How Can You Improve Your Practice Through Online Vet Care Services

Published on Mar 22, 2024 12:00 AM
How Can You Improve Your Practice Through Online Vet Care Services

The veterinary care sector has changed dramatically during the last decade. As technology advances and pet owners become more familiar with virtual veterinary services, online vet care has become a viable option for vet clinics and pet owners.

The American Pet Products Association (APPA) conducted a survey last year, and the results showed that the telehealth segment of the pet care industry increased by 60% from 2020 to 2023.

Here, will learn how incorporating virtual veterinary care services can significantly improve your practice. We'll discuss the benefits and review practical tips on implementing these services effectively.

Understanding Online Vet Care

Virtual vet care, or pet vet care online, utilizes technology to provide remote pet healthcare services. A range of services may fall under this, such as:

Telemedicine Consultations: 

Pet care professionals can communicate with pet owners virtually through phone calls or video chats, discussing concerns such as medication management, post-operative care, behavioral difficulties, and non-emergency concerns.

Online Vet Prescription Refills: 

Veterinarians can streamline the process of refilling vet prescriptions by allowing clients to request refills online for established medications.

Pet Health Information Resources: 

Professionals can also provide a library of educational content on their websites or apps to empower pet owners with knowledge on various pet health topics.

Appointment Scheduling and Communication: 

It also offers online appointment scheduling and communication tools for a more convenient client experience.

85% of pet owners, according to a 2021 survey, indicated online vet consultations are convenient and time-saving. 

Benefits of Online Vet Care for Your Practice

Integrating virtual veterinary care services into your practice offers a multitude of advantages:

  • Improved Accessibility: 

Online appointments cater to busy schedules, pet anxiety during in-clinic visits, or pet owners with limited mobility. This increased accessibility can lead to earlier intervention for minor concerns and better overall pet health.

  • Enhanced Client Convenience: 

Online facilities provide convenience to pet owners since they have the freedom to connect with you from wherever they are without having to leave their homes. This can be very helpful in situations like after the follow-up consultation, a medication refill, or a quick question.

According to the journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science 2020, animal owners who went to online consultations said they experienced good communication and a better experience than traditional in-clinic visits.

  • Increased Client Engagement: 

A robust online presence with informative resources allows you to build trust and establish yourself as a knowledgeable pet care professional. This can translate into stronger client relationships and loyalty.

  • Improved Practice Efficiency: 

Online consultations prevent most routine cases from getting through to clinics, thus reserving valuable 'in-person' appointment time for cases that need physical exams and medical procedures. In a similar manner, online appointment scheduling and communication technologies can also smooth your practice workflow.

  • Reaching New Clients: 

Having a prolific online presence extends your visibility to customers who are far from you in terms of geographical location. A potential client who is looking for "online vet care" or "pet vet care online" can find you, which means more clients for your practice.

How to Implement Virtual Veterinary Care Services

Here's a roadmap to guide you through implementing online pet vet care in your practice:

  1. Identify areas where online services can benefit your practice and clientele most. Consider factors like appointment volume, client demographics, and staffing availability.
  2. Train your staff to use the chosen online platform and effectively communicate with clients during virtual consultations.
  3. Establishing solid instructions for online consultations, including types of problems appropriate for evaluation via virtual networks, appointment duration, and possible limitations, is necessary.
  4. Research and choose a telemedicine platform that is easy to use, secure information transfer, and seamlessly integrates with your practice management software.
  5. Develop strategies to help you generate more awareness about your online vet care services through your website and social media platforms and by engaging with local pet organizations. Inform your direct clients and new ones about the advantages and convenience of these services.

Potential Concerns and Considerations

While online vet care offers significant advantages, it's essential to address potential concerns:

  • State Licensing and Regulations: 

Ensure compliance with all state regulations regarding telemedicine in veterinary practice.

  • Technology Access and Literacy: 

Consider offering alternative options for clients with limited access to technology or those uncomfortable with online platforms.

  • Physical Examination Limitations: 

Acknowledge that some situations may not be appropriate for online consultations, and a follow-up in-clinic visit may be required for a physical examination or diagnostic tests.

By taking early measures to solve these issues, you can ensure a seamless and productive integration of online vet care services in the clinic.

How to Expand Your Online Presence

In addition to online consultations, consider these strategies to promote your online presence further and enhance your services:

Invest in a User-friendly Website: 

Create a user-friendly and informative website that serves as a central hub for your online services. Make sure the website contains all the relevant information, such as the services offered, the possibility of online appointment scheduling, and pet health resources.

Utilize Social Media Effectively: 

Maintain active social media profiles on platforms visited by pet owners. Share informative content, engage with your audience, and promote your online vet care services.

Offer Free Online Veterinary CE Courses: 

Provide short, informative online courses on common pet health topics to pet owners. This will establish your expertise, attract potential clients, and foster trust.

The Future of Online Vet Care: Trends and Opportunities

Virtual veterinary care is not just a sudden trend; it's a speedily developing trend that significantly influences the future of veterinary medicine.
Here's a glimpse into what lies ahead:

  • Integration with Wearable Technology: 

The rise of wearable pet trackers with health monitoring capabilities allows them to integrate with online veterinary care platforms seamlessly. This allows for remote monitoring of vital signs, early detection of potential issues, and proactive intervention.

  • Specialization in Telemedicine: 

As online vet care becomes more established, veterinary professionals specializing in telemedicine might emerge. These specialists would possess expertise in effectively conducting virtual consultations and managing a wider range of pet health concerns remotely.

  • Focus on Preventative Care: 

Online platforms offer a unique opportunity to promote preventative care through educational resources, appointment reminders, and remote monitoring of vital signs. This shift towards preventative care can improve pet health outcomes and reduce overall costs.

Wrapping Up!

Integrating online vet care services has positive effects for both vets and pet owners. Virtual vet care gives a broader scope for accessibility, convenience, and improved communication to pet owners who can take a keen part in pet health care. 

In addition to creating efficiency, versatility, and a closer client relationship, online services also help veterinary practices reach clients through a broader audience.

If you need free vet tech education or a source of helpful resources or want to read the latest news from the industry, join Vet and Tech. We host free online veterinary webinars led by expert speakers, where you can earn free RACE-approved CE credits.


Can an online vet prescribe antibiotics? 

Yes, in some cases, but it doesn't always work. Online vets can virtually assess your pet's condition and prescribe appropriate medication. However, regulations vary by state, so it's always best to check the guidelines.

What is an online vet?

An online vet is a licensed veterinarian who gives consultations or other services to pets & their owners remotely via video calls & phone calls or a secure online portal. This allows for convenient and accessible pet care.

What to do if my regular vet is not available?

If your regular vet is unavailable and your pet has a non-emergency concern, consider an online vet consultation