Why guidelines matter

Veterinary practice guidelines, like the recent AAHA Canine Life Stage Guidelines, help ensure that pets get the best possible care. From medical director to veterinary assistant, guidelines keep your hospital staff on the cutting edge of veterinary medicine.

AAHA Guidelines review the latest information to help staff address central issues and perform essential tasks to improve the health of the pet. In addition, guidelines define the role of each staff member, so everyone on the healthcare team can work together to offer the best-quality medical care. Many guidelines intersect with the AAHA Canine Life Stage Guidelines, including the following:

  • AAFP/AAHA Feline Life Stage
  • AAHA/AVMA Preventive Healthcare
  • Canine Vaccine
  • Dental Care
  • Diabetes Management
  • Nutritional Assessment
  • Pain Management
  • Senior Care

Guidelines are just that—a guide—established by experts in a particular area of veterinary medicine. Guidelines do not outweigh the veterinarian’s clinical judgment; instead, they help veterinarians develop treatment plans that meet each patient’s needs and circumstances.

Aligning your practice protocols with guideline recommendations is a key step in ensuring that your practice continues to deliver best quality care.

To support your dedicated efforts, AAHA is pleased to offer this toolkit. In this booklet and with its online complement, you’ll find a protocol, algorithm, checklists, staff roles, talking points, client handout, and other tools you can use every day to implement the recommendations of the AAHA Canine Life Stage Guidelines.

Thank you for helping to advance our shared mission to deliver the best in companion animal medical care. Together, we can make a difference!

Michael T. Cavanaugh, DVM, DABVP
AAHA Executive Director and CEO