If you browse through the questions that have been tagged , they cover a super wide range of topics and that tag doesn't seem particularly helpful in finding other questions that might be related to someone's problem.

Is it useful with its current usage?

Should we replace it with a few more specific tags?

  • 2
    What are you proposing with respect to more specific tags? – John Cavan Dec 30 '13 at 20:11
  • I have a few ideas but didn't want to prime the pump, and wanted to see if others agree that there is a problem. – Zaralynda Dec 30 '13 at 20:43
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    Some suggestions might help to clarify that. Many of our tags have been consolidated into more general ones, so moving to more specific tags may require some examples to show how it could be better. That's my thinking in any event. – John Cavan Dec 30 '13 at 21:02

I think is fine as a general tag. It is quite useful to combine it with a species-specific tag (such as ) when searching, and the number of results you get for combined searches like that seem pretty manageable.


While looking at some of the questions currently tagged , I feel that the tag is maybe being used a bit too liberally.

It seems like in many cases, is being used as a filler tag for anything that might positively or negatively impact the health of a pet. For concerned pet owners, that could conceivably apply to every question on the site, which does eliminate the utility of the tag.

The implicit idea that we all care about keeping our pets healthy means that is redundant to questions like these:

Instead, I believe the tag should be used for specific health concerns or problems, such as:

The problem may be tied to the current tag wiki and excerpt:

Tag Excerpt:

The overall physical well-being of a pet. Personal medical questions are off-topic.

Tag Wiki:

Includes tips for maintaining high levels of health for pets, and may cover such topics as , , or .

This is too broad, and should be narrowed in scope.

I propose that the tag wiki excerpt be changed to:

Specific problems or concerns regarding the physical well-being of a pet.

I also propose that the tag wiki be changed (based upon this meta answer) to:

Addressing specific problems or health concerns that may negatively impact the well-being of a pet. Requests for general medical information are appropriate; however, personal medical advice is not.

Examples of appropriate general medical information questions:

  • What are the advantages/disadvantages of these three different treatments commonly used for $disease?

  • How often do indoor-only pets contract FIV?

  • $professional_publication had information about a promising new treatment for $condition a year ago; what further work has been done?

  • We suspect food allergies; what alternatives are there to the expensive prescription diet?

  • What is the general prognosis for $diagnosis?

Examples of off-topic personal medical advice:

  • Should I subject my elderly pet to surgery for $problem?

  • Should I vaccinate my indoor pet for FIV?

  • If I accidentally skip a dose of $medicine should I just skip it or double up the next one?

  • (Many personal details here, ending with) what should I do?

Additionally, the existing use of the tag should be reviewed, and questions that only vaguely touch upon the overall health of the pet should have the tag removed, leaving only questions where there is a concern about a specific negative health issue.

  • I highly approve of your tag wiki. :-) – Monica Cellio Dec 31 '13 at 20:25
  • @MonicaCellio Ugh, I just noticed that I forgot to cite my source... fixed, and sorry for the unintended plagiarism :) – Beofett Dec 31 '13 at 20:37
  • That was not a complaint. I was tickled. :-) – Monica Cellio Dec 31 '13 at 20:59
  • @MonicaCellio It didn't sound like a complaint, but I really did intend to provide an attribution, and don't like that I missed it. – Beofett Dec 31 '13 at 21:00
  • I've proposed a tag-wiki edit based on this answer (which, at the time of this comment, is +5/-0). – Monica Cellio Jan 9 '14 at 17:00

I think the tag is being used too often, and the uses tend to fall into 2 categories:

  • My animal is ill, how do I make my animal healthy?
  • My animal is healthy, how do I keep it healthy?

(The tag does not seem to be used for mental health/stimulation, nor interactions between pets, so while it's not used on every question, it is used on a lot of questions).

To reflect this natural divide, two tags should be used, one for each of bulleted states. They could be:

  • Illness/injury
  • Health or wellness

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