Should pet telemedicine services be legalized in all states? Here is why we think yes:
1. By allowing virtual veterinary visits, pet owners living in communities without access to quality in-person veterinary services, like rural areas or traditionally low-income neighborhoods, are placed at a disadvantage when it comes to managing their pet’s health. Furthermore, people physically incapable of a person visit would benefit from the convenience provided by online appointments. Governments should strive to promote equality by increasing accessibility to resources for its citizens. Changing legislation surrounding telemedicine services and online appointments are some of the easiest ways to do so.
2. Gaps created by workforce shortages of veterinarians, recently exasperated by the COVID-19 pandemic, could be bridged through telemedicine services. Not only do virtual visits decrease the overhead costs of running a veterinary practice, but also often allows veterinary professionals to meet with a larger number of people as they are no longer constricted to geographic location or the challenges that come with scheduling in-person appointments.
3. Many conditions can be treated without in person visits. Pet owners are inclined to pay for costly vet visits regarding physical exams or non urgent situations which, oftentimes, do not require in person consultations. As long as the online veterinary teams have sufficient medical education, they should be able to provide helpful advice and treatment for the pets. There are many instances where owners become worried when their pets start vomiting or acting differently, but it isn’t always necessary to set up an in person appointment that may interfere with their busy schedules. Instead, pet owners can look to online veterinary care as a more convenient alternative where the medical professionals can virtually tell them whether or not it is an emergency and give them advice on possible treatments. As they have the same credentials as clinical veterinarians, they can prescribe medication that may easily solve the issue without having to go to the clinic.
4. Pet owners own their pets and should be able to make their own choice about using telemedicine. Pets offer lots of assistance and emotional support to their families, and they are seen as great companions to their human counterparts. Since pets do not have the ability to speak their needs, the owners take on that responsibility to keep their pets healthy and safe. Owners keep their pets’ health in their best interest, and it is up to them to decide whether or not they can receive telemedicine. It is important to note that many clients willingly receive accessible treatment for their pets and understand the potential risks and benefits of receiving telemedicine. In fact, Telepaws has their own set of terms and conditions that clients and veterinarians agree to: in certain states where telemedicine is allowed, owners sign informed consent forms where they are thoroughly made aware of the possible advantages and disadvantages of undergoing virtual treatment.