2001-Thu May 25 14:20:14 EDT 2017
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
As a longtime blogger and active veterinarian, I'm seldom spared an unfiltered tongue-lashing from a vocal contingent of my colleagues on the subject of Dr. Google. In other words, some veterinarians really wish I wouldn’t write things that might keep pet owners from visiting their local veterinarians.
Though we offer fully vetted sources of information here on Vetstreet, they kind of have a point. Most of the information you’ll find online isn’t edited by a team of veterinarians like it is here. Nor are most pet owners quite as discerning as the average Vetstreet reader!
Which is probably why it’ll come as no shock that plenty of pet owners try to save a buck by using online information — aka Dr. Google — as a stand-in for the irreplaceable services of real live veterinarians. Hence, why Web-critical veterinarians might be forgiven for their occasional testiness on the subject.
Nonetheless, it’s undeniably true — if often inconvenient — that Pandora’s Web has unleashed a torrent of nasties along with a smattering of goodies nestled within. Which inevitably requires that we apply our powers of reason to filter the credibly good from the merely bad and the downright ugly.
Luckily, there are ways to tease out the quality goods from the fathomless font of irresponsible information you find online. And once you get the hang of it, it’ll improve your ability to manage your pets’ illnesses and help with preventive care, too, in concert with your veterinarian’s services — not as a replacement for them.
After all, smart pet owners know there’s no substitute for a great relationship with a real live veterinarian. Nonetheless, the Internet can still help you tremendously by offering lots of wellness information along with a solid background on your cat or dog’s health issues, reliable groups that you can tap for support, new research on your pet’s illnesses or even clinical trials that may be under way.
The key is to research the Web safely. Here’s how:
1. Consider sites sponsored by major veterinary organizations.
Veterinary school sites invariably provide reliable information. Include “veterinary school” after the search term you’re researching. Specialty hospitals, specialty organizations and veterinary groups (like AAHA and the AVMA) will not steer you wrong.
2. Stay away from sites selling drugs and products.
Though there are exceptions, as a rule of thumb, sites with something to sell are best approached with a jaundiced eye.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Get all the best pet news and information sent right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.