Humans can give themselves haircuts in a pinch, but animal grooming is a trickier — even more dangerous — best. Edward Alava, who owns The Dog Store on East 61st St., is worried about what’s happening to the city’s pooches.
I am allowed to keep my store open to sell food and other supplies for dogs but not for grooming, so my staff and I went from doing about 20 appointments a day at the store and eight Hamptons house calls, to zero. The phone has been ringing non stop with clients I’ve had for decades, begging me to help them.
In my opinion, grooming is an essential business, particularly now. I don’t think the government understands how important grooming a dog is.
Most dogs follow their owners everywhere and many sleep in bed with them. If someone sneezes or spits, who is on the ground? Your dogs. They walk on the street, and then their paws are on your hands and face.
When I groom them, I clean in between their toes and shave underneath and around the paw pads so that hair doesn’t accumulate dirt and germs.
Owners may be able to bathe their dogs, but if they try to clip the animal’s nails, they can easily make them bleed. Cutting requires sharp scissors which can too easily hurt the dog or the person.
Not keeping a dog groomed can also cause suffering for the animal. If you don’t clean the ears or eyes properly or express the glands, they can get infected, which is painful.
For now, I am giving FaceTime tutorials to clients and sending them basic grooming kits with a brush, comb, de-matter and automatic filer for nails. But we are going on four weeks now, so things are about to start going south fast.
— As told to Beth Landman
Read more stories about saving animals during the coronavirus crisis.