We never really stop learning. As dog owners, there is so much we need to learn and understand about our fur balls so that we can better meet their needs, whether it has to do with health, nutrition, grooming, behavior, or a thousand other concerns. With advances in veterinary sciences and so many new products coming to market, it pays to know what’s out there that may be beneficial to your pet.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions when it comes to dog rearing. A lot of people turn to Facebook groups for help, but unfortunately, some of what you’ll find out there are unqualified advice being dished out by people who do not know a thing about your dog. That’s why it’s very important to know which sites you can get sound tips that are based on fact and science.
Here are some of the sites from the web and social media that I have found really useful in providing general information, especially for dog owners in the Philippines:
Manila Vet – Managed by veterinarian Dr. Van Denn Cruz, it offers educational resources for Filipino pet owners. Its tagline is Written with Love and Science. Here, you’ll find extensive information on first aid, covering an extensive range of topics such as accidents, bleeding, coughing, lameness, poisoning, skin issues, urine issues, among many others. The site also discusses illnesses that commonly affect pets of Filipino dog owners, such as distemper, parvo, ehrlichiosis, rabies, and the like. It also dispenses practical tips on traveling with your pet, getting a new dog, and similar concerns, and lists recommendations on dog food, shampoos, and even pet beds. Manila Vet’s site is nicely structured and the articles are well written. You can even enrol in a course on the Essentials of Raising a Dog in the Philippines to gain access to videos. For only P299, I found this a really valuable resource.
Pendragon Vet site – Pendragon Vet is among the most dependable animal hospitals that I trust for my dogs’ health. They have flyers on common canine concerns, which I have kept because I found these extremely useful. The good news is that the PDFs of these are now online in their website Self-Help Articles section, covering topics such as Ehrlichiosis, Elisa Testing, Vaccine Regimen, Distemper, Parvo, Uterine Necrosis, and the difference between reputable breeders and puppy millers. They also have Self-Help Video Tutorials on how to give oral medications, how to prevent heatstroke, and tube feeding.
Consult a Vet Videos – Every Saturday, Dr. Jomar Castro, who patiently treats many of my pets, has live videos on the Consult a Vet page and on Edge TV Philippines. He tackles a whole range of dog issues such as dog training, first aid, breeding, and other issues that are relevant to Filipino pet owners, taking questions from the audience.
Poodle Mom (Youtube) – For those who want practical advice on raising dogs in the Philippines, the Poodle Mom has lots of useful and fun videos on topics such as toilet training, things to teach your new puppy, a new dog checklist, and lots of grooming stuff. The channel is owned by vlogger Erika, who describes herself as a mother of two poodles. While a lot of the videos are focused on toy poodles, they nevertheless apply to dogs in general. New videos are added weekly. In fact, I’ve sent people asking me for toilet training tips to just watch her videos.
PetMD– A site run by vets in the US, this is the most extensive site for a pet lover — whether you own a dog, cat, reptiles and amphibians, or horses.Its articles and videos are vet-written and vet-reviewed, covering a wide range of topics on health and nutrition, emergencies, and others. You’ll also find articles on everyday questions of pet owners such as why isn’t my pet eating or how much do I feed my pet? It also has the latest pet-related news which, though US-focused, is still very informative and useful for any pet owner around the world. PetMD also has tools such as a very useful symptom checker (not meant to replace a vet, but something to allay your fears when your dog is sick and you have no vet to call in the middle of the night),. Equally interesting are its healthy weight tool and chocolate toxicity meter. For up-to-date information, you can subscribe to their weekly newsletter. The site’s tagline is The Best Pet Health & Care Advice from Real Vets and I must say I agree.
When checking out information online, remember that vets and experts can have strong and sometimes opposing opinions on a range of issues. That’s why it’s very important to identify some mentors who can help you decide what’s best for your dogs. Needless to say, your vet and breeder should be among the names on top of that list.
There are many other learning resources for breed-specific concerns, alternative treatments, grooming, training, and other concerns out there. Do share your favorite resources with us.
Here’s to more fun learning journeys with your dog!