Re: Respiratory illness in dogs
Signs and symptoms: runny nose/eyes, lethargy, cough (typically a wet cough with phlegm)
In 2020, after a brief shut down, grooming was one of the services deemed essential and approved to keep running during the COVID 19 pandemic. We all came into agreement and started to realize the negative health effects that occurred as a result of not grooming regularly. Due to the fact that grooming was/is an essential part of our pet’s health, we know this illness has left many of you battling the decision (again) of whether or not you should venture out and continue getting your dogs groomed.
As with COVID 19, we found ways to safely navigate and move forward. This respiratory illness for dogs has given us an eerily similar feeling to that of the 2020 pandemic, and we respect and understand your deep concern for your pets.
With that being stated, we want to make you aware of how we are addressing the issue given the event that you need to enter our facility.
With strict infection prevention protocol in place, we were able to minimize the fear of grooming during a pandemic world during COVID 19 and today we have found ourselves in a similar situation and treating this the same way. Although the illness is NOT zoonotic (transferable to humans), it can rapidly spread between dogs when they are in close proximity via pathogens and through the air so we want to be extra cautious in our service and we ask that you cooperate in our efforts to keep them safe.
· We have been blessed to run our service in a facility that is almost 4000 square feet. This has allowed us to leave GENEROUS space between clients. (6 + feet as per the CDC to lower the chance of spreading an airborne illness/pathogens). Please social distance.
· Our facility has 3 entrances/exits in the front of the salon- please make sure you are being mindful of other clients in the front as we want to keep the distance and be sure we have a minimum of 6 feet and 5 minutes between each entrance and exit to sanitize and disinfect and avoid ‘mingling’. If someone is at one of our 3 desks- please use a desk that is at any of the other 3 entrance/exits- all desks are a minimum of 10 feet apart. Even during times where we are not so worried about a pandemic, this is an important step to utilize as it minimizes any kind of transferring of illnesses, mingling and or dog fights.
· As always, but even more so now, we are sanitizing and disinfecting all areas, all equipment, all furniture, floors, tubs, tools, kennels, scrubs/clothing, etc.… between each client. Our team has taken a thorough course on disinfection
and the owner has received a certificate from the course so training can be ongoing.
· We are staggering appointment times to minimize the amount of dogs in one area at any given time, offering express services (to minimize the time they spend here), offering early morning appointments (max 3 clients in different areas), late afternoon appointments (max 3 clients in different areas), in home grooming, and grooms in an isolated room with no other dogs if we have pet parents with extra concerns.
· If you have a dog that has any health issues, or is at an advanced age, please accept one of the offers to allow the most isolation during your grooming process or refrain from coming in until the number of cases decreases. This will help minimize the risk to them as we have researched and found that in the incident of a death it is common that the dog has had health issues and/or has been at an advanced age.
· Our 4000 square foot suite has a ventilation system that allows for outside air to be circulated- our grooming area, kennel area, and our bathing area are all equipped with a specific vent to pull air out . This is in addition to our properly engineered, designed, and city approved HVAC system for the facility which offers your typical control of the temperature, humidity, and purity of the air to provide thermal comfort and indoor air quality – the system was designed and newly installed in 2019 with specific concern directed towards increased ventilation.
· As with Covid (an airborne illness), CDC warned to stay away from ‘super spreaders’. We are going with CDC on this and consider dog parks where mingling occurs, boarding where they are in close proximity and for prolonged periods of time, and doggy day care as ‘super spreaders’- Here at Serenity Paws mingling is not allowed, and this has been a safety effort since our beginning for various reasons. With the added concern of this illness, we are asking those who have been at any of these places, to wait at least 14 days to make sure your dog does not have any symptoms (we are assessing each client/pet). This doesn’t mean shunning all of those places, just be diligent in your research and check to see if they are taking precautions and changing how they are providing their services and make sure your pet has all vaccines and is in good health.
· Help us as we verify your pet has all vaccines- as with any vaccine, it is still possible to contract illnesses such as kennel cough/Bordetella and K9 influenza, but a vaccinated pet may have symptoms that are less severe making it easier to treat.
· Our research, development and training are never ending. As a team, we will continue our efforts to keep you and your pets safe and secure.
We want everyone to make sure they are being diligent in their care and routines by taking extra steps to help us keep our facility clean. This means helping us prevent the spread of the illness by being honest about where your pet has been and if they have shown any signs or symptoms of the illness so that we can keep them out of the facility until they are better or have been cleared from boarding for a minimum of 14 days without symptoms. This will help us as we assess which pets need isolation, and which pets can be groomed with the added prevention procedures so we can keep each pet in a safer environment.
It is important to us that we can still meet your needs while also taking the necessary steps to protect your pet. If you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to reach out. We are here to help you. If you have decided to take on the grooming process on your own, let us know if there is anything you need to achieve that care at home. We can give you tips and tricks, handling advice, tool recommendations, proper brushing techniques, or even walk you through the proper choice for shampoos and conditioners. We are here for you regardless of whether or not you use our facility for grooming.
Our efforts to gain and keep your trust with transparency and strict policies, procedures, and infection prevention protocol never stopped after COVID 19 and it continues to this day.
Before. After. Always.
All our love and concern,
Angela Katie Bonham
And our beautiful Serenity Paws team that serves with all their hearts