How to Make the Most of Virtual Pet Care

Jan 11, 2022

It’s all too common for pet parents to delay or skip medical treatments for their pets because it is cost prohibitive. Even the most budget-savvy pet parents can sometimes get caught off guard by unexpected expenses caused by accidents or injuries. Financial planning for pet ownership can be challenging, but it is possible to set yourself up for success once you take a close look at the numbers.

Do you know how much you spend on your cat or dog every year? We’re here to help you break down the cost of everything—from food to emergency care to telemedicine—so you can explore all the ways you can keep your pet healthy and well.

Cost of in-person care

According to the pet sitting networking site Rover, 81% of pet parents spend up to $500 on vet charges in the first year of getting a puppy. Though costs can vary by age, breed, and lifestyle, here are a few estimates for dog and cat parents to anticipate for in-person treatments, as reported by Rover and Emergency Vets USA

  • Microchip: $40
  • Heartworm prevention: $24-120
  • Flea and tick prevention: $40-200
  • Puppy vaccinations: $75-100
  • Spay or neuter surgery: $200-800
  • Annual exam: $240-600
  • Teeth cleaning: $200-500
  • ER consultation/exam: $100-$150
  • General blood work: $80-200
  • X-rays: $150-$250
  • Ultrasound: $300-$600
  • 1-2 day hospitalization: $600-$1,700
  • 3-5 day hospitalization: $1,500-$3,500
  • Wound treatment & repair: $800-$1,500
  • Emergency surgery: $800-$2,500

Though pet care costs for cats tend to be on the lower end of the bracket, these numbers can add up, especially if you have multiple pets. The good news is that vaccines and routine care like flea and tick treatment are included in a wellness plan—simply pay a low monthly fee and get reimbursed for taking care of your pet. 

Care you can get virtually 

Virtual care for humans has been around for awhile, but now you can get virtual care for your pets, too. Our pets are part of our family, so they should also have access to 24/7, on-demand virtual care. There’s no substitute for in-person care for true emergencies like a broken bone, but you’d be surprised at what veterinarians can do through telemedicine:

  • Basic first aid for wounds and scratches
  • Upset stomachs
  • Fleas and ticks
  • Allergies
  • Skin irritations
  • Diet, nutrition, and weight loss
  • Oral health and hygiene
  • Behavior issues

While it is still important to have a thorough physical exam by your primary veterinarian once a year so you are able to get prescription and prevention refills, there is plenty a veterinarian can do for your pet through virtual care. There’s so much more that veterinarians can do for your pet through virtual care, including getting a second opinion. Instead of googling, you can request a virtual video call and get sound advice from a trusted veterinarian. You can even share photos and videos so the vet can see the pet in their natural environment and get a better sense of what might be going on.

How to know when in-person or virtual care is right for the situation 

Not only can telemedicine give you access to care long after your vet’s office has closed, but you can contact a vet to find out if you need to go to urgent care or if it’s OK to wait. Sometimes you’re not sure if you have a true emergency on your hands but you want to get some peace of mind. Before heading down to the emergency clinic and enduring extended wait times, which can last for several hours, you can connect with a vet through Airvet for an expert opinion. If the vet determines that it’s something that can wait, you’ve saved quite a bit of time and money. If it is an emergency, then at least you know what you need to do to take care of your pet.

Learn more about Airvet membership—access unlimited video visits so you have no need to worry about the cost of individual video visits adding up. Airvet is your trusted pet care companion for questions big and small. We work together with you and your veterinarian to take a team approach to taking the best care of your pet. Now that you know more about how telemedicine can help you have access to medical care from the comforts of home and keep pet care costs down, you can make better decisions about how to care for your family.

Download the app