Chewy delivers free veterinary teleadvice

Pet owners who schedule periodic product deliveries through Chewy can get free veterinary advice under the online retailer’s new Connect With a Vet service.

Live chats are available to autoship customers in 37 states and the District of Columbia from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time Monday through Friday.

“We know that caring for pets during the pandemic can be stressful for both pet parents and vets, considering the long wait times and impact to accessibility,” a company spokesperson said. “As the No. 1 ecommerce pet pharmacy in the U.S., we are partnering with vets to expand the services offered in our Chewy Health ecosystem in an effort to elevate the experience for all members of the pet health community.”

A virtual conversation is requested when a Chewy subscriber logs in to his or her account and clicks a “Chat Now” button. Pet photos and videos may be uploaded to assist the veterinarian.

The teleadvice veterinarians will not diagnose medical conditions, prescribe medications or authorize drug refills.

“Most health- and behavior-related questions can be addressed,” Chewy explained on its website. “Veterinarians can also provide clarity on the urgency of the situation and inform you when you need an in-person consult or need to seek emergency care. If your pet is experiencing a life-threatening situation, please go directly to the closest veterinary clinic.”

Chewy is planning the nationwide expansion of Connect With a Vet, the company spokesperson said.

The service is currently offered in Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota. Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

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