The next time Fido or Fluffy eat a cardboard box or get stung by an unknown insect, subscribers can get expert advice from a veterinarian starting at $10 a month, reports Mental Floss. Imagine not having to Google your pet’s condition but being able to talk to a real vet “on demand.” The new subscription service is called Fuzzy Pet Health, and the basic level – Fuzzy Connect – is available nationwide. Its other two membership plans are limited to the San Francisco Bay area (San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Clara, Berkeley, Oakland, Daly City, Sunnyvale, San Mateo, Marin and Walnut Creek).
‘Talking to a vet shouldn’t require booking ahead, hauling pets in crates or long waiting times in clinics.
With Fuzzy, you get real-time access to vets for health questions, behavioral advice, and immediate help in those “Oh sh*t” moments, whenever and wherever they come up,’ says Fuzzy on their website.
The nationwide Fuzzy Connect telemedicine plan is available for $10 a month. It provides members with unlimited access to Fuzzy’s app which includes chatting with one of 11 trained and vetted veterinarians and the ability to send photos and video to get medical advice. Members can also receive diet and behavioral recommendations, get prescriptions and book in-home visits, where available. In addition, Fuzzy Connect members can access Fuzzy’s a la carte vet services and medications.
The Fuzzy Wellness plan is available for $420 a year, or $39 a month for 12 months, and it offers unlimited access to vet advice through the Fuzzy app. It also includes two in-home vet checkups (one every six months), an annual supply of top-brand flea, tick and heartworm medications, core vaccines and boosters administered at home, semi-annual heartworm, and fecal and FiV/FeLV testing every six months. Fuzzy Wellness members can also access Fuzzy’s a la carte vet services and medications.
The Fuzzy Plus plan costs $1,07 per year, or $99 a month for 12 months. It offers the same benefits as the Wellness plan along with two additional in-home visits (visits every three months), cold laser therapy treatments (a consultation and five sessions) and 15 percent off all prescriptions and food orders. Fuzzy Plus plan members can also access Fuzzy’s a la carte vet services and medications.
All three plans are available after a seven-day free trial. The Fuzzy Connect plan is month-to-month and members can cancel at any time. Fuzzy Plus and Wellness plans require a 12-month commitment. Members can cancel their service at any time, but they must still make their monthly payments for the full year. A la carte services are available for all plans. They include a range of services and price levels including additional in-home vet visits, diagnostics, therapeutics and travel health certificates. Fuzzy offers a 10 percent discount for homes with more than one dog or cat.
Why a membership model? Fuzzy explains that in its membership FAQs:
‘You can think of the membership as more of a payment plan – it breaks up the costs of care across 12 months. Because you pay the same amount every month, a membership model allows us to provide ongoing care and do what’s best for the pet, not what makes Fuzzy the most money. We believe providing care only under a traditional a la carte pricing model incentivizes traditional clinics to deliver more medicine rather than better medicine,’ says Fuzzy.
Fuzzy also explains how its veterinary care program differs from traditional vet care.
‘Besides delivering care in-home and offering remote access to our veterinarians, Fuzzy focuses on preventative and wellness care. This means that in a way, we’re a veterinary practice that doesn’t want you to go to the vet. Of course, we will provide medical care whenever your pet needs it, but we like to prevent illnesses, not just cure them. Also, a big part of what we do is focused on the pet parent – we empower you with training and content to help you make the best health decisions for your pets,’ writes Fuzzy.
As the owner of an elderly cat and a diabetic dog, I think this service is sheer genius. We all have busy lives, but our pets shouldn’t have to suffer because it is hard to find time to get our furry friends to the vet. Fuzzy identified a need to provide dependable, convenient, affordable vet care and filled it in ways we like to connect – via our smartphones and with a membership model. Being able to chat with a vet 24/7 and to get dependable, local, in-home care (if you’re in the Bay area) serve important needs for pet owners. Two paws up for this membership service!