Share

twitter-share facebook-share

Getting Back to Business - Advice for Dog Groomers, Trainers and Walkers

12th April 2021

As UK pet businesses prepare to open their doors once again, there is a degree of uncertainty about the do’s and don’ts, the when’s and where’s and how-to’s.

The first and most simple advice to follow is that washing hands for twenty seconds and using hand sanitiser along with social distancing and the wearing of face masks should be the norm – not advisory.

We have put together our top 10 tips for dog groomers, trainers and walkers about how to prepare to get back to pet business as usual in these unusual circumstances.

Pre-grand reopening

Firstly, nobody understands your business as well as you so you should undertake a thorough risk assessment to ensure that your business is operating in the safest way possible to protect your members of staff and your valuable customers. Follow these steps to make sure your business is COVID safe and secure:

1. Contact all clients in advance to advise the time and date when your services will re-open along with new procedures for drop-off and collection. You should also advise them of any extra precautions you have taken to ensure the health and wellbeing of staff, owners and pets. You could also promote this information on your social media channels.

2. All handovers should take place outdoors where possible.

3. You should also introduce staggered drop-off and collection times and encourage customers to wait in their car until the business is ready to accept the pet.

4. Customers should be advised not to bring their own belongings or equipment such as leads or clothing where possible.

5. All premises, transport and equipment should be thoroughly cleaned and sanitised before you re-open your business and you should continue this routine between dogs once open.

6. Hand washing and sanitising facilities must be provided for staff and customers.

7. Display new signage to advise about hand washing, sanitising, wearing of face masks, social distancing and one-way entry/ exit.

8. All staff should be briefed on new protocols, procedures and drop-off and collection procedures.

9. Any staff displaying COVID symptoms should be sent home immediately and advised to take a test.

10. Ensure that you keep up to date with the latest government guidelines at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

The Canine and Feline Sector Group (CFSG) is a “not for profit” body with members from charities, the veterinary sector and the pet industry. It offers expert advice and recommendations to the Government on important dog and cat health and welfare issues and standards.

They have issued the following guidance on key dates and offer specific advice and guidance to groomers, trainers and walkers:

No earlier than 12th April

• All activities should continue to be by appointment only so that numbers are limited to prevent mixing of different households.

• Handover of animals should continue to follow COVID protocol and take place where possible outdoors.

• Training classes may take place for either up to six people or from two households in any place outdoors except a private dwelling.

• Staff and clients should wear face coverings and maintain social distance and hand washing after handling dogs.

• COVID restrictions on dog walkers cease.

No earlier than 17th May

• Numbers should be limited to prevent indoor mixing of more than six people or two households or bubbles.

• Handover of animals may take place indoors by appointment with up to six people or from two households or support bubble.

• Training classes may take place for either up to six people or from two households in any place indoors except a private dwelling or outdoors for up to 30 people.

• Staff and clients should wear face coverings and maintain social distance and hand washing after handling dogs.

No earlier than 21st June

• All restrictions removed but the continued use of appointments and face coverings is likely to be advised.

 

Additional advice from CFSG

Groomers

• Pet businesses can collect dogs from client’s homes as long as they disinfect their vehicle between collections.

• Pets from infected or self-isolating households should be collected separately from other dogs in different journeys and after pets from other non-infected households.

• Groomers should assess whether the grooming can be delayed until an infected household is clear to reduce the risk to all staff.

• Multiple dogs may be booked at a time where a grooming salon has sufficient space to keep them separate and for groomers to maintain social distancing whilst working (2m should be adhered to where possible).

• Admission and return of dogs should be by appointment only – ideally outdoors or ensure social distancing where the reception area is large enough to do so.

• When clients bring their dogs to the salon they should wait in the car until the salon is ready to accept or return the dog.

• Mobile groomers may continue to operate providing that they can maintain social distancing. They should not visit an infected or self-isolating household. All equipment must be disinfected between each home.

Dog walkers and trainers

• Dog walkers should give priority to key workers, and vulnerable people who are unable to make alternative safe exercise for their dog.

• Dogs from different households may be walked or trained together as long as dogs from infected or self-isolating households are not mixed with others from non-infected households.

• Dogs may be allowed off lead in a safe area.

• Any equipment, including the vehicle if used to transport the dog, must be cleaned and disinfected between dogs.

Disclaimer

Advice and dates correct at time of issue. Please visit www.gov.uk or www.cfsg.org.uk for ongoing updates.

Share

twitter-share facebook-share