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Guidelines & Position Statements

AAHA guidelines and position statements guide the veterinary profession in best practices for dogs and cats. Here, we explain how our guidelines and position statements impact you and your pet.

AAFP/AAHA Feline Life Stage Guidelines Though dogs are known as “man’s best friend,” cats are the most popular pet in America. But because cats can seem self-sufficient and tend to mask their pain, they don’t get as much veterinary care as dogs – about half as much in fact – even though cats also need ... Read More AAHA Canine and Feline Behavior Management Guidelines We’ve all been there—the cat that hides from house guests, the dog that barks at passersby when on leash, the pet that lashes out at the veterinarian during an exam.  For many pet owners, ... Read More AAHA Dental Care Guidelines for Dogs and Cats Proper dental care can detect dental disease that not only affects the mouth, but can also lead to more serious health problems such as heart, lung, and kidney disease. Good dental hygiene is just as important for pets as it is for humans. Yet, it is one of the most overlooked areas in pet health. AAHA’s ... Read More AAHA Nutritional Assessment Guidelines for Dogs and Cats We all want our pets to be happy and healthy, and proper nutrition plays a huge part in that. Good nutrition enhances pets’ quality – and quantity – of life by helping prevent diet-associated diseases; as well as helping Fido and Tabby respond to disease and injury. To help veterinarians ... Read More AAHA Weight Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats Though a few extra pounds seem like they can't hurt, obesity can be a life-threatening condition for your pet. Excess weight in pets can lead to osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, heart and respiratory disease, kidney disease, cranial cruciate ligament injury, and many forms of cancer. With obesity ... Read More AAHA/AAFP Pain Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats Our pets can’t tell us when they’re in pain – we have to notice the signs. If your puppy steps on a thorn and starts limping, it can be fairly obvious that his foot hurts. But often animals instinctively mask injury and illness to protect themselves from predators, so it can be ... Read More Declawing Position Statement The American Animal Hospital Association strongly opposes the declawing of domestic cats and supports veterinarians’ efforts to educate cat owners and provide them with effective alternatives. Scratching is a normal feline behavior. Cats scratch to (1) condition their claws by removing old ... Read More

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