A DOG grooming company is fighting to be listed as an essential business.

The owner of Mucky Mutts, Liz Rennie, has urged her customers to write to their local MP to lobby the government to consider dog groomers to be essential businesses, so the company can reopen.

The company, based in Renfrew, is concerned that an absence of canine hair cuts, ear cleaning, claw trimming and gland expulsion is beginning to pose a threat to dogs’ welfare.

Ms Rennie said: “The main concern is animal welfare. At this time of year, dogs get skin allergies and they scratch themselves to bits. If they have long coats, they can get heatstroke.

“If their hair gets too long, it gets matted and it pulls on their skin. You have to shave its hair.

“Otherwise, it’s cruelty, you can get charged by the SPCA.

Ms Rennie claimed her customers were contacting her regularly, asking for her to reopen the business but she is concerned she might be subject to legal action if she doe.

“I’m really angry about this because B&Q is open and they’re telling me I’m unnecessary but it’s down to animal welfare,” she said.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said: “I completely understand why pet owners want the best for their animals, but we are in the middle of an unprecedented pandemic and the instruction to pet owners is the same for everyone else - do not travel unless your journey is essential, for basic supplies, or to support the vulnerable.

“All of us have to work together to stop this deadly virus from spreading and keep pressure off our frontline health and care services."