Responsible Pet Ownership

Responsible Pet Ownership

Person holding a puppy's pawDifferent countries around the world celebrate “Responsible Pet Ownership” at different times of the year and in different ways, but the bottom line of all these celebrations is to educate the public about responsible pet ownership. The American Kennel Club and Canadian Kennel Club celebrate Responsible Dog Ownership Month in September; National Pet Month is celebrated during April in the UK and National Dog Day is celebrated in August across Australia.

No matter the time of year, today is a good day to remember that being a responsible pet owner is much more than providing food, water, and shelter for your pet. Raising a healthy pet is a large commitment, but is so rewarding to your entire family.

What exactly does being a responsible pet owner mean? Regardless of where in the world you live or what type of pet you have, consider the following tips to help you become the best pet owner you can be:

  • Spay or neuter your pet to eliminate unwanted puppies or kittens.
  • Always provide fresh water and high quality pet food.
  • Regularly brush or comb your dog or cat.
  • Provide pet hygiene beyond brushing or combing, including teeth brushing, ear cleaning, and bathing as required.
  • Socialize your dog to new people, places, and other dogs.
  • Pick up and properly dispose of your pet’s waste.
  • Take your pet to the veterinarian for regular wellness checks and keep all vaccinations and parasite prevention current.
  • Provide appropriate exercise and mental stimulation for your pet.
  • Ensure your pet has proper identification (microchip, collar tag, and/or tattoo).
  • Adhere to local laws regarding leashing, number of pets owned, and other local by-laws.
  • Pet proof your home so accidental injury or consumption of toxins is avoided.
  • Travel safely with your pet. Restrain your pet in a crate or by a safety harness or safety net.
  • Train your dog to reduce behavior problems and keep your dog safe: train your dog to sit, stay, and come when called.
  • Take your pet to see your veterinarian if you think your pet is ill or injured.

Be prepared to commit time and money to take care of your pet. Set aside time each day to devote to your pet. This will foster a special bond with your pet and provide time that both of you will look forward to. Consider purchasing pet insurance, or create an emergency fund by setting aside money each week to help pay for any unexpected costs that may occur in the future. Of course we always hope that our pets will never become sick or injured, but these types of emergencies do occur from time to time. Having pet insurance or an emergency fund will make these situations easier to deal with should they arise.

Events to help celebrate Responsible Pet Ownership are planned in many communities. In the US and Canada, many kennel clubs host special events like dog sport demonstrations, pet parades, training classes, and therapy dog demonstrations during the month of September. Similar events are held during the month of April in the UK. During the month of July in Australia, responsible pet ownership is promoted by encouraging the spaying and neutering of dogs and cats.

No matter where in the world you live, make a promise to your pet this month to provide him or her with the best care by following the above tips.

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

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Meet Our Team

  • Dr. Gross   Photo
    Dr. Gross

    Lead Veterinarian

    Veterinarian in Yorktown VA Dr. Gross is a 1983 graduate of Auburn University where he obtained a BS degree in zoology and a D.V.M. degree from the School of Veterinary Medicine. Upon graduation, he moved into the Dare/Grafton area of York County. From 1983-1984, he was a full-time associate in a small animal practice in Newport News. From 1984-1986, he worked at a 24-hour veterinary hospital in Richmond, gaining experience in emergency as well as outpatient medical practice. From 1986-1994, he ...
  • Dr. Laura  Neuhaus (Raiff) Photo
    Dr. Laura Neuhaus (Raiff)

    Veterinarian

    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. Jennifer  Moore Photo
    Dr. Jennifer Moore

    Veterinarian

    Dr. Jennifer Moore is a graduate of Virginia Tech for Veterinary Medicine. Originally from Chesterfield, VA, she attended Old Dominion University and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering prior to attending veterinary school. Dr. Moore has an interest in surgery as well as treating small exotic mammals and reptiles. In her free time, Dr. Moore enjoys being outside hiking, swimming, kayaking, and attempting to kiteboard. She also enjoys a variety of projects, especially ...
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    Caroline Parkhill

    Practice Manager

    Caroline joined the GAH team in July 2018. Caroline grew up in Virginia but left home to explore the world; she has lived in Germany, Korea, Oklahoma, California, and Texas. She recently returned home to Virginia to be closer to her family. Caroline graduated from the University of Maryland and worked in the IT field for 15 years before following her passion and joining the veterinary field. She enjoys gardening and cooking in her spare time, as well as relaxing with her crew of senior dogs and ...
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    Beth

    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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    Bari

    Veterinary Assistant

  • Emily   Photo
    Emily

    Veterinary Assistant

    Emily joined the Grafton Animal Hospital team in early 2015. Although new to the field, she has a strong passion for animals and wants to pursue a career as a licensed veterinary technician. She loves seeing the variety of beautiful animals at GAH from day to day. In her free time, Emily loves relaxing at home with her fiancé and two dogs and watching scary movies.
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    Amanda

    Veterinary Assistant

  • Katlyn   Photo
    Katlyn

    Receptionist

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    Haley

    Receptionist

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    Tracy

    Receptionist

    Profile coming soon!
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    Carolyn

    Professional Groomer

    Carolyn has been with us as a groomer since 2001. Carolyn was born and raised in Upstate New York. She has a two-year certificate of completion in Computer Science from B.O.C.E.S. in Flint, NY. She also attended F.L.C.C. in Canandaigua, NY for Business Administration. Her main interests are her son, Matthew, and her daughter, Kelly. She really enjoys grooming pets, from the challenging ones to the cooperative ones…dogs and cats alike! Seeing how great they look and feel after a bath and clip is ...
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    Alex

    Kennel Attendant

    Profile coming soon!
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    Ireland

    Kennel Attendant

    Profile coming soon!
  • Brian   Photo
    Brian

    Kennel Attendant

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    Felicia

    Kennel Attendant

    Profile coming soon!
  • Ricky   Photo
    Ricky

    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
    Lucy

    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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