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Get started with nail grinding: a review of the PediPaws dog grooming tool

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PediPaws
PediPaws is rather large, but not heavy.

I had never heard of nail grinding until I started to work in the pet care field. While it’s thought of by some as a “craze,” nail grinding has actually been around for a long time. With the popularity of such tools as the PediPaws and the Peticure, both advertised on TV, grinding has garnered attention as an alternative to clipping.

Personal experience with Pedipaws

After reading some reviews online and hearing favorable customer comments firsthand, I bought the PediPaws for its price and availability.  My dog, Max, has always hated having his nails clipped, so the sight of his nails getting long always filled me with dread. 

He has, though, been accustomed to having his paws handled.  The process of getting him used to the tool did require patience, but it wasn’t laborious.  The motor is not loud but does have a sound, and the sound is as likely to be startling to your dog as the actual action. I did it step by step as suggested, gradually introducing the tool with an upbeat, excited attitude and giving him a really special treat—one he doesn’t usually get, like cheese or small bits of meat—each time I did something new.

It took about a week to work up to a full round of nails, and he’s still not wild about it but he’s okay and I think it will get better. If you do more than a few seconds at a time the nail may get too hot or the vibration uncomfortable, so I just have short sessions, continuing to rotate the nails, taking off little by little.

I like the tool and it has definitely convinced me that grinding is the way to go. It’s not perfect, however, and I will probably invest in a regular grinder eventually.

Impressions of the product

You can still nick the quick with a PediPaws, but since the process is gradual it allows better control.  There is a stop feature, too, that halts the rotary if too much pressure is applied on the nail.

As for the safety of the “protective” cover, that’s debatable. I have found that the cover is actually the most cumbersome part of the device. It can make it more difficult to grind from a safe or desirable angle without the nail getting caught, and the dewclaws—those higher on the side of the front or back paws—are extremely difficult to grind safely with the cap. “I can’t even get my St. Bernard’s nail to fit into the opening,” said one PediPaws customer. 

The cover does hold the debris trimmed from the nails.  My dog Max's trimmings tend to be fairly light and unobtrusive so flying or messy trimmings are not a major concern.  If your dog's nail debris is coarser, I suspect that the size or power of the PediPaws might be a bigger concern for you than debris disposal.

I asked a local groomer of her experience with the device and whether there was a real safety reason not to remove the cap. She said she’d used it once on a friend’s pet and ended up removing the cap herself. I did so and liked it much better. But be careful—the head is larger than a standard grinder and therefore it can be harder to control the tool with both precision and safety.

Recommendations

You’re likely to be happy with the Pedipaws if you’re new to grinding and feel safer with having the rotary head covered. Since the PediPaws—unlike the similar Peticure—comes in only one model, the size of your dog will influence your experience. It’s most likely to work best used on small to medium and moderately large dogs—my dog is fifty pounds, his nails fit fine, and it takes time but works.

If you’re more confident and can afford it, go with a Dremel, Oster, or similar pet nail grinding kit. They’re more expensive but you’ll be more satisfied in the long run.

Product details:

Unlike the comparable Peticure, the PediPaws comes in only one size. It was the Peticure I had originally researched, since that device was the first of what you might call the “user friendly” grinding tools I’d seen on TV.  Online reviews detailed problems with the company following through on orders in a timely manner, apparently having trouble supplying the demand. Perhaps this explains why the PediPaws became the product of choice when such grinders made it to the stores.

PediPaws is basically a rotary head nail grinder with an “orange protective cap.” The rotary head is larger than on a nail grinding tool such as a Dremel or Oster, and while the PediPaws doesn’t publish the specific rounds per minute (RPM) of the rotating head or the voltage, the power is weaker than that of the standard grinders. The RPMs would have to be compared with a head of similar size in order to get an accurate comparison—difficult perhaps since the tool is of a relatively unique design—but too much speed is not likely to be a problem for any user.

PediPaws is widely available in Nashville in both pet supply stores, drugstores, and general purpose stores, but call before making a special trip just to be sure. It usually retails currently for $19.99, with a 12 pack of replacement heads sold separately for $9.99.

It comes with a fairly adequate instruction brochure, which also points to an instructional video at www.pedipaws.com/video.

www.pedipaws.com
$19.99
Battery operated—batteries not included.
Requires two “C” batteries, sold separately.
No power specifications.
Comes with one extra head, and an instructional brochure.
$9.99 for twelve pack of “custom designed” replacement heads sold separately.
 

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