It’s the middle of the busy work week, and you’ve just noticed that your cat’s licking her paws, which are red and a little swollen. Your vet is booked for the next month, and your poor cat’s paws don’t seem to be getting any better on their own. Is it time for a trip to the animal hospital, which will pull several hundred dollars? Should you wait for the next vet appointment and cross your fingers that it doesn’t get worse in the meantime?
Neither option is great if you’re trying to be the best pet owner possible. That’s where Pawp, an online veterinary care subscription service, steps in. They offer vet care 24/7, so you can always connect to a vet within two minutes, no matter what time it is.
We looked into Pawp to learn more about how their service works so that you have the most up-to-date, accurate information to decide if Pawp is right for you and your pets.
- Unlimited number of calls and messages for a flat monthly rate
- Connect with a vet professional within two minutes no matter what time it is
- Fast response time
- $3,000 emergency fund you can use to cover an emergency expense
- Pawp Perks allows employers to offer free or subsidized pet care coverage
- Ability to gift memberships in six-month increments
- Autoship your Pawp Pharmacy’s purchases for 5% off
- 7-day Free Trial
- Emergency fund use is restricted to when Pawp has pre-authorized the situation
- Only available for dogs and cats
- Cannot write new prescriptions
We’re impressed by this on-demand vet service. Pawp gives you a vet care team on call 24/7 to help your pets stay healthy. Their team of licensed vets and vet techs connects with you in two minutes or less every time for prompt care at a reasonable flat rate, which you can cancel at any time. No limits on calls or messages mean that your pet will always be able to get the care they need. Plus, Pawp offers a pharmacy (even without writing new prescriptions) with generous discounts and a few-strings-attached emergency fund you can use for up to $3,000 when you need to take your pet to an animal hospital. This full-service online vet has a huge array of care options, so you’ll know your pets are always in good hands.
Pawp’s online, on-demand vet service is available 24/7 for your pet’s care. Connect with a professional in 2 minutes.
A licensed vet team is always ready to help with fast, reliable care. Also get access to a $3,000 emergency fund to help cover unexpected costs. Purchase for yourself or give the gift of care to a friend or family member.
Over the past two decades, Innerbody Research has helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions about staying healthy and living healthier lifestyles.
We extensively test each health service or product we review. We try our best to give you, our readers, an unbiased exploration of at-home health options, free of marketing jargon or gimmicks. We evaluate products and services based on their adherence to quality and the latest medical evidence and health standards. We ask ourselves two simple questions: Would we buy the product or service ourselves if it weren’t part of our job? Would we recommend it to family and friends?
Additionally, like all health-related content on this website, this review was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.
Founded in 2018, Pawp is a 24/7 online veterinary care service. They provide fast, accurate, and attentive care to your pet from the comfort of your home. This platform uses a flat-fee model. You’ll pay $24 once a month for unlimited access to consultations with veterinary professionals and all of Pawp’s additional services, including:
- Pawp Pharmacy and discounts
- Emergency fund
Any time your pet has a new health or behavioral concern, you can send a text message or start a video call with one of Pawp’s veterinary professionals. If you talk with a vet professional over text message, you can also send pictures and videos of your pet to give your vet a better idea of what’s going on. This can be extremely helpful if, for example, your pet has a behavioral issue that they don’t display consistently.
Pawp advertises that you’ll be connected in two minutes or less, and our testers found that this rang true no matter what time we called.
At this time, cats and dogs are the only pets that Pawp will treat, but you can connect up to six of them to your account at any given time.
When can Pawp help my pet?
Technically, Pawp provides two kinds of care: teletriage and teleadvice.
Pawp will likely be able to help answer any questions that you have about your pet with teleadvice. This includes:
- General health
- Advice on existing health issues or conditions
- Behavioral questions
Essentially, anything that isn’t asking for a diagnosis or medication is fair game.
The vet staff can help in a lot of situations, but they can’t do everything. By law, they cannot diagnose any health concerns – even if it seems obvious – because they can’t physically touch or examine your pet. Plus, video quality can distort any number of visual cues vets use to identify disorders and diseases. They also can’t run any tests or lab work, which is crucial in many cases for proper diagnosis.
Teletriage helps you to decide if your pet is experiencing a true emergency. One of Pawp’s vet professionals will listen to what’s been happening with your pet and look at them to help you determine if it’s an emergency and how urgent the situation is. If so, they’ll recommend that you visit your local animal hospital. There are no diagnoses given, but this will also unlock access to Pawp’s emergency fund.
By paying for a Pawp membership, you’ll have the peace of mind that your pet will always have care when they need it. Pawp goes the extra mile and includes trips to the animal hospital in this figure.
The emergency fund is one of Pawp’s biggest perks. Should you need to take your pet in for an urgent concern, Pawp will give you up to $3,000 to cover the costs once a year. In some ways, this is like a pet insurance alternative combined with their speedy online vet calls. Emergencies are the only thing covered by this fund (for instance, if your cat has gotten into some lilies or your dog has eaten a sock and is severely blocked). However, there are no limits around pre-existing condition coverage, required payments, or specific hospitals to visit in order to unlock the fund.
There is a catch: you’ll need to have the trip pre-approved by Pawp’s vet staff first. This means giving a call to their veterinary professionals before you leave so that they can validate that, yes, your cat or dog needs to be seen in person ASAP. It’s a bit of a pain, particularly in situations that you know are emergencies, but it can also provide a little bit of reassurance that you’re doing the right thing. This is one big reason why it’s a good thing Pawp fulfills its promise of “2 minutes or less” wait time to speak with them.
Once you’ve called Pawp and a veterinary professional has confirmed your pet’s need to be seen, you’re free to head to the animal hospital. Any payments that the hospital will need up-front are your responsibility to cover at first, but the final invoice will go directly to Pawp, who will pay for up to $3,000, including reimbursing your up-front payment.
You can only use the fund once a year. If you don’t use the entire $3,000, there is no roll-over nor an option to use it a second time.
Once you’re a Pawp member, you’ll have access to their exclusive low-price pharmacy. They sell both over-the-counter and prescription medications for your pet at a discount, providing some of the lowest prices in the business to help make the best care accessible.
Due to state legal restrictions, Pawp cannot prescribe any new medications to your furry friend. However, if you have a prescription from an in-person veterinarian, you can order your prescription through Pawp. You’ll be asked to input information about the prescribing vet when you check out. Pawp’s customer support team will then ping them to verify the prescription information before shipping it to you.
Pawp Pharmacy also sells a wide range of over-the-counter medications, tonics, and creams for your pet. This includes, but isn’t limited to:
- Flea and tick care
- Oral health
- Eye and ear care
- Heartworm and dewormers
- Allergies, itches, and skin creams
- Arthritis relief
If you want to order a product but don’t see it, you can send an email requesting it to Pawp’s customer service, and it’s likely to be added to the collection. With the exception of some prescriptions, most orders are shipped within 48 hours.
Unlike many other online vet platforms, Pawp costs one flat rate of $24 per month. No matter how many times you text or call a vet, the amount you pay won’t change.
Pawp charges you $24 once a month for their subscription service, and you can cancel at any time without penalty. You can use any major credit card or PayPal, which is collected at sign-up and stored so that you won’t have to worry about remembering to renew your subscription every month. You can also gift Pawp to a friend or loved one at a discounted rate of $99 for a special six-month subscription, a great option for a new pet owner as a “welcome home” gift.
While you will have to pay out-of-pocket for any prescriptions or over-the-counter medications, Pawp offers a significant discount on all orders to guarantee the lowest prices possible. If you know you’ll be needing something regularly – a monthly flea and tick preventative, for example – you can set up an Autoship subscription that gives you a bonus 5% discount.
Pawp Perks for employers
Employers with a soft spot for pets rejoice: Pawp offers a service called Pawp Perks that lets employers give Pawp to their employees as part of a benefits package. No matter how many people work for your company, Pawp will help you design a coverage plan that fits your budget. You can either:
- Cover the full cost of Pawp for employees
- Give a 20% discount for the first six months of Pawp (bringing their cost to $19.20/month or $115.20/six months)
If neither of those options work, you can also reach out to Pawp directly to develop another plan. Should you choose to subsidize the total cost of Pawp for your employees, you aren’t responsible for paying for those who choose not to take the benefit, only those who enroll. There aren’t any enrollment windows or minimum enrollments required, either, leaving you with the peace of mind that comes from only paying what you have to.
We conclude that Pawp is a good value because of the average pricing but high quality and convenience of services offered. If you’re someone with a lot of questions about your pet, or if your pet gets in trouble or is sick often, Pawp is undoubtedly a fantastic value. Over one year, Pawp will cost $288 out of pocket. Considering the average in-person veterinary visit costs between $50 and $250, and an emergency trip to the animal hospital often starts at $150, a subscription to Pawp quickly pays for itself.
When compared to other flat-fee online veterinary services, Pawp is about average. Most other subscription-based vet services cost between $25 and $30 per month, with a few outliers stretching as low as $17/month. That said, we think that when combined with Pawp’s 24/7 unlimited messaging, their discount-rate pharmacy and emergency fund make a membership worth your while.
Online vet care that has no annual fee will cost you between $30 and $75 to see a veterinary professional once, so it’ll take at least four calls or messaging sessions to get more out of Pawp. If you think you’ll only use a service like this once or twice a year, something that charges you by the session may be better. But pet insurance costs an average of $28/month for a cat and $50/month for a dog, so if you’re at all considering pet insurance, Pawp is a great alternative.
You’ll need to make an account to get started using Pawp. It’ll first ask you to share your pet’s name and species (dog or cat); if you have more than one pet, you can add them at the beginning here as well. You can have up to six pets listed on your Pawp account at any given time.
Once you’ve added your pet, you’ll need to give Pawp some general information about yourself.
- First and last name
- Email address
- Zip code (to ensure a vet is available in your state)
You’ll be invited to check out after just sending in that little information. Luckily, Pawp doesn’t require that you pay the entire fee up front, instead opting for a monthly payment.
After you’ve purchased your first month with Pawp, you can build a profile for your pet. This profile will be what vets refer to when meeting with you to get some background on Fluffy or Fido. It’s necessary to complete this profile if you want to access the emergency fund. Information you can fill in here includes:
- Coat color(s)
- Eye color(s)
- A recent photo*
- Microchip number
- Spay/neuter status
- Vaccine information
- Health history
Only the items with asterisks in our list are required; the rest is useful but optional.
Pets aren’t covered under HIPAA since they aren’t people, so none of their health information counts as PHI and can legally be shared. However, Pawp won’t share that information without your consent and will almost always only share it with other veterinary professionals for care purposes. Video and text visits with a veterinary care provider are not confidential.
At Innerbody Research, we customize our evaluation criteria depending on the type and nature of the health-related service or product. In general, we have five broad evaluation areas, including:
Quality: How well does the company deliver its core service(s) or product(s)? How is advanced technology used for accuracy and safety? What evidence of efficacy does the company provide? Are manufacturing standards high-quality?
User-friendly: How intuitive and convenient is the service or product? To what degree is the company interface helpful and understandable?
Value: Are you getting your money’s worth? Are there any hidden costs or charges? Does the company offer discounts?
Privacy: If health data is stored, is it stored securely? Are payments secure? Does the company market your information?
Customer support: With personalized products and services, how well does the company address your individual needs? If a product or service turns out not to work for you, are there satisfaction guarantees or return policies that protect you?