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Whether you’re bringing home a new pet, or simply trying out a new veterinarian, your first visit to the vet is critical in establishing a healthy and functioning relationship between you, the vet, and your pet. Before your visit, write down any questions you want to ask your new vet, and take a notebook to the visit with you to record answers and additional information. Regardless of the reason for the visit, these five questions should be top of your list

What do I Do if my Pet Needs Care During the Evenings, Weekends or Holidays?

Many vets provide on-call emergency services until a certain hour each evening. Be sure to ask about the process for this; will you call a different phone number? Is there an answering service? Will emergency services be administered in the office, or does the vet provide house calls? If your vet does not provide emergency services, he or she should have an established relationship with a nearby emergency animal hospital. Ask for a referral to this hospital, and give them a call to understand their policies and procedures, as well.

Is Pet Insurance Right for my Pet?

Even if your pet is healthy, you may see vet bills. Sprightly kittens and puppies can be injury-prone, and acute illnesses can happen at any time. Pet insurance may be a good option. Ask your vet if he or she has other customers who have had positive experiences with a pet insurance carrier.

What Procedures Can be Done in the Office?

Many veterinarians provide x-rays, outpatient surgeries like spaying or neutering, or other specialty procedures in the same office. However, if your new vet’s office doesn’t have facilities for these procedures, ask where they will refer you if your pet needs them in the future.

What is your Payment Policy?

Most veterinary offices will expect complete payment at the time of service. This can make it difficult to plan for unexpected illnesses or injuries. Ask your new vet if they will accept a payment arrangement for bills over a certain amount, and how much you should expect to pay in a good faith deposit. 

How Many Doctors do you Have?  Can I Request a Specific One?

Smaller offices may only have one veterinarian, but many practices in large cities include several vets. Make sure you’re clear on the process for scheduling an appointment and requesting a particular vet if you prefer. If your preferred vet is not available, ask if you may have a quick chat with the vet you’re scheduled with prior to the upcoming visit in order to establish a trustful relationship and get the best care for your pet.

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances. 

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.