BVA study: pet owners relying too much on internet health advice

Animal Health/ Animal Health surgeon news

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has highlighted data from a new survey showing that many UK vets are concerned about how much pet owners rely on advice from the internet.

A nationwide survey of nearly 700 vets working with companion animals revealed that 98 percent of respondents believe their clients' behaviour is influenced by what they find online. Despite this, only six percent of small animal vets believe such research is helpful.

“The British Veterinary Association has published a study highlighting industry concerns over pet owners' reliance on animal health information from the internet.“

Although there is some useful guidance to be found online - particularly on the websites of established animal charities - four in ten vets believe pet owners' web research is generally unhelpful.

Moreover, it was shown that more than 80 per cent of vets have clients who bring their pets in later than they should, suggesting the overreliance on internet guidance means some animals are not being treated early enough.

BVA president and small animal vet Robin Hargreaves said: "The best source of information for animal health concerns will always be your vet, who knows your pet."

This comes after the BVA recently upgraded its own website in order to enhance the standard of information it provides to vets, stakeholders and the general public online.

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