Dr. Google: Helpful or Dangerous?

Searching the internet when your dog is sick might be a bad idea.

In today's world, people often search the internet dozens or more times a day for information on anything and everything that comes up. Need an idea for dinner but don't have a lot of time to prepare it? Punch in "chicken dinner easy recipe." Looking for information on New Zealand? Try "New Zealand history." Dog limping suddenly? Just punch in "dog limping."

But wait. Extreme care should be taken with that last one. After all, Dr. Google doesn't actually have a veterinary degree.

Dangers of Consulting with Dr. Google

Dr. Google is the term that many veterinarians (and physicians) use to describe when a person does an internet search of symptoms instead of consulting a professional. There are some inherent dangers to this practice including:

So I Shouldn't Use the Internet for My Dog at All?

Actually, the internet is a great source of information that can really help you keep your dog safe and healthy. Having good websites that you've determined to be accurate and reliable that you frequently visit to learn about diseases and other canine conditions can help you be a better caretaker for your dog.

Also, good websites can be great sources for researching a particular canine condition after your dog has been diagnosed with it. You can learn more about it and, thus, be a better partner in your dog's treatment.

However, when your dog is showing a sign of illness or injury, the best thing to do is call your veterinarian. He or she will use education, experience, and a complete physical examination as well as any required tests to accurately diagnose your dog's problem.

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Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian. If you require any veterinary related advice, contact your veterinarian promptly. Information at DogHealth.com is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard veterinary advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site. Just Answer is an external service not affiliated with DogHealth.com.