment without her.” To see Kassie, visit my Web site, and click on “Pets.” -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I found that if I don’t have frosting on hand, I can make a quick-and-easy glaze for cakes or cupcakes. I simply put some marshmallows on the top of a just-baked cake or cupcakes. If the cake is not warm enough, just stick it back in the oven for a minute or two. -- Margie G., Bradenton, Fla.

Love this tasty hint! And there are different-flavored marshmallows, so keep some on hand. For some quick money-saving hints, I have compiled a pamphlet filled with some of my favorite cake recipes! To receive a copy, please send $3 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (66 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Cake, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Don’t like the white covering on the bottom of your cake from the flour? Use cocoa powder for a dark-colored cake, or powdered sugar for a white or light-colored cake. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: My hint when making salad to be served the next day is to precut the lettuce and veggies, but not the tomatoes. Then I just slice the tomatoes, and the salad is done! -- Ann M. in Texas

Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Please include your city and state.

, King Features Syndicate