How many times have you heard this one from a pet owner: "I read on the internet............."
Probably more times than you want to remember.
Often when you've covered a report of findings with a pet owner, they go right out to get a second opinion from Dr. Google to make sure your finding are correct (or they come in armed with Dr. Google's opinion of what's wrong with their pet and they want YOUR opinion as the second one).
Dr. Google is easy and good, and his advice is free. He doesn't even need to see the patient to give advice on what to do in any situation.
So how do you handle some of the second opinions Dr. Google is giving YOUR clients?
Besides letting them in on the fact that Dr. Google is not a real veterinarian and warning them that the information that's available on various websites may be inaccurate and the suggestions contained may actually cause harm to their pets, you can also provide them with a list of online resources that you are comfortable with.
Here are a few you might consider including on your list:
- VIN's Veterinary Parner (www.veterinarypartner.com)
VIN put this site together to support their veterinary partners with information for pet owners on pet health. It has a lot of content covering most areas pet owners might have questions for.
- The CDC's "Healthy Pets/Healthy People (www.cdc.gov/healthypets):
This site is maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and contains information about animal diseases and prevention. It focuses on diseases that can be transmitted from animals to people, has easy browsing capabilities and organizes information by animals and by disease name. This site is an especially good resource for people at risk for contracting diseases from animals, including pregnant women, the immunocompromised and children.
- The Argus Institute(www.argusinstitute.colostate.edu):
Colorado State University's Argus Center is a unique resource for families and individuals dealing with the grief associated with the serious illness or death of a pet. Their site provides resources for coping with pet loss, talking to children about euthanasia and death and has suggestions for memorializing deceased pets.
- Drs. Foster & Smith's Pet Education: (www.peteducation.com)
Drs. Foster & Smith has done a great job on putting together educational material for pet owners. If you are comfortable sending your clients here (their primary business is to sell pet products to pet owners), they can find out a lot about pets, medications and health conditions.
There are undoubtedly other websites that are good pet owner resources that you can include in your list. If you have one that you particularly like, please let us know by leaving a comment below.
PS. You might want to check out the article below DOES discuss some medical features that have been Googlized.
- Paging Dr. Google (time.com)