Dear Readers: This time of year can be busy and fun for us and for our pets. We decorate with corn stalks, apples, hay bales and all sorts of gourds and pumpkins to reflect harvest time and the beautiful fall season.

The majority of these items are considered nontoxic and safe if ingested by our pets; however, if you find your pet has ingested something and you’re not sure if it’s poisonous, it’s best to not take any chances.

There’s an app for that. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) sponsors the Animal Poison Control Center’s (APCC) free mobile app. It identifies 300+ common toxins, advises you on how serious the problem is and helps you determine the next steps you should take.

Search “APCC ASPCA” in your app store. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center phone number is 888-426-4435.

— Heloise

Pet pal

Dear Readers: Meet Maddie, a frosty-faced, 15-year-old diva dog from Connecticut. She’s a Chihuahua and spoiled silly, sleeps under the covers, loves vanilla ice cream and sunbathing on the deck, but she hates riding in the car.

To see marvelous Maddie and our other Pet Pals, visit www.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 and description to Heloise@Heloise.com.

— Heloise

Thawing roast

Dear Heloise: When I pull a roast out of the freezer to thaw, I put it on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. If it’s on an upper shelf, raw juices can drip down onto other items in the fridge.

 — Cathy E. in Iowa

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