Computer and Phone

“I found something on the Internet…”

This is a phrase veterinarians hear frequently, and it freezes us in our tracks for one of two reasons. 

The Internet can clue people in to new information from the rapidly advancing veterinary world, and when that happens — when pet owners find educational, reliable and useful stuff online — I want to give those clients a high-five. When pet owners feel empowered to do research on their pets’ behalf, we make even better headway together.

However, when a pet owner stumbles upon bad information, it can be a headache for everyone involved. Erroneous or misleading websites can create confusion, encourage false hopes or even lead to an owner making dangerous mistakes regarding a pet’s treatment.

So where can you find helpful, trustworthy information online? There are probably hundreds of great websites out there, but here are the top 10 that I recommend to pet owners — along with Vetstreet, of course.

1. The Indoor Pet Initiative. This website is supported by The Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. It uses the most up-to-date science to educate both veterinarians and pet owners, with a specific focus on creating an optimal environment for your pet to thrive.

2. Pets & Parasites. Looking for information on parasites such as hookworms, coccidia, heartworms or anything else your cat or dog might acquire? The Companion Animal Parasite Council has you covered.

3. Winn Feline Foundation. The Winn Feline Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports research into improving the lives of cats. It has a wealth of information on cat health on its site, some of which is based on research its grants have supported.

4. Partners in Animal Health. Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine has an outstanding site with information for pet owners as well as veterinarians. Special topics include caring for diabetic cats, a pet owner’s guide to cancer, and managing destructive scratching behavior in cats.

5. House Rabbit Society. You need just one thing to appreciate this site: questions about rabbits.

6. ASPCA Pet Care. The ASPCA Pet Care section has direct links to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, a Pet Loss Center, Pet Food Recall news feed and many more resources. It’s good information from an organization out to do good in the world.

7. VCA Animal Hospitals Pet Health Information. VCA Animal Hospitals (a partner of Vetstreet) runs this site. Whether you want to learn about tortoises, tumors or alternative therapies, you’ll find lots of tips with real medical weight behind them.

8. American Association of Feline Practitioners. With videos, articles and a search engine to find feline-friendly vets (although I know there are lots of great vets who don’t show up on the list), this site is worth your time.

9. Worms & Germs. This University of Guelph blog is put together by Drs. Scott Weese and Maureen Anderson of the Ontario Veterinary College’s Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses. It focuses on infectious diseases in pets, with a large emphasis on zoonotic diseases (diseases that can be passed to humans from other species).

10. Dr. Sophia Yin. Dr. Yin was a veterinarian, author, animal behaviorist and international expert on low-stress animal handling. Dr. Yin passed away in 2014, but her blog is still managed in her legacy. It covers a range of topics, and I am a fan of her work on reducing patient stress in veterinary clinics.

Bookmark these sites, and you’ll have safe, interesting information at your fingertips anytime you need it.

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