Covid-19 has brought about many changes, but not the need to keep your dog safe and healthy.
Vets and owners alike had to explore new ways to monitor and protect our pups during this time. The result is newly popularized pet televet and telehealth services that are positioned to withstand the test of time even post pandemic.
The convenience of monitoring health from home not only makes these options safe and affordable, but also extremely convenient. This blog looks at some of the best ways to keep your dog healthy over the phone. Please note that some services may be restricted to specific locations or regions, so you need to check if your location is covered.
Connect with Your Vet
If you have a dog, cat, lizard, or basically anything else, these televet services have got you covered. They are a great way to deal with and assess problems that don’t seem to need an emergency visit.
Is your dog not eating? Is he walking in an unusual way? Is he anxious or sad?
These issues are extremely common reasons for owners to want to connect with a health professional and are ones that can easily be assessed over the phone.
It is important to note that these televisits are not to be in place of in-person visits, as some vets won’t be able to prescribe medication unless they have previously seen your pet in person.
However, it is clear that these over-the-phone methods are an amazing new outlet for ensuring the safety of your pet. Below are some of the best ways to connect with your vet over the phone.
If your vet is in-network, the Televet app is extremely easy to navigate, understand, and manoeuver.
You can search and locate your vet’s profile, see available dates and times, and book straight from the app. It allows you to attach photos, videos, descriptions, and more to aid in your dog's diagnosis.
You can meet over the phone, over text, over video chat, and more.
The price varies depending on the practice.
Similar to TeleVet, this app is also highly rated and easy to navigate if your vet is in-network. It also allows for all methods of telephone connection.
The differentiator is that this app displays your pet’s medical history and sends appointment reminders for ultimate convenience. Again, the price depends on your vet’s office rates.
AirVet is unique in that in contrast to the above two options and the below options, it provides a platform where you can both connect with your vet, or ask general questions of another licensed vet on the app. It is a great combo that is well rated and is generally easy to use. This dual option is helpful if you both want to connect with your vet but occasionally need faster assistance that can be answered by a general vet. Connect with your vet for a price depending on their office rates or general vets are available 24/7 with a flat fee of $30 per visit.
Answers to General Pet Questions
Some pet owners would rather have their questions answered quickly by someone knowledgeable, rather than wait for someone they have a previous connection with. Both options are useful and can be taken advantage of by every worried owner. Questions can range from pet nutrition, training tips, grooming specifics, and more. This extremely convenient option is often cheaper due to the lack of long-standing relationship that comes along with scheduling with your personal vet. We included some options below.
AskVet has 24/7 vets available for help at all times. Membership allows unlimited calls / questions giving you the ultimate peace of mind throughout the month.
AskVet also comes with a free at-home lab test kit as well as a pet-friendly welcome basket to bring your pup into the AskVet community.
Membership costs about $30/month.
Fuzzy also has vets 24/7 available to answer questions and give advice about symptoms and issues your pet might be undergoing. It provides access to all of your pet's medical history and vaccinations.
This service also offers an interactive pet health tracker to keep up with your dog’s health when not meeting with a vet.
In addition, it sells pet medicines and supplements.
Memberships range from about $25/month to about $130/year.
PetCoach has a vast team of experts available including vets, pet nutritionists, dog trainers, and more, all available 24/7. They provide answers to thousands of Frequently Asked Questions for free and display articles written by vet experts. To speak with an expert costs $5 for a single question and $20 for an in-depth conversation.
If you already use chewy and are on an autoship program, this site provides free access to a televet service. It is easy to use and has thousands of experts ready to help. However it is only open 8am-11pm ET so may not be suited for those late night emergencies that sometimes arise.
Health Smart Collars
Smart collars provide a more consistent way to monitor your pets health by tracking his vitals and habits in his day-to-day life. This is a great way to check that your pet is happy and healthy and can also be used to diagnose and understand certain things about your dog. We listt our favorite options below.
The Whistle Switch is Whistle’s newest product and is widely agreed as a huge step up from the initially popular Whistle Go, and is designed for owners to catch health issues before they become problems.
One feature is that you can set fitness goals based on your pup's age, weight, and breed.
Another is that you can set up location alerts to notify you if your dog has left a “safe space”.
The GPS feature also allows for the creation of a 24-hour timeline in which you can see where your pet went and for how long.
Whistle Switch also comes with a free tele-vet service on the Whistle App.
What truly sets the Whistle Switch apart from the Whistle Go is the fact that it comes with its own collar (rather than an attachable monitor) and 2 interchangeable battery packs so that you can switch on the go.
The smaller and sleeker design makes it great for any size dog, even as small as 5 lbs.
The price stands around $179.95 with a 1-2 year subscription.
The Whistle Go is Whistle’s flagship product in which you can attach the health monitor onto any collar.
It boasts all of the features as the Switch, however it does not come with 2 battery packs or its own collar.
This relatively cheaper alternative is a great option for dogs 20 lbs. and up as it is a bit heavier than the Switch.
It is a great choice for the average dog owner wanting to keep tabs on their pup.
The price stands at $129.95 with a 1-2 year subscription.
This option provides deep insights into your dog's health.
Not only does it monitor basic GPS tracking and fitness, it also displays more detailed health vitals such as temperature, pulse, respiration, and more. This makes for the ideal health tracker if you are wanting to monitor your pup’s recovery post-surgery or illness.
PetPace comes with continuous monitoring, unlimited alerts, access to their mobile app, daily syncs (frequency depends on the subscription ranging from every 120 minutes to 2 minutes), and more.
The premium version even comes with access to web sessions with their veterinarian expert. Prices range from $159 to $349.