Researching Small Animals Online
As with many topics, information abounds online about small animals. Some of it is good and responsibly dispensed. Some of it, unfortunately, contains sins of omission and some of it is just wrong.
Where To Start Searching
While most rescues have their own Web sites (in addition to their pages on Petfinder), every species has one or two sites that are the default “go to” point for care information. These sites, and the rescue sites, strive to educate the public about care, housing, veterinary needs, appropriateness for households, best places to buy supplies and accessories, and so forth.
Some of the larger sites:
- work closely with veterinarians to verify medical information before they disseminate it on the Web.
- may have owner forums in which people can swap stories, share tips, and ask all manner of questions.
- have extensive lists of rescues in North America and, sometimes, abroad.
- have “vet finder” directories listing the names of specialty veterinarians who are used, recommended, and trusted by owners.
- have link lists to other well-regarded sites, e-mail lists, and Yahoo and Google Groups.
- list rescue-recommended care guides that can be easily obtained from a bookseller.
Some of these recommended sites are listed below.
- Ferrets: Ferret Central
- Rabbits: House Rabbit Society
Be sure to check out what sites these sites are linking to. High-profile sites are careful about who they link to as additional sources of care information.
What To Watch Out For
Beware of hobbyist sites, which are too often started by new or inexperienced owners. Also beware of sites that have been set up only to generate click-through ad revenue (from things like Google Ads), and which too often use content stripped from reputable sites.