Pet owners want the best for their animal companions, and many assume that their pet’s veterinary clinic is accredited. However, unlike human hospitals, veterinary hospitals do not need to be accredited, and standards for clinics can vary from state to state.

The American Animal Hospital Association is the only veterinary association focused exclusively on accrediting small animal hospitals in the United States and Canada. Seven leaders of the veterinary profession founded the AAHA in 1933, and the association is recognized as a leader in the veterinary industry. It has developed veterinary guidelines, published educational materials, and offers continuing education for veterinary professionals.

To be accredited by the AAHA, a veterinary practice is evaluated regularly on approximately 900 standards of care. These requirements are often more stringent than those required by states. Only a small percentage of veterinary practices in the United States and Canada – approximately 3,500 or 12% to 15% — are AAHA-accredited. It takes a great investment of time, money, and dedication to maintain AAHA accreditation.

The Columbus Small Animal Hospital is the only veterinary clinic in a wide area, and one of only a few in the state of Nebraska, that is accredited by the AAHA.
The AAHA helps reconnect lost pets and their owners with a Universal Pet Microchip Lookup tool that helps pet owners and shelters determine which microchip company a chip is registered with. More information is available at