Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to the most common questions about how the Online Vets service works.
About Online Vets
Can vets prescribe medication using Online Vets?
Our vet team are unable to perform diagnoses or prescribe medication from a video or telemedicine appointment. We can, however, provide effective advice on non-urgent problems and can answer queries or questions relating to your pet's wellbeing.
Don't worry - if your pet does need prescribed medication, you can visit an accredited practice of your choice and they'll take the price of your Online consult off your bill in practice.
How does it work?
A video call is just like a Skype or Facetime call. We recommend watching the initial video, which explains how the process works. You don't need any special gadgets or technology to use the Online Vets service though, just a webcam and mic so the vet can see and hear you and your pet (don't worry, most modern laptops and phones have inbuilt cameras). The vet can gain plenty of information and provide reliable advice based on your pet's behaviour, demeanour, physical characteristics and body language - all of which they can observe on a webcam.
If you choose a Chat service, this will work in a similar way to WhatsApp. Chats are a good option if you don't have access to a webcam or if your internet connection is faulty.
How long will my appointment last?
Video consults are scheduled to last 15 minutes. If we're unable to deliver the advice you need within that time, we can extend the appointment as necessary. If the call is stretching out too long, the vet might ask you to pay an additional consultation fee.
What equipment do I need?
Online Vets works on a laptop, tablet or smartphone. We prefer to communicate using video so the vet can see your pet and talk with you face to face, so it's useful if your device has a webcam and mic.
You'll also need a decent internet connection!
Who are the vets I'll be speaking with?
Our vets are all experienced clinicians with a wealth of knowledge in 1st Opinion care. They're all actively working in practices across the UK and are RCVS accredited.
When to use Online Vets
Can I use Online Vets abroad?
The service is accessible worldwide and we welcome the opportunity to provide advice to owners abroad. Please do note, however, that in the UK we have a network of veterinary practices and referral centres that enables us to provide any in-person care required, at any time of the day. We can't offer this outside of the UK at this time. As such, if you're referred to a practice abroad, or a practice outside the My Family Pet group, you'll be unable to claim your discount for your online consultation fee.
When shouldn't I use Online Vets?
If your pet's condition is serious and requires urgent veterinary attention, you should always attend a consultation in person with your registered veterinary practice. We advise owners to use Online Vets for non-urgent queries only.
Which animals can you help with?
At the moment, we're only able to provide online consultations for dogs, cats and small furries (such as guinea pigs, hamsters and rabbits).
Which symptoms can Online Vets help with?
We know that being a pet owner can sometimes be a worry. We're here to answer ANY questions or concerns you may have. On most occasions, we can help you decide the right course of action for the health and wellbeing of your pet.
Cost and payment
How can I get a refund?
We can only offer refunds if:
-You are unable to complete your consultation due to a technical problem.
-The vet is unable to provide you with any information, guidance or advice.
If you believe you are entitled to a refund, you should contact us as soon as possible in writing (by email to support@OnlineVets.co.uk). We will then verify your entitlement to a refund and, if appropriate, complete the refund as soon as possible.
How much does an appointment cost?
A 15-minute video consultation costs £16. If the consultation lasts longer than 15 minutes, there may be a charge for any additional time.
What happens if I need to see a vet after my appointment?
During your online consultation, you might be advised to visit a vet in practice.
In this case, Online Vets will provide you with a unique code that enables a £16 discount from a consultation at any of our 750+ UK practices. In effect, this would mean the Online Vets service was a FREE advice source. Your vet will highlight your closest participating practice and if this isn't suitable for you and your pet, you can Find a Vet online.
Please note, if you choose to visit your own practice outside of our My Family Pet network, the £16 discount code will not be accepted.
Vets Now clinics do not currently participate in the Online Vets discount programme.