No matter what Type of pet you have, veterinary telemedicine services are a great way to deal with issues that don’t warrant an emergency visit to your local veterinarian. If you’ve ever fallen into a google rabbit hole trying to find out if your pet’s actions are normal, then you should try a virtual veterinarian visit.
With veterinary telemedicine, you speak to a veterinarian via text message, phone, or video chat for real-time advice on what to do for your pet. It is not a substitute for regular office visits, and most veterinarians on telemedicine services cannot diagnose or prescribe medication for pets that they have not seen in person, but they can provide helpful advice. The coronavirus pandemic made these teleservices all the more important, and we think the appeal will continue long after the pandemic. After trying a number of these services, we recommend the following.
If you’ve postponed a visit because of the pandemic, call your veterinarian. It’s likely that her clinic is open (if it ever closed). You just have to follow special rules so that they can see your pet, such as: B. wait outside the clinic and not inside wearing a face mask. Also check out our other pet guides, such as the best equipment for newly adopted puppies and kittens, the best cat toys and accessories, the best pet cameras, and the best dog accessories.
Updated March 2021: We have added more services like Chewy and Pawp and updated the prices.
Gear Readers Special: Get One 1-year WIRED subscription for $ 5 ($ 25 off). This includes unrestricted access to WIRED.com and our print magazine (if you wish). Subscriptions help finance our daily work.
If you buy something through links in our stories, we may earn a commission. This is how we support our journalism. Learn more.
Telemedicine vs. Tele-Triaging
It’s important to understand the difference between veterinary telemedicine (sometimes called televet) and teletriage. We have recommendations for both.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, a veterinary patient relationship (VCPR) is required for a veterinarian to diagnose and prescribe medication. This means that a veterinarian must first see an animal in person, usually within a certain number of months, before diagnosing and prescribing medication through a Televet service.
Not all veterinary practices have made the leap to telemedicine, but luckily there is still a lot to do if your veterinarian isn’t available in one of these apps. A Teletriage service can help you decide whether a midnight run to an emergency animal clinic is necessary or whether they can wait until morning. It’s also useful for the general pet ownership questions that you normally only search for on Google: Should I bathe my cat? Will the food my dog stole make him sick? What is the normal behavior of the litter box? “
“You can’t prescribe, treat, and diagnose, but you can seek, support, advise, and general advice,” said Brandon Werber, CEO and founder of AirVet. “People need that at 11 p.m. 99 percent of the time when the vet is closed and the dog pukes.”