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

Puppy Proofing your Home!

Tiny puppy in the grassMarch 23rd is National Puppy Day! Any time of the year is a great time to bring a puppy into your home, but spring and fall are popular times of year for new puppies. Preparing your home for that bundle of fur is an important step to take BEFORE the puppy comes home!

Getting a puppy is an exciting time for everyone in the house, including the puppy, so ensuring that your home is ready for the new arrival will be easier for everyone – puppy included. A successful transition to a puppy home starts with puppy proofing, much like child proofing your home!

Out of Sight, Out of Mind!

Puppies are curious by nature. While encouraging curiosity and play prevent boredom in your puppy, your brand new shoes are probably not exactly what you have in mind when it comes to play! Anything that your puppy can sink his tiny teeth into needs to be removed from rooms that your puppy has access to. Gloves, shoes, hats, and children’s toys are all interesting to a puppy. Even a hat hanging on a doorknob is not safe! A puppy may see a dangling hat as a challenge, and with perseverance may just knock it down for a nice chew session. Be sure to keep such tempting items away in closets or on high shelves.

Remove Delicate Items and “Batten Down the Hatches”!

Everyone has seen puppies madly running around a house or outside (known as “zoomies”). Unstable furnishings, breakable vases at the edge of a table, and grandma’s breakable antiques are likely to be impacted when your puppy has a case of the zoomies! These items are probably better suited in an off limits room until your puppy knows that zoomies are only allowed outside. Consider setting up baby gates or an enclosure to keep your puppy contained in an area that is completely puppy proofed until your puppy is trained.

Garbage, Cleaning Supplies, and Food, Oh My!

Garbage smells terrible to humans, but delicious to a puppy! Chicken bones, high fat food scraps, and plastic wrap are a potential hazard. Vomiting, diarrhea, and pancreatitis can result when your puppy eats garbage, and he can choke on plastic bags or plastic wrap. Make sure garbage is well secured. Cleaning supplies should be kept in high cupboards, or use childproof latches. Keep the puppy in an enclosure or his crate while cleaning, as cleaning chemicals can easily get into a puppy’s eyes and the vapors can cause harm to a puppy’s lungs. Many human foods are toxic to pets. Chocolate, coffee, onions, garlic, and candies contain chemicals that can be deadly. Keep snacks far out of reach of puppies – you would be surprised how high a puppy can jump to reach a tempting human treat! Keep puppy food and treats in tightly sealed containers. Not only could your puppy over-indulge if he were able to access these foods, but he could choke on the plastic that the food and treats are in.

The Great Outdoors!

Check your property for potential hazards. Get down to your puppy’s level and see if there are potential escape routes under or through fences and gates. If your curious puppy catches the scent of a critter that has roamed your yard or garden, he will likely ignore your calls to stay. Remove or isolate rock and wood piles – unsteady piles can trap or cause injury to a curious pup. In your garage, shed, or pool house make sure to place hazardous items such as antifreeze, gasoline, pesticides, and pool chemicals on high shelves, or better yet, restrict your puppy’s access to these buildings. Be aware of the wildlife in your area. Different regions have different threats to your pup. Supervise “free-play” if there are known predators in your area, especially during dawn and dusk when these animals tend to be prowling about.

Taking these steps to ensure the safety of your new puppy is a great way to introduce your family to the responsibilities of having a pet. If everyone helps to prepare, and maintain a puppy friendly home, you will give your puppy a happy beginning with his new family.


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.
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    Veterinary Assistant

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    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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    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.
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    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. ...
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    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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