The Experts in Animal Health

This week we learned that Amazon is considering offering veterinary telehealth services, as well as partnering with Petco to offer return drop-offs at Petco locations. Pet owners are already familiar with Amazon as a source for pet products: a 2021 Packaged Facts report found that Amazon was the #1 online source for pet products, and accounted for nearly half of online pet product sales.  Pet supplies racked up $300 million in sales in two days during Amazon Prime day this past July; and Amazon featured an Amazon Pet Day in May with deals on pet products.

Despite their presence in the pet supplies category, Amazon wouldn’t be top-of-mind (at least in my mind) as a pet health provider. But they may be planning to offer the pet telehealth services as a value-added service for its Amazon Prime members. (This is the same strategy that Walmart announced this summer for its Walmart+ subscribers.)  According to Statista, there are 167 million Amazon Prime members in the US – that makes for a huge potential market for this new service.

Amazon began offering telehealth for humans earlier this year, so it’s not a great leap to envision them doing the same on the veterinary side. It will be interesting to see how a behemoth like Amazon navigates the regulatory minefield of veterinary telehealth, and whether this spurs growth in the use of veterinary telehealth.  They are sure to add money and muscle to lobbying efforts to legalize veterinary telehealth.

Lynn Fondon

en_USEnglish (United States)