Who am I and why did I start this website?
First off, I am a dog lover and have owned or been around them for roughly fifty years. I also once had a beautiful orange American shorthair tiger cat. I recently lost my best friend of thirteen plus years to kidney disease. It was sudden, unexpected and has led me to question many of the decisions I made for his care over the years. Simply put, I was too trusting of "the latest research and practices."
While I do not have a medical degree, I do have an advanced analytic degree with background and work experience that includes STEM. These jobs have required rational thinking skills and the ability to do extensive research and analysis, often with biased sources of widely varying quality.
Pets have never been a bigger business than they are today. From foods, treats and toys to cameras, monitors and thousands of other product groups, pet owners have never had a greater variety of goods from which to chose to bring happiness to their loved ones.
Along with rampant consumerism, advances in medical technology and veterinary care allows pets to receive health care that would have been the envy of humans not that many years ago. This can lead to significant pressure on owners to make complex and difficult decisions affecting their pets well being, all the while trying not to bankrupt their own finances.
Unfortunately, pets are not immune from an internet full of unsafe products, dubious claims and well intentioned but ill informed advice. Products and procedures are often panned by those who go on little more than gut feelings or a poor and incomplete understanding of the product/procedure, including the testing behind it. This can lead to a spiral of hearsay causing owners to reject otherwise safe products or procedures that are a good fit for their pet.
It is easy to accept negative views at face value as no pet owner wishes to take needless chances with their pet's health. But risk can never be eliminated, only managed. Is another product significantly safer or is one concern being traded off for another? Are the concerns realistic or highly inflated? Is a procedure appropriate for certain cases but not others? A single yes or no answer is rare in the real world.
The goal of this website is to provide unbiased, rational evaluations across the spectrum of products and services available for pets and their owners. Our determinations will be based on review of competing facts and a weighing of pros and cons under typical usage scenarios. Extreme or atypical cases will be noted as necessary to support our determinations.
Studies can be gamed, data falsified and, of course, nobody is infallible. For that reason, all readers are urged to double check the logic, sources and data presented before making their own personal assessment as to whether what they just read has or has not hit the mark. Finally, the lawyers have forced the inclusion of a disclaimer that more or less amounts to "Hey, informed or not, backed up by reams of paper or not, these are just opinions, the final say is up to you!"