Online veterinary services are becoming more popular than ever. Since the average vet bill for solving a routine issue can set you back around $200, it is no surprise why so many pet owners turn to online vet consultations. The truth is, many pet care issues can be solved virtually. 

In this article, we will review the top five veterinary telehealth providers. They all meet our strict criteria, and entrusting your pet’s health in their experienced hand will put your mind at ease. Keep reading and choose the online vet that fits your and your pet’s needs best.

  • Single consults and 24/7 calls and visits
  • Expert vet care at an affordable price
  • Discounts on long-term subscriptions
  • Free access to educational articles & blogs
  • $5 off a single consultation

Best Online Veterinarians of 2023

telehealth pet visit
  • Best Overall Online Vet: FirstVet
  • Best Online Vet for Prescriptions: Hello Ralphie
  • Best Budget-Friendly Online Vet: PetCoach
  • Best Online Vet Subscription Plan: whiskerDocs
  • Best Online Vet for Second Opinions: AskVet

Best Overall Online Vet: FirstVet

veterinarian with golden retriever at the vet

Envisioned to support pet parents of different pet species, FirstVet understands the importance of having veterinary expert advice right when you need it. Each vet within the service has years of experience and will help owners make the best informed decisions. 

  • Type of availability: 24/7 vet consults and visits 
  • Price: $35 per consult, $90 for unlimited vet visits 
  • Subscription type: 6 months, annual plans  
  • On-demand consults: No appointments necessary 
  • Emergency fund: No  
  • Affordable subscription plans 
  • Single consults without registration fees 
  • Fills in prescriptions (in certain states) 
  • Discounts on long-term subscription plans 
  • Features a free educational blog for pet parents
  • No emergency funds 
  • Does not cover pre-existing conditions 

What customers are saying: FirstVet customers say the app is helpful and user-friendly. One online consultation can save hours of search through online veterinary resources and costly trips to the emergency room. Plus, the pet owners are ecstatic about the quick average response time and the overall service. Not to mention the experience of the veterinary professional behind the virtual consults.  

Best Online Vet for Prescriptions: Hello Ralphie

As an app-based platform for veterinary telehealth, Hello Ralphie offers a unique and extensive online prescription service. Hello Ralphie brings together the convenience of an online pharmacy and the affordability of video chat consultations. 

  • Type of availability: 24/7 virtual consultations 
  • Price: $55 prescription appointment and $35 advice appointments 
  • Subscription type: No
  • On-demand consults: For telehealth and telemedicine services
  • Emergency fund: No
  • Allow appointments for prescriptions or just advice
  • Offers to fill in medication prescriptions 
  • Records the vet chats for continuity
  • Allows on-demand consults  
  • Pet parent reviewed and approved
  • Detailed fine print for prescription appointments
  • Issuing prescriptions is not allowed in all states 
  • Expensive telemedicine services

What customers are saying: Over 6,000 satisfied pet owners describe the Hello Ralphie telehealth services as helpful and the overall online vet experience as excellent. The customers are also satisfied that the service offers filling prescriptions, thus eliminating the need to visit the primary veterinarian for medication refills. 

Best Budget-Friendly Online Vet: PetCoach

PetCoach by Petco is a forum-based platform providing pet owners convenient and affordable access to expert veterinary advice. It also offers a searchable database and educational center, thus bringing vet science close to pet owners. 

  • Type of availability: 24/7 live chat and expert forum 
  • Price: $20 live chat and $5 per single question 
  • Subscription type: No 
  • On-demand consults: available for $20 
  • Emergency fund: No 
  • Budget-friendly online vet service 
  • Covers different pet care areas, not just health concerns 
  • Free access to already answered questions and health library 
  • Easy to use on the go via a mobile device 
  • Allows asking free limited time questions
  • Lack of organization on content pages 
  • Does not have an emergency fund 
  • Some services are buried in the site

What customers are saying: What pet owners love most is the affordability of the PetCoach telehealth services. The average response time of fewer than 2 hours is another positive feature. The customers also find an extensive database of veterinary medicine-related topics and already answered pet care questions. Plus, the mobile device app is easy to use and allows finding answers on the go. 

Best Online Vet Subscription Plan: whiskerDocs

WhiskerDocs offers a convenient monthly subscription, thus enabling virtual appointments at any time. whiskerDocs is the perfect option for pet owners searching for supplemental care from licensed vets and vet techs. 

  • Type of availability: 24/7 chat, phone calls, video calls, and text messaging 
  • Price: $16.99 per month or $129.99 per year 
  • Subscription type: Monthly and yearly 
  • On-demand consults: $39.99 for calls/live chats or $4.99 for emails (non-members)
  • Emergency fund: No 
  • Offers subscription and non-member services 
  • Quick response time and fast scheduling 
  • Competitively priced monthly subscription
  • Discounts for additional pets and yearly subscription plans 
  • Free-access health library
  • Does not offer prescription 
  • Does not have an emergency fund 
  • Does not recommend nearby veterinary professionals

What customers are saying: whiskerDocs provides reliable pet care, which results in a loyal customer base. The pet owners are happy with the competitively priced monthly and yearly subscription plans and possible discounts for multiple pets. They also like the variety of communication methods (emails, phone calls, live chats) and polite and knowledgeable staff (licensed veterinarians and veterinary technicians). 

Best Online Vet for Second Opinions: AskVet

Offering 24/7 live chat access to experienced and US-licensed veterinarians, AskVet is the ideal veterinary telemedicine app for second opinions. The team believes that your pet’s health should not start and end with a single vet visit. 

  • Type of availability: 24/7 vet chat 
  • Price: $29.99 per month 
  • Subscription type: Monthly 
  • On-demand consults: Available for monthly subscribers 
  • Emergency fund: $1,000 
  • Experienced veterinary professionals 
  • Covers a wide range of pet species 
  • Well-designed app (iOS and Android)
  • Emergency fund available
  • Home lab tests, discounts on OTC meds, food, and supply
  • Text-only vet chat 
  • Mandatory wellness plan 
  • Does not offer services for non-members

What customers are saying: Pet owners report that AskVet offers comprehensive and compassionate care. They like the fact that the app covers a wide range of topics and several pet species. Customers are also satisfied with the $1,000 emergency resources and additional perks that come with regular subscriptions, such as home laboratory tests and discounts on over-the-counter meds, pet food, and supplies. 

How We Selected The Best Online Veterinary Services

veterinarian with a cat in a telehealth visit

Choosing the best telehealth veterinary service can be a tricky job. There are many different online vets, and they all offer various services under different conditions. We have consulted with pet owners, veterinarians, and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) to make the final list.  

Here are some of the criteria we considered while compiling the list of best online veterinary services: 

  • Availability. The need for online vets is greatest when primary veterinarians are unavailable (during non-business hours and non-working holidays). That is why all services on our list offer 24/7/356 access to veterinarians and other pet care professionals. 
  • Services. The second thing we considered was the scope of services each provider offers. The goal is to have all of your pet’s health needs addressed in one place (behavior issues, health concerns, nutrition and grooming, medication delivery).  
  • Communication methods. When it comes to providing pet care, the communication between the client and veterinarian is critical. The higher the quality of the contact, the higher the quality of the service. With this in mind, the services on our list offer various practical communication methods. 

Our Final Thoughts on The Best Online Vet Services

two veterinarians with a dog

More often than not, visiting a veterinary clinic is a costly experience.  Online vet services however provide professional answers and solutions for much lower prices and from the comfort of your home. 

Instead of letting Google diagnose your pet, we recommend looking into one of the above-described telehealth veterinary services and choosing a provider. That way, you will have access to veterinarians at all times and wherever you are. 


Online Vet Frequently Asked Questions

Can I talk to a vet online for free?

Yes, some online telehealth services offer free consultations with vets and other pet care professionals. However, most providers limit these services to one free conversation per month. If interested in long-term access to veterinary care and expert advice, we recommend investing in a subscription plan. 

Can online vets prescribe medication?

Yes, certain telemedicine services are allowed to prescribe medication. However, not all states support this method. Therefore, before subscribing to a telemedicine provider, make sure the prescription filling service is legal in your condition. 

How much does an online vet cost?

The exact cost of the online vet depends on the provider, the scope of services, and whether you have a subscription plan or not. However, pet owners should expect to pay between $30 and $60 for a single virtual consultation. 

Can I get antibiotics for my dog online?

You can get antibiotics for your dog online if you are using a virtual vet service provided by your primary vet with whom you have an established VCPR (veterinarian-client-patient relationship). In such a case, you can have the prescription filled in online and the antibiotics conveniently delivered to your doorstep. 

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Katelyn Son