Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Which sanding surface (medium or coarse) is right for my dog?
A: If you have never used a ScratchPad™ scratch board type product for your dog, we recommend starting with the medium coarseness. It's a great all-purpose grit and works well to get your dog used to the feel of filing his nails.
The coarse grit is great for dogs who are experienced using a scratch board or have hard nails. You can start with the coarse grit, just go slowly to be sure your dog doesn't get overzealous and accidentally quick himself. Because both grits can be used, we do offer combination boards with both medium and coarse grits on them.
Q: How is the combination board set up, given that it has both coarseness options?
A double-sided combination ScratchPad has medium grit on one side and coarse grit on the other side.
A single-sided combination ScratchPad has scratching surface on one side only. The top half of the board is medium grit and the bottom half is coarse.
Q: Can small dogs use ScratchPad™, too?
A: Absolutely! We have many small dog customers and they love their ScratchPads just as much as their taller friends. If you have a toy breed, we do recommend turning the ScratchPad™ on its side - this gives them more side-to-side working space, and actually prolongs the life of the ScratchPad™.
Q: Won't the ScratchPad™ abrasive surface damage the pads on my dog's feet?
A: This is a question we get a lot - actually, dogs will instinctively extend their claws out while they're scratching downwards. This means that their pads do not touch the abrasive sanding surface at all. See the picture below as an example; you can see that the pads of the dog's feet don't touch the ScratchPad™ at all.
Q: Can I use ScratchPad™ with my cats?
A: We do not recommend use of ScratchPad™ for cats.
Q: How long will it take to teach my dog to use his new ScratchPad™?
A: Most dogs learn the basics of scratching the board in under a day, but each dog is different. If you're having trouble getting your dog interested in his ScratchPad™, try changing his reward to something with a higher value to him and make the "game" as fun as you can!
Q: Can I use ScratchPad™ to file my dog's hind nails?
A: Yes, definitely! While it can be a little more tricky to train, you can teach your dog to scratch his hind feet on the ScratchPad™. We have found that the best way to do this is to prop the ScratchPad™ on a few stairs and then let your dog stand next to the board while rewarding him anytime he puts his hind feet on the board. Click on the "Training Your Dog" link in the menu to the left for instructions and video on training hind feet.
Q: My dog won't use his ScratchPad™, now what?
A: It's rare, but occasionally we do hear of a dog who is having a difficult time acclimating to his new ScratchPad™. Fortunately, we have a few tricks up our sleeves to make it a bit more exciting for your dog to learn. First and foremost, find a treat that is super motivating for your dog - some dogs will work just fine for bits of kibble, but others may need something of a higher value, like jerky treats or small bits of roast beef. Ideally, you want to find something that your dog loves so much that he'd do practically anything just for a small taste. Then, begin by laying the board flat on the floor. Work with getting him to walk across it, rewarding and praising him each time any of his paws touch the ScratchPad™. Once he's used to the smell and feel of the board, begin to prop it at a shallow incline. Now, every time he starts to put his paw on the board, praise and reward him. Eventually, you want to work towards him actually dragging his paw down the board, but that may take some time. Check out our How-To page for more tips!
Q: I don't think a ScratchPad™ will work for me, my dog won't let me touch his feet at all without becoming agitated.
A: You might be surprised, but we actually encourage you to not touch your dog's feet at all when learning to use the ScratchPad™. This way, the entire process relies on their choice to proceed and they are not forced to put their feet on the ScratchPad™ until they are absolutely ready to do so.
Q: How do I care for my ScratchPad™?
A: We recommend using a damp paper towel to wipe the edges and ends of your ScratchPad™ to remove any mud or dirt from your dog's paws. Additionally, we recommend using a plastic bristled brush, similar to one you'd use for cleaning dishes, to remove any buildup in the sandpaper grit. This will help prolong the life of the abrasive surface.
Q: How long will the sanding surface last? Does it wear out?
A: We have carefully chosen professional-grade, durable sandpaper in order for your ScratchPad™ to last as long as possible. When maintained and cleaned to prevent dust buildup, the board can be expected to last many months. However, this does depend on how many dogs use it and how often you use your ScratchPad™.
On average, with normal use as directed for one to two dogs, your scratching surface should last 6-9 months. We are confident in the quality of our sandpaper and offer an Abrasive Surface Guarantee (see below). If you find that your sandpaper has worn down in less than 6 months, please contact us for a complimentary refill pack.
Q: What exactly is the Abrasive Surface Guarantee?
A: We will send your a free refill scratching surface for your ScratchPad™ if the sandpaper wears out in under 6 months. In order to qualify for a free refill pack, the following guidelines must apply:
- The worn sandpaper must be from normal use, as directed on our How-To page, by no more than two dogs in the household.
- Guarantee is valid for 6 months from the date the ScratchPad™ is received, per tracking information provided at the time of shipment.
- Customer is responsible for $2.95 shipping fee within the United States.
- Replacement pack will contain enough sandpaper to completely restore the board to like-new condition. For example, if you order a double-sided ScratchPad™, we will send enough sandpaper to replace both sides.
- Only 1 free replacement redemption available per customer; customer must have purchased a ScratchPad™ board with original order.
Q: How do I install the refill packs once my original sanding surface is worn out?
A: We manufacture our boards in a way to make replacing the sanding surface as easy and with as little waste as possible. Once it's time to replace the sanding surface, remove the black tape around both ends of the board. Don't throw it away, it can be reused. Peel off the old sandpaper and throw it away. Using the remaining adhesive residue on the board, affix the new sandpaper to the board and replace the black tape. Occasionally you will find there is not enough adhesive to adhere the new sandpaper; if that is the case, you can use any spray adhesive. If you've been using your ScratchPad for a while, or if your dog is particularly enthusiastic when using it, the sandpaper may tear or be difficult to remove. We recommend using a wide putty knife to help to remove any pieces that are really stuck. You can find one inexpensively at your local home improvement store. Please reach out to our customer care team if you have any problems.
Q: Can I have my board refurbished?
A: Yes, we do offer refurbishment of your ScratchPad™, however given the heavy weight of the board, you may find it more cost effective to purchase a new board. We do offer refill packs of the ScratchPad™ sanding surface if you'd like to replace it yourself. If you are interested in having your board refurbished to work (and look!) like new, contact us for more information.
Q: When will my order ship?
A: Please see our Shipping Information page for up-to-date information on shipping times. Generally, orders leave our officr within 1-2 business days. Rarely, busy times may increase that time, but will be updated on the Shipping Information page.
Q: What are your return and exchange policies?
A: We do allow returns; please visit our official Return Policy page for additional information.