The best dog groups on Facebook support the canine community, they do not lecture or venture into the dangerous area of dispensing medical advice. They are platforms for genuine pet families to share information and interact. Of course you find amazing resources from veterinarians to dog trainers and walkers. But a well managed professionally run group stops short of doling out free medical advice. A Facebook Group which is serious about building a community takes work, group administrators are monitoring, connecting people, and keep the community safe.
The ‘Amazonisaiton’ of our lives (everything is on Prime delivery and a click away) has created an over dependance on instant results. We extend this behaviour to our pets and animal community and it is doing them irreparable harm. Wait for sound medical advice, veterinarians are people too, they cannot be at our service 24 hours a day. Unless your dog or animal is in a medical emergency waiting a couple of hours or even a day will not harm them.
It is a fantastic tool to browse, connect and make new connections. But please in the interest of your dog’s health and your mental health do not make it your primary search engine. Medical advice is from medical professionals. Always, no negotiations no discussions.Oliver wisdom
Once you have a diagnosis and prescription, resist the temptation to ‘post it’ and ask ‘opinions’ . If you feel the need to take a second opinion of a qualified person do so, but privately. Let’s step into our vets shoes for a moment, we expect them on call 24 x 7. They must have all the answers to every problem and when they deliver – we second guess them.
This is not to say vets never make mistakes or are infallible, but any responsible vet like any other medical professional consults with specialists on cases outside their area of practice. Your human GP does not offer to perform heart surgery on you do they?
How to identify the Facebook page for you
Facebook dog groups are boons and banes. They’re scams and life savers. More are scam unfortunately than sincerity. When you find and join a group be sure to check their rules are you willing to abide by them? Is the stated group purpose what you are looking for? Are the administrators fair in the rules they have posted?
It is important even once you join a group and disagree (and there will be many) to state respectful of peoples opinions and questions. You are interacting with people through the filter of a screen and app. They are faceless you cannot hear their voice to gauge an emotion. These are often strangers you have no history of the person or even know what struggles they are presently living through. Anonymity of the internet sometimes blinds us to the fact that people on the other end of our keyboards have struggles and deal with problems we cannot judge. Cruelty to an animal or abandonment are never acceptable, but as many an experienced rescuer or welfare worker will tell you, mud slinging and insults will not help the animal which is a priority.
Facebook Dog Adoption Groups – What you should know
Are the best dog groups on Facebook ones with only happily ever after stories of dogs and cats? Balanced groups do a fantastic job of bringing us in equal measure heartbreak and happiness. As human beings we’re (for the most part) naturally inclined to be kind to our fellow beings. There are countless groups and organisations using social media for good. They help educate, rescue and find permanent loving homes for thousands of animals across the world.
However, there are some dog groups which masquerade as ‘doing good” while subtly promoting selling of dogs. If there is a person posing with the dog or puppy for adoption, pay attention to body language. Both the dog and person should appear relaxed, not forced. Once you learn to identify these photos you are in a stronger position to protect yourself. It even lead to a way to help the dog.
Backyard breeders are rampant on Facebook posing as everything from trainers, pet sitters, dog walkers, boarders and rescue groups. It is impossible to be protected from every scam but follow you common sense, is monetary compensation the first thing they ask for? Has the person/ group ever been reported? Animal welfare communities across the world are relatively small – ask around, check with established groups and organisations.
Who is an expert on Facebook?
This is a really simple rule to follow, the experts in real life- qualified doctors, therapists, nutritionists are the experts on social media. “Had dogs all my life” is not an expert- knowledgable of course, source of great practical advice yes!
It’s as ridiculous as assuming someone who travels extensively qualifies as a travel agent. Or a person who eats a lot is a food critic. The internet like the pandemic brings out the ‘expert’ in all of us. We feel a sense of kinship and belonging in online communities which share our interests. Most of the people are well meaning and believe they are helping (also a bit of an ego boost!) but when it comes to your health or the health of your dog- seek out a qualified specialist.
Woofs to you on finding a dog group and if you have additional tips to stay vigilant online, we’d love to hear them!
Photo by Alena Darmel from Pexels