Saturday, January 10, 2009

Special Report: PediPaws for Dogs

Last weekend, I was at our local Petsmart, and saw these on the shelf. I had been considering buying one for our two dogs, but didn't want to buy one "on TV" just in case it didn't work. I wanted to be able to return it. So when I finally saw this in the store, I decided we'd see how it worked, and brought one home. Here's Lucy getting a pedicure today:

There are pretty detailed instructions included for getting your dog used to the tool, which is basically an electric file/grinder for dogs, much like an electric nail file for humans. Really, the trick is to associate the tool with good things (yummy treats work pretty well), both when it's off, and when it's running (since it does make noise...sounds like a grinder). I let my dogs sniff it all over when it was off, then again when it was on, and they are pretty good with it now. Having Lucy lay in her chair helps too...she's kind of "stuck" in one position and it's easier to hold her down if she's not feeling particularly cooperative that day. :-) The instructions also tell you how to hang on to your dog safely on the floor if thier instructions for getting the dog used to the tool don't work for some reason. Obviously it would be easier with smaller dogs, since you could hold them on your lap.

It's very simple to use - just turn it on, put the dog's nail in the cut-out of the orange guard, and rotate the file from the top to the bottom of the nail in one motion. You don't want to spend too much time on the nail at once, because it will get hot and it vibrates the nail. The instructions say 2-4 seconds, moving between nails as you work, and that's plenty of time to grind a thin portion of the nail off. If the nail goes too far down in the guard, the file stops spinning, so the nail won't get stuck, and your dog can't get hurt. Here's a close-up (blurry, sorry) video of Gabriel's pedicure today:

Does it work? Absolutely. You do need to start slow, which means not taking much off at first, but you can work up to longer sessions. One of the great things about this as opposed to nail clippers is that you don't get those ultra-sharp edges that snag on everything (including skin) after you're done. This doesn't crush the nail, and because you're taking small amounts of material off at a time, it's easier to avoid the "quick" (especially on dog nails like Gabe & Lucy, with no way to see where the quick ends). And it's much less stressful for the dogs, at least for my dogs. Gabriel has run away from nail clippers all his life, hiding under the table or in the bathroom (he's 9 yrs old). He doesn't run from this though - he'll sit calmly and let me file his nails without complaint. And you can see that Lucy takes it in stride as well, laying comfortably in her chair like she's at a salon.

So if you've got $20 and a dog (or several), I'd say this is definately worth trying, at least. I know I won't be using our clippers again anytime soon - this is much easier on the dogs nails, as well as thier stress levels.


Brooke said...

THANK YOU!!! Very informative and the video was great! You have me convinced that I need to get one. Only problem, I just know my little Dinky will be scared of the noise, but thanks to your tips I will definatly try and get her used to it first before I attempt to use it on her. I really appreciate this post. And btw, your nails look gorgous! I could see the little jewels sparkling while grinding away on dog paws.

Jamie said...

You're most welcome, Brooke! Glad I could help. Lots of treats will help Dinky get used to it...and handling her feet with this might make her little snow boots seem uneventful next time she needs them. :-)

Thanks for the compliment on my nails too. I have to say, though I love the color, I'm really disappointed with this Alix from Zoya. The tips were showing wear and pull-back by Sunday...just a little over 24 hours from when I put it on. New manicure tonight...