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Telemedicine has become increasingly popular in the human healthcare world, and with good reason. By allowing you to speak to a doctor virtually, telemedicine appointments make getting care more convenient, accessible, and affordable.
Telemedicine has the power to do the same things for veterinary care, which is what Vetster had in mind when they launched their veterinary telemedicine service.
If you’ve ever struggled to find the time—or money—to get your pet the care they need, Vetster is here for you. Not only is it easier to use Vetster’s services in the convenience of your home, but they offer same-day appointments. Plus, the average price of an appointment is less than a traditional vet checkup.
I had the chance to find out if the convenience and affordability of Vetster made them worth the limitations of virtual vet care when I booked an appointment for my kitten, Makoa. Keep reading to find out how my experience went.
Vetster was started in 2020 by Mark Bordo and Regan Johnson, two Canadian businessmen frustrated by a trend in the veterinary industry. Like many other pet parents, Bordo and Johnson were having trouble finding fast, affordable care for their pets.
They saw pet telemedicine as the obvious and necessary solution to overburdened veterinary clinics and a growing pet population.
Their brainchild, Vetster, offers all the same benefits of human telemedicine. Through the website (or phone app!) you can make appointments for your pet, speak to licensed veterinarians, and, in most states, even get prescriptions for your furry friend.
Who Is Vetster Best Suited For?
Vetster offers a variety of appointment options from checkups to health advice to illness and injury help. Of course, there are some limitations to this service.
My kitty Makoa was not interested in being on camera during the appointment. This meant the vet only got to see him for about three minutes out of the 20-minute appointment, which is quite different from what I was used to with a traditional vet.
For this reason, Vetster is best suited for non-emergency situations, including:
- Skin conditions
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Mobility problems
- Toxic ingestion (assuming you can get an appointment ASAP)
- Respiratory infections
- Urinary problems
- Eye issues
- Behavioral problems
- Vaccines and laboratory test questions
- Diet questions
Vetster Online Vet Appointments Overview
Here is an overview of Vetster and more details on what you can expect from this service.
How to Book
Booking with Vetster is impressively easy, especially when you consider how difficult it is to get into a traditional vet these days.
Visit the website or download the app, answer some questions about what kind of care your pet needs. Start by entering information about your pet, then select your concerns, and choose your location.
Vetster will bring up a list of vets nearby (though, in my experience, not all will be from your state). Included with the vet’s information is their appointment availability and the cost to book. Each vet selection also shows a star rating, specialty information, and a short biography.
Select a vet, choose a day and time, and you’re all set!
The price of a Vetster appointment is determined by the vet you choose. In my experience, appointments can range from $50 to $155. The average cost seems to hover around $70, which, in my state, is about $20 cheaper than a traditional vet visit.
The appointments themselves are wonderfully low-stress. You can do them on your phone or on a computer. Obviously, video is a must.
The most challenging part of Makoa’s appointment was keeping him nearby so the vet could see him.
The rest was super easy. All I had to do was log into my account once I received the email that the waiting room was open (which came about 10 minutes before the appointment was set to start). When I clicked the link, I was taken to a page where I could test my audio and video before joining the appointment.
The ease of the first step will depend on your setup. But for me, it went way smoother than joining a Zoom call.
I waited in the virtual waiting room for the vet to join. Once she did, we got right down to business talking about my concerns for Makoa, after which she asked to see him. We finished with her assessment and recommendations for treatment.
The doctor’s written instructions appeared in my account about 10 minutes after the appointment ended. I had the opportunity to ask her questions via the chat function for up to 24 hours afterward.
Talk to Real Licensed Vets
Vetster works with over 6,000 licensed veterinary professionals with plenty of knowledge and experience to help your furry or feathery friend.
The platform uses your pet’s information to match you with the most knowledgeable vets in your area. You have the option to choose from multiple vets based on their area of focus, as well.
Get Same-Day Appointments, Even on Weekends!
In most cases, you can find appointments within the hour, even on weekends, holidays, and after-hours. This makes Vetster a great option for urgent care issues that don’t require a trip to the ER, including concerns about toxic ingestion, sudden behavior or health changes, or urgent diet and medication questions.
Get Vet Care from the Convenience of Your Home
Vetster is an especially great option for pets who don’t travel well. For owners who don’t have vet services nearby or who can’t get into their local vet anytime soon, Vetster is also a wonderful choice.
Is Vetster a Good Value?
The average price of a vet appointment on Vetster is lower than the average clinic appointment, at least, in my area. But this may differ depending on where you are.
Some vets on the service are way cheaper than what I would expect to pay for a visit, which is great for owners on a budget or for quick questions that don’t justify a high expense.
Some vets have the expertise and experience that may be worth the extra cost.
Vetster seems to offer something in everyone’s price range, and the service you get is well worth the expense in my experience.
What issues can you use Vetster for?
You can use Vetster for all issues that might call for a vet visit, except those that require hands-on treatment. Vetster is a great choice for non-emergent health problems and diet and behavior concerns.
Can you get vaccines and prescriptions through Vetster?
While you can’t get your pet vaccinated or have lab tests done through Vetster, you can get answers to questions about these procedures. In many states, Vetster can provide prescriptions via their online pharmacy.
Our Experience With Vetster Online Vet Appointments
A couple of months ago, I scooped an emaciated kitten off the road who I ended up keeping and naming Makoa. He has since recovered but still suffers from frequent and recurrent respiratory and eye infections.
His normal vet prescribed some medications for a current flare-up when he went to get his shots last month. But after a short recovery period, he started getting watery eyes and a stuffy nose. Wanting information on what more I could do to help but not wanting to go right back to the vet, I decided to give Vetster a try.
Based on Makoa’s condition and my concerns, I was matched with a number of vets. I ended up choosing Dr. Bawa based on her rating and her experience with all things “cat.”
Dr. Bawa was incredibly personable and eager to help. We talked for a while about Makoa’s history, his previous vet appointments, and what treatments he’d had. Then she asked to take a look at him.
He was very squirmy as kittens tend to be and I’m sure the visual wasn’t great because of my low-def camera. But she was able to see his bad eye and get a good sense of his body condition and overall health.
From here, Dr. Bawa talked me through some things I could do at home to help Makoa, including recommending that I get him on an L-lysine supplement.
The next day, I picked up the supplement but had some questions about the proper dosage. I sent Dr. Bawa a message and she replied within a few hours.
Overall, I had a great experience with Vetster. Considering that it takes at least two weeks to get my pets into our local vet, I will definitely be using this service in the future.
I especially like having a convenient, affordable option for those times when I have a pressing question about my pet’s health. I know Vetster has knowledgeable and experienced vets with the availability to answer those questions right away.
Vetster brings the telemedicine revolution to your pet. Whether you need quick answers about your pet’s behavior, a more convenient way to get pet prescriptions or have a non-emergent pet medical concern, they are here to help.
And with thousands of licensed and experienced vets on staff, you can feel confident that you’ll get the answers you need at a price you can afford. Book an appointment for your pet today or visit their website to learn more about the services Vetster has to offer.
- 1 About Vetster
- 2 Vetster Online Vet Appointments Overview
- 3 Key Features
- 4 Is Vetster a Good Value?
- 5 FAQ
- 6 Our Experience With Vetster Online Vet Appointments
- 7 Conclusion