A VET has come up with a unique way to look after pets in the comfort of their own home.

Natalie Walters, from Middlewich, has launched a new online service called Vets on the Net.

The mum-of-two believes it is much easier for animal lovers to seek professional help without having to travel for a consultation.

"This is something which is making a huge difference to the lives of owners and the health and happiness of their pets," said Natalie, 33, who has worked as a vet in practices for the past 10 years.

"During lockdown, I've found it much easier to support clients doing telemedicine over the phone or video calls. Some dogs and cats are scared and hate going in a carrier. People are happier to have a consultation when there isn't that huge level of stress."

Natalie is not only offering consultancy appointments, but also a pharmacy, lab testing, pet food and accessories.

"As far as we are aware, we are the only business offering this combination," she said. "I am incredibly excited and tremendously proud of what we have achieved.

"I have a really strong team of 40 vets to call on, all have more than five years experience," she said. "Sixteen vets will work on regular shifts so people can see the same vet if they wish."

Vets will be available from 8am to 10pm seven days a week.

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To begin with, they will be looking after domestic animals but hope to extend to offer an equine service in the not too distant future.

Vets specialising in animal behaviour, skin problems, chronic conditions and exotic pets are among her team.

Medication is also available online, and where possible, owners can carry out DIY tests on their pets.

"For any tests that can be carried out at home, such as urine, we can send a sample pack to the house and go through the results without owners having to go to the vets," said Natalie.

However, she said, pets will have to be physically examined by vets for certain conditions and to receive vaccinations.

"People can arrange for their pets to see their regular vets for a physical examination," said Natalie. "If they are not registered with a vet, we will be working with a network of vets across the country.

"We don't want to be instead of vets, we will be signposting them to veterinary practices. As our list grows we hope to have most areas covered."

Natalie, who has a son Toby, seven, and daughter Emily, four, is married to a vet who works for a practice.

The family has two dogs, Poppy, a labrador cross collie and Groop. a Tibetan Terrier, plus two cats Skimble Shanks and Mungo Jerry.

"Vets work incredibly long hours and in incredibly difficult situations," said Natalie. "This can lead at times to mental health and wellbeing issues.

"We are offering the vet a professional way of working that may protect that a little bit and is more conducive to family life."

Natalie has teamed up with vet recruitment specialist Nicola Baird to launch the new business.

"We have worked really hard to get this service to a point that we are happy with," said Nicola. "It has to be right. We have appointments available every 15 minutes. I have the flexibility of being able to call on additional vets at short notice and I am always there as back up."

To book visit vetonthenet.com