VIRGINIA BEACH, Va - It's not just us stuck at home that are in dire need of a hair cut or color. The coronavirus is impacting Fido, too.
"There was a lot of question at first in the pet grooming industry as to whether we would be essential or not," said Vickie Piva, owner of Blue Dog Mobile Pet Grooming in Virginia Beach. "We may not be essential to the regular public, but most dogs we see are on a regular grooming schedule - we see them more than their vet, and we can alert owners of health issues."
The shaves, suds and snips have actually been surging for Piva's mobile business and brick-and-mortar shop.
"We have probably seen a 50 to 60 percent increase - the phone is blowing up," Piva said.
Piva wasn't certain she'd see that uptick of washes and wags when the virus struck. "It was frightening, we didn't know which way our business would turn," she said.
Less than a month before the pandemic she was in the midst of expanding her passion for pets.
"We just spent $50,000 on a brand new mobile van. It was a big investment," Piva said.
Lucky for her, clients came calling, as many people were afraid to take their pets out for grooming services.
"We have really seen a lot of increase from our elderly clients who could be susceptible," Piva explained. "A lot of owners just put the dog leash on the knob and close the door - they practice distancing."
Piva also sanitizes her van after each pooch.
"I bleach down the work station, the tub, everything," she said. "I mop the floors with disinfectant and then even change my smock between dogs."
Piva says she hopes the extra attention to detail helps give customers peace of mind.
"We are blessed, everything has been really positive," Piva said.
For more information on Blue Dog Mobile Pet Grooming, click here.