Regarding How can I tell whether my dog was euthanized in a painful fashion? , the asker stated they went to PetSmart (a pet supply and in-house veterinarian chain) to handle their dog's euthanasia. The verbiage used read as though he had to justify using PetSmart rather than a standalone veterinarian, and could infer that the service received may have been less competent than at, say, a standalone.

I am not defending the company practices, but I generalized the references in an edit, rather than leave them in. If the asker has a problem with the company, that is their problem; implications of slight that aren't relevant to the question should be removed.

Was this the correct course of action?

2 Answers 2


I definitely think so. If there was a question about in-store veterinarian compared to standalone practices, it may be warranted to include it as a generic term. I think the same thing is appropriate whether you received treatment from a county clinic vs your regular vet. The specific county isn't necessary to make the distinction.

In this case, however, I think the edit you made is perfect. That question could apply to that user or myself, who uses the family-owned office down the street.

  • I agree, it's probably wise to avoid the risk of becoming an unintended review site for businesses.
    – Joanne C
    Jan 22, 2014 at 22:21
  • Check out the comment from the user on my answer. Still gets his dig in.
    – JoshDM
    Jan 23, 2014 at 1:38

I agree with that edit in this case; the detail wasn't important to the question.

But we shouldn't generalize from this to "detail is bad", either. Appropriate detail is important to avoid vague questions that are hard to answer well. The trick is knowing what's appropriate. When in doubt, I think more specificity is better than less; it can be edited out if unneeded, but can't as easily be edited in if missing.

On technology sites questions generally specify not only products but versions. When I asked a newbie question on Travel about resolving an airline problem I was asked to specify the airline (though I'd thought the question more general). Details help, so long as they aren't overdone or spammy.

That said, the details usually shouldn't be front and center, like in the question title or the opening sentence. Footnotes or a "specifics" section at the end of a post would be a good compromise.

  • 1
    It's that one sentence of justification explaining WHY he went there, "I took the dog to Pet smart because that is where it had received most of it's care", which followed a prior declaration naming the company, that really stuck out to me. It's like he was calling them out on a "bad practice" when this exact same situation could have taken place at any vet. Full disclosure: I shop at Pet Supermarket.
    – JoshDM
    Jan 23, 2014 at 16:50
  • 1
    I just looked at your edit and I agree -- that was the right call in this case. I just don't want people to generalize to "detail is bad". I've updated my answer. Jan 23, 2014 at 16:55
  • Hence the "not relevant to the question" in the title of this question. :-)
    – JoshDM
    Jan 23, 2014 at 16:56
  • 1
    The 'bad' questions that name specific entities tend to come in the form of 'Such and such is horrible, am I right?' and can usually be closed down pretty quickly for unrelated concerns. As long as you're making a good faith effort to (1) ask an answerable question and (2) trying to maintain a constructive and impartial tone, then details should be whatever you think might be relevant for those that wish to provide answers (or, what Monica said).
    – user105
    Feb 10, 2014 at 10:48

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