Chewy launches pet telehealth service

October 28, 2020
dvm360 Staff

The pet e-commerce giant’s new teletriage platform is available in 35 states, with plans to offer it nationwide.

During these unprecedented times, a trip to the veterinarian has become challenging for many pet owners. But with its new “Connect With a Vet” telehealth service, Chewy, Inc. (owned by PetSmart) hopes to make it a bit easier for pet owners to get the advice they need. Launched today, the platform enables pet owners to connect directly with a licensed veterinarian to get questions answered, receive counsel, discuss concerns, and even get referrals to local general or emergency clinics, according to a company release. The participating veterinarians are not diagnosing medical conditions, providing treatment, or prescribing medications.

“We have focused our efforts into developing an easy-to-use and convenient tele-triage product that we anticipate will have a positive impact given the current environment, and also extend beyond that,” says Chewy CEO Sumit Singh, in the release. “Visiting a local vet continues to be a challenge for many pet parents during this time. Similarly, the vet community has also been impacted via clinic shutdowns or reduced clinic hours. So, we thought, why not come up with a solution that can help both communities, our customers, and veterinarians, in this time of greatest need."

Chewy launched Connect With a Vet in Florida and Massachusetts in May, and has since expanded the service to over 35 states with plans to offer it nationwide. This platform is currently available for free to all Chewy customers who are subscribed to the company’s autoship program, which accounts for nearly 70% of the company’s net sales.

To help jumpstart the service, Chewy partnered with veterinarians impacted by the pandemic or those seeking flexibility in scheduling. Not only are pet owners impressed—over 80% of users during the pilot phase of the program rated the service 10 out of 10—but participating veterinarians say they’re enjoying this unique platform. “I'm extremely proud to be part of the ‘Connect With a Vet’ team. Helping people help their pets is the best part of being a veterinarian. Being able to do that in a way that is convenient for pet parents, while also supporting our veterinary colleagues, has been a truly rewarding experience,” says Christina Fernandez, DVM, MRCVS, DACVECC, in the release.