COVID-19 and social distancing restrictions currently in place in the UK has changed and limited many aspects of how we access products and services that we need for our pets. Pet shops are still permitted to open and veterinary clinics continue to offer a greatly restricted range of services deemed essential or emergent.
However, as is the case for shops and services that serve people’s needs, those for pets deemed as non-essential have been closed for the duration.
Dog grooming salons and services is one of these things; and for the last few weeks, professional dog grooming has essentially been off the table for the UK’s dog owners, as a car journey to and from a grooming salon is deemed as non-essential, as was the grooming itself.
However, in the wake of calls to consider the need for professional grooming for certain types of dog coats and in certain states of cleanliness and condition as a welfare issue, the Pet Industry Federation have just announced (as of 28th April 2020) clarification for dog groomers in terms of whether or not they can or should offer their services, and how to deliver them whilst remaining safe.
This guidance and clarification is vitally important for both dog groomers and their customers, and clearly outlines what services (if any) dog groomers may offer at present, and how to execute them. So, what does all of this mean?
Well, some dog groomers that do or can work in a certain way and the owners of dogs with certain types of coats or in a certain state of unkemptness may be able to offer or access grooming services.
This article will outline the Pet Industry Federation’s exact guidance on COVID-19 and dog grooming as of 28th April 2020. Read on to learn more.
This one is still a no. Driving your dog to a dog groomer’s premises is still classed as a non-essential journey and so you can’t go out in the car just to take your dog for grooming.
Interestingly, this is allowed. Whilst people and businesses have been asked to work from home/remotely wherever this is possible, people are still permitted to travel for work where they are not able to work from home.
This means that if a groomer offers a mobile service from a grooming van that comes to you, or if they offer collection and drop off of dogs to customers, these are not things that they could do from home and so this is permitted.
Yes, if your dog groomer is in walking distance of your home, you can walk your dog to their appointment with the groomer, leave them there, and walk them home again. Exercising an animal (and yourself) is permitted, and is not classed as a journey in the same way going out in the car is.
As long as a dog groomer can fulfil the remit of working within the current COVID-19-related laws, the decision whether to open or not – and/or to be selective about what clients to see, and why – falls to the groomer.
Initially, most dog groomers believed, and no clarification was supplied to the contrary, that it would not to be possible to offer their services within the remit of restrictions, and/or were specifically told that this was the case. However, the Pet Industry Federation’s clarification on this subject will provide a great deal of reassurance and guidance for many groomers who will now find it viable to return to work, albeit likely in a limited manner and prioritising the grooming of dogs that need this as a welfare concern to prevent matting and discomfort.
It still remains the case though that a groomer who flouts the rules or operates outside of the remit of social distancing regulations is apt to find their operation closed and possibly, fined.
Here’s what the Pet Industry Federation has to say about dog grooming, the law, and social distancing safely and legally.