FirstVet , the UK’s leading provider of on-demand video consultations with local, qualified vets, is making its services available for free to all pet owners and animals across the UK from today, Wednesday 18 March, until 30 April, in cooperation of is insurance partners Bought By Many, LV= and Waggel.
As COVID-19 continues to spread across the world, FirstVet aims to alleviate some of the stress and uncertainty for UK-based pet owners by providing its services without charge over the next six weeks, regardless of the individual’s insurance status. Appointments will be available from Wednesday 18 March to Thursday 30 April, for five hours per day: from 12:00 – 17:00. FirstVet has also made its services available for free in the Nordics, where the Stockholm-founded company is headquartered. Since launching in the UK last year, FirstVet has taken in excess of seven thousand consultations with British pet owners (and their animal friends, from cats to horses, dogs to tortoises).
Whilst the reporting of COVID-19 focuses on the human health sector – and rightfully so as there are no known risks for animals – the decision has been made as FirstVet has experienced a dramatic 20 percent week-on-week increase in pet owners using its video vet service due to self-isolation and mandatory quarantine. In addition, veterinary clinics across the UK have temporarily closed and, by administering availability of the FirstVet service, the company hopes to alleviate the pressure on the clinics that are still open, as well as ensuring that pets and pet owners continue to have access to qualified veterinary care.
David Prien, CEO and co-founder of FirstVet, comments : “Our number one concern is supporting the health of pets and their owners alike, which is why we and our insurance partners have decided to make our services available to all, regardless of insurance status, until the end of April 2020. We are aware that the situation we find ourselves in is, for many, unprecedented, and we are keen to do all we can to help take away some of the stress and uncertainty that we know pet owners are experiencing. We are also committed to playing our part in reducing unnecessary travel when social distancing measures are in place and hope that we can reduce some of the pressure experienced by the physical vet clinics that are being impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.”
How to book your consultation
Using the app, pet owners can video call UK-registered vets who can offer advice on treatments and symptoms, from the comfort of their own home. Video appointments can be booked in as often as necessary, with users often being able to meet with vets within 30 minutes of requesting an appointment.
The standard FirstVet consultation session prices (£20 + VAT on weekdays 9am-6pm, and £30 + VAT out of hours) will be waived over the next six weeks.
As well as providing support for consumers, and creating new opportunities for vets, FirstVet also partners with pet insurance companies in the United Kingdom. These include Waggel, LV=, and Bought By Many. Appointments will continue to be made available to pet owners that use these insurance providers free of charge, 24 hours a day.