Zen Grooming Protocols for COVID-19

March 17, 2020

During this unprecedented event, I understand the concerns we feel as we are bombarded with ever changing facts and news. The decision to remain open is based on educating myself on the science and updates from the specialists who share publicly. I make every effort to go beyond the dramatic headlines.

My current customers know how I take health and safety at heart in all I do, for example,making no exceptions to requiring your pet's vaccinations records. This is not only to protect you, but my family as well including my River, Summer (rough collies) and Olli (tabby).

To help you and your dog, I hope this FAQ will help reassure you how I am dealing responsibly and with the greatest care humanly possible throughout this period.

Is Zen following the practice of "social distancing"?

Yes.

What makes Zen Grooming unique is my "one-on-one" grooming philosophy. Only the pet(s) of a single customer is groomed at a time and by me alone. Outside very rare instances, no one remains in my salon during the sessions.

This methodology is naturally ideally suited to the Health Canada and Ontario's Ministry of Health social distancing guidelines. In fact, it goes beyond as there is little contact between people in how the sessions are organized.

Will I meet other parents/guardians at Zen Grooming?

Maybe, but not usually.

Of course there can be overlaps. You may see another customer in the salon at your arrival. It is impossible to prevent. However, rest assured the only person(s) at Zen is(are) the dog's guardian.

 

You will not see a space crowded with people, or the continuous flow drop-off or pick-ups. That is not how Zen is structured.

 

And my customers already respect the one-on-one practice. They remain outside to enjoy the beautiful settings or in their vehicles until they see the current guest exit the salon. This eliminates all contact with people or dogs.

Do you have any information about dogs and COVID-19?

Yes, but...

It is important to note that I am not an health care practitioner or a microbiologist. I am a dog groomer that is doing her very best to educate herself directly from legitimate sources of information, Canadian and from other countries. I list these sources (in the underlined hyperlinks below) so you can also learn from my sources, and understand how my decisions are based. 

  • As of this date, there is no proof that canines (and felines) carry the source of the COVD-19 virus. The AVMA, CDC, and including thousands of tests from IDEXX have shown that house pets do not carry the virus.

  • As of this date, the world's scientists believe that COVID-19 is more likely transmitted through respiratory droplets generated when coughing or sneezing. Although, it is suspected that it may be shared by:

    • ​close, prolonged personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands

    • touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands

However, ​Health Canada states it is in situation of prolong and close contact

What is Zen Grooming doing during this time?

My very best, and here's how...

I follow the guidelines issued by Health Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Health, but added proven protocols for reducing the spread of any viruses. Here is a sample of what I have implemented:

For people -

  • Using bleach and/or alcohol based disinfectant, wipe surfaces possibly touched by people such as:

    • front counter​

    • main door handles (inside/outside)

    • guard gate

  • Try and maintain a safe distance ​from parents/guardians

For guests (dogs) -

Most of these are already my normal protocol. I modified some to suit the current events. And since thoroughly washing is cited as the best defense against viruses, these protocols are added bonus protection:

  • never reuse drying towels on multiple dogs after the head-to-toe wash

  • soak and swirl tools (brushes, combs, blades, scissors, etc.) into a mild solution of bleach & water

  • dispose immediately of any materials that came from the dogs (cotton ear plugs) before it comes into contact with surfaces into a separate bagged container

  • in case of bio-accidents, the area is immediately cleaned with a bleach solution

  • I let the parent/guardian handle the dog's own leash and collar 

  • nightly soak of all tools in a bleach solution and thorough rinse before the day starts

What if I have an appointment while I am in an isolation period?

Please call me to reschedule (613-833-1454).

Although the science to date indicates that house pets do not transmit the COVID-19 virus, and yet, like the thousands of Canadian in the service industry, financially impacted, it remains our civic duty to reduce the risk. So please, take care of yourself and reschedule.

I understand these are extraordinary circumstances but I ask that you call ahead, at least 2 days, and more is even more appreciated, before your reschedule your appointment. These times are wreaking havoc, so the more time I have, the lesser the impact on my own livelihood to make it through this as well.

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