Theres a veterinarian shortage in Arizonamade even worse if you live in a rural area where the nearest clinic may be far away. Now this big problem has a solution small enough to fit in your hand.

Pet parents know the look when their pets realize they are headed for the vet.

But soon theyll be able to get some of their care from the comforting confines of home.

The COVID pandemic taught people how to consult with doctors by smartphone. Virtual vet care was allowed temporarily as part of the COVID emergency but now Arizona lawmakers have approved it for routine use.

Its especially helpful for people in rural areas who live a long way from a vet clinic.

Julia Gomez said pet telehealth would help her and her pets. I live just as far so it’d be easier for me to telephone somebody and talk remotely and then see what’s wrong. And then, as we spoke earlier, if they have to go in and give blood well, then I know that I have to take them in.

At the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, Ross Hunter with his old friend Sugar the pug, was adopting a puppy named Sergio. He sees telehealth for pets as a great idea.

There’s so many reasons why we should have it such as I spoke to you before about the elders not being able to take them to a location or long distance to a location. But as long as we’re keeping everyone human and our pets healthy, that’s the way to go.

Humane Society CEO Steve Farley helped get the bill through the Legislature. He said the new law helps deal with the vet shortageand besides making it easier for rural pets to get care, they sometimes get better care when theyre comfortable at home instead of anxious at a clinic.

There may be a dog that has a limp that’s distinct when they’re relaxed at home and when they come in here, they’re so nervous, they forget to limp. It actually happens. So it can be easier to see them in their natural environment.

But for a little while, a vet visit still means putting those paws into a physical clinic. The telehealth for pet law does not take effect until 90 days after state lawmakers end their session.