top of page

Pet Careers#2: How To Start A Pet Nail Trimming Service

Updated: Jan 1, 2022

The Dog Hustle is a one-stop shop for pet-centered side hustles. All of the dog hustle’s micro-businesses are scalable low-cost start-ups that you can operate while holding down a 9 to 5. Make sure to subscribe and follow this blog so you can explore all of the pet earning potential to find the right fit. If you need extra help, email me to sign up for coaching sessions. Now that you know what The Dog Hustle is all about, let’s dive into the first easy-to-start, low-cost, pet-centered side hustle; a pet nail trimming service

Schedule bi-monthly nail trimming service. Each appointment could take less than 15min.

Nothing sends chills down a pet parent’s spine than the dreaded task of trimming the nails. If your cat is disagreeable about having his claws trimmed, you could be facing a trip to the doctor. What if you could offer a service that would solve this dilemma? What if someone will come every 2 to 4 weeks for a mani-paw-cure and pup parents near and far would not have to hear the tick, tick, tick of nails clicking against the floor? What if you developed mad cat rangling skills and you can safely trim them with no incident to you or kitty. You becoming the solution to the aforementioned pickles is the bedrock of a pet nail trimming service.

Why is it important to keep the nails of dogs and cats clipped on a regular basis? The simple answer is that pet nails grow continuously and can cause major health issues if your furry friend’s activity level does not keep the nail growth at bay. A dog’s untrimmed nails will eventually change the gait due to the toes spreading from the pressure of the nails contacting the floor. In addition to negatively impacting the dog’s natural stride, the constant pressure causes severe pain. Danger also lurks when Fido goes to play outdoors. He can snag long nails on objects that can rip the nail off. This of course would be painful and it could lead to infection. In extreme situations, untreated infections could result in the need to amputate a part of the paw. A more common painful issue is the nail growing into the pad of the paw. In-grown nails are a constant source of discomfort on two fronts; the pain of the nail in the paw pad and the pain of the nail being pushed into the pad against the floor when he walks. As a professional dog groomer, It takes additional time to trim nails in this condition. Breeds like Shi Tzu’s are notorious for having fast-growing nails that curve into the pad. Cats are no different. They too can suffer from ingrown nails that push against their paw pads. Keeping the cat’s nails trimmed is just as beneficial to the owner as it is to the cat. A disgruntled cat will inflict less injury when the nails are trimmed regularly. In addition to trimming the kitty’s claws, you can also apply vinyl nail caps. This would prevent the kitty from scratching both skin and furniture alike. The moral of this story is that keeping the nails of dogs and cats properly and regularly trimmed is vital to their health and well-being.

Learn proper cat handling skills for a claw trimming service.

I know the question that is swimming around your mind. Why would someone pay me to trim the nails and not a mobile groomer or take the dog/cat to be groomed? In asking the question you have also provided the answer. It is not uncommon for mobile groomers to be booked a year out. So when selecting new clients, a full-service client is more profitable than a client that only needs nail trimming. Another scenario is a full-service client that needs nail trims between grooms. This client may not fit into a mobile groomer’s busy schedule for this service or the cost for the groomer to come for a 5-minute visit is cost-prohibitive. The second part of the question of taking the pet to the groomer is a matter of convenience. Why load the dog in the car, drop him off at the groomer, go back and pick him up? Why fight kitty to put her in the carrier, listen to her cry all the way to the groomer, drop her off, and do the same in reverse all the way back home? It is so much easier to have someone come to the house! You would charge a nominal fee and keep a very tight daily travel radius. Each appointment would take between 5-15min. How many clients can you fit in an hour? Modestly 5 to 7 an hour with a tight travel radius. What if you charge $10/client?….. You just earned $50 to $70/hour. Not bad for a start-up that costs around $500.00.

Step One: Learn The Skill of Nail Clipping and Grinding for Dogs and Cats: As of the date of this post, dog grooming is an unregulated industry and you do not need certification to become a dog groomer. Most old-school dog groomers are self-taught, but this does not mean that you should engage in activities that you have no knowledge or experience. Pet parents want to know that their fur babies are in good hands. That means you are going to have to learn the skill and become proficient in trimming dog and cat nails before offering this paid service. Youtube-a-versity is a great free resource for learning how to trim dog and cat nails. Consume as much content as you can!! Transgroom TV and GoGroomer are two youtube channels that I recommend. Felines will require a unique skill set. I highly recommend the educational series by cat guru Danelle German. I honed my cat handling skills with Here Kitty Kitty DVD, Get A Grip DVD, and The Comb Cut DVD. I prefer to grind dog nails if they will accept nail grinding. The absolute best nail grinder is Dremel Paw Control Dog Nail Grinder 7760-PGK and the best nail clipper is Miller’s Forge Nail Clipper. Dremel Paw control is safe in that it has a guard to prevent the fur from winding around the tool and an auto-stop feature if this should ever happen. In addition to these features, the guard collects a lot of the nail dust generated by nail grinders and this tool is  powerful. The Dremel Paw Control’s power tremendously reduces the time it takes to grind even the thickest of nails. I also use a secondary nail grinder for curved nails that are close to the pad; Andis 2 Speed Cordless Nail Grinder. This grinder does wonders for getting in tight spaces around the paw pad. Make sure that you always have styptic powder just in case you nick the quick. This quick clot will help stop the bleeding. Now it is time to practice your newly acquired skill. Practice on your pets and pets of friends to gain experience. Once you are confident in your nail clipping/grinding abilities it is time to move to step two.

marketing, customer, polaroid-2483867.jpg

Step Two: Develop Website and Marketing Materials: It’s time to get the word out. Whoa, Whoa, Whoa… are we putting the cart before the horse? I mean you don’t even have all your supplies. I know. Trust me on this one. Really. It’s time to get the word out. The internet is a tricky environment and climbing in page ranking takes time; there are no shortcuts. Take this time to craft your professional image by building your brand. Yes, it is a side hustle but you want your clients to view you as an expert in your field. Also, keep in mind that you may want to scale this micro-hustle into a full-time gig. Therefore, start with the end in mind.

Now, back to the website. There are so many low-cost website builders. Wix and Hostinger are the two that I have experienced. Click on the links from the list below to explore some others web hosting sites. I highly recommend Vistaprint for your affordable print marketing materials. You can order 500 glossy business cards for around twenty bucks. They have a full range of moderately priced marketing materials; flyers, car magnets, postcards, and business apparel.

Below are a few more web hosting resources

  1. Buy your domain from 123 Reg from as little as £0.99*

  2. Your dream website is only a click away

  3. Host your business website on a reliable web hosting platform

  4. When you purchase a 1-year hosting plan, the domain is on us. Use code DOMFREE at checkout.

  5.  Professional email hosting from Easyspace

  6. Low cost domain registration from Easyspace

It is important to leverage both online and offline guerilla marketing strategies. Offline, be sure to leave your appropriate print media at every vet office, business office, doctor’s office, coffee shop, restaurant, pet store, and pet venue that you can find. Post flyers on community and dog park bulletin boards. online, list your business on every free listing you can find. Below, I have compiled a list to help you get started.

  1. Merchant Circle

  2. Google My Business (this one’s huge)

  3. Yelp

  4. Facebook

  5. Angi (formerly Angie’s List)

  6. Foursquare

  7. Glassdoor

  8. Better Business Bureau

  9. Instagram

  10. LinkedIn

  11. City Search

  12. Mapquest

  13. Manta

  14. Bing Local

  15. YellowPages

  16. SuperPages

  17. Yellowbot

  18. Yahoo Local

Step Three: Purchase Supplies: While your website gains rank in search engines and your flyers/business cards are circulating, this is the perfect time to gather your supplies. Remember that The Dog Hustle is all about profitable easy low-cost startups. In the paragraph above we outlined cost-effective advertisement resources and this section will have a list of affiliate links to the products that I use and find helpful in my everyday work and more specifically the pet nail trimming service.

  1. Groomer’s Helper controlling head movement and ensuring the dog stays on the table

  2. Nail Grinders: Dremel Paw Control Dog Nail Grinder 7760-PGK / Andis 2 Speed Cordless Nail Grinder .

  3.  Air Muzzle to keep feisty felines teeth at bay.

  4. Towels to put uncooperative cats in a kitty burrito so that you can clip the nails one paw at a time while keeping the cat calm and restrained.

Once you collect all of your supplies, it’s time to move to step four.

Step Four: Get your business license from your local municipality. The cost and the details of this step vary from city to city. Be sure to get in touch with your local government to get the details and follow all applicable laws.

Step Six: This is an extremely important step!! Make sure that have general liability insurance before you arrive at your first appointment. We live in a litigious society so make sure you have protection against any lawsuits. True pet lovers want to provide the utmost care for the animal client. There are, however, times when accidents will happen. The dog can zig when you zag and accidentally nick the quick. You will want to have coverage just in case you have to cover a pet’s medical expenses. In all likelihood, this will not happen, but it never hurts to have all of your bases covered. Just a reminder to always have styptic powder/quick clot agent handy while pet nail trimming.

Step Seven: Now you are ready to take the first client!! Just a few tips for success. Schedule specific areas on a set day. Time is money so keep a tight travel radius to maximize travel time and fuel consumption. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. So look professional and it would not hurt to wear a smock. Go the extra mile and add your logo to your grooming smock or t-shirt. Charge what you are worth…if you are not making a profit for your time what is the point? I know the pet nail trimming service is a side hustle but you got into this to build wealth. Get out there and be successful. If you need any help along the way be sure to email me and schedule a coaching session!

About The Author

Daug Grewer, pseudonym, is a certified pet groomer who operates a successful house call pet grooming side hustle Over the past 10 years, Daug has operated several pet-centered side hustles that included a pet sitting business, dog washing service, dog grooming, and cat grooming service. Daug enjoys sharing the wealth of knowledge obtained conceptualizing, developing, marketing, and operating these micro-businesses.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page