Five or ten years ago the idea of shopping for a vet online would have seemed crazy. Medicine, for humans and for our furry children has always seemed very personal, and something that should be done face to face.
If there is one that the world learned by surviving a global pandemic in the internet era, it is that pretty much anything can be done online if you try hard enough. Companies like Zoom have made meetings and even school functional from the comfort of your couch while you wear your stretchy pants. A lot of people have no desire to ever go back to the way things once were when we couldn’t go several days in a row without putting on shows.
As face-to-face contacts have diminished from where they once were, the opportunities to ask traditional small talk questions have diminished. In the past, if you were new to an area or had not had a pet before, you would just mention it to someone at work or the gym, and they would make a recommendation.
That practice is a little more awkward than it once was, since asking your buddy now requires you to either call or text them for the explicit purpose of asking about their vet, or trying to think of some small talk to call for so you can work the question in.
The Answers Are Out There
Thankfully, there are ways to find out about veterinarians in your area. The best place to start is a quick google search. Typically, popular practices will have plenty of Google reviews that can provide an accurate assessment of the local practices’ service level, the standard of care, and costs.
You can also take to social media to make your query. There are typically community pages in towns and cities of every size, where residents are able to ask questions and give feedback on every type of service provider you could imagine.
After you have decided on your best candidate based on your online research, you should complete an office visit. Rather than calling to schedule your appointment, show up to the office randomly on a business day.
When you walk in, see what the lines look like. Observe the behavior of the desk staff. Look for cleanliness. Approach to ask about scheduling an appointment, and see how you feel about the interaction.
When you meet with the vet, discuss their treatment philosophy. You should be in agreement on major ideals, and you should feel comfortable with your vet. Your pet should as well.
While you will always need a local veterinarian for vaccinations and prescriptions, there is a more convenient and less expensive option for basic vet services. If your pet develops a rash or encounters something they shouldn’t have eaten, you might just need an expert consultation.
In these situations, an online vet might be your perfect choice. In the same way, you can use Teledoc to check your symptoms and provide expert advice for you, Online vets can answer your questions about your pet’s symptoms.
Online vets are available 24/7, so when your cat wakes you up vomiting on your bed, or your dog breaks out into a rash on a Sunday morning, an online vet can answer your questions and tell you if there is a simple treatment you can do, or if you need to seek an emergency vet.
To summarize, you can use online resources to research your in-person vet, to help you find the perfect person. You can also use the internet to find an online vet that will let you treat your pets without having to go to the vet’s office at all.