Although some pet owners believe docking the tail of a dog is not a necessary operation, a valid reason exists for removing a dog’s dewclaws. Some dogs routinely suffer when the dewclaws remain intact.

What are Dewclaws?

If you view your dog’s feet, you will see that your canine has four nails each on the rear two feet and five nails on the front two feet. If a dog exhibits an additional nail on its inner and upper foot, that nail is called a dewclaw. In some cases, a dog may display one or two dewclaws on its back feet.

Extra Traction

Dewclaw removal is not really necessary if a dewclaw is affixed to the front foot since the dewclaw in this spot serves a purpose. When a dog runs, its front feet arch to a point where the dewclaw touches the ground. As a result, a dewclaw in this position provides extra traction for a pup.

Keeping an Animal Safe from Injury

Therefore, if the dewclaws are located in the front, they should not be removed unless the dog is injured or develops a tumor. In these cases, dewclaw removal can only help a dog. This type of procedure is more often performed to extricate loosely affixed rear or double dewclaws. In this case, the dewclaws are often extricated when an animal is spayed or fixed. The operation is done to prevent future injuries.

Show Contestants

For some dogs, dewclaw removal is facilitated to improve their overall appearance for dog show contests. When this operation is performed, it is frequently recommended for a dog that is still a puppy, or under 5 days old. In some cases, breeds such as Great Pyrenees are disqualified from dog shows if the dewclaws are removed.

If you are considering this operation for your dog, contact an animal care facility such as Aztec Animal Hospital about your concerns and questions. You can reach them by phone at 480-945-6800. You can connect with them on Facebook for more updates!