Pet owners commonly seek out dog and cat food information online, whether it’s product reviews, advice on alternative diets, or how to manage your pet’s weight.
But how do you know if the information you are looking at is trustworthy and accurate?
Here are a few important tips (be sure to check out the full guides and other great pet resources on the WSAVA website):
- Research the credentials of authors of the materials you are reading. Advice from a certified veterinary nutritionist is more reliable than information put out by pet owners and pet food companies.
- Be aware if a website’s address is a .com (commercial), .edu (educational), or .org (non-profit). This can make a difference in the quality of the information.
- Check to see if any statements or claims are backed up by legitimate sources. Does the article link to any references, and are they quality references? Research studies are better sources than promotional materials.
- Make sure the information you are reading is recent and up to date, as veterinary medicine is always changing.
- Be especially careful of any anecdotal information, such as pet owners stating that their pets were “cured” by a particular product.
- Many articles about the “best” pet foods or ones that rate pet foods come from websites that get financial compensation if you click on a product link (such as Amazon affiliate websites). View these sites with plenty of caution.
- When in doubt about any information about pet nutrition you find online…ask your veterinarian for guidance and advice!