Chewy is getting into telehealth — the latest retail health care offering for pets.
The online pet product retailer’s new service, Connect With a Vet, enables pet parents and veterinarians to leverage the company’s proprietary tele-triage platform to preserve continuous veterinarian care and support amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
With this service, Chewy makes it possible for pet parents to connect directly with a licensed veterinarian to get answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, receive advice, discuss concerns they might have regarding the health and wellness of their pet, and even get referrals to local vets or emergency clinics.
The vets aren't diagnosing medical conditions, providing treatment, or prescribing medications. During the pilot phase of the Connect With a Vet program, more than 80% of users rated the service 10/10, Chewy said.
“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,” said Sumit Singh, CEO of Dania Beach, Florida-based Chewy. “We are always looking to enhance our customers’ experience. 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?"
The launch of this service follows the debut early in October of a Petco subscription wellness service for pets. The new service is called the Vital Care Wellness Program. According to the San Diego-based retailer, it’s a paid annual plan providing pet parents with a convenient, affordable way to meet their pets' routine wellness needs.
As for Chewy, its “Connect With a Vet” tele-triage service was initially launched in Florida and Massachusetts this past May, and Chewy has expanded it to more than 35 states, with plans of offering it nationwide. The service is currently available exclusively and free of charge to customers who are subscribed to the company’s Autoship program, which is responsible for nearly 70% of its net sales.