Paws for Wellness A happy and healthy pet starts with a plan!

How Your Dog Shows They Love You

Woman sitting in the grass hugging her large dogSometimes, it’s easy to think that our dogs only tolerate us because we feed them, take them for walks and provide a warm comfy place to sleep. We love our dogs, often unconditionally, and are generally willing to do anything for them. But you sometimes have to wonder, do they really love us back?

Recently scientist have been looking deeper into how dogs show affection to their owners. Here are some of the ways that our canine companions let us know they really do love us right back (although not as much as food!).

They make eye contact. In the wild, eye contact can be seen as a form of aggression, so when your dog looks at you with those soft, wide ‘puppy dog eyes’, it is a loving gaze they are looking at you with.

They are happy to see you. Is there any better welcome home than your 4-legged friend bounding down the hallway to greet you, tail wagging? That excited greeting definitely means your pup is happy to see you!

They wags their tail. A dog’s tail wag can convey a multitude of feelings- from agitation and aggression, to happiness and excitement. When your dog is happy, he will hold his tail in a neutral or slightly raised position and adds a healthy wag, even a little hip wiggle if he’s really excited! The faster the wag, the more excited the dog.

They snuggle and sleep with you. Dogs are inherently pack animals, and in the wild, the pack would curl up together to sleep, both as a protective measure and for warmth. The fact that they like to snuggle up to you to sleep shows that they consider you part of their pack and thus, are protective of you.

They smile at you. A full-on doggie smile, corners of the mouth pulled back, showing just enough teeth to be charming but not frightening, can be totally disarming. This doggie facial expression actually conveys submission in the canine world, so giving you that doggie smile actually means that your dog accepts his subordinate position in the dog-human relationship or family.

They bring you presents. When your dog brings you his grubbiest chew toy, he is offering you his favorite belonging; this shows he thinks of you as his pack leader, and so offering up his most prized possession shows that he want to share this favorite things with the person he loves.

They follow you around. Sometimes it feels like you can’t take a step without tripping over your dog, or sit down without your pup crawling into your lap for a scratch. Take it as a compliment that your dog craves your attention and wants to be around you all the time.

They are calm when you leave. If you dog is calm as you leave, even retreating to their bed or favorite spot on the couch, don’t be offended. Well-adjusted pooches won’t bark and cry when your leave; those are signs of separation anxiety in dogs, not affection. If your dog loves you and trusts you, they will be confident that you will eventually return, so your departure is nothing for them to get upset over.

So if your dog does any of these things on a regular basis, rest assured that your affection for your furry friend is definitely returned!


Why We Are Your Best Choice

  • Fully Equipped and Prepared for Your Pet's Needs

    Our hospital is a 6,000 sq ft facility with a large kennel, grooming room, treatment area, and more to best serve our patients.

  • High-Quality Care Tailored to Each Patient

    We value the human-animal bond and strive to provide premium, loving care for your pet's unique needs.

  • Monthly Continuing Education for All Staff Members

    We believe that education is the key to preventing illness and shortening the recovery time for your pet's ailments.

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Meet Our Team

  • Dr. Laura  Neuhaus (Raiff) Photo
    Dr. Laura Neuhaus (Raiff)


    Dr. Laura Neuhaus is a graduate of the University of Missouri - College of Veterinary Medicine. Following graduation, she completed an emergency and specialty medicine internship at VCA Emergency Animal Hospital and Referral Center in San Diego. She enjoys ophthalmology and has a special interest in avian medicine. Her hobbies include gardening, hiking, and spending time outdoors. She is the proud parent of a cat and 2 parrotlets.
  • Dr. Mitchell  Meyerhoeffer Photo
    Dr. Mitchell Meyerhoeffer


    A Virginia native, Dr. Mitchell Meyerhoeffer (Dr. M is fine!) started his career in the veterinary field in high school at Chesterfield Technical Center's veterinary science program. He completed his undergraduate degree in Biology at Virginia Commonwealth University while working as a veterinary assistant in a specialty and emergency hospital. Dr. M then completed his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine training at Virginia Tech, enjoying the hiking and outdoor scenery in Blacksburg when he could ...
  • Beth   Photo

    Veterinary Technician

    Beth joined the GAH staff in April 2010. Originally from Maryland, she now lives in the Gloucester area. She has been working as a Licensed Veterinary Technician since graduating from Blue Ridge Community College in 1989. Away from work, she enjoys reading and working her dogs in obedience and agility classes. She has two dogs, three cats, four ferrets and three reptiles.
  • Becca   Photo

    Veterinary Assistant

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  • Mary   Photo

    Treatment Team Lead

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    Veterinary Assistant

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    Veterinary Assistant

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    Kennel Care Team Lead

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    Kennel Care Team

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    Kennel Care Team

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    Kennel Care Team

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  • Aidan   Photo

    Professional Groomer

    I'm Aidan, and I'm not your typical groomer. I'm a passionate animal lover with a heart full of love for our furry friends. Every day, I get the incredible opportunity to work my magic as a groomer at the renowned Grafton Animal Hospital. I can't express just how much I adore what I do. It's not just a job; it's a calling. I find immense joy in transforming your beloved pets into the best versions of themselves. Whether it's a shaggy dog that needs a fresh haircut, a cat in need of a spa day, or ...
  • Tracy   Photo

    Practice Manager

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  • Ricky   Photo

    Front Desk Supervisor

    Ricky came to Grafton Animal Hospital in April of 2011. He was a little shy at first, but once he became more comfortable with us, he became one of the team. Ricky is a Congo African Grey Parrot. We think he is around 10 years old, but no one is sure. He will sometimes put on a show of whistling, talking, singing and dancing, and imitating sounds like telephones and coughing. Visit our Facebook page for an opportunity to see Ricky in action.
  • Lucy   Photo

    Staff Meeting Coordinator

    Lucy joined the Grafton Animal Hospital reception team as the new Noisemaker bird in September 2016. After losing our long-time mascot, Croaker, earlier that year, we learned of a young Quaker parrot available for adoption at the Peninsula Regional Animal Shelter and decided she might be a good fit for the clinic. Lucy quickly made herself at home and before long, she was showing the staff who was really in charge. She is generally pretty friendly, so you will often see the staff holding her. ...
  • Daisy & Duke   Photo
    Daisy & Duke

    Staff Meeting Coordinators

    Daisy and Duke joined the GAH team in June of 2009. They were stray kittens that needed a home, and Squeaks was in need of a brother or sister. After some convincing, we were able to keep both. If you haven’t seen our kittens roaming the clinic, it’s because they are still learning their way around. For now, they are great morale boosters that keep us entertained during our staff meetings.
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    Grooming Manager

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    Kennel Care Team

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