Important Information for New Pet Owners

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Are you thinking about getting a new puppy or kitten? Will this be the first pet that you've taken care of on your own? Owning a pet can be a fun and rewarding experience. But there are some hidden dangers that lurk around many homes. Some things for you to remove or avoid for the sake of your furry friend are:

Ribbon or tinsel: Little kittens love playing with strings. Puppies may also have fun with dangling things. While it's fun to watch your pet enjoy scampering after strings and threads, supervision is key. If your pet eats any portion of this stuff, it could wrap up around his or her insides, potentially causing damage that would require surgery by your veterinarian to fix. This is especially true of tinsel, but it also applies to ribbon, rope, string, wires, and anything else with a similar structure. Only use actual pet toys to play with your pet, and only allow them to play with these stringy things while under supervision. Otherwise, make sure to put this stuff up and out of the way.

Houseplants: There are a number of plants that should be put out of reach or disposed of when you get a new puppy or kitten. Puppies and kittens are still learning about the world and might eat quite a few things that they shouldn't and that an adult animal wouldn't even touch. While there are a number of common plants that are poisonous to cats and dogs, some of the more common ones include poinsettia, day lilies, and daffodils (narcissus). If you suspect that your pet has eaten any of these things, despite your precautions, it's important to rush him or her to your veterinarian as soon as possible for treatment.

Bones: When people think of pet treats, one of the first things that pops into their minds is that of bones leftover from meals. Unfortunately for animals, eating cooked bones is extremely dangerous. All cooked bones can shatter into splinter-shaped pieces. These pieces can then pierce your pet's digestive tract, causing significant injury. While this isn't guaranteed every time your pet accidentally gets hold of a bone, you should keep an eye on him or her if you suspect that he or she has gotten into the trash and eaten your old chicken or steak bones. Signs that you should take your pet to the veterinarian for an exam include things like loss of appetite and vomiting.  

For more information about household items that could be dangerous to your new pet or if your pet is exhibiting symptoms of having ingested something harmful, talk to a veterinarian like those at Northside Emergency Pet Clinic.