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January 13, 2017

The nail care vertical has blossomed beyond simple clippers. Though the segment still includes traditional basics like clippers and styptic powers, it has expanded into the growing fashion market with products like stick-on rhinestone nail decals and more. However, nail care is fundamentally about nail health and starts with a regular trim.

Nail trims provide an added value to grooming clients. More often than not, though, nail trims are a walk-in, on-demand service that many dog owners have come to rely on to keep their pets’ nails in shape. However, because the cost of consistent nail trims can add up, and because some dogs simply don’t feel comfortable in the salon, some owners are turning to at-home nail care for maintenance.

Varying Price Points
For the first-time at-home groomer, files serve as the first step into nail maintenance. Electric tools like FURminator’s Dog and Cat Nail Grinder provides a comfortable, easy-to-use solution. The FURminator nail grinder starts at an affordable price point and delivers two battery-powered speeds. Its built-in automatic LED light keeps the nail well-lit for safety and control. Be sure to stock the appropriately-sized replacement bands nearby.

At a slightly higher price point, the Andis Master Grooming Tools Professional Pet Nail Grinder includes a suite of attachments and allows the at-home groomer to trim, shape and smooth pets’ nails. The ergonomic design keeps the groomer comfortable while the fast RPMs help grind the nails quickly and efficiently.
The best-selling Dremel tool delivers a solid performance but at a heftier weight—the hand tool weighs just over 1 pound, possibly making it a cumbersome piece to use for long stretches for some. However, it’s a bestseller for a reason. The removable battery pack allows the customer to buy a backup so that nail trims can continue uninterrupted. A fast speed with light pressure files the nails quickly, and a few different sanding bands allow your customer to pick the one that’s best for his or her pet.

For dogs over 40 pounds, the Millers Forge Dog Nail Clip is a heavy-duty clipper constructed from German stainless steel and is made in Italy. The sharp cutting blades ensure a quick, clean cut. It’s a no-frills clipper that provides consistent, reliable cuts.

Accidents Happen
In case of emergency—because cuts happen even to the most experienced groomer—Miracle Care launched improved formulas for its Kwik Stop Swabs and Caps. Made with the Original Kwik Stop Powder, these two products fill a need for fast, easy, on-the-spot control of minor bleeding.

The Gel Swabs come with a single-use applicator, and the new formula includes Benzocaine to help reduce the pain of a cut quick. The Kwik Tips Nail Caps are flexible caps filled with the Original Kwik Stop Powder that pet owners and professionals can push onto the nail to control the bleeding and ease the pain. The caps are also single-use and stop the bleeding while preventing blood stains.

Beyond the Basics
A small but growing segment of the nail care market seeks style alongside routine care. In the salon, groomers can offer a nail polish application as an additional service to a nail trim. However, offering the same polishes for sale allows the additional sale of a consumable. Consider a rack to display polishes just like these pet owners expect to see in salons for humans.

Style items, such as nail polish and nail applications (including decals, stickers and “bling”), appeal to this growing segment of shoppers. One effective way to merchandise these products is with “Mommy and Me” signage.

The Company of Animals recently acquired the worldwide brand, product and distribution rights for the Pet Head brand from Pet Head Inc. Many pet-safe nail products, like the polishes from Pet Head, can be used on people and pets, so style-driven dog owners can apply matching manicures to themselves and their pets.

Warren London’s patented Pawdicure Polish Pen is a water-based, odorless, non-toxic paint pen that dries in under a minute. They’re available in 13 colors ranging from a traditional red to a collection of neon brights.

Making the Sale
Reassurance is the key to selling at-home nail care products. An effective way to showcase and sell nail care items is with in-store demonstrations or one-on-one education. Many customers are nervous about taking aspects of nail care home because they’re afraid of accidents like cutting the quick. Showcasing products and ease-of-use tips will dispel those worries while boosting sales.

In the salon, groomers can make product recommendations based on the specific breed and the individual dog’s needs. And because even the steadiest hand can err, always recommend an add-on sale of a styptic powder so that customers understand that it happens (and, of course, that their dog will be fine).

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