Dog ownership is a multifaceted responsibility.
You have to do everything for your pup, from feeding her a healthy food and brushing her chompers, to providing mental and physical enrichment. You’ll also have to teach her basic obedience and convince her that it is much more fun to poop outside than on the living room floor.
But there’s one more big responsibility on your pet-care plate: You have to keep her healthy. And this means securing veterinary help from time to time.
This, as you probably already know, is often one of the most challenging components of your pet’s care.
Even if you find a vet you love, he or she is unlikely to be available at all hours of the day or night (not to mention weekends and holidays). And for that matter, you’ll typically need to drive over to the office for assistance – even if you just have a quick and simple question.
And don’t even get us started on the money veterinary care will cost you.
Scheduled vaccinations, occasional boo-boos, and other types of routine, average vet care visits are usually more-or-less affordable, but if your dog suffers some kind of medical emergency, you can quickly find yourself staring down the business end of a very hefty vet bill.
But what if we told you there was another option?
An option that would not only solve the veterinary access issue but also help cover some emergency vet expenses.
There is, and it’s called Pawp.
We’re pretty excited about this program, and we’ll tell you all about it below.
You’re going to want to check this out.
Pawp Online Pet Clinic: Key Takeaways
- Pawp is a digital clinic for pets that allows you to consult a vet 24/7. This means the next time your doggo is displaying some kind of troubling symptom, you can quickly secure some veterinary guidance.
- Pawp also provides up to $3,000 per year in emergency health care coverage for your pet. If the consulting vet decides you need to take your pupper into the pet emergency room, Pawp will cover the first three grand in expenses.
- It’ll only cost you $24 per month to become a member. And for this fee, your subscription will actually cover up to six dogs and cats within a household to ensure your whole pack is covered.
Pawp in Practice: A Super Scary Scenario
You’re sitting around at home with the fam. It’s around 9:30 on a Saturday night and you’re finishing up whatever cute-but-slightly-annoying animated flick your kids demanded that you watch. Still, it’s been a good night, the popcorn was tasty, and it’s about time to shut everything down for a good night’s sleep.
All of a sudden, your beloved family four-footer trots into the living room and starts vomiting and retching. She’s also whining and looks like she’s in distress.
Something isn’t right.
Your kids start freaking out. Your dog is freaking out. Your spouse is low-key freaking out too.
And now they’re all looking at you for answers.
What do you do?
Historically, you’d have one of two options:
- Assume that your dog will be fine, clean up the mess, and just hope for the best.
- Load the pupper in the car, drive over to the pet emergency room, and prepare for a four- or five-digit vet bill.
The former option obviously entails a lot of risk. What if your pooch is suffering from bloat? What if she snuck some chocolate from the kitchen counter? What if her digestive tract has become blocked from a sock she slurped down?
None of these are the types of problems you can ignore or wait until morning to see if she’s feeling better. She needs help now.
Meanwhile, the latter option may saddle you with expensive and unnecessary vet bills — even if your dog isn’t really suffering from anything serious, simply walking in the front door of a pet emergency room will usually hit you right in the wallet.
Here’s the thing: Pawp eliminates the need for you to guess whether or not your pet needs immediate veterinary attention.
It’s a new kind of pet health care program that will help you decide when you can take a wait-and-see approach or take care of the problem yourself, and when you need to hop in the car and head to the vet ASAP.
But that’s not all – Pawp will also help cover some of the costs involved with these kinds of pet health emergencies.
We’ll explain everything you need to know in the next section.
Pawp Program Basics: What Does It Cost and What Do You Get?
Unlike some other pet health care programs and services, which are obscenely complicated and difficult to grasp, Pawp is crazy simple.
You pay $24.00 per month.
In exchange for your monthly Andrew Jackson, you get two primary benefits:
- You’ll receive unlimited – yes, unlimited – consultations with a licensed veterinarian. You can do so via a chat function or a video call. And you can do this anytime you need to; the vets are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- If your pet ends up needing emergency veterinary care, your Pawp plan will cover one emergency per year for up $3,000 worth of bills.
And these benefits don’t just apply to one specific pet – your Pawp plan covers up to six (!) dogs or cats in your household (unfortunately, Pawp doesn’t yet cover other types of animals).
There are some other details and fine print involved, but that’s the gist of the program – just be sure to read through the details before enrolling.
The Pros & Cons of Pawp
Like any other pet health care plan or program, there are good things and not-so-good things about Pawp. We think the pros outweigh the cons by a pretty substantial margin, but we’ll outline both below, so you can decide for yourself.
The Pros of Pawp
Some of the coolest things about Pawp include:
- Access to veterinary advice. This in itself will justify the cost of the program for most owners. A single veterinary visit could cost you almost half of your yearly premiums – even if you just need a super simple question answered. Need two or three questions answered in a year? You’ll already be ahead of the game.
- 24/7 access to their vets. For whatever reason, it seems like dogs remain healthy during working hours and decide to injure or sicken themselves the moment your usual vet goes home for the day. With Pawp, you’ll have access to a vet no matter the hour, thereby allowing you to avoid (expensive) pet emergency rooms in many cases.
- $3,000 worth of coverage for one emergency veterinary visit for one pet each year. Hopefully, you won’t ever need emergency vet care for your pet. But if you do, this will pay for your Pawp subscription several times over. Plus, this could be a literal lifesaver if you don’t have a couple of grand lying around to cover emergency care.
- Pawp’s plan covers pre-existing conditions. Unlike a lot of pet health care plans, which do not cover pre-existing health problems, Pawp will cover health problems that stem from ailments your pooch already suffers from.
- The chance to speak with a vet in multiple ways. Personally, I’d likely opt for the chat function (this way I could save the conversation very easily for future reference). But others may find the video call to be the better way to converse with a vet. Either way, you can choose whichever method you prefer.
- Coverage for all of your pets (in most cases). Technically, Pawp only covers six dogs or cats, but this will likely suffice for the vast majority of owners. Pawp accepts all dogs and cats regardless of their age or breed.
- Pawp provides a nifty dashboard portal to access your account. Lots of pet health care insurances and programs have complicated, decidedly non-user-friendly portals, but Pawp’s dashboard is super intuitive and easy to navigate. No matter the reason you load the page, you’ll find what you need quickly and easily.
- You can access your Pawp dashboard via your phone. I’m pretty old-school and work from my computer all day anyway, so I kind of prefer the desktop version of the Pawp dashboard. But I’m probably in the minority, and most owners will prefer accessing their Pawp account via their phone. This also means you can access your Pawp account when you’re out and about with your pooch – something that may be necessary if your pooch suffers a sudden injury at the dog park, for example.
- You can check out tons of informative articles via Pawp’s dashboard. We’d humbly suggest that you’re already checking out the world’s best resource for dog-care info, but Pawp also has lots of great reading material for owners to peruse.
The Cons of Pawp
Again, we’re pretty excited about Pawp and think it is a great program for most owners to consider. But no product or service is perfect, and there are a few less-than-ideal things about Pawp to make sure you note:
- Pawp’s vets can’t write prescriptions. This is an unfortunately common issue with most pet telehealth plans, but because of the legal and logistical details involved, you’ll still need to take your pooch to your regular vet to get a dog antibiotic for her ear infection or a pain killer for her ailing hips and joint pain.
- The $3,000 in covered expenses are only for one emergency per year. You won’t get any help paying for your dog’s vaccinations or regular checkups – you’ll still have to come out of pocket for these, or get help from an organization willing to help pay your vet bills.
- There’s a 14-day waiting period before your emergency pet care funds become available. Really, this shouldn’t be a big deal for most owners – we imagine that it’s just a way to prevent owners from abusing the program. If it weren’t for this waiting period, you could just sign up for Pawp on the way to the emergency room after paying less than 20 bucks, and that’s not right or fair. So, sign up now – while your pooch is healthy and happy.
Many owners are reluctant to sign up for any kind of on-going program or subscription.
But Pawp understands this and wants to make it easy for owners to try out the program without spending a dime.
That’s right — they’re offering a FREE 7-Day Trial.
This way, you can check out Pawp first-hand, peruse all the nifty things they offer, and even have a consultation with one of their veterinarians.
Is Pawp Right for You and Your Pet?
Look, every pet owner has to consider his or her specific circumstances and make the best possible choice regarding pet health care.
But we think Pawp is a great option for most owners.
Whether you have one pet or six, whether your pet is generally healthy or deals with chronic health problems, Pawp can provide guidance and peace of mind when you need it most. And if it turns out that you need to take your pet in for emergency services, your Pawp subscription will help defer a significant percentage of the costs involved.
Some of the owners who may be especially well-suited for the program include:
- Owners on tight budgets who may not be able to afford a sudden $3,000 emergency vet bill.
- Those of us who are prone to worrying (like yours truly) and could benefit from the chance to ask a vet about any of the 50 concerns about your pet’s health you have on a daily basis.
- People who have multiple pets, as they’re more likely to experience a health problem on any given day.
- Owners who live in rural areas and don’t have the same kind of access to vet care that those living in major urban areas do.
- Anyone suffering from their own health problems or are otherwise unable to easily get to the vet’s office.
- Owners who’d just like to avoid the stress of unnecessary late-night vet visits.
- First-time pet owners who may not be as familiar with some of the common health issues that may arise.
- Dog breeders and pet owners with pregnant pups, who may experience relatively unusual issues (not to mention, it’s always wise to avoid unnecessarily packing up your expectant momma in the car).
- Those with dogs who suffer from chronic health problems and need frequent health guidance.
But in reality, we think that just about every owner should at least consider enrolling in Pawp.
The only two exceptions we can envision include:
- Owners who are filthy rich. If you’re currently reading this while sitting atop a pile of money Scrooge-McDuck-style, then don’t worry about enrolling in Pawp. Just write a check when you need to or hire an on-call vet, money bags. And while you’re at it, add me to your holiday gift list.
- Owners who are actually vets themselves. If you’ve already coughed up the cash for veterinary school and completed your residency, you can probably figure out if your dog is barfing because she’s in danger or because she just ate too much peanut butter. Vet techs and the family members of veterinarians probably also fit into this category.
But aside from owners who fall into the Mr. Drummond (I’m really dating myself with that reference) or licensed vet categories, we think just about everyone else should consider Pawp.
Getting Started: Enrolling in Pawp
Convinced that Pawp is a great fit for you and your four-footer? Awesome. We’ll walk you through the signup process (which is super quick and easy).
The first thing you’ll do is click on the “Get Started” button in the top right corner of Pawp’s home page. This will take you to the next few pages, where you’ll provide some info about yourself and your pooch.
The information you’ll need to provide includes:
- Your pet’s name
- Your pet’s species (dog or cat)
- Your pet’s breed (and boy does Pawp have you covered, here! They not only include an array of purebreds – including several I’d never even heard of – but they also provide options for a number of common mixed breeds).
- Your pet’s age
- Your pet’s weight
- Your first name
- Your last name
- Your email address
- Your zip code
- From here, you’ll have the chance to learn more about your plan or proceed to the checkout
- At the checkout screen, you’ll provide a credit card number (they also accept Paypal and Google Pay), your email address, and a password. You can also enter a coupon code here if you have one.
- On the next page, you’ll have the chance to provide your phone number.
- You’ll then have the chance to earn a free dog toy – just copy the link provided and share it with a friend. If he or she signs up, you’ll receive a brand-spankin’ new doggo toy shortly later.
Once you’ve finished all the steps above, you’ll be redirected to your Pawp dashboard – the place from which you can access all of the goodies your new Pawp subscription provides.
Need to speak with a vet? Need a question answered?
You can do all that and more right there. You can also read some of Pawp’s articles covering an array of topics and common owner questions.
Do yourself a favor and go ahead and bookmark this page so you can access it quickly and easily if you’re confronted with a pet health emergency.
Oh, and about this time, you’ll get a text from Pawp (if you provided your phone number) welcoming you to the service and providing a link to your dashboard. If not, you’ll get it over email.
A big part of what we do here at K9 of Mine is inform dog owners about opportunities to better care for their pets and give their beloved four-footers the best quality of life possible. And in this instance, it’s proven quite easy to do so!
Bottom line: Pawp is a nifty new program that may be immensely helpful when you’re looking down at a sick or injured pooch. You’ll have the chance to speak with a vet quickly and easily, and it’ll even help you cover some of the costs associated with emergency pet care.
Yeah, you’ll have to pay less than 20 bucks a month to get it, but we think that – for the vast majority of owners – the program is well worth the expense.
Honestly, I think it’s worth the cost just to have 24/7 access to a virtual veterinarian, but the $3,000 in emergency vet services coverage makes it a complete no-brainer.
Definitely check out Pawp’s site for more info and give serious consideration to enrolling.
Are you already a Pawp member? How have you liked the service? Are there any noteworthy things you’d like to point out that we missed?
Let us know in the comments below!