Naperville_iStock_000081903101_LargeIn the search for knowledge, we all seek the advice of an expert. Dr. Google may not have an advanced medical degree, but this popular search engine is a powerful conduit between you and countless results.

Pet owners are especially savvy when it comes to searching for information. However, depending on sources that aren’t credible can negatively impact your pet. Can you trust Dr. Google with your precious pet’s health?

Shining a Light

The Internet illuminates areas previously unseen and unknown. At its best, the World Wide Web is an educational tool, but accepting certain information can be extremely misleading – and potentially hazardous. While trusting Dr. Google may save you time or money, it can also result in your pet getting hurt.

You can find hundreds of sites dedicated to pet health issues ranging from nutrition to common medical conditions to poisonous items or ingredients. While many owners conduct research following a pet’s diagnosis, it’s also common to learn about troubling symptoms before scheduling a visit to see us.

A Range of Feelings

Depending on what you read online, you may experience a number of feelings, including assurance, relief, concern, or fear. But can you really trust the information you find?

Regardless of whether you’re on a professional organization or government site, it’s always important to check the credentials of the author you’re reading. The websites that we know and trust include:

Most Importantly

In the search for trustworthy information, please be advised of the following red flags:

  • While it’s not uncommon for pet owners to purchase pet medications online, many sites try to get you to pay for illegal, unapproved, or fake medications. Be wary of sites that tell you a prescription for certains drugs is unnecessary.
  • The Food and Drug Administration tests and approves pet products to ensure quality and safety. It’s best not to purchase homemade remedies that have not passed a rigorous testing procedure.
  • Some pet health sites may advertise free or reduced diagnosis or treatment recommendations via email or phone. Do not trust your pet’s health to someone that is not physically examining your pet.

Trusting Google With Your Pet’s Health

While it may seem a bit dodgy, consulting the Internet isn’t all bad. The caring staff at Naperville Animal Hospital appreciates when pet owners come to their appointments prepared and informed. The Internet provides an avenue to thoughtfully discuss questions or concerns that may otherwise be sidelined. It could be said that Google helps pet owners communicate with us, making appointments more effective, which results in better options for your pet’s health. We sure like that!

Ongoing Partnership

Google shouldn’t be your main source of expertise, but we encourage you to share helpful websites or links from our trusted sources. Committing to regular wellness exams with us and thoughtful preventive care is vital to your pet’s safety. The pet experts at Naperville Animal Hospital are always here to help!