Proper veterinary care is essential for pet health. And the majority of U.S. households get their pets regular veterinary care. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, in 2016 — the last year for which data are readily available — about 73% of pet-owning households took their pets to the vet. That year, 54.3% of cat owners and 82.8% of dog owners made at least one vet visit with their pets.
But what about when in-person veterinary visits are not an ideal option? In that case, virtual veterinarian visits, also known as telemedicine appointments, can help you keep your pet healthy without setting foot out the door.
In-Person Vet Appointments
For several reasons, it’s essential to get your pet regular veterinary check-ups and care:
1. Establishing Baseline Wellness
Regular vet appointments help establish your pet’s baseline wellness. A veterinarian can then use that baseline to gauge changes in your vet’s health. Your veterinarian might notice that your pet has been gaining weight over the past year or two after holding steady at 40 pounds. Or your vet might notice that your pet has drier skin than it once did. Seeing these changes in action can help your vet develop a plan to address new health concerns.
2. Maintaining Vaccinations
Seeing your vet regularly is essential for keeping your pet’s shots up to date. Recurrent vet visits help ensure that your pet remains safe and healthy and vaccinations are up-to-date for diseases including:
- Feline viral rhinotracheitis
3. Obtaining Medication
Seeing your vet regularly also helps you keep on top of essential medication. Most states require veterinarians to have a veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) to prescribe, which means the vet needs to see the animal. Maybe your pet needs heartworm medication. Or maybe your pet needs prescription food to address a urinary condition or a weight problem. Making regular appointments for your pet allows your veterinarian to continue prescribing essential medicines.
4. Detecting Health Conditions Early
Regular vet appointments can also help uncover health problems that might otherwise have gone unnoticed. Your veterinarian might discover a small tumor beneath your pet’s skin or notice the first signs of cataracts or arthritis in an older pet. Early detection allows you to address issues like these before they grow into serious concerns.
Benefits of Virtual Visits
When you can’t make it to your veterinarian’s office in person, virtual visits offer many benefits for your pet:
- Convenience: A virtual vet visit allows you to connect with your veterinarian from the comfort of your home or wherever you have a reliable internet or data connection. You don’t have to drive to an appointment, find parking or wait in the waiting room. Especially if you live far from a veterinary office or have limited mobility, veterinary virtual appointments offer valuable convenience and time savings.
- Health and safety: Participating in a virtual veterinarian visit helps protect your health. No matter how many precautions we take in the office to keep everyone healthy, the best way to avoid the transmission of illness is to visit your vet virtually.
- Low stress: Some pets become stressed when they have vet appointments. Waiting in the waiting room with other animals can make them nervous, handling from unfamiliar people can make them anxious and even riding in the car causes stress for some pets. Sometimes, office visits are necessary, but often a virtual appointment helps make your pet more comfortable by keeping it in familiar surroundings.
- Quality care: At a virtual visit, you’ll get the same level of quality care you’d expect from an office vet appointment. Your veterinarian can ask routine health questions, and you can discuss any symptoms you’ve observed. Your veterinarian can even examine your pet via the video feed. If your pet needs new medication or a refill, your vet can prescribe it at the end of the visit.
Virtual Visit Process
At University Animal Clinic, we conduct our telemedicine vet appointments via the Zoom app. Setting up and attending a virtual visit is quick and easy, though you may have to take a couple of preparatory steps.
1. Setting Up The Veterinary Telemedicine Appointment
First, you’ll schedule the virtual veterinarian appointment. You can set up an appointment by calling our office at 941-355-7707 or requesting an appointment online.
2. Setting Up Zoom
If you don’t already have Zoom on your computer or phone, you’ll need to download it before the appointment begins. If you’re not sure how to do that, you can call our office, and one of our staff members will be happy to walk you through the process of downloading, installing and using Zoom. You need an email address to create a Zoom account.
After you’ve scheduled your pet’s virtual visit, our office will send you an email confirming your appointment. The email will contain the Zoom meeting number and password. You’ll need those to attend your pet’s virtual appointment.
3. Participating In The Virtual Visit
After you’ve received that email and have Zoom set up on your computer or phone, you’re ready to take your pet to the virtual appointment. At the scheduled time, log in to Zoom using the information from your email. Then our team will let you into the meeting. The meeting will run via a two-way video feed that allows you and your veterinarian to talk just as you would in the office.
During the virtual visit, our vet experts will ask you questions about your pet’s recent health history and any changes you’ve noticed in your pet’s health or behavior. She will also examine your pet as well as she can via the video feed, and you can ask her any questions you have.
At the end of the virtual visit, our vet experts will prescribe any necessary medications, and you can come and get them at your convenience. In most cases, you and your pet will be all set. In some cases, if your pet needs further examination, the vet may ask you to come in for an office visit.
Contact University Animal Clinic in Bradenton for Virtual Veterinary Care
To experience the benefits of veterinary virtual help, get in touch with University Animal Clinic. We are a fully accredited American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) hospital with a passion for preventive care. We know pets are more than just animals — they’re part of the family, and our medical staff is dedicated to the health of your four-legged family member.
The very best of care, the entire staff always gives their all and truly cares about both patient and parents! You won’t find a better clinic in Sarasota.
It is very difficult to find an avian vet who is kind while not sugar coating what can be bad news. I had no idea conures get cataracts as they get older, helped me understand my bird’s actions. The Dr. is wonderful!
Most caring and helpful Vet ever . The staff are amazing and are so wonderful with all pets . They take amazing care of my two fur babies . I wouldn’t trust my two pups with anyone else . You can really tell how much the love animals . Do your pets the biggest favor and take them to this vet clinic .
Incredibly grateful to the staff of University Animal Clinic. We have been a customer for over 20 years. They were able to take care of our dog Duke today for an unscheduled appointment for UTI. Couldn’t imagine going to anybody else.
Awesome reptile vet! I thought there was a problem with my bearded dragon so I made an app to bring him in. Dr. Sara was knowledgeable, professional, and down to earth. UAC is clean and doesn’t smell like urine whatsoever. I love coming here and will continue to bring my pets here. I highly recommend this vet. A+ service. Thanks!!!
Dr Sam and staff are friendly, knowledgeable and truly care about your pets health and happiness! We wouldn’t trust our babies with any one else.
I took my galah Rosie for a general physical. The staff and vet took the time to show me (as a new bird owner) how to clip nails and wings and what to look for as far as outward signs of her health. Can’t say enough good things about this clinic and would recommend them without any hesitation!
Thank you to Doctor Simonson, Casey, Dr. Sam and the rest of the team for taking care of Wrangler! You all treated him like a pet of your own and made me feel so comfortable leaving him with you to watch over after such a scary incident. Everyone at your office is so knowledgeable and caring. Wrangler is feeling so much better and back to normal. Thank you for all your help, you have an amazing team.
Vets and staff are knowledgeable and efficient. Clean and friendly Vet office. My dog now goes in to see her Vet with out balking.
My dogs, Max and Leo, always have a very positive experience at UAC. The staff is friendly and professional. The office is efficient and clean. I appreciate the ability to check on the dogs’ vaccinations, etc., on the pet portal. Great vet practice.
We’ve always had a great experience at University Animal Clinic. The doctors and team are all very knowledgeable and friendly. They get back to you in a timely manner and work with you when it comes to scheduling appointments. They even follow up with you after your visit to make sure that your pet is ok. The office is always clean and they are AAHA accredited. Your pets are in great hands here.
Dr Sam was very sweet, knowledgable and took the time to explain everything to me. The nurses and front desk staff were wonderful.
Very nice and welcoming entree, king and professional vet and nurse. Thank you very much, I will come back and be happy to recommend you