One of the most oft-forgotten parts of having a pet is making sure that they have regular veterinary appointments. The inconvenience of having to carry one’s pet across town to the vet, as well as the expense that comes with the visit itself and the fear that one’s pet may actually be ill, often prevents people from giving their pets the proper vet appointments that they need.
However, in the age of the pandemic, veterinarians are offering more online options than ever. In fact, websites such as Airvet offer ways for you to communicate with a vet tech at any time you need!
How online vet visits work
Online vet visits come in two varieties: urgent and non-urgent. An urgent visit is one where you simply speak with the first vet that is available (if you don’t feel like waiting for your issue to be resolved), while a non-urgent visit is one where you set an appointment with a specific vet (this is best for typical wellness visits).
Your online vet visit will usually involve either a call or a series of messages with the vet tech. Once the initial visit is over, you will likely be able to send your vet follow-up messages for the next 72 hours. This additional access helps the vet to assess more accurately the situation and allows you to have some extra peace of mind in regards to your pet.
Who are these vets?
An online vet has to receive the same level of education and credentialing as an in-person vet. This is because most of these vets will already have their own in-person practices. And while some vets may be in different states from you, they will have the same general knowledge as the vet who lives down the street from you.
When you should consider an online vet
While the convenience of an online vet cannot be understated, sometimes you will need to see an in-person vet.
Obviously, an online vet will not be able to perform tests, so if your pet needs lab work and radiology, you will need to set up an appointment with your vet in person.
Further, if your pet is suffering a serious emergency, something like an injury or a sudden-onset respiratory issue, you would want to get to the nearest vet emergency room as soon as possible instead of using an online vet.
But, if your visit is in relation to an issue you are having with your pet that is not severe, something perhaps in regards to behavioral issues, grooming issues, or some sort of preventative measures you may wish to take to ensure your pet has the best life, an online vet is an excellent option.
Further, online vets can be a good option for establishing care for your pet. If you find a vet you like, you can set up a relationship with them that can result in your vet having a greater knowledge of your pet, and therefore a better capability to help whenever something bad happens. And, once a relationship is established, your vet can even prescribe medication for your pets.
Other things to know about online vets
One of the mitigating factors that prevent people from taking their pets to the vet is the cost.
Online vets are often less expensive, with standard visits being as inexpensive as $30.00. While the options for what a vet can do over the internet are limited somewhat, having a vet who can help you address less pressing issues can help prevent major issues down the line. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” as the saying goes.
And, if your online vet is incapable of helping you, they can always recommend you visit a vet in-person to receive treatment.
All in all an online vet is a safe option to have if you have a pet and you want to make sure they receive the best medical treatment they can.