In a world of telehealth for humans, it always seemed that I could never find a good solution for pet telehealth for my dog—that is, until this morning.
On the way back to our apartment from our morning walk, my dog Millie let out the dreaded head shake. She only did it once, so I was convinced we were safe. But another 20 feet and there it was—that head shake again. Every dog owner knows it. Ear infection.
At first, for a split second, my reaction was annoyance. We don’t have time to go to the vet right now, we’re leaving for a family wedding and work starts in like 30 minutes. A quick (and panicked) Google search for “best pet telehealth” led me to Dutch.
Dutch, is a dedicated online vet care platform offering monthly subscriptions for $35. This grants you access to a pet telehealth appointment on the same day. Sold.
Millie has had ear infections in the past, so I know just walking in the door at our vet is going to cost us $150. Since living in NYC is expensive already, I can’t quite take on vet bills, never mind the additional cost of any exams, shots, or medicine she may need. Every “sick visit” to the vet for us ends up being a $350 bill, even with Pet Insurance. It all just feels like a racket.
Millie is a 70-pound, 10-month-old bundle of joy. She’s a Golden Mountain Dog, which is an obnoxiously gorgeous mix of Bernese Mountain Dog and Golden Retriever. She’s got the gentle eyes of a retriever and the big, fluffy paws and coloring of a Bernese, and she’s as energetic as she is adorable. But like many dogs, she has her quirks and health issues. This time, it was her right ear that was causing her grief.
I decided to give Dutch a shot. I filled out the brief questionnaire about Millie’s symptoms, uploaded a picture of her ear, and requested a pet telehealth appointment. Within minutes, I received a notification that a vet would be available for a video call in about 2 hours. Perfect timing in between my morning meetings.
During the video call, the vet was friendly and professional. She examined Millie through the screen and confirmed my suspicions: an ear infection. She recommended an antifungal ear cleaner and a hydrocortisone ear ointment, all over the counter. If Millie had needed an RX, the vet could have sent the prescription right to my local pharmacy or delivered it to my door.
In less time than it would take me to commute to the vet’s office, Millie’s treatment plan was in my online cart within the Dutch profile, so I could see exactly what I needed to buy. The vet informed me that I didn’t have to order the products from Dutch, she just wanted Millie to feel better! And because time was of the essence I decided to run to my local pet store to grab the items – shout out to Le Pet Spa in Battery Park City!
The best part? The entire Dutch experience cost me only $35—a fraction of the price I would have paid for an in-person visit. I cannot explain how good this made me feel.
As I made my way to the store, all I could think was: “I have to tell my Mom about this.” I had already texted my best friends group chat, all dog or cat owners, to let them know this company existed. I live by the philosophy that when you find something good, you’ve got to share it.
It’s been a few days now and the treatment is working its magic. I feel so grateful for the convenience and affordability of Dutch. In the grand scheme of things, I know an ear infection is not a crisis. But, the time and money saved combined with peace of mind I have felt throughout this entire experience really changed my outlook on having a sick dog.
Thanks to Dutch, now I don’t have to sacrifice anything for Millie’s well-being. With her ear on the mend, we are back on track for our family wedding adventure. And as I look down at her, dumb, beautiful face, I know that I can always help her, no matter what she needs. I’ll never have to decide between an unaffordable vet visit and Millie’s overall health and happiness.
Like I said, I’m literally telling everyone about Dutch.
Great news: Dutch is sharing an exclusive offer with Tinybeans families for $50 off of an annual membership using code Tinybeans50.*
*Promo code will be automatically applied when using this link.