Keeping a close eye on your pet's health is incredibly important but getting to a vet clinic in person isn't always possible.
Thankfully, there are more options out there that keep your fur babies comfortable.
These specialised services come straight to your home with a fully equipped consultation room in a van.
"At-home services are becoming increasingly popular, especially after COVID," explains Dr Audrey Shen, founder of Aussie Mobile Vet.
"This is great for pet parents of anxious or reactive animals, those with multiple pets, or pets that can't tolerate car travel or long wait times in the vet clinic."
The vans have an onboard pharmacy, laboratory, consult room and oxygen for emergency ambulance transport if needed.
Pets can be seen for routine check-ups and vaccinations, or for more complicated consults, emergency treatment, ambulance transport and home humane euthanasia.
There are upsides to mobile vet services, but it's important to remember they don't have a veterinary hospital licence.
"This means if your pet needs treatment such as intravenous fluids/medications, continual monitoring, X-rays or surgery under general anaesthetic, this will have to be done in a vet hospital," says Dr Shen.
When a visit to the vet may or may not be necessary, a quick telehealth call can give you peace of mind.
"Our team can triage your pet, give first aid advice and provide you with an action plan should the next steps be required," says leading Australian vet Dr Lisa Chimes.
Her business DOG+ costs $120 per year and offers members exclusive benefits, including 24/7 unlimited vet telehealth consults.
"Whenever you have a question, our vets can give you quick advice and peace of mind within minutes via phone, text or video chat," she says.
"It acts as a virtual triage service for pet owners who are unsure whether their pet requires vet attention or for those people who just need general pet advice."
Importantly, Dr Chimes says telehealth should never replace in-person veterinary care and physical examinations.
"If they become injured or unwell and you are very concerned, you should always try to see your vet or local emergency service if you can," she says.
Palliative pet care
Saying goodbye to our beloved pets is never easy.
But Melbourne veterinarian Dr Amanda Tenne from Sunset Vets is helping to take some of the stress out of end of life care.
This type of care gives its patients much-needed comfort, even if curative medicine is no longer possible.
"It's a really special time to be allowed into a pet's life," says Dr Tenne.
"You don't become a vet unless you care about animals. And being allowed to care for and support a patient and their family at the end is such an honour."
Dr Tenne offers acupuncture to help keep pets comfortable and happy for as long as possible.
She also offers at-home euthanasia.
"Whether it be a palliative care appointment or euthanasia, delivering these services in the home often makes the process quite peaceful and can sometimes help ease a family's grief at this difficult time," she says.