Reopen News: After COVID shutdown, business booming for dog groomers

LOWER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- Just as humans had to wait months to visit their barbers during the COVID pandemic, dogs had to forego groomings -- and now business for groomers is booming.

After a tough few months at Unleashed Spa on Manhattan's Lower East Side, they are happy to be busy again.

The team did not take appointments for two and a half months before reopening in mid-May.

But they have their hands full as pet owners took matters into their own hands at home.

"Their nails were overgrown, hair was matted and overgrown, ears needed cleaning, they were rough," said Kim Perin with Unleashed Spa.

While some may see this as a luxury, experts point out grooming is key to the overall health of dogs and cats.

Things like matted fur can lead to even bigger problems.

"Underneath if it gets any moisture at all, it's very easy to get a skin infection started and that can get really, really nasty fast in warm weather of it they are outside, we actually see pets come in with maggots underneath that are already eating away through the skin," said John Howe, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Howe says owners need to also stay on top of their pet's nails and teeth.

As for Perin and her team, because of social distancing, only half the staff is working.

Still, they are happy to be back.

"Some groomers decided not to come back at all right now, they're still out on unemployment so some shops are still closed," Perin said.

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