This list is intended to focus on websites that offer expert information. A few blogs written by non-specialists who have specialized information are also be included. The list is always in process, and isn’t complete. Please, suggest a website for inclusion!
The website of an organization for vets who focus their practice on cats. In addition to professional information for the veterinarians, the site has information about finding a “cat vet,” medical conditions cats experience, wellness, signs of disease and nursing cats.
From the mission statement: “Our Vision is to raise the level of care and welfare of cats by cat owners – one that any owner will embrace through the human-animal bond and can achieve – supported by the highest quality veterinary care, preventative medicine, and cat specific products.”
Feline Health Center
College of Veterinary Medicine
The blog of Dr. Arnold Plotnick, founder of Manhattan Cat Specialists, a feline-only veterinary practice in New York City. Dr. Plotnick also publishes articles on feline health and behavior.
This site is intended as a resource for humans who care for cats in chronic renal failure and is written by a cat caregiver whose cat had CRF. Click on “Site Guide” for a great index to what’s available on the site.
This site is written by a cat caregiver for caregivers. It deals with symptoms, the meaning of test results, possible treatments, and the emotions that go along with caring for cats with kidney disease. Food is a particular focus of the site. Everything is presented with an eye to finding the best supplies and food for the least money and understanding what the vet is saying. The site also touches on heart problems, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, polycystic kidney disease, pancreatitis and dental problems that can be related to kidney disease.
Portosystemic shunts, a liver condition in which toxins are not removed from the blood, are connected with copper eyes in cat breeds that normally don’t have copper eyes. The condition is rare in cats. Newt’s site features cats who are living with the condition, research on liver shunts in cats and vets who have experience treating the condition.
Curriculum for kitten class based on the work of Australian veterinarian Kersti Seksel. Class is designed to desensitize kittens to the carrier and get them used to riding in the car and going to the veterinarian.
Make your house nice for cats in really healthy ways.
Those of us attending BlogPaws have seen in person some of Kate Benjamin’s wonderful recommendations for products that make living in our houses nicer for cats. The website also has articles and contests to win great cat products.
From the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory of the University of California at Davis Veterinary School, this site offers background information on a genetic test to identify cats’ ancestry.
Talk about Cats + more
This is the center of cat lifestyle in the U.S. Cat enthusiasts actively publish on topics from the hottest conflicts to soft cuddles. Catster forums are active. Forums are good places to find out what is on cat guardians’ minds and to find people who could be sources for stories.
This site is published in Australia and has lots of articles about feline health and behavior. A point to remember, the health articles aren’t written by veterinarians and should be used in conjunction with other sources. Forums seem to be active.
When writing about pet health, it’s vitally important to use authoritative information. Bloggers should consult and cite up-to-date resources written by veterinarians. Personal experiences with the health of a pet are important too, but we shouldn’t generalize particular experiences to other pets. I advise avoiding giving advice about treatments completely and suggesting that readers consult their own veterinarians.
Your veterinarian can also be a great source to write about pet health topics.
When evaluating online sources about health, or any other topic, look for a site that is affiliated with a credible organization (a veterinary school, for example) or professional person (a veterinarian, animal behaviorist, for example). Also, check the date of publication and/or revision. You want the most recent information because science develops over time. What vets thought was the best possible therapy in 1993 has probably been surpassed by 2013. If you can’t figure out who wrote the article you want to refer to, write to the contact email on the site. If you find neither a contact email, nor a clear statement of authorship, search for a more authoritative source.
News that is important to veterinary practice is produced by a team of reporters, writers and editors who specialize on the pet industry. The site is published by a major pet publishing company. Articles are written by experts or based on expert source by expert journalists. The site publishes its standards, which is a strong support for its credibility.
Reviews of scientific knowledge related to various issues in animal health and welfare, such as ear cropping, declawing and dogs riding in truck beds.
These guides cover a wide range of animal health and welfare, from the AVMA’s positions on animal welfare to disaster readiness to saving money on animal care. While backgrounders stick to science, reference guides aim to cover all aspects of the topic.
This is a moderated discussion page that also gives access to WebMD search features. WebMD covers pet health as well as human health questions. Affiliated with AVMA.
The AVMA aims this site at children and teachers. It has information about the role of veterinarians in the lives of animals of all sorts, zoonotic diseases (those that are communicated from species to species) and the human-animal connection. There’s a special section with resources for teachers.
This site covers pet food and drugs, primarily. Go here for a full list of recalls on pet foods, for example. Information for consumers of pet products is available on a number of topics such as marketing a pet food, melamine and pet medications.
Doctors Foster and Smith (of the pet supplies online store) run this website to provide information on the health of dogs, cats, fish, birds, ferrets, reptiles and other small pets. More than 2,500 articles are written by vets on the staff of Drs. Foster & Smith. In addition to the articles, you’ll also find information on veterinary medications, a veterinary dictionary, information on abbreviations and acronyms and the tests that veterinarians perform. The site also has a list of symptoms with possible problems that might be connected to them.
This site has been publishing for more than a decade and is updated and revised weekly. There are about 2,500 articles in the site. The articles are written by veterinarians.
In addition to a search function to find AAHA accredited animal hospitals, this site has articles on pet health, pet care, the human-animal bond and also features databases of lost and found pets and listings of adoptable pets.
This is the official website of the Companion Animal Parasite Council and presents expert information for dog and cat guardians. An interactive map breaks the country into states and states into counties to show rates of tick-borne diseases, intestinal parasites and heartworm in dogs and cats (including toxoplasmosis).
This site offers information for both vets and pet guardians. Founded in 1974, AHS’s mission is to further and disseminate scientific research on heartworm disease.
Dog and Cat Training
Everything you could want to know about the standards a dog must meet to gain certification as a good citizen. The site has the test elements a dog/human pair must pass, information for evaluators, follow-up activities for the Canine Good Citizen.
HABRI has compiled an incredible bibliography of published research, conference proceedings and other resources on a wide range of topics concerning the bond between humans and animals. Research in a number of academic disciplines is included. Registering for a free account on the database allows one to favorite references. Some of the resources are available in full, others provide an abstract of articles or chapters published elsewhere.
Graduate School of Social Work
University of Denver
Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine
The Vet School of Mississippi State University sponsors a lecture series on the Human-Animal Bond and sometimes publishes the talks online. In 2009 Temple Grandin was the main speaker.
News, information about activities, member directory to help find a vet who specializes. Newsletters are available from 2008.
Center to Study Human Animal Relationships and Environments, University of Minnesota. Information on animal therapy, events and service of the Center. Has a reading list of books on animal therapy.
This national organization trains and certifies pet therapy teams and supports the work of volunteer pet/human teams in a variety of situations. The resource page offers articles about the health benefits of animals in human lives.
A group of specialists from a variety of disciplines communicates the results of their research through this website. Representing animal welfare, humane law enforcement, forensic psychiatry, social work, veternary medicine and hoarding psychology and intervention, the group began working together in 1997, publishe a community intervention manual and provides referrals to colleagues around the country with expertise on animal hoarding.
This list is not complete. It focuses on organizations that are national or international in their scope of activity. To be listed, an organization must have work with companion animals as part of its activity. Most of the organizations listed have news resources on their own activities, on legal issues facing animals, and on welfare or rights issues that are of current concern. They are good resources for expert knowledge of issues, finding experts to consult about specific issues a blogger is writing about and for issues to look into locally.
Inclusion in the list does not imply that Cheshire and Robin endorse an organization’s activity. We would love to learn about other national or international organizations that should be included on this list but aren’t. We included only sites in English because we are preparing these resources for BlogPaws 2013, a pet social media conference in the United States.
International Fund for Animal Welfare
IFAW has official websites in the United States, Canada and Great Britain. This is the link to the site in the U.S.
People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals
World Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has national organizations in many countries. The international site will direct you to them in a pop-up box when you land on the homepage.