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Paper Information

Journal:   INFORMATION SYSTEMS & SERVICES   winter-spring 2017 , Volume 6 , Number 1-2 (21-22) #f00629; Page(s) 1 To 16.

The Internet & pet health: Case study of online health information seeking behavior of pet owners

* Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
Objectives: The Internet has become a major source of health information and potentially offers many benefits to both human health and companion animal health. Pet keeping has been accepted as a new phenomenon in Iran, and people who feel responsible and attached to their pets seek information about pet’ s healthcare. Therefore, this research aims to evaluate the online health information seeking behavior of pet owners in Iran. Methods: A random sample of pet owners who were referred to Aran veterinary clinic in Tehran, Iran was evaluated using a Kogan et al. (2012) questionnaire on pet health information behavior on the Internet. Results: Most clients use the Internet to look for pet health information, including subjects such as behavioral and nutritional issues, nutrition and diet, and health and disease prevention. They consider the Internet as a complementary source to veterinarians and consult with vets to assess the accuracy of the information they had found. Pet health information on the Internet has influenced owners understanding of pet health, increased their ability to talk with the vet, and help them with pet health related decision making process. Conclusion: Considering the online health information seeking behavior of pet owners and its impact on veterinary services, recommendations have been made, including cooperation between information specialists and veterinarians.
Keyword(s): Health information Seeking behavior,Pet owners,Internet,Veterinary clinics
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