May 6, 2024 - Health

Free cold brew, chill vibes: Vets get bougie

Illustration of a yorkie wearing sunglasses and sipping a cold brew coffee.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Pet parents are opting for a new kind of vet clinic, one with an app and minimalist decor. (Think: One Medical for cats and dogs.)

The big picture: Most U.S. households now have a pet, and they're willing to spend big on medical care that offers 24/7 telehealth services.

Between the lines: Millennials make up a large portion of pet parents.

Zoom out: Pet telehealth startups have gotten significant investor attention.

What they're saying: "I'm a millennial. I like to be able to go to an app that is specific to one use case," says Jonny Ahdout, who uses the Modern Animal app to schedule appointments, message clinicians and pay bills.

  • Ahdout, who has a half-husky, half-Australian cattle dog named Aya, says the $199/year membership service paid for itself just last week. He messaged Modern Animal after normal business hours, worried that Aya's swollen abdomen could be a symptom of bloat. (She was OK.)
  • "In my mind, the $200 fee to save me from a lot of extra anxiety that night and get my dog the care that she needed… makes it worth it, for sure."

Zoom in: Modern Animal, one of several new vet facilities that offer millennial-friendly, 24/7 telehealth support, first opened in West Hollywood in April 2020.

  • It now operates more than a dozen clinics across California and Texas, with a number of new markets planned for this year and next.

What to expect: Emerging vet services often offer a space with friendly staff, curated animal art, neutral colors, comfortable couches, jars of treats, plants and free cold brew.

Other similar vet practices that have recently opened in the U.S. include:

  • Small Door, a membership vet clinic with its own app.
    • It opened its flagship location in the West Village in 2020, more locations in Boston and D.C. in 2023, and has additional Northeast locations planned for this year.
  • Bond Vet, which doesn't require a subscription or use an app, has a 24/7 helpline and earlier this year launched a messaging platform.
    • It started in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, in 2019, and now has 44 locations across New York, New Jersey, Boston, Connecticut, Chicago and the greater D.C. area. It plans to expand to Atlanta this summer.

Go deeper: Spring allergies also suck for pets.

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