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How Can I Access Vet Care During COVID-19?

As the impact of COVID-19 settles across our daily lives, moving us to “Safer at Home” orders and social distancing practices, many pet parents are left wondering how they can access veterinarian care for their pets. This is especially important to anyone who has older pets or pets with chronic medical conditions. 

To empower our pet-loving communities with information you can use, we’ve compiled answers to your top questions on vet care during COVID-19:

Are Veterinarian Offices Open During COVID-19? 

Yes. Most veterinarian offices remain open across the nation with adjusted services as recommended by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). It is important to note that most vets are reducing their services to essential/emergency services only to help reduce risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus among staff and clients, and preserve medical supplies. 

What Are “Essential” vs “Non-Essential” Veterinary Services? 

This will likely differ by practice. The AVMA suggests vets defer non-urgent or elective services such as grooming or nail trims for now, but makes it abundantly clear that any urgent medical needs should still be addressed. If you feel your pet has an immediate medical need, please call and consult with your veterinarian. 

How Do I Visit a Vet Safely? 

Many offices are also offering no-touch vet visits where technicians come out to a client’s car to pick up a pet for their visit, or “telehealth” appointments over a video call. You can call ahead to your veterinarian’s office to find out about their protocols. 

What Do I Do If My Pet Needs Medical Attention? 

Call your veterinarian. Many veterinarian offices are still open full time, with staff at the phones. Let them know your pet’s issue and they will direct you to the appropriate care. If your regular veterinarian office isn’t open and your pet is not experiencing a medical emergency, you can try vet telehealth options. If your pet is experiencing a medical emergency, we recommend calling your local Vet Emergency Hospital immediately.

These are uncertain times, but there is still plenty of support for pet parents… we just have to learn to access that support in a new way. We hope this information helps you pet parents feel confident in their ability to care well for our furrier family members.