When you hear “virtual vet visit” or “televet,” you may think of it as an emergency resource to help determine whether to take your cat or dog to the clinic. At least, that’s what I immediately thought of when my terrier mix Toodles stumbled upon a yellow jacket nest. However, you can take advantage of free virtual vet visits for many pet care needs, like a Healthy Pet Checkup, nutrition or environment questions, and more.
As a Rainwalk pet parent, you have unlimited, 24/7 access to free televet services through our friends at FirstVet. They connect you with licensed veterinarians online so you can get expert guidance from the comfort of your home. To schedule your online consultation, simply login to the customer portal and follow the link to FirstVet.
Here are five topics to ask about during online vet visits to help ensure the health and happiness of your pet:
1. Behavioral questions
Many of our Rainwalk pet parents have recently adopted their new cat or dog from a shelter and may not know their full history. My dog Toodles is a rescue, and while she’s the greatest thing in my life, she came with some special care needs based on her past life experiences. Navigating her separation anxiety as a new dog mom was overwhelming!
Free virtual vet visits are an excellent time to ask about acclimating a new pet to your home, behaviors you’re witnessing in your pet, and how to navigate these changes constructively. Maybe they are chewing furniture, showing signs of separation anxiety, or struggling with house training. The veterinarians from FirstVet can provide guidance based on real descriptions of your pet’s environment and history, as well as your lifestyle.
2. Wellness and preventative care
New pets don’t exactly come with a manual. Especially if you recently adopted your first pet, keeping up with routine care has a learning curve. Consider scheduling an online vet visit to get a sense of your pet’s wellness needs. You can ask about annual vaccinations; heartworm, flea, and tick preventatives; dental care; and exercise needs based on your pet’s age and breed.
There’s no such thing as a dumb question when ensuring your pet lives a long, healthy life. A free Healthy Pet Checkup can give you much-appreciated peace of mind that you understand all your pet’s care needs and can plan for them accordingly.
3. Food and nutrition
A quick Google search will return tons of opinions on the “right” way to feed your pet — raw, grain-free, human grade, etc. The most important person to turn to when identifying your pet’s dietary needs is your vet. They can recommend dog or cat food brands, the pros and cons of different diets, and expert tips based on your pet’s age and breed.
It’s always a good idea to consult a vet before switching up your pet’s food. As a Rainwalk pet parent, you have free access to licensed veterinarians online who can cut through the noise and help you nourish your pet while staying within your budget.
4. Toys, beds, and other accessories
Just like with food and nutrition, you can find endless suggestions on creating a fun, comfortable and stimulating environment for your pet. One dog isn’t going to like the same toys as another. Or maybe you don’t know if the litter box that went viral is worth the hype (and the money).
These questions might not come up at your annual vet exam, or it isn’t worth paying for a visit just to ask about toys, beds, and other accessories. However, when virtual vet visits are free and available anytime, you can chat about the options and get personalized suggestions based on your home and your pet’s needs.
5. Peace of mind
Even though we might want them to, our pets can’t talk to us. Sometimes, you need a vet to give you peace of mind that your pet is healthy. Use your free online visits with Rainwalk partner FirstVet to save money on in-person visits that wouldn’t be eligible for reimbursement, such as exams where an illness or injury isn’t diagnosed.
Are you concerned your pet ate something they shouldn’t have? Or do they have a sting or rash after digging around in the backyard? Instead of taking your pet to the clinic immediately, consider scheduling a virtual vet visit, where you can describe what’s going on. And if the televet does recommend in-person care, you’ll know it’s the right call.