Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - PETS - Anne Box­hall Email abox­hall@big­

THERE’s no short­age of ad­vice for pet own­ers on­line – but the chal­lenge is to work out which sites are pro­vid­ing re­li­able in­for­ma­tion.

Pet own­ers now have an­other tool they can rely on to help look af­ter their an­i­mal’s health, with the launch of Vetico, an ini­tia­tive by a group of Aus­tralian vets.

The on­line ve­teri­nary in­for­ma­tion com­mu­nity has been cre­ated to pro­vide pet own­ers with re­li­able, up- to- date con­tent they can trust.

The site al­lows peo­ple to search or browse con­tent on pet own­er­ship, ar­ti­cles from around the world, and blog con­tri­bu­tions from vets, own­ers and other mem­bers of the pet com­mu­nity.

Pet own­ers are in­vited to join the on­line com­mu­nity at vetico. com. au and cre­ate pro­files for them­selves and their com­pan­ions.

Through th­ese pro­files, pet own­ers in­ter­act with other like- minded mem­bers, cre­ate groups and events, or search for rel­e­vant groups and events al­ready there.

Th­ese can be any­thing from dog­walk­ing clubs and puppy par­ties to spe­cific sup­port groups for var­i­ous an­i­mal dis­eases.

Reg­is­tered mem­bers are also able to post fo­rum ques­tions to other pet own­ers in a ve­teri­nary- mod­er­ated en­vi­ron­ment, which en­sures the cor­rect ad­vice is al­ways be­ing dis­cussed.

Vetico chief vet­eri­nar­ian Nick Won­ders says pet own­ers of­ten go on­line to sup­ple­ment their re­la­tion­ship with their lo­cal vet.

His aim is to en­sure they are get­ting ac­cu­rate in­for­ma­tion.

While there is a lot of pet- re­lated con­tent on the in­ter­net, many vets are con­cerned about the qual­ity of some of the ad­vice be­ing given.

In ad­di­tion to ad­vice, the site aims to pro­mote strong com­mu­nity ties be­tween pet own­ers.

Vetico has teamed up with prom­i­nent or­gan­i­sa­tions such as An­i­mal Wel­fare League Aus­tralia, WSPA, Delta So­ci­ety Aus­tralia and Vets Be­yond Bor­ders to help pro­mote an­i­mal health and well­be­ing.

A short video out­lin­ing the features of the site can be found at the home page. Just click on the ar­row in the ‘‘ new to Vetico’’ sec­tion near the top.

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