As a pet owner, you hold the great responsibility of choosing where your furry friends receive their care. And, with a myriad of choices in the Syracuse area alone, we know you don’t take this decision lightly. Stack Veterinary Hospital was the area’s first AAHA-accredited practice, and we take the designation seriously. But, who is AAHA, and what does it mean for your pets? Read on to learn more about this renowned organization and its role in bettering the lives of pets across the country. 

Who is AAHA?

AAHA stands for the American Animal Hospital Association—a non-profit organization of veterinary professionals dedicated to advancing care for pets. AAHA’s team strives to hold veterinary hospitals to a higher standard of excellence by instituting guidelines for all aspects of veterinary practice, and by providing quality educational materials and publications. In fact, AAHA is the only veterinary accrediting body in the US and Canada, with only about 12% to 15% of veterinary hospitals earning the designation. 

What does it mean to be AAHA-accredited?

AAHA accreditation means much more than a mere designation or a window decal a practice can boast. Sure, accreditation lends our hospital credibility, but it also helps us do our jobs better and, in turn, care for your pets in the best way possible. With AAHA’s stringent accreditation process, our hospital is required to adhere to a set of more than 900 standards revolving around patient care, hospital safety, client communication, and team-building, which ultimately results in a well-oiled veterinary machine. In short, your pets experience exceptional care, and you receive a top-quality experience when you step foot in our facility. Some pet care areas that AAHA helps us focus on include anesthetic protocols, end-of-life care, pain management, and fluid therapy. You can read more about AAHA’s guidelines and their standards of care here

When was AAHA established?

AAHA came to fruition nearly 90 years ago in 1933. The organization began as a small group of veterinary professionals who wished to elevate small animal veterinary care beyond the minimum state regulations. Over the years, AAHA has grown into a renowned organization with an impeccable reputation. Stack Veterinary Hospital jumped on board with AAHA more than 65 years ago, meeting their rigorous standards time and time again—and we intend to keep it that way. 

Where are AAHA-accredited hospitals located?

AAHA accredits veterinary hospitals all over the US and Canada, but few practices pursue and achieve the designation. Any small animal practice can choose to become AAHA-accredited, whether they offer emergency, specialty, or general medicine services. 

Why undergo AAHA accreditation?

The AAHA label indicates that we go above and beyond the minimum expectations of your pet’s care—our top priority. But, did you know that this process is entirely voluntary? Surprisingly, no veterinary practice is required to become accredited, However, some practices undergo this meticulous process of their own accordperhaps because, like Stack Veterinary Hospital, they believe your pets deserve the absolute best care, or they want to improve their clients’ experience. For others, organization and safety may be their top concerns. At our hospital, we value all that AAHA strives for, and we choose to renew our accreditation year after year. Being an AAHA-accredited hospital means more work for us, but we welcome the challenge and the incredible rewards for our practice and team. 

How does a practice become AAHA-accredited?

Accreditation is no easy feat. Not only must a practice undergo a 900-point evaluation process to obtain their initial designation, but they also must repeat the process every three years, complete with on-site assessments and critiques. Since AAHA’s standards of care evolve as veterinary medicine advances, their practices are required to follow suit, which means we continue to offer the most current and comprehensive care for your pets. 

Considering all that AAHA and its accredited hospitals do for pets, it’s no wonder that 85% of pet owners choose an AAHA-accredited practice over a non-accredited one. As a Stack Veterinary Hospital client, you can be proud that we voluntarily hold ourselves to this higher standard of pet care. For more information about AAHA or our accreditation, visit our website here, or contact us.