Last updated on October 16th, 2021 at 08:08 pm
Have you ever woken up to a pet emergency in the middle of the night when, unfortunately, most veterinary clinics are closed? It’s sheer panic, to be sure. But depending on the emergency, nowadays you might be able to get urgent pet care via text, phone, or video call and dissolve some of the hysteria more quickly.
Modern telemedicine platforms now offer access to licensed veterinarians who can provide professional advice on your pet’s health. While most owners in a crisis will immediately load up the car and drive to their nearest vet hospital, pet telemedicine promises to eliminate unnecessary (and insanely expensive!) emergency vet visits, especially when used proactively.
In this article, we’ll review Airvet — a convenient telehealth app that lets you connect with licensed veterinarians on demand, 24/7 — and see whether this platform can help you (and your pets) avoid serious headaches down the road.
First off: what is airvet?
Airvet is a mobile app that’s currently available on iOS and Android devices, and will be on desktop soon. Their mission is to provide professional care virtually to pet owners in the United States and Canada. Signing up for Airvet gives you access to veterinarian 24/7 via chat, phone, and video call. Sounds great, right? Here are a few more details on how it works for customers.
How does airvet work?
Airvet’s network of specialists is largely made up of vets that work for existing clinics. Their goal is to work alongside hospitals, not compete with them. People are always going to need in-person pet care — you can’t feel a tumor, perform surgery, or do a dental check-up over the phone, for example. But Airvet aims to provide care between in-person visits — saving pet owners time, money, and unnecessary stress.
What types of telemedicine services does airvet offer?
Airvet allows you to make two types of calls, and also offers an unlimited plan:
1. On-demand veterinarian calls
If you are in urgent need of professional help this option will connect you to the first available veterinarian. These calls cost a flat $30 USD — after which, your payment is valid for 72 hours, during which you are able to ask the same vet any follow-up questions via chat. After 72 hours the chat will close and you will have to pay another $30 to communicate with the veterinarian.
2. Scheduled call with a vet
Call request is used for less urgent inquiries, or for those whose primary veterinarian is available on Airvet. Call request allows you to call or message your primary veterinarian, but unlike on-demand calls you have to wait until they’re available. The fees for call requests are set by your veterinarian, but are generally less than $30.
For $19.99/month you can sign up for unlimited veterinary calls via Airvet. If your pet has a lot of issues (or you’re curious and have a lot of questions!), this is an amazingly affordable subscription that’s a lot cheaper and more convenient than a traditional veterinarian.
*** All calls have no time limits, and typically allow follow-up questions for up to 72 hours after the call for no extra cost.
How to sign up for airvet and chat with a veterinarian virtually
Signing up for Airvet is fast and easy. All you have to do is provide the following info:
- First and last name
- Phone number
Afterwards, you’ll just need to verify your phone number by entering the SMS code, and then finish up by entering your pet’s information. You will be asked to select the issue(s) you would like to discuss with one of Airvet’s many veterinary professionals. Luckily all of Airvet’s on-call professionals are equipped to answer all kinds of questions — from behavioural issues, to injuries, nutrition, and medical concerns — so you won’t be passed between departments or waste time trying to connect with the right professional.
How much does airvet cost?
We’ve covered this above, but in case you weren’t fully paying attention. Airvet allows you to select one of two payment options:
- Airvet Unlimited Subscription: $19.99 per month for unlimited appointments (for an unlimited number of pets!)
- One time payment: $30 flat rate per appointment
Airvet’s pricing is simple. Their unlimited subscription costs $19.99/month (or $240/year). This gives you access to unlimited calls every month. OR, you can pay as you go at $30 per call.
Does airvet accept pet insurance?
While Airvet currently does not accept any pet insurance, they’re working with top providers in the US and Canada to make the claim process for pet parents more efficient.
Is your primary veterinarian on airvet?
If your primary veterinarian uses Airvet already and is available at the time of your on-demand call, Airvet will do their best to connect you with them first. If your primary veterinarian is not partnered with Airvet yet, or not available to answer your on-demand call, Airvet will instantly connect with another vet. Since the vet you are connecting with has not seen your pet in-person, they may not be able to “diagnose, treat, or prescribe medication to your pet due to VCPR regulations.” There are different regulations in each state governing this, which you can learn more about here.
Can airvet prescribe medication virtually?
Airvet’s ability to prescribe medication depends on state laws and the timing of your pet’s last visit to their primary veterinarian (assuming they offer services through Airvet). If your primary veterinarian does not use Airvet, prescription laws depend on the state that you live in. Some states allow any veterinarian you connect with virtually to prescribe you medication, while other states do not allow any vet other than your own to prescribe pet meds virtually. That said, in case of a real emergency, any vet in any state is allowed to prescribe your pet medication virtually.
Just to summarize…
Airvet was created with a consumer-first mindset, giving pet owners access to professional care anytime and anywhere. They combine telemedicine (according to the Veterinarian-client-patient-relationship (VCPR)) with telehealth, so a licensed vet can provide pet owners with reliable advice and treatment plans.
Airvet takes VCPR very seriously by matching pet owners with their primary vet (if they use the platform) or connecting them with clinics in a nearby area whenever possible. But how does it compare to other telehealth platforms for pets?
Airvet vs chewy vs vetster vs pawp: how does airvet compare to other leading pet telemedicine apps?
Pet Telemedicine Comparison
Vetster health: $30 per call
|$19 per month|
|Type of care available?||Medical||General health and wellness||Medical||General health and wellness|
|Prescribes pet medicine?||✅||❌||✅||❌|
Airvet vs chewy: which is a better platform to “connect with a vet”?
Chewy is an online pet shop that has a ‘Connect with a Vet’ feature that allows you to connect conveniently with licensed veterinarians and get responses to commonly asked pet-related questions and concerns for free. This feature is offered free of charge for Autoship members and available Monday – Friday from 8AM to 8PM ET in all states, except for:
Chewy is a popular platform for quick and easy answers, however, it cannot diagnose, treat, or prescribe medications unlike Airvet. If you’re dealing with a more serious, complicated, or unique situation that requires immediate attention, Airvet is your best bet.
Airvet vs Vetster: Which pet telemedicine platform is best?
We’ve previously reviewed Vetster and, like Airvet, they also offer 24/7 access to licensed veterinarians. The main difference is that Vetster requires appointments while Airvet connects you to a professional instantly. Additionally, Vetsters offers different care types — Vetster Health ($30) for concerns regarding general health and wellness, and Vetster Medical ($50) for more serious concerns that require treatment or preventative care. That’s more expensive per one-off visit than Airvet, but they can deliver your prescriptions right to your door. Be sure to read more about Vetster in our in-depth review here.
Airvet vs Pawp: Which is better for pet health advice?
Like Airvet, Pawp’s platform specializes in delivering instant professional care 24/7. Unlike Airvet, Pawp has a monthly subscription that costs $19, which gives you easy access to chat or call a veterinarian anytime. Pawp’s monthly subscription includes a safety net of $3,000 as an emergency fund. After 14 days of using Pawp, the fund is available to subscribers and covers up to six pets. You just send Pawp a receipt from your vet and they will reimburse you up to $3k — pretty sweet! This telehealth service is great if you’re a new fur-parent to help you save a couple of bucks on your first year and provide you with a support system. But if your pets are still healthy/young or you’re not ready to commit just yet, you can avail Airvet’s on-demand telehealth service instead.
Airvet reviews: what are customers saying about airvet?
Here are a few of Airvet’s (mostly glowing) reviews:
The Verdict: Is airvet the best vet care app for pets?
While there are plenty of good options here, it’s best to choose one that suits you and your pet’s needs. If you’re a pet parent seeking immediate guidance and treatment, Airvet has a user-friendly, low-cost app that provides 24/7 professional care — without the recurring fees and appointments. For those who want the peace of mind of knowing they can access a virtual veterinarian as often as they’d like — Airvet’s $20/month subscription is a Godsend.
Airvet is already revolutionizing telemedicine for pets — giving you the option to connect with your primary vet, or a licensed vet just in case they’re unavailable, in an instant. We recommend this veterinary telemedicine app as an amazing way to keep your pets healthy (and your sanity in check) right at the convenience of your home. We know there will be emergencies that will require you to go in person to a veterinarian. But if used correctly (i.e. proactively), Airvet is likely to save you a ton of time and money with fewer in-person trips.
If you’ve used Airvet or any other veterinarian telehealth platform, we’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below!