The Pet Industry Federation (PIF) has stated that it believes professional pet grooming is “essential” for a pet’s health and welfare, providing many health benefits which may “not be immediately obvious”.
It comes as the Government website has been updated to include a reference to pet grooming during the second lockdown, stating: “Animal grooming facilities may also stay open but must only be used for the purposes of the animal’s welfare (and not for aesthetic purposes).”
The PIF argues that grooming is “not undertaken for aesthetic purposes, which the dictionary defines as: concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty”.
The federation added that regular visits to a professional salon are a “fundamental” part of a pet’s routine care and wellbeing, keeping the coat clean and free from knots and matts.
Unremoved hair from when a pet moults can form matts which can cause discomfort and skin complaints, for example, while pet groomers are also able to do a quick health check and spot “unusual lumps or bumps” which can lead to a veterinary investigation.
In addition, groomers can check for any signs of fleas or ticks, inspect their teeth, eyes and ears and make sure that claws aren’t overgrown.
Pet grooming also promotes good blood circulations, keeping grease levels down which can block pores and cause cysts.
In light of this, regular grooming can help prevent more serious welfare issues in the long-run, according to the PIF.
The PIF stated: “Pet grooming fulfils many functions and professional pet groomers have an important role to play in maintaining pet health and welfare
“Professional pet groomers provide an essential pet welfare service which is important to maintain during a period of lockdown. PIF would consider aesthetic purposes to be services such as creative grooming, facials, nail painting, and fur-dyeing. These activities should not be undertaken during a lockdown.”