Editorial Policy - PetHelpful - By fellow animal lovers and experts

Editorial Policy

PetHelpful is a place for pet owners, experts, and animal lovers to read and write about all things related to pets! Whether you consider your dog your best friend, are a proud cat parent, are a fish and amphibian aficionado, or you keep livestock, this is where you can write about your experiences and expertise!

To write for PetHelpful, authors must comply with the HubPages editorial policy.

Additionally, due to the critical nature of the content, and how inaccurate advice can affect both pets and their owners, articles about pet health and training must contain evidence of expertise or personal experience. The Author Bio is a great way to add information about yourself that will help your reader trust your content.

How Do I Demonstrate Credibility?

When evaluating your article, we are looking for you to demonstrate credibility in one (or more) of these three ways:

  1. Professional experience: Are you a veterinarian or an animal behavior specialist? We would love to have you educate us about some aspect of your professional experience.
  2. Personal experience: Do you have personal experience with a specific pet health condition? We would love to hear your unique story.
  3. Citing your sources: If you do not have direct personal or professional experience on your topic, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t write on these topics—it just means our criteria might be a bit different for you. Clearly, you’ve done your homework to write your article, and we’d like you to share where you found your information. (See “How to Cite My Sources” below.)

How Do I Build Reader Trust?

Because your content can potentially impact the health of your readers’ pets, it is important to establish trust right from the start. Here are three easy features that appear at the very beginning of your article that will help you do just that:

  1. Author bio: Nothing builds trust like an author bio. Say something about who you are, what you do—and most importantly—whether you have any personal or professional experience with your topic.
  2. Use your real name: Using your real name (or a pen name), rather than a cute/clever/random moniker, can also help build reader trust. An author named “coolbeans” doesn’t sound quite as credible as an author with a name that sounds real.

Why Is It Important to Cite My Sources?

  • Citing your sources will significantly boost your article's credibility.
  • It will also give readers a great place to start if they’re interested in learning more.
  • Want to get technical? Here’s a handy guide to APA style for citing sources. (Note: You’re not required to adhere to APA style as long as your source information is clearly and reasonably organized. We provide this link only for interested authors.)

Okay, Tell Me How to Cite My Sources . . . 

  • Don’t worry, it’s easier than you think! Clearly you did some research to write your article—all you need to do now is create a “sources” section at the end of your article and list the websites, books, etc., you consulted.
  • Are you writing a personal account of a pet health problem or behavioral issue? You may wish to provide context with background facts and figures. Create a “sources” section so the reader knows where you got your information.

A Few Additional Tips:

In addition to these requirements, we have listed below some recommendations and tips on how to craft high-quality articles for PetHelpful.

What We Like to See:

  • Share Your Expertise and Experience: Pet owners like to hear from people who have been there. Whether you’re a vet, dog trainer, or have cared for animals for 50 years, sharing that information in your article or Author Bio will help readers trust you. While purely personal stories are not a good fit on PetHelpful, if your experiences provide insight to other pet owners, we encourage you to share them. If your personal story tells how you dealt with a particular problem or experience other pet owners have—a disease or disorder, a dilemma like euthanasia, an unusual breed or pet, a homemade shelter or food idea—then it will likely be helpful to others.
  • Original Photography: We love to see your pets! Personal photographs are much better than stock photos when it comes to the animals you love.

What to Avoid:

  • Collections of Cute Photos of Your Pets: While we love to see your adorable animals, simple collections of them aren’t a great fit for PetHelpful. We encourage you to use those photos to supplement in-depth content, such as an article about how to housetrain a new puppy, complete with pictures of your own.
  • Blog Posts With Pet Health Updates: While your friends and family likely want to know all about your pet’s veterinary updates, readers of PetHelpful want to learn more about health conditions and risks. If your personal story can provide insight to other pet owners, we recommend reframing it as a narrative with tips for others.

Content Restrictions:

PetHelpful is for general animal health and wellness information only and does not substitute for veterinary medical advice. Only a licensed veterinarian can legally diagnose, prognose, prescribe (medication, drugs, appliances), and treat an animal. With the exception of administering emergency aid, language that suggests any of the above-mentioned duties without the supervision of a licensed veterinarian is in violation of our editorial policy. Always consider your safety first when working with animals. Research local wildlife laws before attempting to approach or aid wildlife in distress.

Here are some examples of articles on PetHelpful that we would like to showcase. These articles exhibit the type of high-quality work we wish to see on the site:

A quick note: All of the Network Sites are a blending of professional editing and writers like you.

If you are intrigued by our community and would like to write for PetHelpful, we’d love to have you! In order to set up an account to begin writing, please sign up on HubPages. Articles are initially written on our parent platform and then, if they are high enough quality, are moved to one of our Network Sites like PetHelpful.