‘Doggie day care’ services surge as more people get new pets during pandemic

Pet ownership has surged during the COVID-19 pandemic as those who were forced to lock down sought some extra companionship.
“There’s certainly been a surge of pet ownership. We’ve seen they cleared the shelters. Everybody is finding a pet to bring into their home,” says Kristen Hedderich with the Morris Animal Inn.
And many of these “pandemic pets” are now showing up at facilities like the Morris Animal Inn in Morristown, a business that offers boarding, grooming, training and doggie day care.
The Morris Animal Inn has been in business for decades and has been family-owned and operated for generations. The staff says that they have noticed a big shift in the past year in the services that clients are interested in.
“What we’ve seen here is maybe a drastic reduction in the pets we are boarding, but we’ve seen almost all of our day care and grooming services double,” says Hedderich.
Hedderich says that she suspects that they will soon see families dealing with separation anxiety when the pet owners go back to work, school and on vacation.
“Now we’re seeing more of an interest in our services because pets can’t be left home alone all day when they’ve never experienced that before,” she says.
The Morris Animal Inn suggests that pet owners start practicing that separation now and not right before they separate. It will help to train the dog and in many cases the owners as well, who have been used to constant loving from their pets.
Pet owners who plan to travel without their pet should start putting them in pet day care before they leave so that the pet gets used to it. This will even apply to older pets who may have gotten used to having humans at home all of the time.