Seems like online vet care is being more and more popular, especially given the experiences we had with COVID.
Vetster is a virtual vet care platform and we are going to dive in and show you what it offers.
This is not a Vetster review, but an overview of what it is and how it works.
Vetster as an online veterinarian service that offers consultation services via phone, video or text message.
Founded in November 2020, they wanted to create a space where pet parents could care for their pets from the comfort of their home.
While it is not meant to replace the need for in-person vet visits, it is meant to be an option where you can still work with a local vet without a visit.
Vetster works with thousands of veterinarians and veterinary technicians across North America that provide virtual appointments 24/7.
While it is not free, it might be a more affordable vet option than an in-person visit.
If you are unsure how sick your pet might be, it may make sense to start with a Vetster consultation.
If it turns out your pet is more sick than you had hoped, take a peak at our article on financial options to afford a vet.
What Does Vetster Offer?
Peace of mind! Seriously, Vetsters tele-health service can offer pet parents comfort in knowing there is always someone there to answer pet health questions.
You can find a veterinarian that is local to you and see reviews from others that have used them.
You will also be able to see their availability, areas of health they specialize in and the the types of pets they treat.
Currently they offer veterinarians that speak in English, French and Spanish.
They also offer what they call Vetster Rx, an online pharmacy where you can get your pet prescriptions delivered right to your door.
Basically, Vetster is a full-service online veterinarian.
How Qualified Are The Veterinarians
Every veterinarian that is registered with Vetster is vetted by the Vetster team.
They will confirm that their license is valid and in which states they are able to work.
How Does Vetster Work?
Vetster offers free accounts and is easy to set up.
To get started you need to enter a few details about yourself, like email and where you live.
From there you can go onto entering your pet descriptions and credit card information.
Basically each pet needs their own profile and medical history to store records or set up appointments.
When you need to set up an appointment, you can set it up right on the website with one click.
If something changes after you set up the appointment, booking adjustments and cancellations are always free.
All you need is a computer or phone to complete the appointment.
You have the option of doing a video call or using a phone number to express your concerns.
Booking An Appointment With Vetster
It all starts at the Book A Vet page.
Once you are on the page you can enter your location which will then find the veterinarians and techs that are local to your.
From there you can choose the date, time range, species, areas of interest and language to further refine your search.
When I entered an area local to me I got the following results.
I did not get any vet tech results for my search, only veterinarians.
From here you can select your preferred veterinarian based on price and reviews.
If you would like to do a but more due diligence on the veterinarian just click on the name of the person you are considering and you will receive a lot more information about them.
Their profile page offers a brief intro that the vet actually writes which can give you a feel for their personality.
You can also see where they hold licenses, whether they can disperse prescriptions or not and see the areas of medicine they are most focused on.
This is a great way to ensure you are getting a veterinarian that most meets your needs.
On the right you can see a calendar and pricing, making it easy to find a time and vet you can afford.
At the bottom of the page you will see the reviews left by other Vetster users.
Signing Up For Vetster
Once you select your vet you will be asked to create a “pet parent” account.
You can just connect your Facebook page or Google account to sign in or you can choose to enter data into the form fields.
Once you provide your basic contact information you will then be prompted to enter some information about your pet.
Next step is to enter the issue you are experiencing with your pet and your address.
Then you make your payment and you are now set with your appointment.
You can easily see the pricing for each Vetster vet or technician on their profile.
Vet techs are typically $30 and up while veterinarians are typically $50 and up.
You will also be charged a 20% booking fee when you book an appointment.
While the person you speak to gets the fee, Vetster uses the 20% to ensure your process is seamless and to keep the site running.
Currently it does not seem that you can use pet insurance with Vetster, but they are working to have insurance companies change that.
On the day of your appointment you should get ready about 10 minutes before your call.
You can meet with your vet or vet tech via you desktop or via a phone app.
They currently offer an app that you can download on Google Play or from the App Store.
You should be aware of the cancellation policy to ensure you do not lose money.
- If a booking is scheduled within an hour of the time you booked it and then you can cancel you will still be charged the appointment fee.
- If you book your appointment and cancel more than 24 hours before the scheduled appointment there will be no charge or fee.
Should I Choose A Veterinarian or Vet Tech?
Since you can choose to use a veterinarian tech or veterinarian, the services they provide will be different.
Vet techs are a bit less expensive but what they can offer advice about will be about less critical items.
If they find the issue to be more severe they may recommend you speak to a veterinarian.
More critical issues should be addressed by a veterinarian.
They will be allowed to assist and diagnose more serious medical conditions and prescribe prescriptions if it is necessary.
- Behavioral problems
- Quality of life
- Preventative wellness
- …and more
- Coughing or sneezing
- Hospice care
- Increased urination
- Blood in urine or stool
- Worms or flea presence
- Ear infections
- General health and wellness concerns
- Dietary concerns and nutritional advice
- Scratching or hair loss
- Ingesting of toxins or other item
- Unexplained limping or lameness
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- …and more
It is important to note if your pet is bleeding, crying, vomiting excessively or seems like they are in severe pain nothing can replace an in-person visit.
Using Vetster Rx
If your vet recommends a prescription, it will be uploaded to your pets profile and available in a PDF form.
You do not have to fill the prescription if you are not comfortable and have the option of using your own pharmacy or utilizing one provided by Vetster.
Vetster does not prescribe narcotics or controlled substance prescriptions to be written.
Vetster is a great option for basic health needs, but it is not a replacement for emergency care or more serious health conditions.
The website is super easy to use and very intuitive.
The pricing is a bit higher than some of the other online vet options out there, but may be worth it for the ease of use and minimization of stress on your pet.
As with all the services and products I profile, I try to include links to help you be a more informed user! What I was able to dig up is below.
Have you tried Vetster? Please share your experiences in the comments below.