Searching for some reliable websites for pet-related information? Ever wonder if what you find online is legitimate, or at the very least, not harmful? The web gives us access to a tremendous number of resources but not all websites are created equal. Conscientious pet owners need to keep on top of what’s happening, and whether it be finding the best veterinarian, pet sitter, dog walker or groomer, they most often turn to the web for help. When searching for important topics, how can you find out if one website is better than the other?
There are certain characteristics reliable pages have in common. Always stick with reputable sources. So, how do you compare webpages and how can you tell if the information is credible? Educate yourself. Of particular concern is obtaining health-related information online. Remember to do your research and keep these points in mind when surfing the net:
- Website owner
Who is the site’s owner? Is there a name prominently displayed, usually at the bottom of the landing page? Knowing who the website belongs to makes it much easier to discern the investment in the site. Is it an individual or a business? What stake does the owner have in sharing the information? Who funds it?
- Current date/Frequent updates
Check for the most recent post on the site. Is it current, or at least within the current year? Generally, the more frequent attention that is paid to a website, the better the information.
- Resource citations, credentials and credibility
Does cited information appear to originate from credible sources? URL’s that end in gov, edu and org are likely connected to credible professional or academic websites.
- Beware of bias or incredible claims
Is the website’s purpose to sell you something? Use caution. If the information sounds miraculous or “too good to be true” it probably is. Remember that commonsense is always your best friend in any search.