Have your children been begging you to get a cat or a dog? Are you thinking about relenting and allowing them to get a pet, but you want to do some research first? It's always a good idea to put as much research as possible into pet ownership before getting a pet, especially if you've never owned one before. There are a number of things that are important but that you might not know about if you've never owned a cat or a dog before. Some of these things include:

Food dangers: It can be tempting to give in and feed your cat or dog table scraps, especially when he or she looks at you with cutely pleading eyes, but this can be a dangerous move. For instance, cooked bones can be a serious health risk for both cats and dogs. Chicken bones can shatter, piercing a pet's digestive tract and causing internal bleeding. Chicken skin may be one of the most delicious foods on the planet to many pets, but too much fat can cause life-threatening pancreatitis. If you really want to give your pet treats, talk to the people at one of your local veterinarian clinics. Many of them have pamphlets or lists of foods printed and ready to hand out to new pet owners.

Plant dangers: If you want to avoid having to rush your new pet to one of the nearby veterinarian clinics without warning, one thing that you must do is make sure that all your houseplants are safe. Kittens, puppies, and even some older animals may not necessarily want to eat houseplants but may still chew on them out of boredom or curiosity. Flowers like amaryllis are often given as gifts and can be found in many homes, but ingesting them can result in a variety of dangerous symptoms

Disease dangers: Vaccination is not just a good idea, it may be legally required for pet ownership in your area. Because there is no cure for the disease, the rabies vaccine is absolutely essential in most of the US. If you ever plan on taking your cat or dog to the groomer's or to a boarding/daycare facility, other vaccinations may also be required. Your local veterinarian clinics may even offer discounts for having all of the vaccinations done at once instead of coming back multiple times for the next round of vaccines. While your pet may not enjoy the vaccination process, it will help keep them healthy and able to live a longer life.