3 Potential Hazards To Pets That Your Child Needs To Know About

Do you have kids who have been begging to get a cat or a dog? Have you finally agreed that you'll get the pet that they want for an upcoming birthday, holiday, or another special occasion? Owning a pet is often a huge part of growing up. Your kids will be able to have many experiences that they wouldn't be able to have any other way. But while having a furry friend can be awesome, it's important to also teach your child how to make sure that the pet is healthy and is able to remain that way. Some potential hazards that your child will need to be aware of include:

Bones: Although cartoons often show dogs eating bones or dogs being given bones, doing this can result in a midnight trip to the nearest emergency pet clinic. Cooked bones have a tendency to shatter unpredictably into sharp pieces that can cause serious injury to both cats and dogs. Never let either animal have cooked chicken, turkey, and other poultry bones. Make sure that your child is aware that a dog should only be given bones to gnaw on that have been approved by your veterinarian. This may include bones that are only smoked, but not actually cooked, or that are completely raw, but always consult your dog's vet first.

Holiday decorations: Kids love holiday decorations and may decide to share their love for decorations with a new cat or a dog. Unfortunately, holiday decorations can be full of hazards that will eventually force a trip to your chosen emergency pet clinic. Both cats and dogs, but especially cats, may be attracted to tinsel or fake icicles. These long, thin strips of shiny plastic material look like fun to play with and to eat but are actually extremely dangerous. Any string-like material that gets eaten has the potential to clump up inside and cause a blockage or it may get pulled through unevenly, cutting through the intestines. While you can choose to simply skip putting up tinsel, this isn't the only decoration that has the potential to be hazardous. Your child needs to understand that he or she should only use pre-approved pet toys to play with your cat or dog.

Chocolate: Most kids love eating chocolate for the holidays and most dogs would love to share this treat with your kid. Unfortunately, while chocolate is safe or your kid to consume, the same cannot be said for dogs. To a dog, chocolate is poisonous. Although dogs like the taste of chocolate, it contains compounds that can result in serious poisoning of your canine companion. If your kid isn't able to understand that sharing his or her candy will cause your pet to need an emergency pet clinic trip, your child should only be allowed to eat candy under direct supervision by you or another responsible guardian. This is necessary to prevent your child from sneaking chocolate to your dog or your dog sneakily eating chocolates, including the wrapper, when your kid is distracted.

Contact an emergency pet clinic for more help.