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Ipswich dog creche reopens after coronavirus lockdown

PUBLISHED: 15:39 05 June 2020 | UPDATED: 15:40 05 June 2020

Ipswich Dog Day Care Creche has reopened after the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: CLARE HOLMES

Ipswich Dog Day Care Creche has reopened after the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: CLARE HOLMES

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Pets have returned to Ipswich Dog Day Care Creche in their droves after it reopened following the Covid-19 lockdown.

Ipswich Dog Day Care Creche reopened on Monday, June 1. Picture: CLARE HOLMESIpswich Dog Day Care Creche reopened on Monday, June 1. Picture: CLARE HOLMES

The centre in Farthing Road had been “riding the crest of a wave” with growing numbers of animals when it was suddenly forced to close in March, as part of government restrictions to stop the spread of the pandemic.

Owner Clare Holmes said the lockdown had been “hard for everyone with a small business”, adding: “Ten weeks is a long time and we worried about how the business was going to cope when it reopened.”

Ipswich Dog Day Care Creche welcomed back about 85 dogs in the first week since its reopening. Picture: CLARE HOLMESIpswich Dog Day Care Creche welcomed back about 85 dogs in the first week since its reopening. Picture: CLARE HOLMES

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However, the creche has welcomed back 85 dogs during the course of its first week since reopening on Monday, June 1.

Returning dogs have been enjoying getting exercise and the creche. Picture: CLARE HOLMESReturning dogs have been enjoying getting exercise and the creche. Picture: CLARE HOLMES

The figures are about 15% down on its usual levels, but Mrs Holmes said: “We just wanted to get the doors open again.”

There has been some discussion over whether animals can catch and pass on coronavirus - but The Kennel Club says: “There is no evidence that dogs’ health is impacted by Covid-19. There is no evidence that dogs can catch and transmit Covid-19 to humans.”

Ipswich Dog Day Care Creche has helped to stimulate dogs and keep them interested, says owner Clare Holmes. Picture: CLARE HOLMESIpswich Dog Day Care Creche has helped to stimulate dogs and keep them interested, says owner Clare Holmes. Picture: CLARE HOLMES

Ipswich Dog Day Care Creche has introduced a number of measures to guard against the spread of the virus, with all dogs being wiped down as they come in and the reception area being closed to customers.

Instead, owners leave their dogs on secure hooks outside, ready for staff to safely pick up.

Ipswich Dog Day Care Creche has reopened after the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: CLARE HOLMESIpswich Dog Day Care Creche has reopened after the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: CLARE HOLMES

Staff are also cleaning and sanitising regularly and observing social distancing when indoors.

Mrs Holmes believes dog day care centres being open benefits both owners and animals.

Pets have enjoyed lots of fun and games at the creche. Picture: CLARE HOLMESPets have enjoyed lots of fun and games at the creche. Picture: CLARE HOLMES

“Because people are busy working from home, dogs are not in the way but they are getting bored,” she said.

“They need that stimulation and energy release.

Ipswich Dog Day Care Creche his hoping to welcome back more dogs in the coming weeks. Picture: CLARE HOLMESIpswich Dog Day Care Creche his hoping to welcome back more dogs in the coming weeks. Picture: CLARE HOLMES

“They are leaving here tired, in a positive way. It’s just been so emotional seeing the dogs running in, wanting to come in.”

The creche has also offered a 10% discount to NHS workers, so they can get some rest or leave their pets while at work.

Earlier this year, Ipswich Dog Day Care Creche was named as a finalist for the Start Up Business of The Year category at the FSB Small Business Awards.

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