Ten years ago pet owners had only a handful of sites to choose from when it came time to research a variety of medical conditions their pets might confront. Renal disease, diabetes, hip dysplasia…these biggies always had an online presence. But lesser known pet health concerns were relegated to the very few sites attempting an encyclopedic approach to pet healthcare.

Fast-forward to 2008 and suddenly there’s a huge array of pet health sites inhabiting unsuspecting servers all over the world. It seems everyone wants to get in on the pet health game…all at once.

The blog over at Embrace Pet Insurance recently ran down the list of new pet sites catering largely to pet health concerns. Here’s their list:

1.    WebVet

2.    PetWave

3.    PetMD

4.    PetDoc

5.    Petside

6.    MedHelp/pets

And here are a couple others whose presence has always merited attention:

1.    PetPlace

2.    VeterinaryPartner

All these sites have doubtless helped hundreds of thousands of pet owners needing pet healthcare information as an adjunct to their veterinary needs.

Just as WebMD and its ilk have served millions in their quest to bring healthcare to those who responsibly seek to take control of their healthcare to some degree, these veterinary-themed sites justifiably expect the same for you and your pets. Of course, they also want your eyeballs to come back, month after month, day after day (if possible), to devour their content and set their servers on fire. 

But will you play?

Sometimes I look at these sites and they seem much the same to me. Some are cluttered, some are spare, some are more comprehensive or more chatty than others. But what really differentiates these sites from one another?

I dunno. You tell me. You’re their target audience. So if you don’t know, no one does…