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If you’re looking for expert veterinarian advice without having to spend the time and money visiting your vet’s office, what are your options? Fortunately, several reliable and surprisingly affordable services online connect you with licensed vets who can evaluate your pet’s situation and give treatment advice without the need for in-person visits. Read on to learn which ones are your best options.
Our vet telehealth reviews and rankings are based on several factors, including quality of advice, accessible hours, response time, cost, and more.
Please be aware that the veterinarians on these and similar sites cannot diagnose or prescribe medications for your pet. Only your veterinarian can legally prescribe medications in the U.S.
Airvet launched in 2018 and has quickly become a leader in the veterinary telemedicine industry. Airvet now has a network of thousands of veterinarians across most U.S. states. They also got huge backing in 2020 — $14 million in Series A funding and were selected as the preferred telemedicine partner for Veterinary Study Groups, a management support provider to more than 1,400 U.S. veterinary practices.
You can connect with a licensed vet immediately for urgent matters for $30. Or, for less urgent cases, you can request a chat session with your chosen primary veterinarian, who will contact you as soon as they’re available. In this case, each vet sets their fee, but they’re competitively priced and far cheaper than an in-person vet visit.
For both types of requests, your session can last up to 72 hours for any follow-up care needed. And you can authorize a payment hold until the case is complete.
|24/7 access to licensed veterinarians with little to no wait time||No desktop chat available (but they say it’s coming soon)|
|Video chat available||A bit pricier than some competitors|
|#1 preferred telemedicine provider for veterinary practices|
|User-friendly Android and iOS apps|
See How Airvet Works
JustAnswer is a popular expert Q & A website that connects visitors with verified experts in a wide variety of categories, including medical, legal, automotive, tech support, and veterinary medicine. Once you submit a question about your pet, they’ll notify you by text or email when your answer is ready. They say their average response time is six to seven minutes.
They offer a seven-day trial for $1 for unlimited chats (via text, phone, or email), so that’s the best way to try them out. But make sure you cancel your trial, or you’ll be charged a monthly membership fee if you don’t want to continue using their services. Monthly membership fees vary depending on the urgency and amount of detail needed to answer your questions.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any concrete idea of how much they charge (even a range of pricing). But based on our research, users say it costs far less than what you’d spend at a vet’s office. And with a monthly membership, you get access to all their experts, not just vets.
|24/7 access to licensed veterinarians||Must cancel the 7-day trial, or you’ll get charged a monthly fee|
|User-friendly mobile apps for Android and iPhone (for members only)||No video chat available|
|Generally good user reviews for quality of advice and helpful experts|
|You can browse previously asked questions and answers for free|
Full JustAnswer Review
PetCoach by Petco Animal Supplies Stores is an excellent resource for people looking for vet advice for their pets. The site has over one million articles and answers to all kinds of questions posed by users and answered by their vet experts over the years. You can easily search these for your specific needs for free.
They have two “Ask A Vet” services. For $5, you can submit a single question and receive an answer from a vet tech or licensed veterinarian within 12 hours (many users say it only takes a few hours to hear back). Or, for $20, you can get an in-depth back-and-forth chat consultation with a licensed vet.
|Affordable in-depth consultation||No on-demand, immediate access to vets|
|User-friendly mobile apps for Android and iPhone||No video chat available|
|Most users say responses are very helpful and reliable|
|You can browse previously asked questions and answers for free|
|Excellent website knowledge base|
Pawp is different from the other online vet options in this article because it offers a $3,000 emergency fund to help cover unexpected, emergency vet bills. How does it work? Pay $24 per month to access the emergency fund and unlimited telehealth with vets and pet experts.
Calls with Pawp’s pet professionals and vets aren’t meant to replace a regular vet appointment. Instead, they’re meant to help you decide whether a trip to the vet is necessary and whether the emergency fund will be activated for you (aka, is your dog’s health condition a true emergency).
Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any details about Pawp’s response time or quality of advice, which kept it out of our top three picks. However, this may be a good option for you if you’d like a pet emergency fund for your animals.
|24/7 access to licensed veterinarians and pet professionals||No mobile apps|
|Unlimited video calls and texts||No one-time consults available (monthly subscription only)|
|No appointments or wait times|
|Protect up to 6 pets under 1 plan|
|Includes a $3,000 emergency fund|
Full Pawp Review
AskVet is a well-established vet telehealth web portal that gives pet owners 24/7 access to licensed veterinarians 365 days a year. You can have access to unlimited live chats with their experts by purchasing their membership for $29.99 per month. And there are no time limits for a session.
It also includes a “Rainy Day Fund” to help cover emergency pet care costs. AskVet members get up to $1,000 each in their Rainy Day Funds.
|24/7 access to licensed veterinarians||No mobile apps (but they say they’re coming soon)|
|Up to a $1,000 Rainy Day Fund||No video chat available|
|No one-time consults available (monthly subscription only)|
Fuzzy Pet Health is a subscription-based service that gives you access to licensed veterinarians, registered vet technicians, and vet assistants. You can chat live with their team 24/7 with unlimited chat sessions for $24.99 per month or $99.99 per year. And their mobile app has video chat capability.
Fuzzy Pet Health also carries several pet health products, including flea and tick medications, probiotics, joint supplements, and more. A subscription gives you discounts on these products. Unfortunately, they don’t offer a one-time consult session, so you’re locked into a subscription.
|24/7 access to licensed veterinarians||No one-time consults available (monthly subscription only)|
|Video chat available (via mobile app)||Mobile app performance gets mixed user reviews|
|Subscriptions include a personalized pet plan, in-app health tracking, and discounts on health products|
|Free 7-day trial|
Use this link to get the best possible offer from Fuzzy.
If you’re already a member of Banfield Pet Hospitals’ wellness plan (or want to join), you get 24/7 on-demand access to their licensed vets through their handy Vet Chat™ app. They can give you general advice for many questions, but this is a pricey option if you’re not a member and just want occasional online advice.
Banfield’s wellness plans offer preventive care, including bi-annual comprehensive wellness exams that can cover vaccinations, parasite control, dental, nutrition, and behavioral consultations. The plan requires a one-time sign-up fee and monthly payments that start at around $31.95 for dogs and $25.95 for cats. But keep in mind that monthly payments vary depending on breed, age, location, and other factors.
|24/7 access to licensed veterinarians||Must have a Banfield wellness plan to use Vet Chat™|
|Mobile apps for Android and iPhone||No video chat available|
|Several user complaints that the apps are glitchy|
Banfield Wellness Plan Review
Vetster, which launched in November 2020, has a network of 1,800+ licensed veterinary professionals across the U.S. and Canada who are available 24/7 through video, chat, and text sessions. You begin by searching for an available vet to make an appointment, whether your need is immediate or for a later time.
Vets set their own rates, ranging from $50 to $75 or more per session, which is much higher pricing than the other services we review here. However, each telehealth vet has a profile page with detailed information about their credentials and what they specialize in. So it may be worth it to you to pay extra to choose who you want to use.
Vetster also has Wellness coaches available to discuss your pet’s health care journey. Vetster Wellness calls cost $30.
|24/7 on-demand access to licensed veterinarians||Expensive compared to other services we review|
|Chat, text, and video sessions available||No mobile apps|
|You can choose from their available vets|
|Website has detailed profiles for each vet|
Our readers can get 10% off their first Vetster appointment with the coupon code IMPACT15. Use this link to take advantage of this offer.
With over three million customers, WhiskerDocs is a well-respected online vet service that gives you access to licensed vets 24/7 with a variety of options. They offer on-demand single appointments by phone or live chat for $39.99 per session (95% of calls are answered in 28 seconds). If your need isn’t immediate, you can consult with a vet via email for $4.99 per session. They also offer an affordable subscription plan at $16.99 per month or $129.99 per year giving you unlimited phone, chat, and email support 24/7.
WhiskerDocs also partners with several pet insurance companies. If you have a pet insurance policy with Pets Best, 24PetWatch, or Spot, you get access to WhiskerDocs included in your policy. This can be a great option if you’re looking for pet insurance and also want 24/7 remote access to licensed vets.
|24/7 on-demand access to licensed veterinarians||Single phone and live chat sessions are pricey compared to other services|
|Phone and live chat available||No video chat available|
|Competitively priced monthly subscription||No Android app|
|User-friendly mobile app for iPhone and iPad|
While these online vets are a great alternative for everyday advice and less serious issues, there are definite times you’ll need to visit a vet. Vet costs for severe conditions and accidents can rack up quickly — sometimes into thousands of dollars — so you may want to consider getting pet insurance. It can help protect your wallet from a major blow while ensuring that your pet receives the care he needs. See our reviews of the best pet insurance companies to learn more.