Veterinarian and client discuss an overconditioned cat, who is lying on exam table.

“I came into this program thinking I had fairly decent communication skills for patient weight loss discussions. This course helped me expand upon those skills, and the best part was the simulated real life application with case studies and actors.”

Colleen, RVT

    CE Program Benefits

    1. Obtain the latest knowledge and skills in obesity management
    2. Practice applying your newly acquired knowledge and skills during virtual simulated client interactions
    3. Receive feedback on your communication skills use from experienced coaches during these virtual interactions
    4. Contribute to research addressing pet obesity in veterinary practice
    5. Earn up to 10 hours of RACE-approved CE credits*
    6. Earn up to CA$200 for participation

    *This program has been approved for 10 hours of continuing education credit in jurisdictions which recognize RACE approval.

    Content Experts


    Dr. Alex German, PhD, CertSAM, DipECVIM-CA, SFHEA, FRCVS
    Internationally leading researcher on pet obesity.Read more


    Dr. Jackie Parr, DVM, MSc, DACVIM (Nutrition)
    Board-Certified Veterinary Nutritionist® with a focus on pet obesity.Read more


    Dr. Jason Coe, DVM, PhD
    Internationally recognized expert in obesity-related client communication.
    Read more

    Who Can Participate

    This CE program is a research study. This project has been reviewed by the Research Ethics Board for compliance with federal guidelines for research involving human participants (REB#22-11-007) and is funded through a Mitacs Elevate grant in partnership with Royal Canin Canada.

    The program is open to veterinary professionals (veterinarians, registered veterinary technicians, and veterinary assistants) who are currently working in companion animal practice and have conversations with clients about pet weight, and who are willing to do the program as part of a research study.

    More Frequently Asked Questions HERE

    “The feedback and knowledge gained in this program have definitely helped me feel more comfortable in addressing weight management. They’ve also provided me with a structured method to follow.”

    Karie, DVM

    What You’ll Do

    1. Complete a series of eLearning modules on the causes, consequences, and prevention of obesity (2 hours), obesity treatment (2 hours), and obesity-related client communication skills (2 hours)
    2. Participate in 7 hours of labs involving virtual simulated client interactions focused on obesity conversations to receive coaching and feedback on knowledge and skills development
    3. Complete research activities including before and after measures of obesity conversations (1 hour before and 1 hour after), before and after practice-level financial metrics, and complete various surveys throughout the program

    *Please note that this program is hosted virtually on Zoom and requires microphone and camera access for active participation. A laptop or desktop computer is recommended.

    Researcher Contact Information

    If you would like to discuss the study further, have additional questions, or would like to participate, please contact Dr. Kat Sutherland at An electronic consent form will be sent to you for signing if you choose to participate.

    Application Form

    All information submitted here will be kept strictly confidential.

    Participation will be on a rolling basis throughout 2023.

    Kat's study screen
    Please indicate contact preference:

    Content Experts

    Dr. Alex German, BVSC(Hons), PhD, CertSAM, DipECVIM-CA, SFHEA, FRCVS

    Dr. Alex German holds the position of Royal Canin Professor of Small Animal Medicine at the University of Liverpool. He is a Diplomat of the European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Recognised Specialist in Internal Medicine, a Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He qualified with honours from the University of Bristol in 1994 and completed his PhD at the same institution in 2000. Dr. German’s main clinical and research interest is management of obesity in pets, and he is established as a leading researcher in this area. For over 15 years he has run the Royal Canin Weight Management Clinic at the University of Liverpool. This specialist clinic aims to improve the quality of life of all overweight pets through clinical excellence, research, and education.
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    Dr. Jackie Parr, BScH, DVM, MSc, DACVIM (Nutrition)

    Dr. Jackie Parr is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Nutrition at University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine, where she has lead the Small Animal Clinical Nutrition Service since 2020, providing nutritional consults for cats and dogs. Dr. Parr is a 2009 graduate of the Ontario Veterinary College and a Board-Certified Veterinary Nutritionist® with the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Following the completion of her Masters in biochemical and molecular nutrition at Tufts University, Dr. Parr returned to the OVC in 2013 to establish the first Clinical Nutrition Service in Canada for the OVC Health Sciences Centre. From 2015 to 2020, Dr. Parr gained valuable experience working in the pet nutrition industry, and her ability to draw on her experiences from private practice, industry, and academia provides a well-rounded perspective when teaching veterinary professionals.
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    Dr. Jason Coe, DVM, PhD

    Dr. Jason Coe holds the VCA Canada Chair in Relationship-Centred Veterinary Medicine (2021-2026) and is a Professor at the Ontario Veterinary College. After graduating from the OVC as a veterinarian in 2001, he returned from mixed-animal veterinary practice to complete a PhD in veterinary-clinical communication in 2008, and in the same year joined the Department of Population Medicine where he has established an active research program examining the role of interpersonal communication on the outcomes of veterinary care. In his current role, Dr. Coe coordinates the clinical-communication curriculum across all four years of the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program. Dr. Coe has also established an international reputation for his leadership in research relating to veterinary communication, primary-care veterinary education, and understanding of the human-animal relationship. 
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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: Is the program done entirely on my own time?

    A: There are real-time parts of the program that you will be required to attend over Zoom, including one weeknight evening orientation session (about 2 hours) and lab sessions on a Saturday and Sunday. Between the orientation and labs, the online learning modules will be available for you to complete at your own pace.

    Q: What time frame can I complete the program in?

    A: The program is designed to run for about 3-4 weeks between the orientation session and labs. We recognize many veterinary professionals have busy schedules and limited availability, and various dates for orientations and labs may be available to choose from to offer flexible options.

    Q: Do I have to provide recordings of myself interacting with clients?

    A: No, there is no requirement that you submit real-life client interactions or case studies.

    Q: Does everyone in my clinic have to participate?

    A: Any individual in your practice may participate if they are interested. There is no requirement that everyone in the clinic complete the program.

    Q: I’m still a student. Am I eligible to participate?

    A: Yes! Students and individuals still undergoing their veterinary professional training are welcome to participate, as long as they are working in a role in veterinary practice that involves client interactions.

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