Pet owners in New Brunswick are finally able to take their pets in to get their nails and fur trimmed, as the province has given groomers the OK to open amid the coronavirus pandemic, provided they follow strict safety precautions.
Jackie Cormier, owner of Paws N’ Noses grooming shop in Moncton, said she was forced to shut down almost six weeks ago but was notified by the province via email last Friday that her shop could open.
“My clients are very relieved,” she said.
The province confirmed to Global News that pet groomers will be allowed to reopen their businesses while observing several safety precautions.
According to the documentation provided to Cormier by the New Brunswick Department of Public Safety, she is unable to let her patrons inside of her shop and must practise physical distancing at all times with her clients and among co-workers working at separate grooming stations.
“We had to separate them all six feet minimum, but I have done seven and a half feet for the grooming tables in the grooming area,” said Cormier.
She said she spent close to $1,000 on sanitation supplies and disinfectants to kill off any traces of COVID-19, but she says she’s not concerned for her own safety.
“If I am safe and I keep disinfecting everything and I put them in the tub right away then I am fine,” she said.
According to the documentation provided to groomers by the province, there are currently no studies specifically looking at how long the novel coronavirus could last on animal fur.
“Various experts indicate that it is unlikely to transmit the virus via fur,” the province’s COVID-19: Guidance for Pet Groomers document states.
Cormier said that she is choosing to wear a mask at all times as an extra precaution to protect her clients.
She is also required to screen her clients for symptoms before agreeing to book in their pets and is following strenuous disinfecting practices required by the province.
“At each step — so the bathtub they get into, we are going to have to disinfect thoroughly, the grooming tables they are on, disinfect thoroughly,” he said.
All of this takes time, so Cormier said she won’t be able to groom as many dogs as she typically would in one day.
She said she is trimming up nails and fur as fast as she can while desperate clients are calling non-stop.
“They are also in a panic because they are scared that if they don’t get in now, they are not going to make it if there is a second wave,” she said.