PetSmart officials have decided to re-open grooming salons in select locations. The notice was posted on the company’s website April 3. Openings began on April 6.
PetSmart had made the decision to temporarily close all its grooming salons on March 21 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Since then, the Phoenix-based company has redesigned how it operates the salons to "deliver the best possible care and experience for everyone," officials said in a statement.
"Regular grooming is not just about looking great; it is a vital part of keeping pets healthy," officials added. "According to experts, regular grooming is important for every dog, regardless of size, age and coat type. It helps prevent common problems such as excessive shedding, skin and paw irritation, painful hair mats and excessively long toenails. And sometimes groomers can be the first to recognize a pet’s medical issue like fleas and ticks or an ear infection and alert the pet parent to seek veterinary care. Additionally, the American Veterinary Medical Association has advised pet parents to continue to ensure their pet is well-groomed during the COVID-19 pandemic."
The salons have implemented stringent new measures that follow the social distancing and sanitary guidelines detailed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), according to officials.
- Appointment-only: To help maintain appropriate social distancing, PetSmart will not be able to accommodate walk-in services.
- Group size: PetSmart will limit the total number of groomers and customers in its salons to less than 10 people—and only allow one pet family at a time in the salon lobby.
- Social distancing: To help keep six feet of distance between people at all possible times, tape will be placed on salon floors in areas indicating where customers should stand and where groomers can walk.
- Curbside check-in and pick-up: PetSmart will offer this new option during select times of the day.
- Pet handling: PetSmart will transfer pets to and from their salon services with the company’s own slip leads. PetSmart will not handle anything belonging to pets, including collars and leashes.
- Salon hygiene: PetSmart will continue to perform additional cleaning measures between each service and at the end of each day.
"The safety of our associates and customers is our most important priority," officials said. "We partnered with a team of our skilled groomers to review these operating changes and provide input. We will also continue to support any associate who feels sick or does not feel comfortable coming to work. Additionally, only groomers who feel comfortable working in the salons will be scheduled. We respect everyone’s choices under these difficult circumstances."
The re-opening of salons may be dependent on state mandates related to the closure of non-essential businesses, and Petsmart's website encourages customers to call their local salon to confirm when and if they are open. Customers can also book an appointment through the PetSmart mobile app.