Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

10 Best Online Veterinarian Services – 2022 Reviews & Top Picks

Jessica Kim

By Jessica Kim

A Woman having an Online Vet Consultation

The world of online services is booming, and virtual veterinary services are also growing in popularity. Online veterinary care has improved significantly over the past several years, and many companies are now available for pet owners to use.

While online veterinary services can’t fully replace in-person vet appointments, they can be extremely beneficial and even lifesaving because they provide immediate access to certified veterinarians. You can connect to a specialist more quickly for urgent matters and also save on costs by avoiding unnecessary vet visits.

It can feel overwhelming to look for a trustworthy service that also best meets your pet’s needs. So, we have reviews of some of the most popular online veterinarian services in the market. Our concise list of reviews will give you all the essential information you need so that you can have an easier time choosing the right option for your pet.

A Quick Look at Our Favorites (2022)

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Airvet Airvet
  • No time limit on calls
  • Services available for members and non-members
  • Monthly membership enables unlimited calls
  • Best Value
    Second place
    PetCoach PetCoach
  • Can expect responses within 30 minutes
  • Database of free answers to previously asked questions
  • No membership fee required
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Vetster Vetster
  • No membership fees
  • Offers two appointment types for different needs
  • Offers comprehensive and holistic care for your pets
  • Best for Kittens and Puppies
    Pawp Pawp
  • 24/7 access to unlimited consultations
  • Offers discounted medication
  • $3,000 emergency fund
  • whiskerDocs whiskerDocs
  • Offers services for members and non-members
  • Discounted annual payment play
  • Complimentary follow-up
  • The 10 Best Online Veterinarian Services

    1. Airvet – Best Overall

    Airvet

    Communication Type: Video, live chat
    24/7 Contact: Yes
    Subscription-based: Yes
    Emergency Fund: $3,000

    Airvet is the best overall online veterinarian service because of its wide range of services and ease of access. Once you download the app, you have access to veterinarians near you. One great thing about Airvet is that it offers services for both non-members and members, and calls don’t have any time limits.

    Non-members can speak with a veterinarian for a flat fee, and you can maintain contact with the same veterinarian for up to 72 hours without paying additional fees.

    Airvet offers a monthly membership, which enables unlimited veterinary calls. If your primary veterinarian is on Airvet’s veterinarian network, Airvet will prioritize connecting you to your veterinarian. You may also be able to receive prescriptions if your state laws allow it.

    This particular service doesn’t offer a discounted annual membership, so it can end up being more expensive if you don’t use it regularly. So, memberships are best if you have a pet with chronic conditions or if you live with multiple pets.

    Pros
    • No time limit on calls
    • Services available for members and non-members
    • Monthly membership enables unlimited calls
    • Can receive prescription medication in some states
    Cons
    • Doesn’t have discounted annual membership

    2. PetCoach – Best Value

    PetCoach

    Communication Type: Forum submission, live chat
    24/7 Contact: Yes
    Subscription-based: No
    Emergency Fund: No

    There are times when pet owners make unnecessary trips to the vet. PetCoach is a great solution to avoid those types of visits and help you save both time and money. This site has a queue of verified veterinarians ready to answer any questions you have regarding your pet.

    After paying a small fee, you can expect to receive a response within 30 minutes. If you’d like, you can connect with a vet via live chat for an additional fee. PetCoach also offers on-demand consultations.

    If you’re not in a rush, you can also look through PetCoach’s free library of questions that vets have already answered. So, PetCoach really is the best online veterinarian service for the money, and you can even end up getting free answers.

    However, when it comes to emergencies, PetCoach may not be able to immediately respond to your questions. It also doesn’t have an emergency fund and doesn’t offer any sort of financial aid assistance or programs for vet bills.

    Pros
    • Can expect responses within 30 minutes
    • Database of free answers to previously asked questions
    • No membership fee required
    Cons
    • No emergency fund

    3. Vetster – Premium Choice

    Vetster

    Communication Type: Video, live chat
    24/7 Contact: Yes
    Subscription-based: No
    Emergency Fund: $3,000

    Vetster may have more expensive fees than other online services, but you can expect excellent customer service and professional care. Once you sign up, you’ll have access to veterinarians near you that can help with all sorts of health concerns. You can use videos and photos to address issues such as skin rashes, upset stomachs, and minor cuts and wounds. Vetster also encourages a proactive approach to your pet’s wellness and offers customized veterinary advice for behavioral concerns, diet and exercise, and training.

    Using Vetster means that you’ll have access to 24/7 care. Vetster doesn’t have a membership program and charges per appointment. So, you don’t have to worry about making sure you’re getting your money’s worth from a membership fee.

    However, Vetster has two different types of appointments: Vetster Wellness and Vetster Medical. Vetster Wellness is for general health and wellness questions while Vetster Medical is a more thorough medical examination. You may also be able to receive a prescription through Vetster Medical.

    The fees for these appointments differ, and they can rack up because your appointment lengths have a set timeframe. So, if you think you’ll have a lot of follow-up questions, Vetster may not be the best option for you.

    Pros
    • No membership fees
    • Offers two appointment types for different needs
    • Offers comprehensive and holistic care for your pets
    • Can prescribe medication
    Cons
    • Appointments have strict time frame

    4. Pawp – Best for Kittens and Puppies

    Pawp

    Communication Type: Video, live chat
    24/7 Contact: Yes
    Subscription-based: Yes
    Emergency Fund: $3,000

    Bringing home a new kitten or puppy can feel daunting at times, and your tiny pet is bound to do something bewildering or puzzling. Pawp is a great option for new pet parents of young pets because it offers unlimited access to veterinary consultations at any time of day or night. Pawp can help you receive answers to general health, nutrition, and behavioral questions.

    While you can’t get prescriptions from a veterinarian through Pawp, Pawp does have a pharmacy. This pharmacy offers discounted prices for common medications, and most medications can be shipped within 48 hours.

    Along with prescription discounts, you’ll have access to Pawp’s emergency fund. If you end up taking your pet to emergency care, Pawp can cover up to $3,000 in medical costs per year.

    Keep in mind that Pawp operates on membership fees, and you’ll have to pay a monthly fee. However, you can cancel at any time without facing any penalties.

    Pros
    • 24/7 access to unlimited consultations
    • Offers discounted medication
    • $3,000 emergency fund
    • Free cancellation
    Cons
    • Doesn’t prescribe medication
    • No services for non-members

    5. whiskerDocs

    whiskerDocs

    Communication Type: Video, live chat, phone, email
    24/7 Contact: Yes
    Subscription-based: Yes
    Emergency Fund: No

    whiskerDocs is a flexible online service that offers assistance to both members and non-members. Members can select a monthly payment plan or a discounted annual plan. Membership benefits include unlimited access to veterinarian appointments at any time of day and you can expect a response in less than a minute for live chats, phone calls, and video calls.

    Non-members can pay a flat fee per appointment, and they can also send an email and receive a response within 2 hours. whiskerDocs also offers complimentary follow-up after 48 hours of the initial contact.

    While you can certainly use whiskerDocs’ pay-as-you-go service, the one-time appointment fees tend to be more expensive than its competitors, so prices will quickly rack up if you consistently use whiskerDocs as a non-member.

    Pros
    • Offers services for members and non-members
    • Discounted annual payment play
    • Complimentary follow-up
    Cons
    • Expensive one-time appointment fees

    6. Fuzzy Pet Health

    Fuzzy Pet Health

    Communication Type: Video, live chat
    24/7 Contact: Yes
    Subscription-based: Yes
    Emergency Fund: No

    Fuzzy Pet Health offers an individualized experience for your pets. After completing a questionnaire, Fuzzy will connect you with one of its vets and provide recommendations and next steps based on your pet’s unique needs.

    One great thing about Fuzzy is that it offers a 7-day free trial period, so you don’t have to make a commitment right away. It offers a monthly and annual payment option and has savings for annual memberships. Fuzzy’s health care offers yearly virtual physical exams, and you can refill prescriptions without additional vet visits. You’ll also have access to 24/7 care for emergencies.

    Fuzzy is really a benefit for its consumer base. So, if you’re a fan of the line of products it sells, then a Fuzzy Pet Health membership is a no-brainer. However, if you’re just looking for general telemedical services for your pets, there aren’t too many additional benefits to signing up for the membership program. Fuzzy also doesn’t offer one-time consultations.

    Pros
    • Offers very individualized care
    • Free 7-day trial period
    • Savings on annual memberships
    • Refill prescriptions without additional vet visit
    Cons
    • No services for non-members

    7. AskVet

    AskVet

    Communication Type: Video, live chat
    24/7 Contact: Yes
    Subscription-based: Yes
    Emergency Fund: $1,000

    AskVet aims to provide comprehensive health care services for all sorts of pets. It’s one of the rare online veterinarian services that can help treat animals other than cats and dogs. So, you can bring in your small mammals, fish, birds, and reptiles.

    Once you sign up, you’ll schedule an initial appointment that does a thorough assessment on your pets. This assessment will help your AskVet veterinarian get to know your pet and its needs and unique quirks. AskVet offers 24/7 support for emergencies, and it also works to build long-term relationships by caring for everyday concerns, such as diet and nutrition, behavior and emotional health, and preventative care.

    One thing to keep in mind is that AskVet doesn’t write or renew prescriptions for food and medication. So, it may not be the best option if you’re looking for advice on prescription diets and medications.

    Pros
    • Provides services for all kinds of pets
    • 24/7 access for emergencies
    • Individualized approach to pet health care
    Cons
    • Not the best option for prescription food and medication

    8. Hello Ralphie

    Hello Ralphie

    Communication Type: Video, live chat
    24/7 Contact: Yes
    Subscription-based: No
    Emergency Fund: No

    Hello Ralphie excels in getting prescriptions to pet owners and has a partnership with a vet pharmacy that makes prescription deliveries very convenient for clients. It doesn’t use a subscription-based model. Instead, you can pay for one appointment or a bundle of appointments. The appointments differ in price, and general appointments are cheaper than appointments scheduled specifically for prescription advice.

    Hello Ralphie vets are most familiar with meeting with dogs and cats, but some can also provide advice for exotic animals, pocket pets, and large animals. Another benefit of Hello Ralphie is that several different pet insurance companies will reimburse services, including Embrace Pet Insurance, Fetch, PetFirst, Pets Best, and HealthyPaws.

    The main drawback is that individual appointment prices are relatively expensive, and you can find cheaper one-time appointments from other service providers. So, if you plan to use Hello Ralphie, it’s best to use one of the bundle packages.

    Pros
    • Has appointments specifically for prescription advice
    • Can meet with exotic pets and other animals
    • Discounted appointment bundle packages
    Cons
    • Relatively expensive

    9. FirstVet

    FirstVet

    Communication Type: Video, live chat
    24/7 Contact: Yes
    Subscription-based: Yes
    Emergency Fund: No

    FirstVet offers 24/7 vet consultations and virtual visits for members. You can opt for a 6-month subscription or annual subscription, but there isn’t an option for non-members to schedule one-time appointments or consultations. If you subscribe to the annual plan, you’ll notice that its price is lower than competitors’ prices. So, you can save a lot if you decide to use FirstVet for long-term purposes.

    When it comes to medications, veterinarians located in select states can prescribe medication. FirstVet can assist with refilling medication that was already prescribed by your primary veterinarian.

    Although FirstVet uses a subscription-based model, it doesn’t provide an emergency fund. So, if you have a pet that tends to get into accidents or has a chronic condition, FirstVet may not be the best choice, especially if you don’t have pet insurance.

    Pros
    • Consultations available 24/7
    • Annual plan price is very affordable
    • Can prescribe medicine in some states
    Cons
    • No service options for non-members
    • No emergency fund

    10. Chewy Connect With a Vet

    chewy_logo_new_large

    Communication Type: Video, live chat
    24/7 Contact: No
    Subscription-based: No
    Emergency Fund: No

    If you’re a regular Chewy customer and use autoship, Chewy Connect With a Vet can be an additional service that may benefit you. Autoship members have free access to Chewy Connect With a Vet. Non-members will be charged per consultation, and the price depends on if you do a consultation over chat or video call.

    Veterinarians are currently available from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. EST, including holidays. However, if you have a late-night situation, you won’t be able to reach anyone. You can receive advice and care for a wide range of topics, including nutrition, illnesses, and behavioral advice. At the time, Chew Connect With a Vet cannot assist with prescribing or refilling medications.

    Pros
    • Free for Chewy autoship members
    • Available to non-members
    • Receive advice for wide range of topics
    Cons
    • Not available 24/7
    • No prescription or refills for medication

    Online Veterinarian Services FAQ

    If you’re new to the world of online veterinarian services, you might have some questions and concerns about the legitimacy and safety of these services. Here are some answers to questions that many concerned and responsible pet owners have about online veterinarians.

    What is the difference between telehealth and telemedicine?

    Online veterinarian services can offer different levels of services—telehealth and telemedicine. Telehealth refers to a broad and general range of non-clinical services. Examples of telehealth services would be behavioral advice, wellness planning, and emergency triage assistance.

    Telemedicine extends to clinical services, such as prescribing medication and completing a comprehensive medical exam. Before a veterinarian can offer telemedicine services, a veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) must first be established. Only some states allow a VCPR to be established virtually.

    Can online vets write prescriptions?

    The answer depends mostly on the state. Some states allow veterinarians to prescribe and refill medications for pets, but some online veterinarian services still won’t offer this service. So, if prescriptions are a priority for you, make sure to check with the service provider first.

    Can you talk to an online vet for free?

    If you’re unsure about meeting with an online vet, you might be looking for free services. At this time, there aren’t any completely free online vet appointments. However, some services, such as Pawp, offer a free trial period. Chewy Connect With a Vet is free for people who use autoship with Chewy. Sites like PetCoach have an archive of questions asked by other concerned pet owners that have been answered by certified veterinarians.

    What can you expect from an online vet visit?

    While online veterinarian services can’t completely replace traditional vet check-ups, they can still be significantly beneficial for you and your pets. A reputable service will be able to offer general health advice for all kinds of situations, such as a sudden onset of symptoms or changes in behavior. It’s also helpful if your pet accidentally eats something, and you’re not sure if it’s toxic or if you should be worried.

    Most online services will not prescribe or refill medication, and they also won’t make diagnoses. When it comes to more acute and specified situations, it’s best to take your pet to an in-person vet appointment. Vets will be able to run more tests and do a more thorough exam to make a diagnosis.

    Can you use pet insurance with online veterinarian services?

    Some online veterinarian services can be reimbursed by pet insurance. This will depend on the service as well as your pet insurance provider. So, if you already have pet insurance, check with your provider to see which online veterinarian services are approved for reimbursement.

    Conclusion

    Our reviews indicate that Airvet is the best overall online veterinarian service because it’s easily accessible for both members and non-members, and it provides an emergency fund. PetCoach is a great affordable option, and you can often find free answers to your questions.

    Online veterinarian services may not be able to replace traditional veterinarian services, but they still have their own advantages, such as 24/7 access to care. So, it’s a great way to support your pets and help them live the best and healthiest lives possible.


    Featured Image Credit: FamVeld, Shutterstock

    Related Articles

    Further Reading

    Vet Articles

    Latest Vet Answers

    The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database

    hepperorangebluebadgebuttonfeb