For most pet owners, dogs are not merely a token addition to their household. Some people consider them family members, showering them with love, attention and affection similar to those given to children. And as such, they are driven to become better masters.
This is mainly why, in recent years, participating in a dog forum has become a norm, no matter if you are a novice pet owner or a seasoned one.
Despite the fact that there are several reliable sources of information and advice pertaining to pet ownership, the number of participants in forums continues to grow. One reason for this is that pet owners put great weight on the actual experience of pet owners, giving them a sense of involvement in a thriving online community. For example, certain websites may deem certain breeds as unsuitable for a suburban setting or apartment living. However, other pet owners participating in forums may have success stories that they can impart to other forum members which they can emulate. In some cases, there might be owners who turn to forums to get advice among other members with regards to their frustrations in training their pets.
Another reason why pet owners are driven to forums and other online sources is that they can readily find answers to common issues like behavioral and medical problems. The problem here is that posts and responses by other pet owners are not entirely reliable.
So does that mean that you should wean yourself off from forums and similar online platforms?
No. Not entirely. For any issues regarding your pet, particularly when it comes to its health, nothing can substitute the experience and expertise of a trained professional like a veterinarian and a dog trainer. Because they have specifically studied and specialized in this particular field, they can provide the best answers to your questions about the wellbeing of Fido. You would not trust the welfare of your child to an anonymous online contact so why should you do the same for your pet?
At best, forums and websites dedicated to pets and their masters are meant to supplement the professional advice and attention of a vet and trainer. Use caution before heeding an online advice. Or better yet, immediately seek professional help.
Also, you should carefully choose which forums to participate in and which websites to look into. Your vet and trainer can point you to helpful sights to satiate your need for the right information.