ADVICE FOR PET GROOMERS DURING LOCKDOWN

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations 2020 specify the types of journeys that people may undertake during the emergency lockdown restrictions currently in force. The Act states:

   'During the emergency period, no person may leave the place where they are living without reasonable excuse. A reasonable excuse includes the need to  obtain  basic   necessities,  including  food  and  medical  supplies  for  those  in  the  same household (including any pets or animals in the household); or to seek medical assistance, including to access any of the services referred to in paragraph 37 or 38 of Schedule 2.'

Paragraph 37 and 38 specifically state these services as: dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services, including services relating to mental health, veterinary surgeons and pet shops.  Pet owners may therefore visit pet shops for food and supplies for their pets; or they may visit a veterinary surgery for their pet to receive veterinary treatment during these restrictions.

A journey by car made by a pet owner to the grooming salon is therefore not considered essential, and is not permissible. However, it is permissible for businesses to travel as part of their work and so mobile groomers may operate, as can salons when they can collect dogs from individual households to take back to the salon. This is as per the DEFRA-approved guidelines established by the Canine and Feline Sector Group earlier in April.

A client may walk their dog to be groomed as part of the client’s daily exercise. Once the dog has been groomed either the dog may be walked home or the groomer may return the dog. Only one dog may be groomed at a time and the premises disinfected in between.

The following hygiene and social distancing protocols agreed with the Canine & Feline Sector Group should be adopted in all circumstances.

With lockdown continuing into at least the early part of May, there is an increasing need to consider the welfare implications for dogs whose coats require regular grooming, and who could develop severe matting or knots without intervention. However, without an amendment to the Act, there will not be a derogation for pet owners to legitimately undertake journeys to the pet groomer - even on welfare grounds. In these cases, it is likely that the government would expect a veterinary surgeon to alleviate any pain or suffering to a dog brought on by a lack of grooming over this extended lockdown period.

Pet groomers may therefore wish to consider adopting the following points with regard to dogs whose coats are liable to matt:

1)    Keep in touch with your customers by text or email, offering them advice on how to brush and groom their dogs during this lockdown period to keep the coats as matt free as possible. PIF has produced guidelines for pet owners grooming their dogs, which you can share with your customers.

2)    If necessary, assess dogs most at risk from matting over a video call (e.g. Skype, WhatsApp, Zoom etc) where you can see the dog and determine how soon it will need to be groomed and establish how you can safely get it to your salon.

3)    Your customers can’t drive to you, but as a business you can drive to your customers to collect their dog. Whilst maintaining social distancing and hygiene protocols you can therefore gain access to dogs most in need of grooming and at risk of severe matting.

4)    A client may walk their dog to be groomed as part of the client’s daily exercise.  Once the dog has been groomed either the dog may be walked home or the groomer may return the dog. The handover protocol should be followed. Only one dog may be groomed at a time and the premises disinfected in between.

Whilst the above points are not ideal, they are currently the only means by which pet groomers and pet owners can work within the confines of the Coronavirus Act with regard to pet grooming.

The most important factor to bear in mind is that it is your choice as to whether you open your salon and continue offering any service to your clients at this time. If you do decide to open, you must ensure you can adopt all the social distancing and hygiene protocols to keep you, your families and your customers safe.

 

 

Pet Industry Federation, 1 Cobbs Court, High Street, Olney, Buckinghamshire, MK46 5QN

Copyright 2019 Pet Industry Federation
Company No: 7252816. VAT No: GB 945 6469 79
A company limited by guarantee.

Privacy Policy

 Website Terms & Conditions

 

Website development by Zixus

Internet Explorer users: this site is best viewed with IE8 and above.