The Internet has become the most popular resource for urban households for everything from product reviews to health advice. It’s important, however, to separate sites that are credible and comprehensive from those that can be misleading or even dangerous. While looking online for information on pet care, choose websites that are anchored by large, reputed animal organisations.

A good place to find useful information on everything from toilet-training to understanding pet language is www.aspca.org (click on Pet Care on the home page). Run by the American Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the site offers articles and videos on a host of issues, including coping with the grief of a pet’s death and how to evacuate with your furry friend if a natural disaster occurs.

The Humane Society of the United States (www.humanesociety.org) is another reputed resource for specific issues such as protecting pets from heat, keeping them happy indoors and so on. On the home page, select the species you have (under ‘Find an Animal’ that has a dropdown box) and browse through the advice available. Pet-owners need to be wary of plants that could be toxic to their companion animal friends. Both the above sites also offer a list of common plants that come under the ‘poisonous’ category. A Google search for ‘Plants that are toxic to cats and dogs’, will show results from both sites.

If you’re looking for information on how to go cruelty-free (i.e. avoiding brands that conduct cruel animal experiments), visit www.petaindia.com (People for The Ethical Treatment of Animals) and click on “Features” on the home page. Their lists of companies that do and don’t test on animals are simple and comprehensive, making it easy to choose from a list of non-violent brands.

Rescued a squirrel and are unsure of how to rehabilitate it? Google “Clarissa Summers” + Squirrels to visit her website that offers detailed and trusted advice on what to do if you find an injured or orphaned squirrel.

While the web is often a good starting point to understand your animal and the issues affecting him, the Internet should never be used to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Only a qualified veterinarian is equipped to examine and test the animal before recommending treatment. Half-baked information can kill, so if your pet is sick, play it safe – call a doctor instead.

SRIYA NARAYANAN

This female dog (appears to be a Retriever) was found near Kanakapura Road next to the Art of Living. If you are her owner and were searching for her, email mayas@ndtv.com

Brownie, a female Cocker Spaniel was stolen from her home in Girinagar , South Bangalore, by two men on a motorbike. If you have any information about her, call her worried family at 9449850089

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