Are you thinking about getting a new puppy or kitten? Will this be the first young cat or dog that you'll have owned? Even if you've owned adult dogs or cats before, puppies and kittens can have different needs. There are also dangers around your home that you may not have previously realized. Before you bring home a new puppy or kitten, it's important to remember to make sure that your home is ready and is as safe as possible for their arrival. Some things that you should do include:
Baby-proof electrical items: If your home is already baby-proofed, you should be good to go. Things that can harm a baby human may also harm a baby cat or dog. Dangling cords can be tempting playthings for all types of young but can be especially dangerous for puppies and kittens. A human baby may just pull on a cord but a puppy or a kitten may also try chewing on it. If the electrical cord is plugged in at the time, this can result in an electrical shock that will necessitate rushing your pet to the nearest animal hospital. Dangling cords should be moved whenever possible or coated in a nasty-tasting substance to prevent chewing. In addition, it's a good idea to use outlet covers as well. They won't be able to stick items into the outlets, but they could urinate on or spray the outlet which could, again, result in an electrical shock.
Get rid of or move plants: Potted houseplants can be a danger to any puppy or kitten who is able to reach the plant. While planting catnip or cat grass for your kitten is fine, most plants are going to result in unpleasant symptoms if your puppy or kitten is able to chew on it. Depending on the plant, your pet may simply vomit a few times or it could be something more serious like being unable to breathe. To be safe and to avoid midnight trips to the nearest animal hospital, ask your vet for a list of plants that are safe to have around your puppy or kitten.
Avoid human food: Your puppy or kitten will probably beg you for food every time you eat, even if he or she isn't actually interested in what you have. Unfortunately, human food can be dangerous for animals. Some things, such as chocolate, are outright poisonous and shouldn't be fed to your pet at all. Other things, such as chicken skin, aren't outright deadly but should still be avoided. Overly rich and fatty foods, such as the aforementioned chicken skin, can cause a dangerous condition called pancreatitis. Since some animals can handle less of this type of food than others before they develop an issue, it's best to avoid a trip to the animal hospital by just throwing away human food instead of feeding it to your pet.
For more information or assistance in caring for your new pet, contact a local animal hospital.