England is into its third national lockdown in a bid to bring down spiralling rates of coronavirus cases – with many businesses closed as a result.
The lockdown has seen non-essential retail shutting up shop, as well as the closure of pubs, bars and restaurants .Hair and beauty salons have also had to close, meaning you’ll have to wait a little longer for that haircut or manicure – but if it’s your dog that’s in need of a trim, can you still take them to the pet groomer during lockdown?
And are vets open if you need them?
Are dog groomers open during lockdown?
The government has confirmed dog grooming services remain as an essential service and therefore do not have to close.
However, people are advised to only take their pets for grooming if it necessary for the animal’s welfare.
The latest government guidance states the following services can remain open during lockdown:
- vets and retailers of products and food for the upkeep and welfare of animals
- animal rescue centres, boarding facilities and animal groomers (may continue to be used for animal welfare, rather than aesthetic purposes)
You are also advised to contact the groomer in advance to make an appointment. and ask the groomer if they operate a mobile service or provide a collection and drop-off service.
Essential dog grooming services and vets have also been classed as essential in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Pet Industry Federation clarified this on their website, saying: ‘Professional pet groomers provide an essential pet welfare service which is important to maintain during a period of lockdown.
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‘PIF would consider aesthetic purposes to be services such as creative grooming, facials, nail painting, and fur-dyeing. These activities should not be undertaken during a lockdown.’
While groomers have been allowed to remain open for this purpose, if you are in need of a pet groomer you should contact your local salon directly to see if they have remained open during lockdown, and what services they are offering at this time.
Pet grooming services such as Pets At Home’s Groom Room have confirmed they are remaining open, but say on their website: ‘In line with government guidelines, we’re only offering grooming services where it’s in the interests of the dog’s welfare.’
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They have also outlined their safety guidelines on their website, including staggering bookings, limiting the number of people allowed in the salon, enhanced cleaning, contactless payments and groomers wearing full PPE.
Are vets open during lockdown?
Vets are on the list of essential services which the government has said can remain open during the latest lockdown – having remained open during the first lockdown.
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Leaving home to seek veterinary care for an animal is on the list of acceptable reasons for leaving your home during lockdown.
The guidance states it is ‘reasonably necessary’ to leave home ‘to attend veterinary services or seek advice about the health and welfare of a pet or other animal…or for the treatment of such a pet or animal.’
It goes on to say: ‘You may leave your home to access urgent vet services when you are self-isolating. You should only do this if it is not possible for another person to take the animal to the vet.’
The British Veterinary Association has also issued a statement, saying on its website they will ‘will not be reverting to emergency-only work’ like the first lockdown.
‘We are urgently looking at what these new national lockdowns will mean for veterinary professionals and services, and we are liaising with the Chief Veterinary Officers,’ the statement read.
‘We aim to issue updated guidance in the coming days but can confirm that we will not be reverting to emergency-only work, as we saw at the start of the first UK-wide lockdown last March.
‘Instead, we are developing guidance to support veterinary professionals to carry out work that is essential for public health and animal health and welfare, in the context of the very strong ‘stay at home’ messages from both governments.’
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Help your pet be as active as nature intended. Exercise and play time are necessary for your pet’s mental and physical well-being. If you don’t give your dog opportunities to be physically active, or if you don’t encourage exercise for your kitty and find ways to make it happen, you may well end up with a bored, destructive, overweight pet whose health will spiral downward throughout her lifetime.
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