11 Times to Try Veterinary Telehealth

Veterinary telehealth is a way for pet parents to access medical care for dogs and cats without having to visit a clinic. While you will still have to take your fur baby to the clinic for some things, here are 11 instances when telehealth can replace an in-person visit. 

Veterinary telehealth enables veterinarians and clients to connect using phones, video chat, and email. Tele-triage is for people who need basic information or guidance but don’t have a previous relationship with the veterinarian. Telemedicine offers more services because it’s for clients who have an established relationship with the veterinarian. While a dog or cat must visit the vet for annual check-ups and in emergencies, here are 11 times you and your fur baby might benefit from telehealth appointments.

1. When the Vet Makes Your Dog or Cat Anxious

Lots of dogs and cats experience stress going to the vet because of past trauma, the sights and smells of other dogs, the carrier, the car ride, and other reasons. Stress can also make it more difficult for a vet to assess and diagnose issues. Telehealth can be a lifesaver for anxious or reactive animals in many cases.

2. Consultations and Information

Veterinary telehealth is perfect for when you need information and advice about things like:

  • Nutrition and diet
  • Weight management
  • Behavior issues
  • Basic care
  • Vaccinations
  • Training
  • Socialization
  • Grooming
  • Oral health

3. Diagnostics

Telemedicine appointments can sometimes work when you need a diagnosis, typically for a common, mild issue. This can include skin problems, coughing, sneezing, or diarrhea. In these cases, the vet may direct you to examine certain things or get closeup images.

4. Treatment Recommendations

When your dog or cat has a diagnosed condition, you can use telemedicine appointments to discuss treatment options and plans.

5. Follow-Up Appointments

Similarly, follow-up appointments after procedures, surgeries, shots, and the like can be done via telehealth.

6. Managing Medications

If your dog or cat already has a prescription, then a telehealth visit can help with administering the medication, dosage, and other issues. Depending on the circumstances, you may even be able to get a prescription through a telemedicine appointment.

7. Triage

While telehealth isn’t for an emergency, it can be helpful to pet parents who are trying to determine if something is an emergency that requires immediate in-person attention.

8. Getting a Second or Specialist Opinion

Once your animal has had an examination and diagnosis for a condition, veterinary telehealth visits can connect you with specialists and other practitioners who might provide new insights.

9. Monitoring Chronic Diseases

Chronic diseases typically require frequent check-ins, and telehealth can make it quicker and easier for your vet to keep an eye on your animal’s treatment and progress.

10. Weighing End-of-Life Options

An end-of-life discussion is the hardest one any pet parent will ever have, but telehealth can make it less stressful. When it’s time to talk about this, your vet can help you perform a quality-of-life assessment, give you information about hospice care, and walk you through end-of-life options.

11. When You Can’t Get to the Clinic

There are many reasons a pet parent might not be able to visit a veterinary clinic in person. Telehealth is an excellent solution to mobility issues, lack of transportation, inclement weather, health concerns, and more.


It’s important to note that while veterinary telehealth can be a valuable tool, there are limitations. Not all issues can be addressed remotely. There may be situations where an in-person examination is necessary, such as for annual check-ups and diagnostic tests.



Animal Wellness

Animal Wellness is North America\’s top natural health and lifestyle magazine for dogs and cats, with a readership of over one million every year. AW features articles by some of the most renowned experts in the pet industry, with topics ranging from diet and health related issues, to articles on training, fitness and emotional well being.

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