There is a growing controversy over dog grooming under the widely spread COVID shutdowns of groomers in Ventura County as well as the entire southern California region. These orders effect both brick-and-mortar and mobile services. The feeling in many political quarters is that dog grooming is purely a cosmetic service, and therefore "non-essential." So the debate revolves around the concept of a dog grooming being a "essential" service. In the meantime, grooming professionals are having a difficult time understanding the point of being shut down, when they have such minimal contact with dog owners.
No one in the grooming community wants to do anything that would endanger the health of themselves, employees or customers. Most grooming business owners agree that a number of dog care services are vital to the health of these pets. In fact, a failure to groom dogs can cause pain and irreversible damage to the animal. These include nail trimming, pest prevention, fur care, and the expressing of anal glands.
Nails can grow out without regular care to where they are clacking on the sidewalk, causing a dog’s posture and can cause severe pain. Dog with overgrown nails can even lose traction, have difficulty walking or have their paws splayed by the excess growth. The longer the nails grow, the longer the "quick" portion of the interior of the nails grow. This makes it easier to cut the quick and create a bad bleeding situation. Each dog has its own nail growth rate -- which may not match other even those in its own breed.
A second set of eyes on a dog is also a great health benefit to pets. A grooming professional can check for growths, lumps, hot spots, etc. The can also see if a dog is suffering from a flea infestation or other pest issue.
Keeping fur trimmed is most important for long haired breeds (obviously). Long hair can get matted or knotted in a painful and difficult way. The matting can cause pain in dogs without owners realizing. Dogs have a high tolerance for pain. They don't show us until the pain is so bad that the dog can't bear it. Long hair for some breeds may interfere or prevent a dog from evacuating its bowels. When owners and non-professionals try to cut out the tangle or that matted area, they often can't tell where the skin ends and the hair begins. Many grooming professionals have seen the skin cuts done with kitchen shears.
Under normal circumstances, the anal gland sacs are emptied when dogs have a bowel movement. Without regular expressing of a dog's anal gland, the ducts of which are found on both sides of a dog’s anus, can develop an inflammation, a clog, or impaction.
So, grooming services are more than the "cosmetic chore" portrayed by many of those in the public sector. With mobile grooming specifically, groomers can service their clients in a way that is completely "no-contact." Customers don't have to come out to the mobile grooming unit. Mobile grooming professionals use all the latest health protocols and disinfecting methods. Many professionals are using contactless payment methods as well. Mobile groomers can do the whole grooming transaction without even seeing you!
Remember that all groomers really want is to keep pets happy and healthy, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. While there is a real concern about grooming professionals struggling to make a living, the groomers are also very concerned about the health and well being of the pets.