It goes without saying that the internet is extremely useful. Over 85% of the U.S. population uses the internet to help navigate the endless questions and tasks of everyday life. Everything from finding a good pizza place, to researching local contractors, booking flights, and paying bills can be done quickly and effectively online.
We also turn to the internet when we are concerned for our health and the health of our pets. But is it wise, or safe, to turn to websites for our medical information? And how can we find resources we can trust when it comes to our pet’s health?
What To Watch Out For When Searching For Pet Medical Information
For the most part, getting a little bit of pet health information online can be helpful, but it’s not exactly harmless, either. Make sure you stay on the lookout for the following red flags while surfing the web:
- Websites promoting “homemade” remedies and making statements that their product is more effective than veterinary care.
- Any website that claims to diagnose an illness.
- A website that is selling medications that can normally only be obtained via prescription, such as heartworm preventatives or NSAIDs.
Relying On The Internet Can Be Dangerous
Using Dr. Google as your sole source of pet health information can be dangerous for many reasons:
- Some of the information available online is just plain wrong. Without even realizing it, you may be reading outdated or inaccurate information, someone’s opinion, or an attempt to sell a product.
- Administering home remedies or medications purchased online may interfere with our attempts to treat your pet using appropriate means.
- Unfortunately, by relying on advice found online, some pet owners find themselves in the situation of delaying professional medical help for their pets until it is too late.
Finding Pet Medical Information You Can Trust
Many of our clients have already researched their pet’s ailments online before they come to see us, of course. We love it when clients ask questions and want to be educated and informed. It’s important to remember, though, that your veterinarian’s advanced degree, years of experience, and personal knowledge of you and your pet is far better than any website when it comes to accurately diagnosing and treating an illness or injury.
Your veterinarian should be your foremost source of pet health and medical information. Besides seeing your pet in the clinical setting, our doctors and staff here at ULVH are happy to help point you in the right direction when it comes to pet health and wellness information.
With so many websites offering misinformation, it’s of the utmost importance that you use only reputable, vetted websites. One quick way to find out if an article is vetted is to check in the “about us” section of the website.
We recommend the following well-respected, credible websites:
- The ULVH pet resource library.
- The ULVH blog.
- The American Animal Hospital’s website for pet owners.
- Veterinary Partner
- American Red Cross Pet First Aid App
If you have any questions regarding the accuracy or dependability of online pet health resources, don’t hesitate to give us a call.