The Benefits of Taking Your Pet to an AAHA-Accredited Veterinary Hospital
At the forefront of excellence in veterinary medicine, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) is the only organization that accredits companion animal veterinary practices in the United States and Canada. AAHA strives to provide veterinarians, technicians, managers, and client service representatives the tools to deliver the highest quality of pet care. With an abundance of resources on business practice standards, continuing education programs for veterinary professionals, and guidelines on how to provide the gold standard of veterinary care, AAHA is dedicated to the advancement of companion animal care and comfort, and, as an AAHA-accredited hospital, we are, too.
How does a veterinary practice become AAHA-accredited?
Unlike human hospitals, veterinary hospitals are not required by law to be accredited. In fact, while some states require routine inspections of veterinary hospitals, many are never inspected unless a complaint is filed by a pet owner. To become AAHA-accredited, a veterinary practice voluntarily undergoes a rigorous, time-consuming evaluation, proving that the facility adheres to approximately 900 standards of veterinary care in the following categories:
- Patient care and pain management
- Exam facilities
- Medical records
- Emergency services
- Dental care
- Diagnostic imaging
- Preventing the spread of disease
- Continuing education
Once accredited, evaluations are performed by AAHA veterinary practice consultants regularly to ensure the hospital is still meeting or exceeding those standards and is updating as needed to reflect the latest advancements in veterinary medicine. Only 12–15 percent of all veterinary hospitals in the U.S. and Canada are accredited by AAHA, but nearly 60 percent of pet owners believe their veterinary clinic is accredited.
How is AAHA a leader in veterinary medicine?
As the only organization that oversees the accreditation of companion animal veterinary hospitals in the U.S. and Canada, AAHA is synonymous with the gold standard of veterinary care. They have developed guidelines for many aspects of animal health, including:
- Vaccination protocols
- Diabetes management
- Dental care
- Pain management
- Nutritional assessment
- Behavior management
Every veterinary practice that strives to deliver the best of care to their patients looks to AAHA. Rigorous testing and extensive research formulate the guidelines for excellent patient care in the veterinary industry, and AAHA is continuously updating these guidelines as advancements are made.
In addition to providing guidelines for veterinary protocols, the AAHA Board of Directors routinely surveys current animal health issues and creates position statements to guide veterinary professionals. Some of the topics AAHA has positions on include:
- Ear cropping/tail docking
- Frequency of veterinary visits
- Humane restraint of animals
- Meeting the cost of pet care
- Pet breeding
- Raw protein diet
- Vaccination protocols
How does AAHA accreditation affect your pet?
Including ourselves among the minority of veterinary practices that are accredited, we boast having the skills and standards to provide top-notch pet care. But, what exactly does this mean for the health of your pet?
As an AAHA-accredited hospital, we are required to maintain a level of excellence that few veterinary hospitals choose to attain. Securing the team, equipment, medical procedures, and facilities required to maintain our accreditation is costly and time-consuming, but we perform these duties to ensure that we can provide the absolute best care for the life of your pet. Just a few examples:
- We have in-house diagnostic equipment, which allows us to quickly and accurately diagnose your pet.
- Our well-stocked pharmacy means your pet will have immediate access to treatment when needed.
- We keep detailed medical records, which provide an accurate history on your pet and any disease processes and allow us to treat any issues in the most effective manner.
Each AAHA standard adds another layer of quality care we provide to your beloved companion. Here at our AAHA-accredited hospital, striving to deliver excellent care to your pet is our number one priority. Why? Because your pet deserves nothing less than the best.