Should AAHA Accreditation Be One of Your Criteria For Picking a Veterinarian?

The following is a guest post courtesy of Pet Health Care Gazette:

Have you heard of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) but aren’t really sure who they are or what they do? Ryan Mason is here today to tell us more about the association. Here’s Ryan’s post:

Many veterinarians are quick to mention that their veterinary offices are AAHA accredited. To most pet owners, this is an impressive-sounding fact with an often unknown meaning. What exactly does this accreditation mean to your pet’s well-being? Let’s take a look.
Veterinary Hospital

An AAHA Accredited Veterinary Hospital Is Not Common

According to AAHA itself, only 17 percent of veterinarians are AAHA accredited. It goes without saying that any accreditation that is that difficult to earn undoubtedly has stringent requirements. This is true. The benchmarks for AAHA Accreditation are high in regards to cleanliness and sterility, and inspections are common. The standards go further than just cleanliness, though. Patient care, hospital management, pain management, and record-keeping are all subject to the high standards established by AAHA. The varied standards and high benchmarks make obtaining AAHA accreditation difficult for most veterinary offices.

AAHA Accreditation Does Translate to Healthier, Happier Pets

According to the AAHA website, “AAHA developed the accreditation program to raise the level of care being provided to companion animals.” The high standards in regard to pain management, cleanliness, and patient care clearly do result in healthier animals that are less likely to develop complications after treatment and surgery. For example, the anesthesia standards upheld by AAHA are intended to ensure that the risk of anesthesia-related complications during surgery are reduced. There are over 900 standards dictating patient care alone in the AAHA guidelines. These standards far exceed the ones required by law, meaning that the veterinarians who aren’t AAHA accredited are not required to do nearly as much in terms of patient care as accredited vets do. This isn’t to say that there aren’t good veterinarians who aren’t accredited, as there clearly are. On the whole, however, taking your pet to an AAHA accredited veterinarian gives a peace of mind that is difficult to measure.

AAHA Accreditation Actually Makes Veterinarians More Successful

Becoming AAHA accredited results in a veterinary office that is running at the cutting-edge of patient care, organization, and sanitary standards. Besides the increase in business that an AAHA accreditation can bring to an office, there are many other benefits that people may not immediately realize. Becoming accredited inspires pride in one’s office, and the process itself is a powerful team-building tool. Many offices have marveled at how their team members pull together during the accreditation process.

AAHA Accreditation Is an Extra Step That Benefits Pets

The takeaway from this is that AAHA accreditation, while not for everyone, is indeed a powerful step that benefits pets. The high standards in regard to cleanliness, patient care, hospital organization, and pain management benefit pets. It’s not surprising that AAHA accredited veterinarians are so proud of the accomplishment- and not surprising that pet owners are more apt to trust them. Finding an AAHA accredited veterinarian is not difficult. AAHA accredited veterinary hospitals like the Animal Health Hospital in Tucson, Arizona will display the AAHA logo clearly on their website. If you’re looking for an AAHA Accredited veterinarian in your area you can search AAHA’s website for pet owners.

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