When you’re searching the web for medical information about your pet, make sure you’re getting accurate medical information from reliable sources. Use these six tips for safer web surfing.
- Make sure the advice comes from a veterinarian. Writers can contribute fun and entertaining animal information, but for medical material, you want to be sure the author is a licensed practicing veterinarian.
- Check more than one source. When you read a piece of advice, even if it seems legitimate, find similar information from other veterinarians. You’ll find the best and most valuable information on many veterinarians’ websites. High-quality information often features citations of original studies or other articles.
- Keep it classy. Professionals don’t disparage other people. If there’s new and groundbreaking information, professionals will present the new facts in a way that doesn’t make anyone seem wrong. Be skeptical of any advice that tells you your veterinarian is doing something to hurt your pet.
- Beware of catchy captions and information that feels like a tabloid headline. If the information seems incredible, listen to the alarm bells that sound in your mind.
- Remember there no checks and balances on the World Wide Web. Information on the Internet often isn’t peer-reviewed or run through any approval process, but veterinarians are bound to uphold professional standards and have reputations at stake. They are less likely to jeopardize their medical licenses by spreading untrue rumors or recommending unneeded services.
- Phone a friend—as long as that friend is your own veterinarian. If you have a question about something that you read on the Internet, always ask your own veterinarian. Your veterinary team is happy to explain why we make the recommendations we make, and we’re able to make suggestions specific to your pet.