Developing the guidelines

What is an AAHA Guideline?

AAHA guidelines provide actionable guidance to help veterinary professionals face the demands of a continually shifting industry. Our guidelines empower veterinarians to create personalized medical plans for their patients to meet the needs of diverse populations and provide the best possible care.

The guidelines and recommendations should not be construed as dictating an exclusive protocol, course of treatment, or procedure. Variations in practice may be warranted based on the needs of the individual patient, resources, and limitations unique to each individual practice setting. Because each case is different, veterinarians must base their decisions on the best available scientific evidence in conjunction with their own knowledge and experience.

Why Guidelines matter

AAHA guidelines provide current, expert-based information on clinically relevant topics to benefit not only AAHA members and their patients and clients, but also the entire veterinary profession.

AAHA’s guidelines are interactive, mobile-friendly, and full of pet owner and staff education resources, customizable templates, calculators, and more. Check out our most recently updated resources that help practices stay at the forefront of veterinary medicine.

Guidelines task force

The guidelines are prepared by a task force of experts convened by AAHA, and recommendations are based on practical clinical experience and a consensus of expert opinion. Evidence-directed support for specific recommendations is cited whenever possible and appropriate.

Guidelines task forces are comprised of 3-4 board-certified specialists, 1-2 general practice veterinarians, 1 credentialed veterinary technician (usually with a specialty in the subject matter), 1 Primary Care Veterinary Educators (PCVE) representative, and a veterinary student (depending on the subject matter).

If you are a general practitioner, a credentialed veterinary technician with a VTS certification, or a veterinary student who may be interested in serving on a future task force, please contact [email protected]


These guidelines are generously supported by Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, Elanco Animal Health, Merck Animal Health and Zoetis Petcare.

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