AAHA to cook up nutritional guidelines for the first time

AAHA to cook up nutritional guidelines for the first time

Jan 20, 2010
By dvm360.com staff
Orlando --The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) will begin work on a new set of guidelines targeting nutrition to help veterinarians make sound recommendations to clients.

AAHA’s President John Tait, DVM, MBA, made the announcement during a press conference at the North American Veterinary Conference in mid January.

“We have an opportunity to improve the quality of care. And the decision to develop these guidelines comes at an appropriate time,” he says. “It’s time we put nutrition in the minds of veterinarians.”

AAHA leaders remain in the initial stages of forming a committee and gaining input for the creation of the guidelines, but they anticipate publication in June 2010. Tait could not elaborate further on the scope or direction of the guidelines, but did say leaders envision a consortium of organizations and professional associations actively involved in the creation of these guidelines. Lousy compliance rates and the impact of nutrition on the health status of patients is driving the creation of these guidelines, he adds.

“It’s our belief that every pet needs and deserves a nutritional assessment,” he adds.  “Presently pet owners are inundated with advice from a variety of sources on what constitutes proper quality of care and treatment of their pets. Unfortunately, many of these sources are not credible,” Tait adds in a prepared statement. “We know from the AAHA Compliance Study that only 7 percent of pets that could benefit from a therapeutic food were actually on such a regimen. These dynamics are affecting how we as a profession must communicate and too often affect how pets are ultimately treated.”