Weigh in on weight

February 10, 2016

Spend five minutes at your next team meeting to practice the "weight" conversationand encourage clients take the next steps to make healthier feeding choices for their pets.


Download these handouts and tools before your team meeting: 

Meeting guide: Explains the thinking behind the meeting and activities

Trainer's script: Step-by-step meeting dialogue 

Role-play activity

Client handout: How can I tell if my pet is overweight?

Client handout: Tips for healthy weight loss in cats

Client handout: Weight loss in dogs

Welcome to Firstline's Team Training in a Virtual Box, your complete guide to team training. Try this Micro Team Meeting in a Box to take five-a five-minute education break at your next team meeting. (Download your trainer's script here.)

More than half of the patients your practice sees are likely overweight, according to data from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. But about 95 percent of pet owners identify their pets as normal weight. It's no fun to have to be the one to break the bad news to clients. But how your team handles this conversation can make a big difference in how pet owners respond-and whether they take the next steps to make healthier feeding choices for their pets. 

2-minute activity: Watch two ways to talk about a pet's weight

Watch Dr. Ernie Ward demonstrate a difficult pet weight discussion-and show a better way to smooth these sometimes challenging conversations.

3-minute activity: Role-play and talk terminology

Now it's time for your team to tackle a tough discussion. Use the sample role-play conversation to take turns practicing the delicate topic of pets' weight. Then brainstorm the best-and worst-words you can use when you discuss a pet's weight issue. You can also distribute the handouts, “How can I tell if my pet is overweight?” “Tips for healthy weight loss in cats” and “Weight loss in dogs” to help guide team members' discussions with pet owners.

1-minute activity: Thank your team

Thank your team for taking the time to weigh in on this weighty issue. Ask them to practice their new terminology in the next week and plan a follow-up conversation to discuss what worked at a future meeting.