Chewy Announces Pet Telehealth Service
Online pet food and products retailer Chewy has found another way to connect with pet owners and ultimately fuel sales, telehealth sessions with licensed veterinarians.
As it rides a wave of growth driven by the coronavirus crisis, Chewy is rolling out a new pet telehealth service, “Connect With a Vet.”
The new service enables “pet parents” and veterinarians as well to connect on Chewy’s “proprietary tele-triage platform,” the company said in a Wednesday (Oct. 28) press release.
Through the service, pet owners can chat with licensed veterinarians and get answers “to some of the most commonly asked questions,” as well as to “receive advice” and “discuss concerns they might have regarding the health and wellness of their pet,” according to Chewy.
While pet owners can also get referrals to local vets and emergency clinics, vets won’t be allowed to use the telehealth service to diagnose medical conditions, prescribe medications or provide treatment.
After an initial launch in May in Florida and Massachusetts, Chewy has expanded its “Connect With a Vet” telehealth offering to 35 different states, with plans to take the service nationwide.
The service is free of charge to customers, but they must subscribe to Chewy’s Autoship program, which generates 70 percent of its net sales, the company noted.
“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,” Chewy CEO Sumit Singh said in the press release.
“Visiting a local vet continues to be a challenge for many pet parents during this time,” Singh noted.
Overall, telehealth is part of a fast-growing sector in the pet care industry, with U.S. consumers spending $29 billion a year on pet care and veterinary care.