Dear Heloise: The Food and Drug Administration is warning people to be very careful about buying pet medication online due to some of the illegal and dangerous actions the FDA has seen. While some companies are reputable, many others are not. There is a definite risk of dosing your pet with fake or stolen medications that can be unsafe or ineffective. Some medications, such as heartworm medication, can only be dispensed by a licensed professional, so it is unlikely that you could simply buy it online. The best place to buy your pet’s medications is from your vet.

 — Sandra P., Fairfax, Virginia

Travel advisories

Dear Heloise: If any of your readers are planning to travel outside of the United States, their first step should be to consult the travel advisory section online at www.travel.state.gov/travelsafely. In every country, travel conditions can change rapidly, so the travel advisories can help you determine where to go and alert you to any civil unrest or problems for travelers. You can see the world at a glance by using the color-coded map the website has provided.

 — Thomas D. in

New York

Property taxes

Dear Readers: We continue to have an amazing response to a Sound Off letter about rising property taxes. One letter in particular spoke volumes about property taxes for the elderly.

— Heloise

Dear Heloise: I read about escalating property taxes in your column. I live in a small town of about 9,000 people with no sewers and no streetlights, and my taxes were $4,000.19. We are seniors, and for us that’s a lot of money, especially on a fixed income. It is extremely hard to come up with the money, and this may result in having to sell our home. I don’t know if there are any options for us, but we are just like many other seniors who struggle to get by each month.”

 — Joyce R. in California

You went where?

Dear Heloise: This week there was an article in The Hutchinson (Kansas) News about why you should pick a college based on price:

1. You can avoid high student debt.

2. You can give your parents a break.

3. You’ll get a better return on your investment.

Out of all the jobs I have had, where I went to college was never important. It was what I could do for them now that I had a degree.

 — Lloyd K., Ellinwood, Kansas

Bring your own food

Dear Heloise: I just read the letter from Connie W. of Tucson, Arizona, in the San Angelo (Texas) Standard-Times. She asked what to feed her vegan sister-in-law. When I visit friends or relatives, since I have a special diet, I always take food that I can eat. I take enough for everyone else to enjoy with me if they choose to do so. That way, I don’t put a burden of preparing special food on my hosts, and I don’t have to worry about what I’ll eat. It’s always a good idea to let your hosts know in advance so they don’t have to worry about the menu on your account.

 — Sylvia P., via email

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