#NationalPuppyDay highlights trends in pandemic puppy parenting

NOW: #NationalPuppyDay highlights trends in pandemic puppy parenting

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked unique trends in the world of dog ownership in the last two years, but Milwaukee's community of animal experts say there is plenty of support to ensure canine companions are healthy and happy.

One trend at the start of the pandemic was the spike in demand for new pets.

"In 2020 we did see adoption demand just go sky high with people working from home and more time to train an animal," Angela Speed, Wisconsin Humane Society's vice president of communications, told CBS 58. "But shelter intake was actually quite low, it was one of our lowest years in the last decade."

Intake at shelters has rebounded from traditional sources, but not from new dog owners. WHS said return rates in 2021 and thus far in 2022 have remained flat.

"We've heard a lot of talk about people adopting during the pandemic and then mass returns of those animals and it is simply not true the data does not support it," Speed said.

Another trend is an increase in demand for daycare for dogs. That has been spurred by the gradual widespread return to office work environments for people as COVID-19 rates decrease.

"It's definitely been a pretty sharp increase in dogs coming in for day care," Central Bark Downtown dog trainer Taylor Ohm said.

Ohm said socialization is important for dogs to be well-rounded and for mental and physical stimulation. However, some dogs may benefit more from staying at home during the work day. Ohm said owners should research if a daycare is a right environment for them.

"It can be kind of a scary thing for our dogs to come into this big new world that they so weren't used to being around," Ohm said. "So we do our best to make sure we can help them through that get them to be the best dog that they can be."

The Humane Society added if people are thinking of adopting, dogs are a great addition to a family.

"There is nothing that brings so much joy to your heart like a cute, adorable puppy that's for sure," Speed said.

More information about adoption at the Wisconsin Humane Society can be found here.

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