AskVet Online Veterinarian Service Review 2023: Our Expert’s Opinion
By Ingrid Yeh
We give AskVet a rating of 5 out of 5 stars.
What Is AskVet? How Does It Work?
AskVet is an online subscription that gives you access to pet experts virtually that can help you care for your pets and feel prepared in every stage of their life. Having access to pet experts including pet lifestyle coaches via Zoom video, and live chats with Veterinarians from the comfort of your own home, or anywhere you have access to the internet and the app is an invaluable tool at your fingertips. AskVet gives you peace of mind when caring for your beloved pet or pets by giving access to expert opinions and advice if you ever need it.
The most desirable tools include a “lifestyle plan” specific to your pet’s needs, 24/7 access to a vet who can answer questions about pet care, and other burning questions that you may be anxious about regarding your furry (or not-so-furry) best friend. AskVet also allows multiple pets to be added to the account, so whether you have one or many, you can access care for any and all of your pets through the same account.
Aside from the two main features, some other great benefits are the AskVet Clubhouse, a free One Pet ID, and an online library with short reads regarding some common pet parent concerns.
With a simple and easy-to-use design, and a few standout features, AskVet offers a premium service with no frills at a competitive price. Although AskVet is not a replacement for routine in-person vet visits, it is an extremely helpful resource that any pet parent can appreciate and use to make sure their pet is receiving the best care and you are helping them maintain a healthy lifestyle.
AskVet – A Quick Look
- Mobile app with a simple design that is easy to use
- 24/7 Vet Chat whenever needed
- Affordable Monthly Pricing
- Free One Pet ID in case your pet gets lost
- Personalized Pet Lifestyle Plan
- Multiple Pets can be added to the same plan
- Slight lag on the app
- No rainy day/emergency fund
- Inability to return to chat with the same veterinarian
A huge draw to AskVet is the extremely reasonable price of $29.99 a month ($9.99 for a limited time). Having 24-hour access to a virtual vet every day of the year is an invaluable resource. As long as you have internet and access to the app, you are good to go, whether you are at home, or thousands of miles away. With a single wellness checkup costing more than an entire month of access, it is worth it to have the peace of mind knowing that you can message a certified Vet with concerns or questions at all hours if ever needed.
Whether you have one pet or many, the price remains the same since you can add multiple pets to your account, each with their own profile.
What to Expect From AskVet
Signing up for an account with AskVet is extremely simple. Once I downloaded the AskVet app on my phone, I signed up with my email, phone number, password, and mailing address. I uploaded a picture of my cat Ollie and added some details about her including her age, breed, and sex. From there, I was able to explore the app and see the different resources I could use.
I started by setting up a Pet Lifestyle Plan. I set up an appointment through the app via Calendly which gave me many time options to set up a 30-minute 1-on-1 zoom video with a pet lifestyle coach the following day. I scheduled a call during my lunch break the following day and from there, it has been painless to utilize the app and the expert access.
Due to the simple and user-friendly app design, I have noticed only a slight lag at times when moving from one service to another. There is a cute loading sign that goes in a circle while you wait, and it isn’t for long. This definitely beats waiting in a waiting room just to be seen even if your questions or concerns end up being minor or a false alarm.
- App available on iOS 13.2 or newer, macOS 11.0 or newer, or Android 5.0 or newer
- $29.99 monthly subscription ($9.99 limited Time Pricing)
- Unlimited number of pets allowed in one plan
- Pets covered: Bird, cat, cattle, chinchilla, dog, ferret, fish, gerbil, goat, guinea pig, hamster, horse, lizard, mouse, pig, rabbit, rat, sheep, snake, sugar glider, tortoise, turtles
- 360° Pet Lifestyle Plan
- One pet ID
- 24/7 Vet Chat
- Pet Parent Community group
24/7 Vet Chat
AskVet is aptly named since the 24/7 Vet Chat is the app’s best feature. When you are having concerns about the well-being of your pet, one of the worst things is having to wait days or even weeks for your vet’s next available appointment. Even for emergency appointments, you have to wait to go in during business hours and potentially wait to even talk to someone about what may be going on with your pet.
With AskVet’s 24/7 Vet Chat, you have access to a vet to answer questions and assess the needs of your pet if they are feeling under the weather or something else comes up that causes concern. Having the chance to message with a vet before you can take them to an in-person vet can give you reassurance that what they are going through can wait to be seen in the morning, or if their symptoms require immediate in-person medical attention with no time to waste.
Whatever the case, an expert is just a message away to give you guidance on what route to take. This feature can give access to relief for your pet sooner, relief from anxiety for you—their pet parent, and can help prevent a potentially unnecessary and expensive in-person emergency vet visit if it is not needed.
Pet Lifestyle Plan
Another top feature of AskVet is the Pet Lifestyle Plan. As I mentioned above, setting up an appointment is a breeze. Clicking the “Request a Pet Lifestyle Plan” button redirects you to Calendly where you can choose the best time to set up a Zoom call with a Pet Lifestyle Expert Monday through Friday. Since the Zoom call is only 30 minutes, it is helpful for those with busy schedules. You can do the call from the comfort of your home, your office during your lunch break, or even before you head out to start your day. Not having to go in person or take time off work makes this feature extremely convenient.
The service itself is fantastic because even if you have read all the books, and consulted all the online articles and videos about caring for your four-legged friend, you have a chance to speak to a professional certified in behavior, training, nutrition, and wellness. These experts design a personalized plan for your special and unique furry bestie as they learn more about your pet from you in the meeting. Learning new information or getting reassurance that you are taking the right measures to ensure your pet is receiving all of the best care, nutrition, etc. is a great start for new pet parents. Pet Lifestyle Plans are not limited to a one-time Zoom and can be requested even after your initial Zoom. For veteran pet parents, it is still a great tool as their beloved pet transitions into different stages of life, develops new issues or behaviors, and will require different care.
One Pet ID
The One Pet ID which is mailed to you is a free product from AskVet that can come in handy! Unfortunately, 1 in 3 pets will go missing in their lifetime which can be extremely scary for both pets and pet parents. In the unfortunate case where your pet may slip out, having the One Pet ID attached to their collar increases the chance of reuniting the two of you sooner if someone finds your pet. The One Pet ID is a scannable pet tag with a QR code scannable by any smartphone. It will link back to your city, state, and zip code, and provide your pet’s picture, description, and any notes you share, such as “responds to treats” or “nervous around other pets” that would help the person who found your pet, keep them calm until you can be reunited.
It will trigger a “pet found” alert on your phone and the pet finder’s information will be shared with you so you can get in touch with them. The Pet ID service is free for the life of your pet and would remove the need to take the already scared pet to another unfamiliar location that can read a microchip. This makes the process of reuniting your pet with you if they were to get lost much easier for all involved.
Some Room for Improvement
One thing I felt the app lacked was the option to message the same provider after a chat finished. Sometimes you remember a question after the fact and needing to recount and retell the conversation you had with a previous vet can feel excessive. Even if it was not a 24/7 feature(understandably) to message a previous provider who helped with a specific issue, it could be a great feature to continue an old chat and either give the transcript to the new vet answering chat requests or have the option to message the previous provider with the understanding that it would not be an instant response or even within days.
A couple of times in the AskVet Chat, I have noticed that it disconnects, but as long as you stay on the chat page, it will reconnect you shortly without losing the conversation that has taken place so far. Whether this is due to a faulty connection on the user’s end or a small hiccup in the app, it is barely an issue.
Aside from the primary services, AskVet has a pet parent community on Facebook called the AskVet Clubhouse. Just like any Facebook group, there is usually something that bonds members, and in this group, it is our love for our pets. Being a part of this group isn’t the biggest draw of the subscription, but is a nice addition that helps you feel in community with 3,000+ (at the time of this review) other like-minded animal lovers sharing cute pictures, stories, anecdotes, advice, and solutions towards non-emergency questions, that may not require a professional opinion.
Another feature that I appreciate is the saved AskVet chats. All previous chats will go into an inbox in your account if you ever want or need to review what was discussed on the app. A transcript is also sent to your email which can come in handy if you are on another device, or even if you don’t want to open your AskVet app, you can look back at what was discussed as well as the name of the expert that helped you. I am not sure if it is standard, but after my Pet Lifestyle Plan Zoom Call, the expert I spoke with, followed up with an email which I felt was a nice touch and helpful since even though I was taking notes during the discussion, I missed some areas that we covered.
Is AskVet a Good Value?
A resounding yes! AskVet is a great value for the 24/7 Vet chat alone. The other incredible features that can be utilized to help pet parents give their pets the best care backed by expert advice are extremely useful. AskVet takes the guesswork out of the day-to-day care, as well as specific or unique moments and events where making the right decision for the well-being of your pet is not as intuitive.
Even with the additional features that may still need improvement or clarity, the top features and the competitive monthly pricing is more than worth it.
What is the goal of AskVet?
AskVet is a modern approach to pet health. By offering a digital resource and expert support at your fingertips, AskVet is a great tool to help you confidently care for your pet between wellness visits and other necessary in-person trips to the vet. AskVet understands that pets and pet parents have unique needs and concerns which is why they focus on creating a customized experience and support as you navigate pet parenthood for your special pet(s).
Can you access AskVet on multiple devices?
Yes! AskVet is accessible through multiple devices. If you are co-parenting, your partner, roommate, etc. can access AskVet through the same account simultaneously. Through the same account, you will have access to all of AskVet’s features.
How much does the One Pet ID cost and what if I have more than one animal?
One Pet IDs are completely free! With your membership, you will receive a One Pet ID for your initially registered pet. For additional pets, you can order IDs by completing this form.
Our Experience With AskVet
I have on many occasions felt overwhelmed by trying to give my adopted older cat the best care. I adopted Ollie at 7 years old, and her life before me was quite traumatic from the little information that I know about her past. She is declawed (from a previous owner), overweight, and understandably slow to trust others. Not knowing if I am providing the best care, giving her the best nutrition for her age, or allowing her the space and proper amount of attention that she requires has weighed heavy on me for the past few years. Having an expert opinion at my fingertips is something I didn’t know was possible until I learned about AskVet.
AskVet has been an invaluable resource for me and Ollie within just the past two months. From my first 1-on-1 Pet Lifestyle Plan, I felt significantly more empowered that I was and am giving Ollie great care. I came to the Zoom call with a list of questions. My Pet Lifestyle expert, Cassie, was incredible. I came in feeling embarrassed with questions that may seem obvious or seem like no-brainers for other pet parents. Cassie had a non-judgemental approach and made me feel comfortable and at ease when discussing Ollie’s health and needs. In 30 minutes, we discussed subjects like diet, grooming, separation anxiety, certain behaviors, and boundaries catered to Ollie’s specific needs since she has more trust issues due to her history.
In the few years I have been with Ollie, I have not had a chance to speak to a vet about these specific concerns, which may not seem urgent, but are still important for Ollie’s overall health and well-being. Cassie cleared up some mixed information I was given or read about and explained why a certain diet was appropriate for Ollie at this stage of her life.
Within the 30-minute call, I felt more confident in what I was already doing for Ollie’s care, and was excited to implement some of the expert advice that Cassie gave me that I wasn’t aware of or wasn’t sure was the right thing to do.
Although the Zoom call was great and I retained some of the information just from memory and writing important points down, I asked if Cassie would send me some notes on what we discussed so that I could reference it if ever needed. She sent a typed-up pdf on our discussion with some additional resources if I wanted to read up more on certain areas we covered which were highly appreciated!
The 24/7 Vet Chat has come in extremely handy within these past two months as well. Although I felt prepared with a list of questions for the Pet Lifestyle Plan, I remembered more questions later, and had some new questions that were situational. Through the Vet Chat, I was able to ask some questions as they came up instead of doom-scrolling conflicting advice given on different websites and blogs. Before utilizing the 24/7 Vet Chat, my go-to “research” would lead me to feel more confused or with more concerns and questions.
Within the past couple of months, I got extremely ill and had to find and move to a new home simultaneously. My first question to AskVet 24/7 Vet Chat was regarding whether or not I could pass whatever awful sickness I had to Ollie. I was reassured that what I had was not easily transmissible to dogs or cats. After a few back-and-forth questions about what I was personally dealing with, an expert was able to reassure me and gave me some tips on how to decrease the chances of getting Ollie sick even more, if I still felt worried.
During the busy month of looking for a new home and moving, it just happened to be the same time Ollie was due for her wellness exam and booster vaccines. With no time to set up an appointment for her, Ollie’s vet sent me messages saying she was past due and it worried me that I was delaying an urgent matter. At the same time, I was concerned about her adjusting to our new home before taking her to yet another place that stresses her out so much. Speaking to a vet through the 24/7 chat helped reassure me that letting Ollie adjust to our new home first would not result in dire consequences for being a bit past due on her vaccine and wellness check up.
Moving with pets comes with challenges from the physical act itself among others that come up. A few times I utilized the 24/7 chat regarding Ollie’s adjustment to the huge change. She developed some new behaviors including meowing and yowling at the neighbors and their furry family members. This never happened with her before due to the layout of our old home. The veterinarian I messaged gave me some tips to help her adjust to the new environment and frightening new strangers. We are still dealing with the changes and I feel good about using the advice to see how she adjusts with these potential solutions.
Although these are the most notable 24/7 Vet Chat exchanges I have had so far, I have used the service even more times and feel this service is invaluable. In the instances I mentioned above, scheduling an in-person visit would have been costly, could have taken days, or even weeks for availability, and didn’t require a physical visit to be resolved. Getting expert advice from the veterinarians through the 24/7 Vet Chat was timely, convenient, and eased a lot of anxiety I had been feeling regarding Ollie’s well-being during this transitional and stressful time. Plus, it did not add any additional fees since this service is included in the competitive monthly price paid at the beginning of the month.
There have been times that I felt in-person clinics for pets and even humans have recommended services or products that were not needed because it would make the appointment costs go up. Whether that was true or not, there is no worry or concern when speaking to the thoughtful veterinarians through AskVet. Since they are not connected to and do not benefit monetarily from recommending products or services or recommending an in-person visit with your pet’s veterinarian, pet parents including me can feel at ease that the motivation behind any recommendations is to give the best care to your beloved pet.
Luckily, I have not needed the AskVet service for any serious physical ailments or issues with Ollie and the concerns and questions I asked were all addressed and resolved within the app at no extra cost.
AskVet 24/7 Vet Chat can prevent you from taking your pet in unnecessarily to an in-person visit, or help you decide to go in if ever an unfortunate event or emergency happens and you are unsure of what course to take. They can go through the symptoms your pet may be going through and assess if it’s best to seek immediate medical help or if it is something that can wait until the opening hours of a vet clinic nearby. AskVet Veterinarians can give you their expert opinion when you need it most, which is oftentimes when non-emergency clinics are also closed.
Being a pet parent is such an incredible honor. Giving Ollie the best life possible is the hope that I am sure pet parents have in common with their own pets. Whether you are a cat daddy, dog mama, or an owner/parent of another beloved animal. Making sure your pet is receiving the best care requires more than a yearly wellness checkup at the vet’s office. AskVet is a resource that helps you give quality care whenever you have a question or concern, whether it feels small or overwhelmingly urgent.
Being proactive about your pet’s health and wellness is vital and through the different services AskVet provides, you can rest assured that you have the guidance of pet experts should you need their opinion for non-emergency and emergency concerns. Not being able to speak the same language and communicate with our pets can make it difficult to assess their needs. Although we may be able to figure out when they are hungry, need to use the restroom, or need some cuddles, knowing what they need when they are acting differently, or when an emergency pops up with them can be a scary situation to be in for a multitude of reasons.
Emergencies often happen at inopportune times and outside of business hours. In its current form, having 24/7 virtual vet expertise in your pocket is a resource I will happily pay for each month for peace of mind. The experts I have worked with just in these past couple of months have been knowledgeable, patient, kind, thorough, and extremely helpful whether my questions or concerns seem big or small. From the quality care, the responsiveness of the experts, and the additional resources the AskVet platform provides at an extremely reasonable price, I can confidently recommend their membership subscription to any pet parents looking for additional expert guidance all in the convenience of a well-designed and user-friendly app.