Once you create a pet profile, you can save health records and prescriptions. In the To-Do tab, you can create reminders for giving your pet medication, restocking food and supplies, and scheduling checkups. You can also request birthday notifications. While you will need to have an in-network vet to make virtual appointments, anyone can use the service as a free medical dashboard for their pet’s records.
Photograph: Chaay_Tee/Ask Vet
AskVet follows a similar formula. I connected in less than a minute to a vet tech, who then asked me a follow-up question and routed me to a veterinarian. The whole process took less than two minutes. That holds up with the company’s claim that the average time to be assisted is one minute. The app has been updated since the first time I used it, and it includes connecting with pet parents (like Buddies) and other informational articles. There are also now options for training, along with behavior and wellness coaching.
Chat sessions can go as long as you need. The longest, according to Laura Berg, vice president of business development at AskVet, was four hours, when a pet had to go to the emergency room. The vet found a nearby emergency room, called and prepped them for the patient, and then switched from chat to phone call with the owner to stay with them while they drove to the ER and waited. Once your chat is over, you’ll get a transcript of the conversation emailed to you. You can also refer back to it on the site’s history tab.
Another perk? You can access an emergency fund of up to $1,000. Your fund grows by $45 a month until it reaches the $1,000 cap. It’s not as convenient as Pawp or Airvet, which give you a $3,000 fund after 14 days.
If you still haven’t found something you like, try one of these services.
Whisker Docs is pricey at $40 for an instant call or chat, but you can opt to pay $17 a month or $130 a year for unlimited support. If your question isn’t pressing, an email costs $5.Fuzzy costs $25 a month for a subscription. The service has 24/7 chat support that’s quick and helpful, but I didn’t like how product-heavy it is—it recommends products via a pet health quiz without having you actually speak to a vet. If you use Fuzzy, take its product recommendations to your in-person vet to make sure they’re suitable for your pet. This goes for any vet telemedicine service.