by: Carol Bryant
With millions of pet parents sharing their lives with dogs, cats, bunnies, ferrets, lizards, fish, birds, guinea pigs, and so much more, one of the most highly searched topics is, by far, pet health.
Not all websites are created equally. How many of you start reading a website to research your pet's symptoms and end up thinking your pet has everything from a broken leg to a life-threatening illness? When researching a topic online, credible resources are essential. Calling your vet should always be your first line of action. Never hesitate with acting on a life-threatening situation or waiting to see if you can fix it on your own. Call first, look things up later.
BlogPaws celebrates Pet Health Awareness Month this November, and we encourage all pet parents to visit their pet's veterinarian, especially if you have not done so for a while. Cats seem to be part of a nationwide epidemic, and a sad one at that. For a multitude of reasons, a large portion of cats in this country are not being taken to the vet as often as they should. Not only is this detrimental to the cat's overall well-being, but it can also shorten his or her lifespan….prevention of health problems is key, so early detection of any disease is crucial.
With that said, where can pet parents turn and who should they believe when a trusted online resource is needed? This author is of the belief that credible online informationcan be a valid partner with your veterinarian's trusted advice and direction. So where can you turn for a library of help?
One of my favorite resources in petMD. petMD is the largest global source of pet health information in the
world today. Part of a global network of veterinary professionals,
petMD’s content was created by veterinarians for consumers and
veterinarians. I feel a huge sense of comfort and relief knowing that content is created by veterinarians.
Aside from the standard library of health information, here are 5 of my favorite features of petMD worth checking into:
Chocolate Toxicity Meter: The holidays are coming, so please be alert and keep chocolate away from pets. In the event your pet does consume chocolate, there is a resource petMD has available. The petMD Chocolate Toxicity Meter will let you know
how much theobromine and caffeine your dog has consumed and the symptoms
that may follow.
Enter your dog's weight, the type of chocolate, and the amount consumed to get started.
Alerts and Recalls: My head is sometimes dizzied trying to keep up with recalls or alerts on pet products. One of the most convenient features on the petMD website is their Recall and Alert page. Compiled daily, this up-to-date page is the go-to resource to check in daily.
Symptom Checker: A favorite go-to resource of mine: The petMD Symptom Checker is where you can easily search from over 2,000
dog and cat health articles based on the symptoms your pet is
experiencing. To start, you click on dog or cat and go from there.
The petMD University: Are you of the belief that life is a ongoing process of learning? I love keeping uip on the latest information to keep my dog healthy. Do you? Well, you are in luck: you can take free petMD University
classes to learn from their experts and confidently care for your pet at all stages
of life, have fun collecting badges to show your expertise, and be the best pet
parent you can be! I've taken some of the courses and find them easy, fun, worthwhile, and helpful to being the best dog mom to Dexter.
Blogs: If you are a voracious reader or someone who wants solid research and info from veterinarians who are trusted, then the petMD blog center is for you. There are a host of veterinarians who blog regularly for petMD, and in following their posts over the past year or so, I've gained an arsenal of info. When we visit the vet, I feel more prepared in asking questions and understanding my dog's life stages.
Do you have a favorite online resource for pet health information? Add petMD to your frequently visited websites. Your pet(s) will definitely thank you for it.