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Staff Roles


Discuss the guidelines and toolkit at a doctor’s meeting. Write your practice’s protocol. Decide responsibilities for completing specific tasks and assign to doctors and technicians. With technicians, choose the dietary history/nutritional assessment form to be used (see the sample in the AAHA Download Center. aaha.org/professional/resources/weight_management_download_center.aspx).

Practice manager

Meet with doctors and technicians to discuss how the guidelines and the toolkit will be used. Save the completed protocol, and schedule periodic reviews/updates of it. Maintain an adequate supply of materials required to implement the guidelines in appropriate places, such as exam rooms and the reception desk. Plan team meetings for training and motivation. Track scheduling and follow up on reminders and appointments.


With doctors, determine what tasks and procedures will be performed by technicians and what tasks and procedures will be performed by doctors. With the client, review the pet’s diet and medical history. With the client, review the weight management program and the services that will be provided. Show the client relevant educational materials. Perform between-exam weigh-ins as designated by the doctors. Follow up with the client via appropriate channels (e.g., email, phone) to check the pet’s status.

Client service representatives

Answer client questions, or let clients know who will be able to do so. Give clients relevant printed information at checkout. Review procedures that were performed, explaining the value of regular weight monitoring. At checkout, schedule follow-up appointments and the next weigh-in appointment. Emphasize that maintaining the pet’s ideal weight promotes the pet’s quality of life and longevity. Send reminders at appropriate times using the client’s preferred method (e.g., text, email, telephone, mail).

All practice team members

In a team meeting, discuss the 2014 AAHA Weight Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats. Discuss how you will implement the guidelines and use the tools in this toolkit and the AAHA Download Center (available at: aaha.org/professional/resources/weight_management_download_center.aspx). Clarify each team member’s role. Discuss ways to educate and motivate clients to participate as your partner in their pet’s care and to accept your recommendations, and follow the guidelines with your own pets.

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