ClayPaws Kits are a convenient way to make lasting keepsakes of pets’ paws, hooves, or claws. ClayPaws prints welcome new patients to your clinic or memorialize pets who have died. ClayPaws prints are tangible symbols of your heartfelt commitment to delivering high quality client care.
“My team has made paw prints for my clients for over 20 years and feel that the kits are a simple and convenient way to provide a lasting memento for a pet owner upon the loss of their animal. Many owners have commented that receiving a paw print added a personal touch to the sometimes impersonal process of their pet’s death. It’s one more way we, as veterinarians, can express empathy at a difficult time.”
5 W's and 1 H - Questions about ClayPaws, the Original Paw Print Kit
Who Uses ClayPaws Kits?
- in-home euthanasia veterinary practices
- pet hospice and palliative care programs/practices
- specialty practices, like veterinary oncology
- feline, avian and exotic animal practices
- senior pet care programs
- university veterinary grief support programs
- pet rescue or shelter organizations
- animal-assisted therapy programs
ClayPaws Kits are ideal for those organizing special events like:
- annual open house tours
- annual Blessing of the Animals ceremonies
- "Make Your Pet's Paw Print" fundraisers
- Puppy Kindergarten graduations
Capture the Love Gift Kits, our retail version of ClayPaws Kits, can be sold directly to pet parents.
What's Special About ClayPaws Kits?
- Special Formula - ClayPaws Kits are made from a specially-formulated modeling compound that is only available from World by the Tail, Inc. During our 20 years in business, we’ve worked closely with our vendor to create clays that hold their shape and are easy to soften and knead. We offer four choices of our proprietary formula - Original White, Soft White, Terra Cotta, or Almond Shimmer. Other products may seem easier and quicker to use and may seem less expensive if they are sold in bulk. In our experience, though, these products are often aged well beyond their shelf life by the time you purchase them. This makes the clay stiffer and much more difficult to manipulate. Since we buy and sell clay in large quantities, our specialized formula is mixed upon the placement of our order and is always the freshest product we can provide.
- Lasting Keepsake - ClayPaws prints will not crack or deteriorate over time. Some other modeling compounds can crack and crumble as time goes by. If you are going to make the effort and go to the expense of making paw prints, be sure they are keepsakes that last!
- Convenience - ClayPaws Kits are quick and easy to make (no mixing or mess!) and are packaged with everything you need to make a paw print. Each kit includes a fresh patty of clay and complete, detailed instructions for you or for your clients if you choose to send your prints home with clients for baking and decorating. Once imprinted, ClayPaws prints can be slipped back into the larger protective plastic bag and you can sign or stamp your clinic's name on the enclosed insert so clients realize the gift is from you.
- Low Prices - We want to help you provide care and comfort to clients by providing products and resources that honor the love clients share with their pets. We care deeply about grieving pet parents and want each person who could benefit from a ClayPaws print to have one when they need it most!
That’s why we keep our packaging simple and our prices low, so you can afford to give ClayPaws prints as gifts or easily work their cost into your pricing structures. To make ClayPaws Kits even more affordable, we offer quantity discount pricing, so the more you buy, the more you save!
- Client Questions - We field many calls each day from pet parents who need assistance with baking, decorating, or duplicating their ClayPaws prints. In your busy practice, you don’t have time to take these calls! That's why it's important for you to pass along our contact information to your clients. Our phone/FAX numbers and our email/website addresses are prominently listed on the materials enclosed in each ClayPaws Kit. We encourage clients to call us for help instead of attempting to reach you!
- We Provide Outstanding Customer Service - Taking care of YOU, our valued customer, is always our number one priority. We are a small, family business that loves building personal relationships with our customers. We strive to make it as easy and satisfying as possible for you to use ClayPaws Kits. Call or FAX us or order online. If you have questions or want a sample ClayPaws Kit before you buy, we can take care of that, too!
Still need more? Check out our Pet Parent Resource Center or browse our latest Product Catalog. We offer One-Stop-Shopping for many of the practice tools you need to provide high quality client support during pet loss and grief.
Where Did ClayPaws Kits Originate?
ClayPaws Kits began with Cora*, a pet parent who requested "something to hold onto" while her dog Mikey* underwent risky surgery at Colorado State University's Veterinary Teaching Hospital (CSU-VTH). Grief counselors quickly made a crude impression of Mikey's paw using messy and expensive casting material. Cora was overjoyed with the memento and, when Mikey died a few weeks later, Cora told her veterinarian that Mikey's paw print was now one of her most treasured possessions.
From that experience, we (the former CSU grief counselors and current owners of World by the Tail, Inc.) perfected the print making process and the tradition of making ClayPaws keepsakes for grieving clients was born. Today, ClayPaws Kits are more than a product--they are a tangible symbol of your veterinary clinic's heartfelt approach to client care. More than any other gesture, ClayPaws prints let your clients know that the pain of pet loss is truly shared and understood.
* Details are drawn from an actual case, but the names of the client and patient have been changed to protect their privacy.
When Can You Use ClayPaws Kits?
ClayPaws Kits are typically part of end-of-life protocols at veterinary clinics or pet crematories. However, there are many other reasons to use ClayPaws Kits. Consider using ClayPaws Kits:
- to soothe anxious clients whose pets are having surgery.
Pet parents often feel frightened during their pets' surgeries. Providing clients with ClayPaws prints prior to their pets’ treatments gives them "something to hold on to" during emotionally difficult times.
- to welcome new patients and clients.
With ClayPaws Accessory Kits, basic ClayPaws prints can be adapted to commemorate new patient visits or puppy/kitten baby paws.
- to encourage pet parents to bring their cats in for annual check-ups.
Recent surveys show clients are much less likely to provide regular veterinary care for cats than for dogs. Promote an annual Cat Exam Month and offer ClayPaws prints to cat owners who schedule an appointment.
- to create greater staff satisfaction.
Helping clients deal with pet loss is often an awkward, emotionally difficult task for staff members. Making ClayPaws prints helps team members feel confident that they are conveying their personal feelings of compassion and understanding.
- to create a caring reputation for your clinic.
Today’s veterinary care is concerned with the well-being of people, as well as the care of pets. It’s not unusual for pet parents to call us at World by the Tail, Inc. to ask which clinics in their area provide ClayPaws Kits. When you offer ClayPaws prints, you generate trust and warm feelings for your clinic.
ClayPaws prints are effective and meaningful to use anytime over the entire span of pets' lives.
Why Use ClayPaws Kits?
We've provided ClayPaws Kits to veterinary practices for fifteen years. Our customers use ClayPaws Kits because they:
- make final good-byes less sad and awkward
- reduce the stress of dealing with patient death
- help staff members feel confident, skilled, knowledgeable, and professional about implementing euthanasia and end-of-life protocols
- define the veterinary clinic's image and approach as caring and willing to go the extra mile to care for clients
- increase client loyalty and retention
- decrease staff turn over
- save money! Flowers or memorial donations can cost $20.00 or more per client. When ClayPaws Kits are purchased in larger quantities, the cost per kit can be under $5.00
When pets die, clients don't leave ‘empty-handed’ when you send them home with a ClayPaws keepsake print. Instead, they go home with a precious reminder of their pet's love, as well as warm feelings for you and your practice.
How Do You Make a ClayPaws Print?
Making instructions are included on the Tip Sheet enclosed in each ClayPaws Kit. If these instructions are lost or not included, the main points are listed below.
Watch our instructional video: How to Make a ClayPaws Print.
Download a PDF version of our Print-Making System-handout.
If you have further questions about making paw prints, call us toll-free at 1-888-271-8444.
How To Make ClayPaws Prints:
- Clean hands and paws! This modeling compound attracts fur, dirt and ink.
- Recruit help. Some pets have sensitive paws and resist print making. One person can gently restrain the pet while the other makes the print.
- Adults should assist children when making and decorating paw prints.
- Knead the clay for several minutes until soft and warm. DO NOT soften in a microwave oven as this may ‘harden’ the clay.
- Roll clay into a ball and place on hard, clean, smooth and portable surface (dinner plate, plastic clipboard or a Portable Patty Pad with a Circle Mold*).
- Flatten ball into a patty and turn over to reveal smoothest side.
- Lift the portable surface to the pet’s paw and center the paw on the clay.
- Firmly, but gently, push the center pad of paw into the clay and, without removing paw, press each toe pad and nail/claw into the clay.
- If print does not meet your standards, start over and try again.
How To Bake a ClayPaws Print:
Baking instructions are included on the Tip Sheet enclosed in each ClayPaws Kit. If these instructions are lost or not included, the instructions are below.
- Prints should always be baked in a well-ventilated oven and area and for best results bake within 4 weeks.
- Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 275 F. (For altitudes above 5,000 feet, increase temperature to 295 F.) It’s a good idea to use an oven thermometer to be sure your oven’s temperature is accurate. Over-baking or baking at too high a temperature may cause discoloration or cracking.
- Place your print in an ungreased glass baking dish and bake in your preheated oven or toaster oven for 18-20 minutes per 3/8" thickness. The print will not look any different after it is baked properly. Baking simply “sets” the impression so it is permanently preserved. Do not bake in a microwave oven as these ovens may not allow the clay to bake thoroughly or equally.
- Remove the baking dish promptly from your oven and allow the print to cool to room temperature before touching. Your print is quite delicate when just removed from the oven and will harden as it cools. After the print has cooled, gently work a spatula under the edge of the print to loosen. It’s normal for your print to seem “stuck” to the dish but, once it is cooled, your print will easily "pop" loose.
How To Tell If Your Print Is Baked:
Unbaked clay feels slightly moist and is quite flexible. When a print is baked, it feels like a piece of pottery. It won't ever feel as hard and smooth as porcelain or china but, when baked, it won't bend or flex. You can also lightly press a finger nail into the back of a print.
If the print is unbaked, the finger will slide in very easily as if it is sliding into dough. If the print is baked, you may still be able to leave a mark in the back of the clay but the clay will feel very firm.