Are you thinking about getting a new cat or dog? Will this be the first time that you've owned an animal without parental supervision? Whether you had pets while growing up or you couldn't have them due to things like allergies or too-strict landlords, getting your first pet as an adult is a big deal. You obviously want to make sure that you do things right as much as you can which is why you're doing research now. A few things that you need to keep in mind for your new furry friend include the following.
Baby-proof your home: Although dogs and cats can't pick up forks and try to shove them into electrical outlets, they can still get into a lot of things that they shouldn't if you're not careful. For instance, a cat might learn where you keep its treats and then start opening the cabinet to pull these treats out and tear into them. A dog might chew on electrical cords or urinate on an electrical outlet. In order to try to avoid having to rush your pet to a veterinary clinic for treatment, it's a good idea to put childproof locks on the cabinets, put cords up out of the way as much as possible, and so on. As you and your pet get to know one another, you may be able to relax some of these efforts without having to worry about the consequences but some pets may never learn not to put themselves in harm's way.
Find local vets: Every pet owner should have contact information for at least two types of vets. There's the standard veterinary clinic where you take your pet for a checkup or for treatment if he or she gets sick during business hours. Then there is the emergency vet for urgent injuries and/or illnesses that happen when your usual veterinarian is closed. You might also want a veterinarian for when your usual veterinarian is on vacation but the issue isn't serious enough to take your pet to the emergency pet hospital.
Know what to feed: There is a lot of misinformation out there regarding what is and what is not safe for pets to eat. You might already know that chocolate is a poison for dogs but you might not realize that things like chicken skin or bones that are left over from dinner can also be hazardous to both cats and dogs. Before giving your pet a new treat, make sure to contact your veterinary clinic to ask the vet if that item is safe for your pet to consume or if it should be avoided at all costs.
For more information, contact a veterinary clinic in your area.