Chewy Launches Virtual Vet Visits In Response to Pandemic Pet Boom

It's become commonplace to see your doctor via virtual visit amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic—and now, with Chewy, a virtual vet visit has become possible, too.

"Connect-with-a-Vet" allows the retailer's customers to get advice from a licensed veterinarian regarding the health of their dogs or cats. The service is free for customers who are part of Autoship, the subscription service that automatically ships out Chewy goods on a consistent schedule.

CEO Sumit Singh said the company had been thinking about the possibility of a pet telehealth service prior to the pandemic, but a greater need for the service sped up development.

"It was one of the irons in the fire, but clearly, the pandemic has accelerated our effort," Singh said.

As more and more Americans are adopting and fostering pets to combat loneliness during the global health crisis, many vet clinics have faced temporary shutdowns, reduced hours, or limited pet visits per day in order to appropriately allow for social distancing.

"It causes deep stress anyway when your pet is ill, but when it happens at 7:30 p.m. on a Friday evening, you’re just a notch shy from panicking," Singh continued.

The service will be available through the Chewy website in 35 states. Vets will be online weekdays between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

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