3 Potential Hazards First-Time Pet Owners Should Know About

Are you thinking about getting a puppy or a kitten as a companion? Will this be the first time that you've had either one as a pet? Puppies and kittens can grow up into wonderful pets. They are lots of fun when they are younger, but they are extremely mischievous and get into many things. Unfortunately, this curiosity isn't always healthy for either cats or dogs. There are plenty of things that they can get into around your home that will make them sick. Some things that you'll need to watch out for include:

Houseplants: Despite just sitting there, a house plant can make an enticing playmate for a puppy or kitten. As a bonus feature, your pet will often try nibbling on said plant. Unfortunately, many plants are actually toxic to cats or dogs. Even though it might not injure you to nibble on your potted plants, the same may not be said of the puppy or kitten that you're planning on getting. To keep from having to rush your new furry friend to the veterinarian, make sure that you swap out your potentially toxic houseplants for plants that won't cause harm if they are nibbled or chewed upon.

Electrical cords: An electrical cord is long, thin, and is shaped like ropes and other toys that you may have given to your pets to play with. The rubbery exterior of electrical cords can also make them fun to chew on in their own right. Both cats and dogs can go through a chewing phase where they chew on many things in an attempt to relieve the discomfort caused by their adult teeth coming in. This can include gnawing on the interesting electrical cords. Doing this can spark an electrical fire and cause electrical burns to your pet. If you notice that your cat or dog has been chewing on plugged-in electrical cords, you should take him or her to see your veterinarian to be checked over for serious injury.

Bones: If you've never had a cat or a dog before, you may still be familiar with the image of a dog gnawing on an old bone. This, however, can be a dangerous practice for both cats and dogs. Cooked bones can shatter into dangerously sharp shards that can pierce your pet's digestive tract. Your veterinarian would then need to perform potentially costly surgery in order to save him or her. Bones that are uncooked and raw will not shatter in the same way and so are safe to give to most pets. However, they are obviously going to be messy and not sanitary, so your best option is likely to be skipping the bones and just giving your pet commercial treats instead. 

For more information about household items that are potentially dangerous to pets, go to websites of local veterinarians and see about scheduling an appointment.