When the Province’s latest stay-at-home order was implemented, there was significant confusion among Ontarians regarding what was considered essential, and therefore a legitimate reason to leave the house.
Initially, many were concerned about what constituted an essential reason to go out, prompting some to call 9-1-1 to try and get confirmation.
However, while much of the confusion has been cleared up, not all of it has.
During her weekly press conference on Wednesday (January 27), Bonnie Crombie, mayor of Mississauga, addressed the fact many residents have been confused as to whether pet-related services, such as dog walking and pet grooming, are included as essential.
Many, including Crombie, were unsure of whether the current legislation included these, pet-related services as essential.
Pet stores that provide food have been deemed essential, while pet care—such as taking a pet out for a walk—have also been deemed essential (even in Quebec where restrictions are much harsher).
But, should pet groomers and dog walkers be included?
Many, particularly those who own pets, believe would feel they should be—pets have been a significant source of comfort during these difficult times, especially for those who live alone.
However, some could argue if humans can’t go to their barber to get a haircut, or the salon to get their nails done, why would pets need to?
Additionally, some may also feel dog walkers have become superfluous during a lockdown—if people are home for the majority of the day, they should be able to take their pets out for a walk.
However, this doesn’t account for people who must still leave their home for work—particularly front-line workers, many of whom could be working longer hours due to staff shortages associated with COVID-19.
People who own pets and still work long hours away from their home may rely on pet walkers to ensure their furry friends are also taken care of when they can’t be there.
Further, permitting pet walkers to continue working allow the animals they care for to socialize with other pets, something they too may be lacking due to the pandemic (many pet owners have noticed a trend in pets developing separation anxiety due to their owners constantly being home).
So, readers, what do you think? Should pet walkers and groomers be considered essential?