FAQ During COVID-19
Published May 20, 2020
We know a lot of pet parents will have questions about their pets’ care while our clinics are temporarily closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. To make things a little easier, we’ve answered our top FAQ’s below. We sincerely appreciate your patience and understanding during this time. Since issues related to Coronavirus are constantly changing, we will post updates on this page as we have them so check back often.
When will you reopen?
While we are still in the process of determining the exact criteria of when we can safely reopen, we can assure you that we are closely monitoring guidelines established by a host of public health officials at the local, state, and federal levels.
While we are temporarily closed to the public, we are implementing alternative ways to help serve our clients and their pets, including our recently launched Telemedicine Plus™ service. Learn more here.
We’ll alert our clients when we determine that we can see pets in-person again, but if you haven’t visited us yet, sign-up for our newsletter and select your local clinic to receive an alert when your clinic reopens.
If you haven’t visited us yet, pre-register with us now to save time when we reopen.
Other businesses are reopening, why aren’t you?
As an organization founded on the principles of protecting the welfare of both animals and humans, Essentials PetCare is committed to the protection of public health at our core. The veterinarians on our leadership team use their training and expertise in infectious disease contagion and management to create our operating policies and procedures that allow us to adhere to these founding principles. Because of this public health knowledge, we will be extremely cautious in our reopening strategy to help protect the health and lives of our team, our clients and our communities.
We believe if businesses open and people interact too early, the number of positive Coronavirus cases and deaths will likely spike and further extend the time for our communities and country to completely recover. This is of particular concern for our staff who are regularly in close proximity to each other while treating pets.
Essentials PetCare is a walk-in clinic for preventative and minor illness care, so we have closed our clinics to protect our staff and clients during the Coronavirus pandemic, as we do not provide urgent care. We are following guidance from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) to suspend non-urgent care at this time. The AVMA also recommends providing telemedicine, when appropriate, and we are proud to announce that we recently implemented this option for our current patients.
Furthermore, the recommendation from the CDC is to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) so that human physicians have the supplies they need. We are not currently able to purchase PPE for our staff due to conservation efforts. We will continue to remain closed until we can ensure that our staff will be protected when working in close proximity to each other, and clients will be protected while visiting our clinics.
How do I get more heartworm or flea prevention for my pet (current Essentials PetCare patients)?
If your pet has visited Essentials PetCare in the past 11 months, which means there is a current veterinary-client-patient-relationship (VCPR), and needs a refill prescription for heartworm or flea prevention, please use the Contact Us form to send your request to your local clinic. We will reply with a consent form and more information about how to receive a refill of prevention, one dose at a time, until we reopen.
IMPORTANT: We can only authorize 1 month of prevention at a time due to the uncertain situation with Coronavirus and not knowing when it will be safe to reopen clinics. If your pet is in need of a refill now, that means they are due now, or are overdue for a heartworm test and/or vaccines.
We can only write refills for medications that have already been prescribed at Essentials PetCare, so that a pet does not have a lapse in prevention. If you did not fill a prescription before it expired, your pet may need to meet with a veterinarian for a Telemedicine Plus™ consultation or visit Essentials PetCare when we reopen so that we know it is in your pet’s best interest to begin receiving preventative medications again. Contact us so that our team can provide guidance.
If your dog is due for a heartworm test, please plan to come in for a heartworm test and additional prevention refills as soon as we reopen. If your pet missed their scheduled recheck test, it could invalidate the manufacturer’s warranty for heartworm prevention, but it could also be harmful to your pet because the heartworm infestation could be more advanced when detected. At Essentials PetCare, our standard of care is a 6-month heartworm recheck policy, which allows us the opportunity to diagnose heartworm infestations very early and leads to better patient treatment outcomes with less side effects. If your pet has missed any doses of heartworm prevention, retesting as soon as possible becomes even more important.
If it has been more than 11 months since your pet visited us and receiving a prescription refill would push them past the 1-year mark, you will need to form another veterinary-client-patient-relationship (VCPR) in person. *Due to Coronavirus, some of the guidelines for veterinary medicine are changing and should that happen regarding the VCPR statute, we will update this page.
Can you approve my prescriptions sent to online pharmacies?
Essentials PetCare cannot approve phone or fax authorizations from online pharmacies. If we gave you a portable prescription, you can turn it in or mail it to the pharmacy of your choice. If you chose to fill your prescriptions through our online pharmacy at your visit, please check your email for a link to access your pet’s prescription.
My pet received only 1 dose of preventative medications. Why didn’t you prescribe more?
Essentials PetCare will provide the number of preventative refill doses based on the discretion and determination of the veterinarian, and refills may be authorized one month at a time until we reopen.
Your pet was due for preventative medication because they are currently due for preventative care, such as vaccinations and/or a heartworm test. When we are able to reopen, your pet should visit us for those services and additional preventative prescriptions.
Vaccines and Prepaid Services & Packages (Best Start Packages, Dog Flu Starter Package, etc.)
What will happen to my prepaid package?
If you pre-paid for any services such as our Best Start Puppy and Kitten Packages, or vaccines, we will honor these services once we reopen. If your pet needs additional boosters because their due date occurred during the time we were closed, we will provide these boosters at no additional charge.
Please note that your pet isn’t protected against diseases until 3 weeks after the last booster in their vaccine series. If your pet is overdue for vaccines or unable to complete their vaccine series, please keep them away from other animals and avoid public areas at this time.
If there is a full-service hospital in your area that is open and able to provide vaccines and you choose to have any boosters completed elsewhere, we can provide a partial refund for unused portions of Best Start Packages once our clinics reopen. Please note that currently we have no way to process partial credit card refunds without in-person contact at the clinic.
If you do choose to have vaccines performed at a full-service animal hospital, please send us the medical records so we can update your pet’s records and adjust any medical reminder due dates.
What if my pet can’t come in for vaccines on time?
If your pet misses any vaccines because of this closure, we will administer any additional boosters needed at no additional charge.
If there is a full-service hospital in your area that is open and able to provide vaccines and you choose to have any boosters completed elsewhere, please send us the medical records so we can update your pet’s records and adjust any medical reminder due dates.
Please note that your pet isn’t protected against diseases until 2-3 weeks after the last booster in their vaccine series. If your pet is overdue for vaccines or unable to complete their vaccine series, please keep them away from other animals and avoid public areas at this time.
How can I get my pet’s vaccine records?
Existing clients may use our online pet portal 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to access vaccine records. On this site you can conveniently view/print your pet’s vaccination records, access their microchip number, view/print receipts and update your contact information.
If you’ve forgotten your log-in info, check your email for the original welcome message from your clinic. Typically, your username is your email address and initially, your password is the same as your username. The first time you log in, you will be prompted to change your temporary password. If you ever forget your password, please use the Forgot Password link on the page to reset it and choose a new password.
How can I get my pet’s full medical record?
If you need detailed medical records with doctor’s findings, recommendations, or lab results, complete our online form to request.
If you have a non-urgent question or message for our team, you can reach out to us. Our team will reply as soon as possible.