Best Online Veterinarians: Get A Personal Consultation At Home

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Airvet logo
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JustAnswer logo
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PetCoach logo

If you’re looking for expert veterinarian advice without having to spend the time and money visiting your vet’s office — and especially if you’re self-isolating during the COVID-19 crisis — what are your options? Fortunately, there are several reliable and surprisingly affordable services online that 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.

Article Overview

Best Websites For Veterinarian Advice

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 prescribe medications for your pet. Only your veterinarian can legally prescribe medications in the U.S.

Airvet Review

#1

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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 selected as the preferred telemedicine partner for Veterinary Study Groups, a provider of management support 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.

Pros

Cons

  • 24/7 access to licensed veterinarians with little to no wait time
  • Video chat available
  • #1 preferred telemedicine provider for veterinary practices
  • User-friendly Android and iOS apps
  • No desktop chat available (but they say it’s coming soon)
  • A bit pricier than some competitors

See How Airvet Works

JustAnswer Review: Ask A Vet

#2

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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. 

Pros

Cons

  • 24/7 access to licensed veterinarians
  • User-friendly mobile apps for Android and iPhone (for members only)
  • Generally good user reviews for quality of advice and helpful experts
  • You can browse previously asked questions and answers for free
  • Must cancel the 7-day trial, or you’ll get charged a monthly fee
  • No video chat available

JustAnswer screenshot of homepage

Read Our Full JustAnswer Review

PetCoach Review

#3

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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.

Pros

Cons

  • Affordable in-depth consultation
  • User-friendly mobile apps for Android and iPhone
  • Most users say responses are very helpful and reliable
  • You can browse previously asked questions and answers for free
  • Excellent website knowledge base
  • No on-demand, immediate access to vets
  • No video chat available

PetCoach screenshot of homepage

What Are My Other Online Vet Options?

AskVet | Fuzzy Pet Health | Vet Chat™ From Banfield | VetLIVE | Vetster | WhiskerDocs

AskVet Review

AskVet logo

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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 live chat with their experts for $19.99 per session or $29.99 for three months of unlimited live chat sessions. And there are no time limits for a session.

Pros

Cons

  • 24/7 access to licensed veterinarians
  • Very competitive pricing for in-depth consultations via live chat
  • No mobile apps (but they say they’re coming soon)
  • No video chat available
  • No articles or other resources on website

Fuzzy Pet Health Review

Fuzzy Pet Health logo

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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 $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year. And their mobile app (Android | iOS) 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.

Pros

Cons

  • 24/7 access to licensed veterinarians
  • Video chat available (via mobile app)
  • Subscriptions include a personalized pet plan, in-app health tracking, and discounts on health products
  • No one-time consults available (monthly subscription only)
  • Mobile app performance gets mixed user reviews

Vet Chat™ From Banfield Review

Vet Chat™ From Banfield logo

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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, your location, and other factors.

Pros

Cons

  • 24/7 access to licensed veterinarians
  • Mobile apps for Android and iPhone
  • Must have a Banfield wellness plan to use Vet Chat™
  • No video chat available
  • Several user complaints that the apps are glitchy

Read Our Banfield Wellness Plan Review

VetLIVE Review

VetLIVE logo

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VetLIVE is one of the top online vet consultation sites and gives you on-demand access to licensed veterinarians around the clock. The site’s owners, long-time veterinarians themselves, personally vet and monitor all of their experts. Depending on the time of day and the urgency of your request, you’ll incur a one-time consultation charge of $16.95 to $49.95.

VetLIVE also offers a nutritional consult for $29.95 and a second opinion consult for $34.95. All you have to do is upload your pet’s medical records for them to give a second opinion on his condition.

Pros

Cons

  • 24/7 access to licensed veterinarians
  • Live chat available
  • Second opinion and nutritional consults available
  • Contributes to pet-related charities
  • Can be expensive
  • No video chat available
  • No mobile apps

Vetster Review

Vetster Health logo

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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.

Pros

Cons

  • 24/7 on-demand access to licensed veterinarians
  • Chat, text, and video sessions available
  • You can choose from their available vets
  • Website has detailed profiles for each vet
  • Expensive compared to other services we review
  • No mobile apps
Our readers can get 10% off their first Vetster appointment with the coupon code IMPACT15. Use this link to take advantage of this offer.

WhiskerDocs Review

WhiskerDocs logo

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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 that gives 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.

Pros

Cons

  • 24/7 on-demand access to licensed veterinarians
  • Phone and live chat available
  • Competitively priced monthly subscription
  • User-friendly mobile app for iPhone and iPad
  • Single phone and live chat sessions are on the pricey compared to other services
  • No video chat available
  • No Android app

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.

Why are you considering using an online vet service? What’s most important to you?


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