Auckland dog groomer packed out as dogs get haircuts ahead of people

Under alert level 3 rules, Auckland's dogs can get haircuts, but their owners are still waiting.
Under alert level 3 rules, Auckland's dogs can get haircuts, but their owners are still waiting. Photo credit: File/GettyImages.

After being closed for nearly five weeks, an Auckland dog grooming business already has bookings packed out until late October. 

But although dogs can get haircuts, their owners can't: Auckland barbers and hairdressers are closed until alert level 2.

It comes as Thursday marks the second day of COVID-19 alert level three for Auckland, in-place for at least two weeks. Under COVID-19 alert level 3 rules, businesses offering contactless services, including those offering veterinary and animal care, can open. 

Vivian, the owner of Studiohound, a dog grooming business in Epsom, told Newshub upon opening the online booking system at 8am on Wednesday, the business has been flooded with requests.

She's since fielded non-stop requests from dog owners asking to "squeeze dogs in".

"We're booked out till late October… we've got so [many] requests - everyone's just so desperate," Vivian said.

Although dog grooming can be costly, some dog owners prefer to pay to get their dog's nails trimmed rather than do it themselves. After nearly five weeks in lockdown, others were grappling with matted coats.

"Lots of people bring their dogs every six's two-to-three months' wait till the groom," Vivian added.

Dogs are dropped off and picked up in a crate at the front of the salon, Vivian said. And although alert level 3 rules don't necessarily apply to dogs, they too are "kept separate".

Mohan Ball, who owns Mo's Barber Shop in Mt Eden, said as was the case for seven weeks last year (March 25 to May 13), being in "complete shutdown" until alert level  2 is challenging.

People were desperate for haircuts too, some wanting to ensure they'll be at the front of the queue.

"Customers are booking online on our system already, trying to pre-empt when we will be at level 2," Ball said.

When alert level 2 finally rolls around, customers visiting barber shops for their long awaited haircut could expect a few small changes.

"Masks are mandatory for customers and us...we won’t be able to take them off to do beard trims which will be another hit to our earnings, but [we'll be] happy to just be back to work," Ball added.

Auckland and Upper Hauraki will remain at alert level 3 (the rest of New Zealand in alert level 2), until at least October 4, when the alert levels will be reviewed.