Best Online Veterinarians: Get A Personal Consultation At Home


Last Updated: May 17, 2024 | 13 min read | 7 Comments

When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Here’s how it works.

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.

At A Glance: Our Top Picks

OverallNon-Urgent AdvicePrescriptionsEmergency FundSubscriptionFree For Auto-Shippers
Airvet logo
PetCoach logo
Vetster logoPawp logoWhiskersDoc logochewy dot com logo 250
Visit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit Website

What Services Can Online Veterinarians Provide?

Vet chatting virtually with a pet parent at home on a computer

In most cases, virtual veterinarians can give an online vet consultation to help triage patients, offer first aid advice, and general advice about nutrition or behavior issues. However, a Veterinarian-Client-Patient relationship (VCPR) is legally required to provide a diagnosis for medical conditions or prescribe medication for your pet, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

State regulations can differ in how a VCPR can be established. This means that you may or may not be able to get a diagnosis or prescription medicine depending on where you live and where the online vet you’re consulting with is licensed. Many states require that the VCPR be established in person. Some allow a VCPR to be established virtually with patients they’ve seen in person in the past, while other states have varying restrictions regarding prescribing medication virtually.

It can be confusing for pet parents, but the Veterinary Virtual Care Association has an interactive map to show you the laws in each state. Also, with some of the sites we review here, their veterinarians don’t diagnose or write prescriptions at all. We’ve noted these in our reviews. If you are unable to travel with your pet, a mobile vet might fit your needs.

Best Websites & Apps For Veterinarian Advice

Our vet telehealth reviews, and rankings are based on several factors, including quality of advice, accessible hours, response time, communication methods, cost, ability to get a prescription (where legal), and more.

Expert Advice About Emergency Funds: Some of the sites we review here offer an emergency fund that pays for life-saving care for your furry friend. While these sites are a blessing to help you cover emergency treatment fees, you’re required to chat with them beforehand to qualify for access to your fund. However, if your dog is experiencing a life-threatening situation, we urge you to also contact your local vet clinic (emergency or regular) and the 24/7 Pet Poison Helpline (if you suspect a toxic reaction).

Best Overall: Airvet Review

Visit Website

Airvet launched in 2018 and has quickly become one of the leaders in the veterinary telemedicine industry. Airvet now has a network of thousands of veterinarians across all 50 U.S. states and Canada. They also got huge backing in 2020 — $14 million in Series A funding.

You can connect with a licensed vet immediately for urgent matters for a flat fee of $75 with no time limit. Or, for less urgent cases, you can request a free 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. You can sign up for free, and either member or not, the App service (via mobile device) keeps track of your recent visits and upcoming appointments.

Another option is to become an Airvet member for $30/month, which includes unlimited 24/7 video calls and access to a $3,000 life-saving emergency fund. How does this fund work? If an AirVet licensed vet determines that your pet is experiencing a life-threatening emergency, you may access up to $3,000 to help pay for your pet’s emergency care. You can use this fund once per year for one pet (after an initial 14-day waiting period.)

24/7 on-demand access to licensed veterinarians No desktop chat available (but they say it’s coming soon)
Video call and chat availableA bit pricier than some competitors
A top preferred telemedicine provider for veterinary practicesMobile only (not on desktop)
$3,000 emergency fund available for members
Airvet vets can write prescriptions where legal
User-friendly Android and iOS apps

Best For Non-Urgent Advice: PetCoach Review: Ask A Vet

Visit Website

PetCoach by Petco Animal Supplies Stores is an excellent resource for people looking for vet advice for their pets. Their PetCoach mobile App 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 via their free App. After you register and create a profile for your pet, 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 within six hours.

Affordable in-depth consultationNo on-demand, immediate access to vets
User-friendly mobile apps for Android and iOSNo video chat available
Most users say responses are very helpful and reliableCan’t get a prescription
You can browse previously asked questions and answers for freeNo desktop version
Excellent website knowledge base
Satisfaction guarantee

Best For Prescriptions (Where Legal): Vetster Review

Vetster Health logo

Visit Website

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 in your city or state to make an appointment, whether your need is urgent or for a later time. Depending on where you live, you may have to wait several hours for an appointment time, but in most cases, you can make a same-day appointment. You can see available appointments without signing up, and if you decide to book, you’ll simply register for an account and pay for your visit online.

Unlike Airvet and PetCoach, which require an app, you can use Vetster on your desktop computer or App. Vets set their own rates, ranging from $50 to $75 or more per session. 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. And if your pup needs a prescription, Vetster vets can prescribe virtually in the states where it’s legal.

Fortunately, each vet’s profile lets you know if they can prescribe to you. Currently, you can get a prescription through Vetster (at the vet’s discretion) if you live in Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington. But keep in mind that these regulations can change.

24/7 on-demand access to licensed veterinarians that you can chooseExpensive compared to other services we review
Chat, text, and video sessions availableMay not have immediate access to a vet
Vetster vets can write prescriptions where legal
You can choose from their available vets
Website has detailed profiles for each vet
User-friendly apps for Android and iOS

Our readers can get 10% off their first Vetster appointment with the coupon code IMPACT15. Use this link to take advantage of this offer.

Best For Emergency Fund: Pawp Review

Pawp logo

Visit Website

Pawp was the first online vet site to offer a $3,000 emergency fund to help cover unexpected emergency vet bills, and it’s become a popular option for many pet parents. How does it work? Pay $19 per month for unlimited 24/7 telehealth with vets and pet experts and to access the emergency fund. You can use the fund for one life-threatening pet emergency per year (after a 14-day waiting period), and it covers pre-existing conditions.

The caveat is that you must first have a face-to-face virtual call with a Pawp vet to determine whether your pup’s symptoms are a life-threatening emergency. And you must take your pet to a clinic within eight hours of activating your fund. Even if you (hopefully) don’t have to use Pawp’s emergency fund, the monthly subscription fee is reasonable compared to many other services. We’ve seen a lot of positive customer feedback about the quality of vet advice and speedy access to licensed vets.

24/7 access to licensed veterinarians and pet professionalsNo one-time consults available (monthly subscription only)
Unlimited video calls and textsCan’t get a prescription
Includes a $3,000 emergency fundNo online version (mobile app only)
No appointments or wait times
Covers up to 6 pets (but emergency fund is only available one time per year)
User-friendly iOS app

Full Pawp Review

Most Affordable Subscription: WhiskerDocs Review

WhiskerDocs logo

Visit Website

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 stand out as one of the most affordable subscription plans available at $16.99 per month or $129.99 per year, giving you unlimited phone, chat, and email support 24/7. WhiskerDocs also offers on-demand single appointments by phone or live chat for $39.99 per session. And if your need isn’t urgent, you can consult with a vet via email for $4.99 per session.

WhiskerDocs also partners with several pet insurance companies. If you have a pet insurance policy with Pets Best, 24PetProtect, 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 veterinariansSingle phone and live chat sessions are pricey compared to some other services
Phone and live chat availableNo video chat available
Competitively priced monthly subscriptionCan’t get a prescription
User-friendly mobile app for iOSNo Android app

Our Personal Experience With WhiskerDocs

WhiskerDocs screenshots in pets best app.
Screenshots of the Pets Best mobile app showing the ability to reach a vet expert via pet helpline through WhiskerDocs (phone number blurred out).

I have Pets Best pet insurance which includes WhiskerDocs on demand vets for those times I just need some advice but not sure I need to take my dog to the vet. I called them and was on hold for a few minutes before they prompted me for a call back which was less than five minutes later. The person who called stated she was a registered vet tech up front, which assured me, and then asked if I was calling about health or behavioral problems. She then asked if it was an emergency and it was not. Since it was my first time using the service, she had to gather some information, including my name, email address, zip code, pet’s name, whether it’s a dog or cat, male or female, age, and breed. I then described the issue, and she asked about symptoms and any history of this issue. She told me she couldn’t say without examining or diagnostic testing but thinks the issue I was describing (red eyes) was just allergens (dust, pollen, blade of grass in his eye) but to monitor if there is more discharge, or discoloration again to see his primary care vet. She also said he seems in pain or discomfort and starts pawing or rubbing at his eyes to see the emergency vet. I asked about home remedies if it is allergies (eye drops, Benadryl). She said plain saline solution to help flush it, but it might not resolve. It could help relieve it, but not unless it gets flared up again, and the vet should give him a better treatment plan should he need it. I thanked her for the advice and for putting my mind at ease, and she said they are here for me 24/7 if we have further questions or other issues in the future. Overall, I’d give the experience a good one. The doctor’s friendliness and customer service (and, most importantly, knowledge) were 10/10.

Sadie Cornelius, dog mom to Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Dog

Best Free (For Auto-Shippers): Chewy

chewy logo new 250

Visit Website

Immensely popular pet product website Chewy has a fantastic free telehealth service for auto-shipping customers (and reasonable fees if you don’t want to sign up for auto-shipping). With this “Connect With A Vet” service, you have unlimited access to licensed vets on-demand via live chat or a video call on your smartphone or desktop if you’re a member. It’s available every day of the week from 6am to midnight EST in all states except Alaska, Hawaii, and Idaho.

This is an excellent perk if you want to sign up for auto-shipping for your pet’s food, treats, kitty litter, or anything else on Chewy’s site. There’s no extra fee to sign up for auto-shipping, and you get discounts on products. For those who aren’t auto-ship customers, Chewy has low telehealth fees of $14.99 for a live chat session and $19.99 for a video consult.

On-demand access to licensed veterinariansNot available 24/7
Entirely free unlimited access for autoship customers Can’t write prescriptions (but they can fill ones from your personal vet)
Affordable one-time consult fees for non-autoshippers
Live chat or video availability
User-friendly apps for Android and iOS or desktop

What About AskVet, BondVet, Fuzzy, JustAnswer, OneVet, Reggie & Banfield?

Those are the standout online vet companies, but there a few others worth mentioning as well.

AskVet Review

AskVet logo

Visit Website

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, which you can use once per year. AskVet adds $45 per month to your fund until it reaches $1,000, so it’s not as lucrative as Pawp, Airvet, or OneVet‘s emergency funds.

24/7 access to licensed veterinariansNo one-time consults available (monthly subscription only)
Up to a $1,000 Rainy Day FundCan’t get a prescription
User friendly apps for Android and iOSNo video consults
Includes a smart ID tag for your pet’s collar
Gives you a personalized lifestyle plan for your pup

BondVet Review

BondVet logo

Visit Website

Bond Vet is a 2019 quickly growing startup company with several vet clinics in New York that provide in-person wellness and urgent care and live telehealth video calls with their licensed veterinarians. To request a video chat, you simply join their queue, and the next available vet will connect with you. However, they’re only available from 12 pm to 8 pm EST (seven days a week). A video call is pricey at $79 for a 20-minute session.

Still, if you think your pup may need a prescription, Bond Vet could be a good alternative to Vetster. Currently, their telehealth vets can prescribe and ship medication to residents of New York and Virginia. But starting in Fall 2022, they’re expanding this offering to Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Oklahoma, Michigan, Idaho, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. residents.

On-demand single video consults with licensed vetsLimited hours
No subscription or appointment requiredExpensive compared to many other services
Can prescribe and ship medication to NY and VA residents (more states coming soon)
See each vet’s credentials on website

Full Bond Vet Review

Fuzzy Review

Fuzzy Pet Health logo

Visit Website

Fuzzy 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 $79 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. But you can try out Fuzzy with their 7-day free trial.

24/7 access to licensed veterinariansNo one-time consults available (membership subscription only)
Video chat available Can’t get a prescription
User friendly apps for Android and iOSToo much emphasis on selling you products
Subscriptions include a personalized wellness 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.

JustAnswer Review

Visit Website

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 $5 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 veterinariansMust cancel the 7-day trial, or you’ll get charged a monthly fee
User-friendly mobile apps for Android and iOS (for members only)No video chat available
Generally good user reviews for quality of advice and helpful expertsCan’t get a prescription
You can browse previously asked questions and answers for free

Full JustAnswer Review

OneVet Review

OneVet logo

Visit Website

OneVet is a more affordable option than Pawp or AirVet if an emergency fund is high on your checklist for a veterinary telehealth subscription service. With OneVet, 24/7 unlimited access to licensed vets and a $3,000 emergency fund is $19 per month (Pawp is $24, and AirVet is $30). The fund’s terms are similar to others — 1) there’s a 14-day waiting period once you join OneVet, 2) you must consult one of their vets to activate the fund, 3) get emergency clinic care within four hours, and 4) you can only use the fund once per year.

Unfortunately, there’s very little customer feedback online about OneVet, so we can’t get a good picture of the quality and speed of their services or how well-established the company is.

24/7 on-demand access to licensed veterinariansNo one-time consults available (monthly subscription only)
Video and live chat availableCan’t get a prescription
Includes $3,000 emergency fundVery few customer reviews online
Vet chat covers up to 6 pets dogs and cats
Can cancel subscription anytime
Apps for Android and iOS

Reggie Review

Reggie logo

Visit Website

Reggie is a relatively new company that specializes in all-natural dog supplements but also offers a vet telehealth subscription. For $19 per month, you can message a vet 24/7 or schedule a video chat at any time. Their website says they can provide “prescription-based treatments” delivered to your door, but there’s no detailed information about how that works.

As with OneVet, we found scant customer feedback about their telehealth services. But we did find many glowing reviews for their dog supplements, so you may want to check those out.

24/7 on-demand access to licensed veterinariansNo one-time consults available (monthly subscription only)
Video and live chat availableNo mobile apps
May be able to get a prescription where legalVery few customer reviews online for telehealth service
Can cancel subscription anytime
Free skin & coat health supplement when you join

Vet Chat From Banfield Review

Vet Chat™ From Banfield logo

Visit Website

If you’re already a member of Banfield Pet Hospitals’ Optimal 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 $30 for dogs and $25 for cats. But keep in mind that monthly payments vary depending on breed, age, location, and other factors.

24/7 access to licensed veterinariansMust have a Banfield wellness plan to use Vet Chat™
Mobile apps for Android and iOSNo video chat available

Banfield Wellness Plan Review

When Pet Insurance Can Help

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.

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

Notify of
Oldest Most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Scroll to Top