Concerned For Your Pet? Read This Before Consulting Dr. Google

Google has become our close friend over the years. Google has been there for us in the good times and the bad and given us guidance when we needed it. However, our reliance on Google and the internet community in general is getting out of hand.

Many people turn to Google when health concerns come up for themselves or their pets. Surely the internet is a wealth of knowledge, but many people don’t realize that not all sources of information are created equal. After all, the well-trusted Wikipedia is but a mere conglomeration of information that people with access to the internet post. Surely, there are often “references” but any educated person knows there are huge variations between sources of information in terms of credibility.

You may or may not be surprised by how often people bring in their beloved pet to the veterinary hospital after consulting the internet. These individuals have often either 1) tried everything possible that was suggested by other unknown people/source and/or 2) arrive armed with pages of printouts from websites detailing what they think is wrong with their pet.

Given the ubiquity of this issue, please read, the following article published in USA Today by Sharon Peters entitled, “‘Dr. Google’ not always best when pets are ill

However, if you choose not to read, please take away these two pieces of advice that are provided in the article:

  • When you search the internet for information on your pet’s symptoms, always include the words “veterinary school” or “college of veterinary medicine” in your search query.
  • And, of course, if your pet is experiencing an emergency, take your pet to the nearest emergency veterinarian immediately — don’t turn to Google.