10 Ways to Know Whether Dr. Google Got It Right

3. Look to larger sites with reputations to protect.

Vetstreet.com is a perfect example, of course!

4. Beware blogs.

That’s rich, coming from a committed blogger, right? But here’s the truth: Blogs and other smaller sites may offer a wealth of information, but it’s harder to tell if they’re offering the real deal. So, in general, it’s best to stick to well-established blogs — especially if they’re written by industry insiders who have reputations to protect.

5. Consider “.orgs,” “.edus” and “.govs.”

Web addresses ending in .org, .edu and .gov are nonprofit organizations, educational institutions and government agencies. They’re more likely to be objective sources of accurate information.

6. Know where to go for genetic or breed-specific concerns.

If your dog has a breed-specific or genetic disease, pay a visit to the site hosted by that specific breed’s national organization or the institutions that are pioneering the testing and/or treatment of these diseases.

7. If it sounds too good to be true . . .

You know the rest. Specifically, beware anecdotal information. For example: “I changed my dog to a totally vegan diet, and his hip dysplasia was cured forever.”

8. Respect peer-reviewed literature.

Not all studies are created equal. Studies that are published in peer-reviewed journals are the gold standard of scientific literature. Journals published by veterinary organizations and specialty groups are the go-to sources for these studies.

9. Online forums can be helpful, but . . .

I have a lot of respect for online forums that deal in specific diseases. While not all the information they offer is accurate or even relevant (anecdotal information abounds), the support these groups offer can be invaluable to pet owners trying to make the most of a confusing and often heart-wrenching experience. To make the most of these forums, just be sure to employ all the tactics offered above.

10. Ask your vet!

Never forget to ask your veterinarian which sites she recommends. If partnership is what you seek — and well you should — ensure your vet’s buy-in by employing her go-to sites for credible information.


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