A SWINDON dog groomer was allowed to reopen during lockdown as long as she followed strict Covid-19 safety guidelines.

Aggie Cooper of Fetch Groom and LMG.dog received word from the government that she and other dog groomers had been re-classified as essential businesses.

She said: “There has been a lot of misinformation or poor interruption of information being posted on public sites about whether groomers can open or not.

“We thought we could open but wanted to be sure we could this safely before announcing to our clients.”

Fetch Groom decided to pause its business until it was 100 per cent clear how staff could work safely and protect customers.

After exchanging emails with Swindon Borough Council, which Aggie said was very helpful, she was confident enough to reopen for business.

She added: “We have installed higher levels of protection and trained our staff to be even more cautious about protecting clients, pets and our health.

“What the reclassification really means is the government recognising the need to consider animal welfare, which grooming is a positive contributor to.

“In saying that, we support the government’s request to limit non-essential journeys and encourage our clients to walk to us.

“Part of our concerns with being closed was not profit-related as we brought forward all our clients’ appointments for November into four days of working flat-out from 7am to 10.20pm.

“Instead, our worries were with how the elderly, disabled and isolating families would cope with pets that needed attention.

“We have sent messages to our clients that we will help with transportation or remote advice so they need not worry.

“We all have the responsibility to make choices and take actions to support each other and businesses that take the appropriate steps to keep us safe and puts our wellbeing first while we manage this horrible situation.

Fetch Groom and LMG.dog is based in the SN25 postcode and have had hundreds of loyal clients since Aggie gave up her old career to become her own boss.

She added: “We cater for all breeds, with Fetch Groom offering great value bath and brush services and LoveMyGroomer excels with the small and medium-size fluffy, woolly and silky breeds with individual styles and pampering.”