This startup is offering on-demand checkups for your pets - Philly


Feb. 13, 2018 7:36 am

This startup is offering on-demand checkups for your pets

Vetter has six crews of veterinarians offering in-house checkups and medical services for pets in Philly. Basic visits start at $105.

Veterinarian Rebecca Bernstein inspects her dog, Humboldt.

(Courtesy photo)

Vetter Pet Care founder Ryan Connell kept hearing heart-wrenching stories from his veterinarian wife, Rebecca Bernstein, about how early checkups on pets might have given them a better shot at surviving fatal diseases.

In August of 2017, the engineer and founder set out to streamline access to veterinarians with Vetter Pet Care, an on-demand service for pet check-ups and medical services. It currently operates throughout Philadelphia, parts of the Main Line and in Washington, D.C.

“People often don’t take their pets to the vet or keep putting it off, Connell said. “Many look at their pets’ medical care as a luxury not a necessity.”

Is it the Uber of vets? Yes and no, the founder said.

“Yes, we’re providing a delivered, on-demand solution and introducing veterinarians to the gig economy but I’d disagree strongly in that there’s not just a bunch of vets driving around waiting to be hailed,” Connell said. “The doctors that we source and medical supplies we provide add a layer of complexity.”

Currently, the company has six crews of veterinarians and assistants available for consultations in Philly and one in D.C.

As with most companies in the on-demand space, an immediate challenge will be to acquire talent to perform services to keep up with the growth of the business. At least in part, similar challenges led to the shutdown of B2B food delivery startup Zoomer. For Vetter Pet Care, the challenge is different, though: Connell is hoping the flexibility might fit in well with veterinarians looking to get in some less stressful work on their days off.

“Very few vets are monetarily motivated,” said Connell. “It’s not a profession people go to just to get a return on the investment they made on education.”

Connell, 30, said the company has performed some 200 consultations in beta mode. It’s currently working out of a home office in Fitler Square.

So, how much does it cost? A visit and physical exam from a Vetter Pet Care crew starts at $105. Upfront prices are another thing the founder is hoping to use as differentiator in the pet healthcare space.

“We’re not cagey about our pricing,” the founder said.

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