Dog-Grooming Services

September 9, 2020

A Melbourne vet has called for dog-grooming services to be reopened despite the city’s strict coronavirus lockdown after treating a number of gruesome injuries caused by owners attempting to groom their pets at home.

Dr Jack Zaks has performed emergency procedures on a number of animals at his Elsternwick clinic since stage four restrictions began in August.

In one case, he said the owner tried to trim around their dog’s ears, cutting an artery and leading to “a Hollywood-style spurting of blood”.

Dr Zaks said dog-grooming services provide an essential service to the health and welfare of pets.

For some breeds, particularly those with long hair, regular grooming is vital to the animal’s wellbeing, which some owners are unable to provide at home.

“It’s discriminating to say that you can’t go to the groomer because dogs need to be tended to, otherwise they will fall into a heap,” Dr Zaks said. Under the government’s road map announced on Sunday, dog-grooming services will remain shut until October 26, meaning many pets will have been ungroomed for more than three months. Ms Garthe’s business, Beanfeet Dog Grooming, shut at the beginning of August when stage four restrictions began.

“It’s all about the welfare of the animal,” Ms Garthe said. “The business part is probably less important.”

Ms Garthe said while dogs were allowed to visits to vets, it shouldn’t be expected that vets do the job of groomers.

Australian Veterinary Association president David Middleton echoed this sentiment. He said vets had struggled to cope with providing urgent grooming along with meeting new COVID-related safety measures.

In a survey of almost 100 clients, Ms Garthe found two-thirds said their dog’s fur had become matted during lockdown, while 34 said their dog had a skin or health issue that required regular grooming.

Stuart Walford, owner of poodles Susan and Peter, said the hypoallergenic breed required weekly bathing in order to keep their fur clean.

“We’ve had to do lots of weekly brushing, like three times a week, to help maintain their coat,” Mr Walford said. “I personally see more confidence and playfulness in my dogs when they are freshly groomed.”

The RSPCA’s Victorian branch said pets could experience adverse and serious side effects when grooming was neglected.

In particular, long hair could cause a variety of discomfort and skin issues, including matting. Overgrown nails could cause pain, while double coating from irregular brushing could be a cause of heat stress.

Animal Justice Party MP Andy Meddick has asked the state government to classify dog grooming as an essential service for animal welfare and allow businesses to open immediately.

“There are literally many thousands of things that the government has to consider and it’s easy for some to slip through the cracks … which is why I have raised companion animal grooming with them,” Mr Meddick said.

“Let’s seek the advice of vets, seek the advice of professionals in the industry and see what balance can be struck because these are reasonable people. “They’re not asking for open slather.”

A government spokesperson said the focus in metropolitan Melbourne was on driving down the rate of COVID-19 infection.

“As a result, pet groomers cannot operate in metropolitan Melbourne,” they said.

“If a pet’s welfare is impacted due to an urgent requirement for grooming, people should consult their closest veterinarian.”

  • Most Recent News

    Big Dogs Need Owners

    October 9, 2020

    When the shutdown orders took full effect, it became nearly impossible to find a small dog available for adoption as Southlanders sought furry companions. In many Southland shelters, only larger breeds remained available for adoption. Now Los Angeles Animal Service is touting the joys of big dogs while offering discounted adoption fees for larger breeds […]

    Read more

    Service Dog Walkathon

    October 9, 2020

    On Saturday, October 3, hundreds of walkers from across 15 states joined the path to bettering the world for children with autism and their families as part of BluePath Service Dogs’ fourth annual walkathon. The family-friendly fundraiser – this year held virtually – raised more than $120,000 to further BluePath’s mission of providing autism service […]

    Read more

    Service Dog In The Marching Band

    October 9, 2020

    In a year that is anything but normal, the Jones College Maroon Typhoon Marching Band has welcomed its first known service dog member this fall. Laurie, a 3-year-old golden retriever, is baritone saxophone player Sara-Beth McKellar’s service dog. The Vicksburg native was diagnosed with epilepsy as a sophomore in high school after her first seizure. […]

    Read more

    Church Blesses Animals

    October 9, 2020

    St. Mary’s Church of the Immaculate Conception in Port Jervis hosted a special outdoor service last Sunday afternoon to bless the community’s pets, animals and other living creatures. In keeping with current pandemic rules, pet owners wore masks, remained distant, and took part in praying for dogs, cats, turtles, and other pets and animals around […]

    Read more

    Police Welcomes New Canine

    October 9, 2020

    Young Kingston Police service dog Bask may look small, but his handler says his training and energy are proving that he’s up to fill the shoes of his predecessor. “I think he’s going to be a great little dog,” Const. Jeff Dickson said, looking down at his new partner. A partner that, wearing the right […]

    Read more

    Dog Park For Travelers

    October 9, 2020

    St. Petersburg is widely recognized as a dog-friendly city, and St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport is making sure its four-legged visitors and their humans feel welcome by rolling out the artificial turf carpet. With the completion of the airport’s parking and roadway project – part of a series of multi-million dollar improvements at the airport over the […]

    Read more

    Service Dog Helps Firefighters

    October 9, 2020

    Firefighters battling the Archie Creek and Thielsen fires have had some long, exhausting days. But for some, their troubles seemed to melt away once they got back to camp. Why? Meet Ralph Colombo. He hauls oversize loads. And joining Ralph is his service dog, Cowboy – the morale boosting, firefighting puppy. “He just keeps my […]

    Read more

    Pet Therapy Program

    October 9, 2020

    Saturday, October 10 is World Mental Health Day, which this year has a new sense of urgency for many. Covid-19 has taken a mental and emotional toll on healthcare workers across the U.S but there is a program boosting the spirits of doctors and nurses on the frontlines. At UC Irvine Medical Center in Southern […]

    Read more

    A Service Dogs Place

    October 9, 2020

    A new Pineville nonprofit that helps people with disabilities obtain service dogs has made its first match. The Saber Life Foundation was started in March by Danea Key and her husband Joel. They provide people with trained service dogs, paying 51 percent of the cost, with the client paying the other 49 percent. Service dogs […]

    Read more

    Dog Beating Cancer

    October 9, 2020

    A little over a year after a local dog was given only a few months to live after being diagnosed with bone cancer, she is still in remission and will be celebrated her twelfth birthday this month. Cocoa has been with her owner, Bucyrus resident Christie Auck, since she was nine-weeks-old. “On Aug. 18, 2019, […]

    Read more

    More Recent News