KITCHENER -- Veterinarians are dealing with growing client lists as more people welcome pets into their homes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Clinics were relatively quiet when the pandemic began.

"At the very beginning, we were kind of worried that business would be slow," said Jennifer Madden with Kitchener South Animal Hospital. "But, we were wrong, we were very wrong."

Jack Nahrgang and Katherine MacLean had two dogs pass away at the start of the pandemic.

"We loved them, they were in our home for over a decade," MacLean said.

After, their home felt empty.

"As the pandemic increased in length, we could feel our moods just diminishing," MacLean said.

Now they have two new puppies, both needing check ups and shots.

"Everyone started getting puppies and kittens and we've been really, really busy ever since," Madden said.

She said her client bookings are full almost every day.

"We often work through lunch and then grab lunch when we get a chance," Madden said.

Staff schedules are also busy as they work with COVID-19 protocols.

"Usually we have owners able to come in and hold their own pet, but because of COVID we can't let anyone in, so we're using extra staff to be holding pets," Madden said.

Madden suggests making sure a pet is from a safe and healthy place.

"Make sure you research your breeder or wait for a reputable breeder, as opposed to jumping on a potential puppy mill," she said.