Lately I've been getting loads of junk emails from companies peddling "Pedi-Paws" nail trimmers. I guess these things are advertised on TV too, but since my husband and I don't have TV, we've missed out on this wonderful new gadget.
After Googling this Pedi-Paws product, I do think it's just a gimmick, gadget, or whatever. It's not much different from a traditional Dremel tool (an electric grinder), except that's made in China and runs on batteries that reportedly wear down way too fast. With the Pedi-Paws, you stick the pet's nail into this little enclosed cylinder, and a grinding drum files them down nice and round.
Over the years we've seen other gimmicky toenail trimmers, with flashing warning lights, beepers, and all sorts of devices designed to keep you from trimming the nail past the "quick," which hurts the dog and causes the nail to bleed a bit. I'm just old-fashioned enough to feel that it's difficult to reinvent a wheel. I've used the "pliers type" nail trimmers for years and will continue to use them. Prior to using these traditional cutters, I used the "guillotine style" cutter. I finally switched to the pliers because all the vets and groomers use them. They're easy and quick, if you practice a tiny bit. They're not high-tech. They require you to learn something about your dog's anatomy (basically, the shape of his toenail) and familiarize yourself with the pace and direction in which your dog's nails grow. You quickly develop a "feel" for how much to trim, and how often to do so.
The Dremel tool, or grinder, works better for some dogs and some people. Dogs with extremely thick or hard nails that are resistant to cutting will benefit from a grinder. Still, the dog must be desensitized to the grinder's noise, vibration, smell, and even temperature (it gets hot if you hold it on one spot for very long). The grinder drums wear out and must be replaced...not a big deal, but certainly a minor inconvenience. The person doing the deed will have to learn how to hold the grinder, how to turn it on and off and maneuver it around while holding onto a squirmy dog's paw. There's a learning curve with all these traditional tools.
There's also a desensitization process with the "Pedi Paws." It's just quicker. It's easier for most non-professionals to operate this device than a real Dremel too. Your dog still may fight you, at least initially, but it will be easier for you to get the job done, and less traumatic for everyone. Bottom line: perhaps you'll trim your dog's nail more frequently (every 7 to 10 days is optimal), even if you DO have to frequently replace batteries and drums.
If you've tried using the traditional trimmers and you're just not comfortable with them, maybe you should consider a Pedi Paws. I believe they only run about $19.99 (whereas traditional trimmers are $8-$14). But do make a good attempt at the low-tech methods first. If you have some old trimmers sitting in a drawer and you don't use them because it's too much hassle, get them out and try them again before you call to order something that may not really work much better for you.