Online Veterinary Care: What Every Pet Owner Should Know

This post was written by the VetVet team for our Leap Venture Studio & Academy blog. VetVet helps new pet parents discover incredible veterinarians based on what is most important to them. Whether it’s location, affordability, experience, languages spoken, or other factors, we believe anyone can find a vet they’ll love on VetVet.

These days, it seems like everything is moving online. Many of us are afraid to venture out of our homes in an age of social distancing unless necessary. However, even in ordinary times, it can seem advantageous to reach for your smartphone or computer and get what you need quickly. As part of this trend, telehealth and telemedicine are becoming more popular for humans and pets alike.

These services are fantastic in some situations, but not so great in others. No matter what you do, your pet needs to maintain a relationship with a local vet. But online vets can be extremely useful too. Here are the situations that lend themselves to online vets (and where they should be avoided).

What online vets are best for

Deciding if a pet needs to be seen in person

Let’s say, for example, that you have a new puppy. Puppies get into a lot of things, and it often results in an upset stomach. If your dog eats people food and then shows signs of nausea, using an online vet can work well. They’ll tell you if the pet ate something which can hurt him or if it’s OK to let the bellyache resolve itself.

Providing general professional advice

Helping when your regular vet isn’t available immediately

Providing care when you can’t travel

Online vets are less appropriate in these situations

When the pet owner isn’t comfortable with technology

When your pet needs prescription medications

If your pet clearly is having a medical emergency

When you (or your pet) need that face-to-face interaction

Other things to know about online vets

Using an online vet can save money…sometimes

If you need an in-person vet, online ones can give a referral

Peace of mind is available even at midnight

Deciding whether or not to use an online vet can sometimes be challenging. In some situations, this is a great option. On the other hand, an online vet can simply delay your pet’s hands-on treatment when misused. Either way, an online vet will never be a complete replacement for your pet’s local, in-person vet.


A smarter world for pets & their people starts here. Partnership between Michelson Found Animals and Kinship, a division of Mars Petcare.