Great Websites for Dog Lovers: Reviews and Ratings

Updated on November 12, 2017
AliciaC profile image

Linda Crampton is a biology teacher, writer, and long-time pet owner. She currently has dogs, cats, and birds in her family.

Sam and his frisbee
Sam and his frisbee | Source

Dog Websites

There are numerous websites for dog lovers on the Internet—so many, in fact, that it can be difficult and time consuming to discover the best ones. Dogs have been an important part of my family for many years, so I'm very happy to find so much dog information online. Like many other people, though, I'm often busy. I like to go directly to useful information on the Internet instead of searching for it. I've bookmarked some dog sites that I find both interesting and helpful. In this article I'll review each site and give it my personal rating.

All the sites have information about caring for dogs, training them, and understanding their behavior. They also have photos, videos, and news. Some provide information about the different dog breeds as well. Most of the sites include information about other pets in addition to dogs. Since I have dogs, cats, and birds, a website that covers multiple types of animals is very useful for me.

Screenshot of the pet care section of the ASPCA website
Screenshot of the pet care section of the ASPCA website

ASPCA

The website of The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is very helpful. As would be expected, it has important sections on preventing animal cruelty, adopting pets, and helping animals in trouble, but it also has a lot of information about caring for a pet. Dog or cat care can be chosen from the "Pet Care" link at the bottom of the home page. Visitors can learn about dog health and nutrition requirements, get help for behavior problems, and discover grooming techniques.

One big advantage of the ASPCA site is the section called the Animal Poison Control Center. This section has a long list of toxic and non-toxic plants for dogs, cats, or horses. It also mentions other potentially dangerous substances in a home, including human foods. In addition, it describes emergency treatment for poisoned pets.

ASPCA has a hotline that can be called at any time—365 days a year and 24 hours a day— if someone suspects that their pet has been poisoned. According to the website, there "may be" a credit card fee for the consultation service, however. If you're a pet owner, you should find out where the nearest emergency pet clinic is in your community and make sure that you know how to get there. It may be necessary to get your pet to a vet quickly instead of getting advice over a telephone.

How to Clean a Dog's Ears, from an ASPCA Vet

ASPCA publishes frequent news articles about pet and farm animal concerns. Visitors can sign up for a newsletter. The organization has a Facebook page, a Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google Plus account, and a YouTube channel. These sites enable visitors to comment on news items.

Screenshot of the Dogster website
Screenshot of the Dogster website

Dogster

Dogster has an attractive home page, which it calls a "magazine". The magazine captures visitors' attention with a large, colorful photo and an accompanying article link. Below these are photo thumbnails and links to other articles on the site.

There are tabs at the top of the page that link to different topic areas on the site. These areas include a Video section, a Book of Dog page, an Answers to Questions section, Photo Galleries, an Adoption section and a Community area. The home page also has a sign-up box for the newsletter.

The Book of Dog tab on the home page links to informational articles about dogs and their care. The Community tab takes visitors to areas such as questions and answers, forums, and group discussions.

Visitors can comment on posts at Dogster. The site is updated frequently and the Community area is active. I enjoy visiting the website in order to learn more about dogs and to be entertained.

Dogster has a popular Facebook page as well as other social media accounts. It also has a YouTube channel. The YouTube videos are several years old, however. The earliest ones include a person travelling around in a dog costume as well as some other antics that seem a bit silly to me. They do contain some good information, though.

Screenshot of the Vetstreet website
Screenshot of the Vetstreet website

How to Teach the Leave It Command

Vetstreet

Vetstreet is run by an organization that provides services for veterinarians. The website states that its articles are written by "veterinarians, trainers, and pet experts". One of the vets is Dr. Marty Becker, who appears on TV and is sometimes referred to as "America's Veterinarian".

The home page of the website has interesting photos and links to informative articles. The top of the page has tabs that let visitors go to a dog page or a cat page. Other tabs link to sections on pet health, pet care, and training. Visitors can sign up for a newsletter. A potentially useful feature of the home page is the "Find a Vet" tab, which lets people search for a vet in their area by entering a zip code.

The site has extensive information about dog breeds. It also has a "Find a Breed" section. This allows visitors to select certain features that they would like in a pet dog and then see suggestions for suitable breeds.

People can comment on posts on the Vetstreet website and can also share the posts. However, unlike Dogster, the site has no forum. Vetstreet has a YouTube video channel and social media accounts. The video collection is extensive and very useful. Many of them show Mikkel Becker (Dr. Becker's daughter) teaching owners how to train their dog.

How to Prepare Your Pets for a Disaster, by Marty and Mikkel Becker

Vetstreet has a Facebook page and a Twitter account, but at the time when was this article was last updated, neither social media account had been updated since April, 2017.

Screenshot of the Webvet website
Screenshot of the Webvet website

Webvet

Webvet isn't as comprehensive as the other dog websites that I describe and isn't as feature-rich or as visually interesting, but it does contain some useful articles and covers some unique topics. There is a small section on holistic care for pets and another one on pet travel. Webvet has a few articles about small mammals and birds in addition to dog and cat information.

The home page has photos that link to articles about pets. At the bottom of the page are links to the different topic categories on the website as well as to articles and blog posts. Some of the articles are more relevant to vets than the general public, however.

The site has information about different health problems and different dog breeds, a collection of videos, and a box to find a local vet when a visitor enters their zip code. In addition, it has a section where visitors can download "Pet-Pods", which are pdf files about pet health. Visitors can also sign up for a newsletter.

Webvet contains a considerable amount of helpful information, but it has one major drawback. At the time of this review, neither the website (as far as I could tell) nor its Facebook page had been updated recently. The site is useful as a static resource, however.

The Webvet site says that its information is vet approved. A visitor should probably check any important information that they read with another site due to the age of the articles on Webvet, however.

Owen (a chocolate lab) stalking an insect when he was a puppy.
Owen (a chocolate lab) stalking an insect when he was a puppy. | Source

Symptom Checker

Another feature of the home page on the Webvet site is a "Symptoms" link. Clicking this link causes a symptom checker box to appear. When a visitor types in the name of a symptom, a list of articles containing the name appear.

The search box on the other dog websites works the same way as the Webvet symptom checker box, returning articles that refer to "vomiting" if this is the search term, for example. In fact, Webvet has a conventional search box as well as a symptom checker box. The conventional box returns the same search results as the symptom checker box, according to the tests that I've performed. The problem with calling a search box a "symptom checker", in my opinion, is that it might give the box an air of authority, especially on a site with "vet" in its name.

I would hate for someone to enter one of their pet's symptoms in the symptom checker box and then based on the articles that appear on the screen decide that the pet's problem isn't serious. The information that the box returns may be valuable and accurate for the pet's situation. A serious symptom (or a minor one if it lasts for a long time or occurs repeatedly) should be checked by a vet, however. On its "About Us" page, Webvet says that it "does not diagnose or recommend treatment".

Screenshot of the AVMA website
Screenshot of the AVMA website

The First Aid and Pet Care Pages of the AVMA

Much of the American Veterinary Medical Association website is aimed at veterinarians, but some pages were created for the general public. One of these pages covers dog and cat first aid procedures and describes how to treat poisoning, seizures, fractures, bleeding, burns, choking, heatstroke, shock, lack of breathing, and lack of a heartbeat.

The AVMA page is very useful, but it's important that all dog owners know about first aid techniques before an emergency happens. The first aid aid instructions should be printed out and kept in a safe and easily accessible location. They should also be read frequently so that they can be remembered.

The AVMA website has a general pet care page which contains links to other useful pages for pet owners. These pages cover topics such as vaccinations, medications, and pet insurance. The links also go to pages about pet care in special circumstances, such as during hot weather or holiday celebrations like Christmas.

Owen as an adult
Owen as an adult | Source

My Ratings of the Five Dog Websites

All of the above websites have lots of very useful information for dog owners and I enjoy visiting them. I do prefer some of them to others, however. Of course, you may have a different opinion about the sites, but my star ratings are as follows.

  • The ASPCA website receives my five star rating due to its very useful poison control center in addition to its extensive dog care section and the fact that it gives people a chance to help animals. In the past I've had to take a dog to an emergency care center (with a happy outcome, I'm glad to say), so I'm very interested in websites that give advice for preventing and dealing with emergencies.
  • I won't rate the AVMA website as a whole, since it isn't aimed at the general public, apart from some sections. However, the pet first aid page alone is worth 5 stars in my opinion.
  • The Dogster and Vetstreet sites receive a rating of 4.75. They are fun and interesting to visit and contain lots of useful information.
  • The Webvet site receives a rating of 4.0 because although it has useful articles I don't find it as interesting as the sites above. I'm also uneasy about the symptom checker box. In addition, the website doesn't seem to have been updated recently.

Misha
Misha | Source

Vote For Your Favorite Dog Website

Which dog website is your favorite?

See results

The only website described in this article that deals entirely with dogs is Dogster. (The creator of Dogster has produced a similar site for cats called Catster.) Dogster is a popular site and has a lot of followers on Facebook. All of the sites that I've reviewed contain helpful information for dog lovers, though. I think that they are definitely are worth visiting.

References and Resources: The Websites

© 2012 Linda Crampton

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    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Nature by Dawn. Dogster is an interesting and informative site. I visit it quite often, although not every day! Thanks for commenting.

    • Nature by Dawn profile image

      Dawn Ross 4 years ago

      I like all these but I visit Dogster most often, almost daily. :)

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you, Denise. I appreciate your visit and your kind comment very much!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      A big congratulations to you, Alicia! What a creative topic you've chosen. And, as usual-well presented and filled with interesting information. :)

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much, savingkathy! I appreciate your comment.

    • savingkathy profile image

      Kathy Sima 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      What a great hub! You've included so much useful information for dog owners. Thanks for compiling all of this information. I will definitely be checking out some of these sites.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for the comment and the congratulations, ktrapp. It's very nice to meet you!

    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      What a great resource for pet owners. You've introduced me to a few sites that I have not ever looked at before but certainly will do so now. Also, congratulations on receiving one of the weekly wins for the review contest.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for the wonderful and kind comment, GoodLady! I appreciate the vote, the share and the rating so much!

    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 5 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Congratulations on your very well deserved win! your Hub is so informative and full of legitimate, reliable information, videos and photos (and resourceful for pet owners generally). Top stuff. Pinning and voting and sharing. And I rated 5 stars too. Everyone forgets to do that!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you so much, theclevercat! I used to be more of a dog person than a cat person, but after I found two abandoned kittens some years ago I became a cat person as well.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the comment and the congratulations, CarlySullens!

    • theclevercat profile image

      Rachel Vega 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great!! Even though I consider myself a cat person, I appreciate dogs as well... those intelligent but goofy faces always make me smile. :^) Congrats on the contest win!

    • CarlySullens profile image

      CarlySullens 5 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      Great hub, packed with lots of information. Congratulations on your win.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much, teaches! I appreciate all your comments and support.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I caught this earlier but wanted to stop in to leave a comment on how much I enjoyed the advice and photos. Keep up the great posts, Alicia !

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you so much for the visit, the comment and the votes, sgbrown!

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 5 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      You have listed some really great resources here. I am definitely going back and bookmarking some of these. You videos are great, as well as your pictures. Good job! Voting up and useful. :)

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the comment, Peggy. I appreciate the share as well!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Alicia,

      I am very familiar with the ASPCA website but the others were new to me. Thanks for introducing these websites to me and others. They are certainly useful depending upon what type of information one might be seeking. Liked your pet photos! :) Sharing!

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you so much for the lovely comment, the votes and the share, Tom! I appreciate your visit.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Awesome review, enjoyed your hub and all these great doggy sites ! Well done ! Vote up and more !!! SHARING !

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you, Martie. I appreciate the comment and the rating! Some people do become extremely attached to their dogs. It's interesting that dogs can fit into families so well.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      Excellent hub, Alicia. I think my love for dogs is normal and even below-average comparing to some of my friends who literally live for - and through - their dogs. I really would not mind being a dog in their homes.

      Hub rated 5 out of 5 stars :)

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you, aviannovice! I appreciate your visit and comment.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      These are all terrific sites. You did a great job finding all this useful material.

    • AliciaC profile image
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      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the comment, drbj, and thanks in advance for sharing the hub with your friends. It does sometimes seem that the dogs are the owners. Many of them certainly have a sense of their own importance!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      This is chock-full of great ideas and stuff for dog owners, Alicia. I plan on sharing your hub with all my friends who own dogs. Although in most cases I have noticed it's the dogs who are the owners.

      Hmmmmm! So that's what a kong is. :)

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks, Bill. I think you'll find the sites interesting!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great review, Alicia. I have bookmarked several of these sites and will check them out shortly.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for the visit and the comment, bdegiulio! They are fun websites to explore, and they're so useful.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great job Alicia. Was not aware of all of these great web-sites for dogs. Will definitely have to bookmark this for future reference.