A veterinarian generally goes to school for four years of undergraduate college studies, and another four years of veterinary school. Some veterinarians further build their skills by pursuing an internship and a residency. A veterinarian who is finally ready to start clinical practice likely looks for a veterinary hospital known to practice the highest quality medicine. One of the easiest ways to single out such a practice is to search for one that is AAHA-accredited. 

A parallel narrative: A pet owner who cares deeply about their pet wonders whom they can trust to care for their loved one if they are sick, especially if they have recently moved, or are a new pet parent. They naturally want the highest quality care possible for their new, furry, love of their life. The answer is the same: Look for an AAHA-accredited veterinary practice.

The small red and white logo that acknowledges that a practice has received AAHA accreditation packs a large punch in ensuring each and every client of that hospital can rest assured that their beloved pet will receive the best care possible, no matter which aspect of veterinary medical treatment they need.  

What is AHAA?

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) is an organization founded in 1933 by a group of veterinarians to encourage veterinary hospitals to strive for excellence in veterinary medicine. As still the only organization that accredits veterinary hospitals, AAHA continues evaluating practices for the highest quality of management and care, and awards accreditation only to veterinary practices that meet their high standards. Veterinary hospitals are evaluated on all aspects of practice that cover more than 900 standards, including: 

  • Anesthesia protocols
  • Record-keeping
  • Medical protocol standardization
  • Medication inventory 
  • Safety standards
  • Patient care
  • Pain management
  • Client services
  • Continuing education

AAHA partners with veterinary hospitals to help them deliver the highest level of care to their patients. Their accreditation standards are constantly changed to reflect the most up-to-date methods and protocols, and to keep AAHA-accredited hospitals at the forefront of veterinary medicine. Unlike human hospitals, veterinary hospitals in the U.S. are not required to be accreditedin fact, only 12% to 15% of U.S. veterinary hospitals are AAHA-accredited, meaning that this superior level of care sets accredited practices apart. 

Because AAHA accreditation is voluntary, a veterinary practice team who decides to pursue the lofty designation demonstrates their dedication to excellence in patient care. Plus, every AAHA-accredited hospital is re-evaluated every three years and their standards and protocols updated, so the commitment to excellence is ongoing. Every team member must be committed to success, and every AAHA-accredited veterinary hospital team—rightly so—takes great pride in their achievement. 

Veterinarians who work in AAHA-accredited practices believe in providing the highest level of  care possible, and would never put their practice’s accreditation in jeopardy. Any pet owner who chooses an AAHA-accredited veterinary practice can be confident that they and their pet will reap the benefits of a veterinary team dedicated to ensuring that their pet receives nothing but the absolute best care available. 

The Aha! moment

Have you ever given your pet food from your plate? Talked to them when you needed someone to talk to? Let them sleep in your bed? Have they comforted you when you are sad? Your pet is a member of your family, and you want them to receive only the best possible care, if they are sick or in pain. You want a veterinary team who cares about your pet, wants to alleviate their anxiety and pain, and treats them using the most up-to-date standards of medical and surgical care that they deserveyou want an AAHA-accredited practice.

At Southern Crossing Animal Hospital, we are incredibly proud to be an AAHA-accredited veterinary practice, and that we were one of the first veterinary hospitals in Memphis to achieve this honor. At our hospital, every day is an AAHA day, but July 22 is AAHA-Accredited Hospital Day, when we celebrate providing better care for pets and their people. 

We care for every pet that comes through our door as if they were our own, with the highest quality, most up-to-date medicine available. If you would like to experience the AAHA difference, and help us celebrate AAHA Day, give us a call, and schedule an appointment with our team.