If you run a dog grooming salon, you’ll be among thousands of business owners up and down the UK who’ve spent the last few months running their premises in a strange world where social distancing, minimal contact and hand sanitiser are the new normal. Since dog grooming salons were allowed to reopen earlier this year following the Covid-19 lockdown, business has been steadily looking healthier in our industry as more and more pooches have been able to return.
The fact that dog grooming salons were allowed to reopen relatively quickly compared to some high street establishments underlines the importance of what we do. Dog grooming is about so much more than brushing a canine’s coat or making sure that they look presentable – it’s a crucial part of a dog’s wellbeing, and the services a dog groomer offers can help ensure that they have a happy and healthy life.
These services include bathing, coat shaping, nail clipping, hair removal and brushing, and dog grooming professionals can also decrease the chances of a dog developing health problems by being able to spot indications of swelling, cuts, heat, skin parasites and thrush as well as any significant changes in behaviour. They can develop a true understanding of the way dogs communicate with humans, and use this to work closely alongside dogs to stay on top of their general health.
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PPE and dog grooming
During the coronavirus pandemic and in the months since lockdown began to ease, many businesses have had to get accustomed to using personal protective equipment (PPE) for the first time. Professionals in the dog grooming industry have been fortunate to have a bit of a headstart in this area – because of the constant need for the highest standards of hygiene around dogs, we’ve been used to PPE as an everyday requirement for a long time. But what exactly should you be using in your dog grooming salon when it comes to keeping pooches, owners and your own staff as safe as possible?
PPE requirements for dog grooming
All of the following should be used in dog grooming salons, and changed between each appointment with each dog:
Respiratory protective equipment
At the moment we’ve all got more face coverings than we know what to do with, but they are a must for dog grooming in any circumstances. Because certain products used in dog grooming can be harmful to humans when inhaled through the mouth and nose, having a face mask on provides essential protection. This can be a surgical or disposable one, and it’s important to make sure it’s properly in place.
Dog shampoos, flea and tick treatments can be highly irritating to human eyes. Dog groomers should always wear a pair of protective glasses to make sure any particles don’t reach the eyes. In the current circumstances it’s also advisable to wear a visor in order to protect other people within the salon and reduce the risk of Covid-19 being transmitted if anybody is carrying it.
To protect your skin against any chemicals used in dog grooming, you should always use surgical gloves when handling dogs in the salon. Covering your skin also helps to protect from any bites and scratches, so full-length sleeves and trousers and fully covered shoes are also important. Making sure that gloves and other disposable equipment is switched between treatments will minimise the risk of harm and of Covid-19 transmission.
Are there additional guidelines in place for dog groomers?
To adhere to social distancing rules, dog grooming salons should try to do the following:
- Ask owners to retain all their own equipment such as leads
- Completely disinfect the grooming area and equipment between appointments
- Make sure that only one dog is in the salon at one time, and full cleaning takes place before the next one is allowed in
- Bath dogs thoroughly before any grooming treatment takes place
- Ensure the right PPE is worn at all times in the salon, and not just during treatments
- Encourage payments being made by card wherever possible