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I’m sure you’ve heard the term “AAHA Accredited” before, but what does it really mean when you hear it? What is AAHA? What does your veterinary hospital have to do to become accredited? Why did your veterinary hospital become accredited? Why should you choose an accredited hospital for your pet’s medical care? These are all valid questions we get all the time and we’d like to answer them in this blog post!

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) is the only organization in North America that can accredit veterinary hospitals. To become accredited, an animal hospital must pass a very rigorous inspection and agree to uphold over 900 of the highest standards in veterinary medicine. This inspection is repeated for our hospital every three years to ensure we continue to provide the best medical care and customer service we can. AAHA expects their accredited hospitals to go above and beyond the current industry standards.

When a hospital makes the decision to become accredited and prepare for an inspection, they must research and implement all 900+ of the AAHA standards. Protocols must be created and documented for every aspect of medicine and customer service that the hospital provides to its clients and patients. This takes countless hours of staff time and dedication to the veterinary field. AAHA also makes updates and changes to its standards each year, so veterinary hospitals must keep up to date with the latest recommendations by the association and update protocols as needed. On inspection day, a representative from the organization comes to the hospital and spends an entire day with the staff to ensure all standards are being met appropriately. Hospitals that truly believe in delivering the absolute best veterinary care and customer service make the choice to become accredited. Our hospital has been a member of AAHA since 1974!

Here are a few examples of AAHA standards:

  • Team members are trained in animal CPR so they can quickly act in the event of an emergency.
  • Dental procedures are only performed by highly trained and skilled team members under anesthesia.
  • A team member is always dedicated to monitoring your pet under anesthesia during every procedure, no matter how routine.
  • Pain is not tolerated. Pain assessments are performed on every patient and patients are treated accordingly.
  • Team members are all trained to handle animals gently and safely, which minimizes stress during their visit to our hospital.

Why should you, (the pet owner), choose an accredited veterinary hospital for your pet? If you love your pet like family (and we know you do!) then you want the best care available for them. You want to trust your veterinary professionals and their dedication to the field. You want to know your pet is being cared for in a state of the art facility that only practices the very best medicine. You want your veterinarian to be your partner in your pet’s health care to ensure a long, quality life. Only 12% of veterinary hospitals in North America are accredited. Bottom line: you and your pets deserve the best and AAHA accredited hospitals are the best in the industry.