A Jack Russell Terrier dog wearing glasses representing a search on Dr. Google for pet health information

Dr. Google can be a very helpful source of pet health information, IF you know where to look.

Dr. Google is now our first resource for health information for ourselves and our pets.  We all do it.  It's hard to resist.  By the time most people arrive at a doctor's office, they have often already looked up their problems on Dr. Google. They may self-diagnose themselves or their pet.  Finding websites that are trust-worthy and helpful is challenging.  Talking with your veterinarian after a check-up is best.  Then careful research on reputable internet websites helps pet owners relieve anxiety and worry about their best friend's health issues.

The Pitfalls of Self-Diagnosis for Your Pet

Some people search Dr. Google for hours about their pet's symptoms before consulting with their veterinarian.  As a result, stress and worry naturally enter their minds as they read about all of the possibilities.  In addition, an owner's research can potentially lead to the wrong diagnosis by the owner.  Some owners convince themselves of the worst and arrive at their appointment in a panic about their pet's health.  People may even delay an appointment and veterinary care for a pet due to their fear of bad news. Owners may also miss a big problem by assuming everything is OK with their pet based on something they read on the internet.  Pet owners may administer harmful OTC products or medications based on wrong information obtained on Dr. Google.  Many websites are published by individuals and present opinions which can be mistaken as facts.  Commercial websites (ending in .com) may be more interested in selling a product than providing accurate health information.

Healthy Use of Dr. Google for Pet Information

The best time to search pet health information on Dr. Google is often after a consultation with your veterinarian.  Your pet's doctor can help explain your pet's condition, give advice on treatments, and provide you with additional resources and websites.    Make certain the information was published recently. You do not want to rely on outdated information.  Websites that end in .gov, .org, and .edu may be the most reliable types of sites to search.   The AVMA, AAHA, AAFP, and our hospital, The Animal Clinic at Thorndale are reputable sites to search for pet information.

Our hospital has over 200 pages of up to date pet care information. Just type in your topic in the "Search" box and click "Enter". If you want information about a topic not found on our site, please contact the Animal Clinic at Thorndale at 610-873-4091 or via email at AnimalClinicAtThorndale@verizon.net. Our doctors will be happy to write a page about your topic of concern.  If you are looking for information, it is likely other pet owners share in your concern. In conclusion, give your veterinarian a call before you jump on the internet!