Let me ask you a question. Is your veterinarian an accredited member of the American Animal Hospital Association? If your answer is “no” or “I don’t know” there's no reason to panic, you are not alone. As many as 60% of pet parents assume their veterinary clinic is accredited when it is not. Many others have no idea what an AAHA accreditation means. Up until 3 years ago, I fell into the first category. Luckily, I met the AAHA representatives at our BlogPaws™ conference in Las Vegas 2014. Allow me to share some of the information that made me return home and change veterinarians.
What is AAHA?
The American Animal Hospital Association has been recognizing outstanding veterinary hospitals for over 80 years. These accredited hospitals hold themselves to a higher standard. This means that your pet is receiving care from a hospital that has passed the highest standards of veterinary excellence.
|Photo courtesy of University Veterinary Hospital|
I have been a pet parent for over 35 years and during that time visited a number of veterinary clinics. Even the ones that I considered excellent did not have AAHA accreditation. The fact is only 3,600 or 12-15% of animal hospitals in the United States and Canada are accredited. It is not required that they receive this certification. You can find out if your veterinary clinic is accredited by checking here. If they aren’t, mention it on your next visit.
When your veterinary clinic is accredited, it means they have passed a rigorous 900-point evaluation. They are checked on:
· Safety protocols
· Veterinary knowledge
· Fundamentals of pet health care
I’ll be honest with you; I didn’t think an AAHA accredited vet would make THAT much of a difference. Boy was I wrong! It was obvious that we were in a state-of-the-art medical facility when we stepped into the exam room. The table lowered to the floor so that Bentley, my Basset Hound could step up by himself. The table slowly lifted to its proper height and displayed his weight. This was so much easier and less stressful than having to lift him onto the table or trying to make him be still on those giant floor scales. *He learned from watching me that you weigh less if you take one foot off the scale! He actually had an accurate weight check on this table. When our vet came in the room he introduced himself and greeted Bentley. We then witnessed the most thorough examination that any pet of ours has ever had. We were able to receive our medications and check out in the exam room too. That was three years ago and we still depend on University Veterinary Hospital to take the best care of Bentley and Pierre. They are currently undergoing major changes at their location and will soon have even more services available. You can find out more about them and see Bentley’s photo shoot on their website.
Here is an infographic courtesy of AAHA that explains what goes on behind the scenes at one of their accredited hospitals.
Thank you and happy AAHA Accredited Hospital Day to the amazing hospitals including U.V.H. in Shreveport that are providing the very best in veterinary care.
Is your #veterinary hospital @AAHAHealthyPet accredited? It matters!— M. K.Clinton (@mk_clinton) July 22, 2016
Happy #AAHADay ♥ https://t.co/V6hv239DxG @UVHvets
Enjoy the Pet Parade Blog Hop! Join the fun with Rascal and Rocco, Bionic Basil’s Blog, Love is being owned by a Husky, and me.