Well, according to all the hype Pedi-Paws is the solution to clipping your pets nails and it promises to do so painlessly and effortlessly. I purchased ours at PetSmart and was excited to try it on our little Jack Russel. Given our Jack is a pretty easy going lady and doesn't get bent out of shape by much (other than perhaps another dog outside her domain) her reaction to this product was disappointing. She normally doesn't nip at anyone unless she is hurt and even when we used the "cruel tool" clippers, she never once nipped at us. The Pedi-paws unit though is obviously not as painless as we are led to believe and her reaction to it touching her nails tells us that she is feeling something and it isn't pleasant.
The Pedi-Paws is basically a dremel style nail trimmer and comes with a nail guard/nail shaving container, two cylindrical emery wheels and takes two "C" size batteries. Initially you are to allow your pet to become familiar with the tool by holding it near them and letting them get accustomed to it. Then you are to turn it on and do the same thing. Eventually, you are to 'tap' their nails one at a time on the emery wheel, moving the unit in a downward motion inside the guard area which is shaped like an open "V" on the guard cap and not allow the nail to remain on the emery surface for more than 4 seconds at a time. The premise is that the emery file will file your pets nails down smoothly and roundly so that they are shorter and less damaging to both themselves and to floors, furnishings etc. The advertisements also show cats having their nails groomed.
Our lady absolutely hates this thing! We've had a much easier time of introducing her to the normal clippers (which I hate) but she took to them much more easily than she is taking to the Pedi-Paws.
She doesn't mind the sound, it's quite quiet actually but she doesn't like how it feels on her nails and she insists on biting at it every time we approach her with it. We've tried treats, being firm and still no go. She insists on nipping at it every time and in the process has nipped at my hands more than a few times which isn't her nature under normal circumstances.
I also noticed that unlike the commercial which claims it doesn't damage the nail - this unit actually cracked the end of her nail rather than making it smooth and rounded - and I am pretty certain that given I watched the video on the Pedi-Paws site and also took in several more on Youtube.com for good measure, as well as reading the instructions (brief ones) that come with the unit - that I am doing this exactly the way in which they say to use it.
This is a great idea but at the moment it isn't something our girl is very taken by which disappoints me. I was impressed to see cats getting their nails done with this and thought it would be a great thing to do our little kittens nails with while she's still young and can get use to it relatively easy. At this rate however, I am pretty certain we'd probably end up alienating her if we tried this with her.
I'll keep trying it on my Jack Russel and hopefully eventually she will calm down enough to allow us to do this without it hurting either of us but for now it appears that the 'painless' aspect of this unit isn't quite as 'painless' as it should be.
It's been about 3 days now that we've had the unit so I know I haven't given it the fairest or longest of trials but the advertisements make it look so great that anyone with a pet would eagerly spend the money on it without hesitation. When I first brought it home I had a feeling that the emery file rotating could leave a sensation that would be considered unpleasant on the nail but it wasn't til I used it on our lady that I realized it must be more than just a little unpleasant.
I'll update this review again in about a week to indicate progress (if any) but as it stands, if you are expecting this to work right out of the box without any struggles at all - don't be surprised if your pet doesn't have the same kind of excitement about it that you do. Also, I've read that this doesn't work very well for larger dogs although the advertisments show dogs such as German Shepards and Golden Retrievers - some people have complained that the unit isn't strong enough to work effectively on larger dogs nails but I don't know about that claim. Hopefully though this won't have been a waste of money and is nothing more than just my little Russel being precocious ;)
Update On Dec 26, 2008: Dec 26/08: We used this on our dog again on Dec 24th - it took my oldest daughter and my husband to complete the grooming! Our lady is still not overly impressed but this time around she only became anxious while her back paws where being done. Overall the Pedi-paws left the nails smooth and according to my daughter this was a good buy despite the initial displeasure our lady showed for it. Our next "trick" will be to do the kittens nails - that should be interesting as well ;) If you have smaller pets this appears to work pretty much as advertised and I assume not all pets will have the issues with its use that our dog did.