Saturday, November 15, 2008

PediPaws Pet Nail Trimmer

I have three dogs: A big yellow Labrador Retriever, a larger than average Shetland Sheepdog, and a smaller than average Pembroke Corgi. Each time I take my dogs to the vet, the vet offers to trim their nails for me since they grow so long so fast, and I can't seem to keep up with them. When I take my dogs to the groomer, they hesitate to trim my Lab's nails because his quick extends so far down the nail and they don't want to make him bleed.

Recently, my Labrador has been having a hard time getting up off of our tile floor where there is no traction. He slips as his nails just slide across the surface of the tiles. This is mainly because he is aging and losing his muscle mass in his hindquarters. We decided to try the PediPaws nail trimmer to see if it would help get his nails closer to the quick without damaging the tissue the way traditional nail clippers can.

Upon opening the box, I was met with a big STOP sign on paper, warning me not to use the product until I have viewed the video online. All the documentation in the box and online seemed to be there to cover the company's rear in case an animal gets hurt. That's alright. It's good to have a strong legal defense, but it doesn't really help make the customer feel confident in the product.

Much of the material included information on how to train your pet to accept having its nails ground down by spinning sandpaper. I appreciated that the company took the time to do this, as many people might abandon the product and feel it was a waste of their money if they couldn't get their pet to hold still for the trim. However, all the steps and time required to introduce the product to a skittish cat or dog made horse training look easy.

Fortunately, my dogs only put up a mild struggle and then held still for the process. The first thing I noticed was that I couldn't position myself in a way that felt natural due to the direction the sandpaper was spinning. You have to hold the pet with your arm, squeeze the nail out between your thumb and forefinger of one hand, and hold the PediPaws product in the other hand. Somehow I couldn't use which hands I wanted for each task and had to adjust. For that reason, the company might benefit by providing a left-handed tool and a right-handed tool.

The next thing I noticed was that the sandpaper stopped spinning at the slightest pressure, yet pressure was needed in order to actually file down the nail. I worked with it until I got just enough pressure to keep it spinning, however at that rate it would have taken a fairly large chunk out of my day to get those nails filed down to where I wanted them. There was no way my dogs were going to be patient enough for me to get it all done in one sitting, so I had to file the nails down over several days. They do warn you to be patient when using the product.

The big claim to this product is that it replaces the use of nail clippers, which can twist and crack the animal's nails. However, I found that the tool just was not effective enough to replace the clippers unless you use it on a regular basis and have a lot of time on your hands. I decided that it is a good tool to use after using traditional nail clippers, because it smooths out the cracks and rough edges caused by traditional nail clippers.

Another factor to take into consideration is the size and age of your pet. PediPaws works great with my little, young Corgi, because her nails are tiny and soft. It takes a bit more work with my medium-sized Sheltie, and is almost completely ineffective on my old Lab. As a dog gets older, its nails get harder and thicker. Also, my Lab's nails are very large as is. I have to work it to get them to fit into the opening of the PediPaws cap. His nails also have a deep curve to them that result in a struggle to hold the tool at the correct angle without twisting the nail.

The animals displayed on the box include a cat and a Golden Retriever, maybe Golden Retriever / Lab mix. That dog is about the size of my Labrador. If you have a dog any larger, such as a Saint Bernard, using PediPaws might be a struggle.

I would say that PediPaws causes less discomfort for my pets than traditional nail clippers, but then I am not a professional pet groomer who has mastered the art of using traditional nail clippers either. For most people, the battle will be getting their pets past their fear of the product, especially cats, from what I have read out there on the Internet. The hum that the product makes when turned on is actually very quiet, but some animals feel trapped when you grip their paws (what they need to run away from predators), and place them on something that vibrates.

You can see on the box that the product claims to be fast, easy, and gentle. The only way it would be "fast" is if you trim the nails first with traditional clippers and have a pet that is easygoing or comfortable with the product. "Easy" is a matter of opinion and specific to each person's experience. "Gentle" is probably an accurate description as long as the pet owner uses the product correctly. It still is possible to twist the nail or file into the quick.

We picked up our PediPaws at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $19.99, I believe, so you don't have to order it over the Internet or call the number advertised on TV. It's a reasonable price if you keep your expectations low and just want a tool that will smooth out your pet's nails.


dp said...

Lots of people I know use a Dremel with a griding stone for this job. Yesterday David pointed out this thing in a magazine. My fail rate on the four dogs is about 1 in 200, so I will just keep the corn starch handy for now.

Donna said...

Thanks for the review. It is about what I expected from this product. I didn't think it would do a better job than a dremel tool, which some dog people have been using for years.

sue said...

thanks for the info on this... with six cockers, two cats, three guinea pigs and a bunny, I am always trimming nails!!!! I do have a drummel tool (nail grinder) but I worry about catching fur in it, so I haven't taken the time to really use it.... doesn't sound to me like this would really work any better, so I guess for now I will stick to the clippers... one thing I do have going for me, is I do clip often, so my guys are all pretty used to it......

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

That reminds me... my dogs kept trying to poke it with their noses, and I had to push their heads away so that they wouldn't get their whiskers caught in the spinning mechanism. I did have to pull the fur on the toes back too.

Laura said...

Too bad it didn't work better - the concept sounds good. But seeing your comment above about keeping whiskers and fur out of it sounds tricky! My lab has black nails and they are super difficult to trim. We have them done at a groomer's just to be safe.

Oh - by the way - I gave you a silly little award over at my blog. Check it out when you get a chance...

K T Sparks said...

Thank you for your review. I am always feeling a pit in my stomach to see blood when I trim my girls toenails...and had considered this, but now I am going to quit thinking of buying it...sounds like more trouble than it is worth and you answered the questions I had. I also wondered if a pet with furry legs and paws could get hair wrapped around the rotating
mechanism....ouch! Thanks again!

Amy Jo said...

ok, i bought it and it works for me. i have chihuahua, shih tzu, and 2 jack russell's. with the little dogs it is a god send. really. sometimes i take off the orange cap that you are supposed to insert the nail in. i remove that and its just a whirling emery board. the drummel can be very dangerous is you dont know what you are doing, and i dont! so i feel ok with this thing. i can just shorten up the nail little by little to get it where i want. the nails were too long bc i always put it off. now that i got them shortened (quick shrinks back) i just do a couple of minutes w each dog about every 2 weeks and it works well.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Thanks for the review, NM. I was wondering about this product, too.

I figured it was probably too good to be true. I think I'll stick to my guillotine trimmers for now.


Vaquerogirl said...

Thanks! I have a Great Dane and his nails grow thick and fast. I clip and clip, and use a Dremel. I was wondering about the PediPaws- but was leery. NOW I know! Thanks for saving me $20!