Welcome to iHCPL: The Next Generation. This site was created as the next step in Harris County Public Library's iHCPL Learning 2.0 Program; a discovery learning program designed to encourage staff to explore new technologies. The original iHCPL program was adapted from The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County's Learning 2.0 Program.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Pets #72: Pet Health Online

I am pretty sure that my dogs receive better health care than I do. It's certainly more expensive. A little background knowledge and quick sources for pet health research are essential tools to provide the best health care for your pet without turning you into a penniless nervous wreck.

How do you know what regular medicines and vaccinations your animal should have? What symptoms make it necessary to take a trip to the 24-hour Emergency Animal Hospital on a holiday weekend? Is it okay to share my chocolate sundae with a labradoodle? Why was Bob Barker always so fired up about spaying and neutering? Let's take a look!

General Health Sites

The pet care section on the ASPCA site gives an excellent overview of different health care topics for a variety of animals and is very easy to navigate. MedlinePlus, the authoritative human site, has a wide variety of articles related to pet health from very reputable sources. PetMD also features a great deal of general information, including travelling needs and first aid by pet type. If your pet is a cat or a dog, you can determine their "real age" through DogAge or CatAge.

Spaying and Neutering

From a humane perspective, a medical perspective, or a behavioral perspective, there are many good reasons to spay or neuter your pet (not just cats and dogs). If cost is an issue, the ASPCA Free and Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Database will help you find an affordable clinic in your area.

What to Eat...and Not to Eat

We're all guilty of giving in to a pleading look and sharing our human food with our pets, but some of the things we eat are harmful to animals. Cats are particularly sensitive to garlic. Dogs can develop kidney failure from grapes or raisins. Chocolate is dangerous, even though it smells attractive to pets. Attention should also be paid to what animals are able to eat when unsupervised. Many common plants can prove to be poisonous to animals, as well as household items, like potpourri.

For basic pet food nutrition, many of the major pet food brands offer informative web sites. Of course their products are listed as the best, like the Iams, Eukanuba or Purina sites. Hill's Pet Nutrition and the American Veterinary Medical Association sponsor a site to help make your pet more fit and avoid the dangers associated with obesity. Many tools are available to help with exercising your dog, cat, rabbit, hamster, reptile or ferret.


  1. Find out your pet's Real Age through DogAge or CatAge and post about it in your blog.

  1. Blog about your pet's fitness routine or something you saw on Petfit you would like to try.

This month's module brought to you by Kathleen Green, Linda Stevens, Beth Krippel and Daisy Torres.

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