The following are examples of dog related businesses that are not required to be closed:
- boarding kennels including home stay
- doggy day care
- dog grooming
However in order to operate they must do so in a way that complies with social distancing and provides appropriate biosecurity.
Please note that in theory the virus could be passed from person to person via a surface such as a dog’s fur, collar, or lead - however there are no confirmed cases of transmission of Coronavirus (COVID-19) from pets to people.
A handover procedure must be in place and adhered to and this should be agreed with the owner prior to acceptance of the dog.
Handover procedure to include:
- Social distancing should be maintained at all times
- An appointment basis for acceptance and return of dog
- The operator wiping the dog down with a pet safe disposable damp cloth, a disposable apron or other appropriate protective clothing should be worn whilst doing so, which should be disposed of properly afterwards before accepting the dog and the owner retaining all equipment such as leads
- If dogs are brought to site, for example by key workers, owners should remain in their vehicles until staff are ready to accept their dog. Handover should take place in a room or space large enough for the client and staff to maintain their social distance (2 metres). Each dog should be wiped down with a fresh disposable pet safe cloth on arrival and departure which should be disposed of properly afterwards
- If dogs are collected - only dogs from a single household should be collected and transported at a time. Each dog should be wiped down with a disposable pet safe cloth on arrival which should be disposed of properly afterwards. The vehicle must be disinfected between journeys
- Any equipment used by the operator, including the vehicle used to transport the dog, must be cleaned and disinfected between dogs. Gloves must be washed or disposed of safely between dogs
- The operator should wipe the dog with a disposable pet-safe wipe before returning to the owner
- Payment should be made by card or BACS
- Dogs should not be accepted from households or people under isolation for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection
Doggy day care
Commercial day care may continue to operate and priority should be given for key workers, and shielded and vulnerable people who are unable to make alternative safe arrangements for their dog. The handover protocol set out above should be followed; in addition the entire premises must be cleaned and disinfected at the close of each day.
Homestay boarding kennels
The handover protocol set out above should be followed; in addition, due to the setup of homestay boarding kennels, an interval of three days should be allowed between boarding dogs from different households to ensure no cross contamination.
Groomers and their clients should consider whether the necessary human contact and journeys are necessary or in current circumstances may be delayed to protect public health.
In many cases, groomers may therefore consider that maintaining contact with clients remotely and offering advice to them about their pet’s coat is the safest outcome for all concerned.
If a dog grooming business is open, the handover protocol set out above should be followed and in addition:
- Where appropriate for the dog’s temperament, they may be bathed once arriving at the Groomers. A disposable apron or other appropriate protective clothing should be worn whilst doing so
- Only one dog may be groomed at a time and the dog should have left the premises, with disinfection of the grooming facility occurring, before the next one is allowed to enter
- Hygiene measures should include the use of gloves for handling dogs and the washing of hands and gloves (or new gloves) between dogs
Dog Grooming businesses may collect and return dogs to owners by vehicle in appropriate transport as long as they can disinfect their vehicle between collections.