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

Poison Prevention Week

Yorkshire Terrier Poison Prevention Week is next week (March 19-25), so why not spend some time this weekend making sure that your home, garden, and shed is safe for your pet.

Many people think of only the obvious toxic items: cleaning supplies, pesticides, and herbicides. In fact, many common foods, plants (both in your home and garden), over the counter medications, and batteries can be deadly for pets.

Be Safe! Don’t take chances with improperly stored items.

  • Keep household cleaning products away from pets; not only where they are stored, but also while in use. Most commercial cleaning products contain chemicals that may cause severe burns to the mouth, tongue, and stomach. Some may be fatal if ingested. Natural or homemade cleaning products are safer, but can also cause stomach upset and irritation. Store products in an area that your pet cannot access and keep your pets contained to a different area while cleaning.
  • Many foods that are safe for human consumption are toxic to our pets. Grapes and raisins cause kidney failure; garlic, onions, and chives lead to red blood cell damage; chocolate, coffee, and any products with caffeine cause vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and seizures; and xylitol (a sugar substitute found in gum, candies, toothpaste, and some prepared foods) causes liver failure. Store these toxic foods in a closed cupboard that your pet cannot access, and never feed them to your pets.
  • Over-the-counter and prescription medications can be lethal to pets even in small doses. Store all medications in closed cabinets and be sure to properly dispose of expired or unused medication. Disposal in a garbage can is never a good idea – a curious dog could easily consume these. Take unused medication to your veterinarian on your next visit for proper disposal.
  • Make sure you keep your pet off of lawns or gardens that have been treated with fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides. Pets sometimes lick the moisture off of blades of grass – this is fine if it is dew or raindrops, but could have serious consequences if it is a pesticide.
  • Many common household products can be toxic, yet very appealing to pets. Mothballs, batteries, small coins, homemade playdough or clay, scented oils, and coffee grounds are hazardous to your pet.
  • Know the plants you have in your home and garden. Many are toxic to pets and caution needs to be exercised when bringing new plants into your home or garden. Always check to see if the plant is safe (Easter lilies for example, are extremely toxic to cats and cause kidney failure).
  • Many rat, ant, or roach baits have peanut butter or sugar in them. This attracts not only the unwanted pests, but your pet too. Make sure that these baits are inaccessible to your pet.
  • Any automotive products such as antifreeze or gasoline should be stored out of reach of your pet. A small amount of antifreeze is extremely toxic to pets.

Be prepared! Pets can be crafty and despite your best efforts to keep your pet safe, he may still get into something.

  • Know your veterinarian’s procedures for emergencies. She may have an emergency number to contact after hours, or you may be directed to an emergency clinic. Knowing this ahead of time will help when you are in an emergency situation.
  • Do not attempt any sort of intervention without first contacting your veterinarian.
  • If you think your pet has ingested, or come in contact with a poison, take immediate action. Do not wait to see if you pet develops symptoms.

Poison Prevention Week is a good reminder to take care with household items. Take this time to eliminate the risks in your home and garden to keep your pets safe.


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 ...
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    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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