Cat owner and cat in a virtual vet visit

Key takeaway

Telemedicine for pets allows pet parents to reach their pet’s vet remotely for examinations, diagnosis, and treatment planning. While not suitable for emergency situations, veterinary telemedicine can improve access to pet care, increase efficiency, and expand the network of accessible professionals and specialists beyond regional boundaries.

 Telemedicine is an innovative way to connect your pet with the care they need. At Dutch, we believe that many of our pets’ chronic conditions can be treated—and we believe that treating them should be safe, simple, and affordable for all pet owners. 

We will connect you with a vet who can professionally assess your pet, then work with a pharmacy to get them the medication they need to live a happier, more fulfilling life. Simple, science-backed solutions that are prescribed by trained veterinarians: that’s the Dutch mission. 

Curious how our service works? Read on, and use the links below to navigate the page. 

How Does Vet Telemedicine Work?

Vet telemedicine for pets is built to be simple and efficient. Our in-depth online consultation is similar to visiting a veterinarian in person. You'll be asked a number of questions about your pet's health and the symptoms they're having. You will also be asked to share photographs of your pet, especially any areas of visible concern so our veterinarians can better understand what is occurring. 

During your visit, veterinary professionals will also review your pet’s medical history if you have provided it.  Providing the veterinarian with as much information as possible is helpful as the exact diagnosis can often depend on the illnesses your pet may have had in the past. 

Your vet will also ask you to carefully describe the symptoms that your pet has been experiencing. If possible, during the video visit, your vet will ask you to demonstrate the symptoms. If not possible, having pictures or videos ready will be a helpful alternative. If the symptoms occur when you are not around such as pets with separation anxiety, capturing them with a remote video device (nanny cam) can be a helpful alternative. 

Once you've submitted your answers, a licensed Dutch-affiliated veterinarian will examine them and either approve a treatment plan or contact you in 1-2 business days with follow-up questions. If you've been prescribed medicine, our partner pharmacy will send it to you along with a treatment plan.

For more information on how our service works, visit our detailed FAQ page

Graphic describing benefits of remote vet care

Benefits of remote vet care

Why choose telemedicine for your pet’s day-to-day health care needs? There are many benefits to using telemedicine for pets. Here are just some of the reasons why so many of our customers choose to entrust our network of vets and pharmacies with their pets’ healthcare:

  • Improved access to pet care: Getting your pet to the vet can be a challenge, as any pet owner knows. And, in some cases—especially chronic conditions—getting an appointment at an in-person veterinary clinic can be a serious hassle. Many might not have the availability to see you for weeks. Virtual vet visits, on the other hand, are simple, safe, cost-effective, and hassle-free. You can do them from the comfort of your own home!
  • Ability to seek care from professionals and specialists outside of your region: Sometimes, a particular vet who specializes in a condition that your pet is suffering from lives outside your region. By using virtual vet visits, you can gain access to professionals far from your home without needing to make a costly and stressful journey with your pet. 
  • Increased efficiency in diagnosis, consultations, treatment: For many chronic conditions, getting a good diagnosis can take time, especially when in-person vets are busy with animals that have more acute illnesses. By opting for a fast and simple veterinary telemedicine option, you can have your pet seen efficiently for a diagnosis. Plus, you can just as easily continue with follow-up care, treatment planning, and filling necessary pharmacy prescriptions.
  • It’s just convenient: Studies have found that vet telemedicine saves on average 50 minutes of driving time, not to mention the time spent waiting in a lobby, exam room, check out, etc.1Vet care can be a hassle, and for many pets suffering chronic conditions that need fast symptom relief, that can be a problem. Dutch is built to help pet owners find effective symptom treatment for their furry friends in a convenient and affordable way through pet telehealth.
Graphic with limitations of remote vet care

Limitations of remote vet care

  • Potential for delays in care: Delays in veterinary medical evaluation and treatment may occur due to equipment failures or information transmission deficiencies (such as poor image resolution). This can all depend on the quality of your video camera, how well you’ve documented your pet’s symptoms, and whether the vet is able to assess your pet’s symptoms in real-time. The more information available to the vet at the time of the visit, the less likely delays in care are. 
  • Possible privacy concerns: These days, online privacy is on everyone’s minds. Breaches of privacy of personally identifiable information due to security breaches or failures are always possible when using a telemedicine service, and it is a risk that it’s important to keep in mind. However, Dutch does its best to ensure that all sensitive medical information is stored securely. 
  • Unable to physically examine the pet: A remote veterinarian is only limited to what they are shown and told in a virtual setting. Because they cannot look down into the pet's ears, feel their bellies, or manipulate their joints, a physical examination is more limited.
  • For now, we just work with cats and dogs: We’re excited to help your furry friends live their lives to the fullest. However, right now, we are unfortunately limited to cats and dogs. If you have a different kind of pet, like a hamster, snake, or bird, we, unfortunately, cannot help out at this time. 
  • Not a fit for every situation: Furthermore, in some situations, veterinary telemedicine is not an appropriate method of care. The Dutch-affiliated veterinarian may refer you to a local veterinarian if they determine an in-person visit will be in the best interest of your pet. Acute injuries, illnesses, and other conditions that require immediate, hands-on medical attention are not good candidates for veterinary telemedicine. If your pet has been injured or is experiencing new and severe symptoms, proceed to a local veterinary hospital immediately. 

As with any healthcare service or medicine option, there are pros and cons to consider. Virtual vet visits are a great solution for many chronic ailments your pet may be suffering from, but they may not be for every furry friend. Read on to find out what situations vet telemedicine for pets works best to treat. 

What Issues Can Veterinary Telemedicine Providers Address? 

Vet telemedicine like Dutch is built to help pets that are struggling with chronic conditions that may make it difficult to consult a traditional vet. Currently, Dutch is built to help you address these chronic conditions that your pet may be struggling with:

  • Anxiety: Do you get anxious from time to time? Struggle with frequent stress or fear? Your pet can, too. Some of the signs of cat or dog anxiety include shivering, fear around new people, fear of being alone, and destructive behavior. Dutch is here to help. Our network of professional veterinarians can connect with pharmacies to deliver medication specially suited for your pet’s brain chemistry. Brighter days start with calmer minds, and calmer minds can start with the right prescription and treatment plan from a licensed vet. 
  • Pet Allergies: You’ve heard of people being allergic to your pets, but did you know your pets can get allergies too? Pets can suffer allergic reactions to fleas, certain foods, or environmental conditions, like mites, molds, or pollen, which hamper their ability to live their best life. Signs can include redness, excessive scratching, frequent grooming, hair loss, or digestive symptoms. Our remote vets can help diagnose your pet’s symptoms and identify the best treatment plan to manage their allergies, whether they’re flea- or food-related, or environmental.
We understand that chronic conditions can affect your pet’s happiness and day-to-day quality of life. That’s why we’re determined to connect our clients with the best treatment available for their pets, so they can get back to wagging and playing!
Virtual vet care steps

What to Expect During Your Virtual Vet Visit

Scheduling a visit with a Dutch-affiliated vet is simple and efficient. Once you’ve made your appointment, here’s what you can expect during your virtual vet visit:

  • Before your visit, you may be asked to upload a few photos of your pet. Photos may demonstrate the symptoms that your pet has so that the vet can better assess what condition your pet may be suffering from. 
  • During your video call, your vet will ask you a series of questions to help narrow down the causes of your pet’s health trouble. Be sure that you are ready to answer detailed questions—it’s usually a good idea to carefully observe your pet’s behavior in the days and hours before the call, so you have all the information ready when the vet asks questions.
  • Your vet will make a diagnosis and create a treatment plan within 1 to 2 business days following your appointment or after uploading the requested photos. They will also remain available to answer any questions you have over email. Depending on the diagnosis, a vet may also recommend an in-person vet visit. While some conditions, such as fleas, allergies, and anxiety are all treatable over vet telemedicine for pets, other conditions may require an in-person physical examination rather than a virtual vet visit.
Pet owner cuddling with dog

Final Notes

Pet owners interested in a quick, affordable, and convenient solution to their pets’ chronic conditions will love the speed and flexibility offered by Dutch. Dutch works hard to connect pet parents with high-quality veterinary professionals with the skills and experience necessary to help your pet. 

If your cat or dog is struggling with pet anxiety or has itching, fleas, or allergies, our network of vets is here to help. We’ll connect you with reliable pharmacies that can deliver the life-changing medication your pets need. 

Dutch was founded by experts in telemedicine and veterinary science. Our founders believe that every pet should have access to what they need to lead their happiest and best lives. That’s why we prioritize treatments grounded in science and facilitated by modern technology—so your furry friend can get the treatment they deserve and live the life they were meant to. Get started scheduling a video vet visit today to deliver your cat or dog a brighter tomorrow!

Dr. Evans is the Clinical Director of Dutch and the owner of Coastal Animal Hospital.

References

  1. LR;, Bishop GT;Evans BA;Kyle KL;Kogan. “Owner Satisfaction with Use of Videoconferencing for Recheck Examinations Following Routine Surgical Sterilization in Dogs.” Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, U.S. National Library of Medicine, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30311532/.