Why does my dog have dewclaws, are they necessary or just a nuisance? 

Sometimes in our job of dog grooming, pet parents enquire about the maintenance and relevance of nail trimming, and in particular the dewclaws. 
The reason for this is that injuries occasionally occur with these funny extra nails on your dog’s feet/legs.  It’s something a lot of dog owners worry about; considering it is a rare event that dewclaws actually come to harm.  I imagine this is because they do look slightly out of place and people really do question whether or not they have a purpose.  
Why can’t we just have them removed? 
There are two answers to that: 

If the dewclaw is attached to the anatomy of your pet, as in physically really attached, then you will be able to see this upon investigation of your pets limb.  The dewclaw will be neatly tucked in next to the body and feel firmly attached to the bone structure of your dog’s limb.  In this instance the dewclaw is serviceable by the dog in certain situations.  This type of dewclaw can be used for gently holding on to objects your dog may be chewing on, for climbing up steep surfaces or for extra traction on a slippy floors.  The dogs foot will bend accordingly to appropriate the use of this claw.  This claw is essentially the equivalent to a human thumb but…In other instances, sometimes your pet will have a dewclaw which appears to be hanging from a flap of skin or a loose paw pad.  These claws serve no real purpose but need to be maintained none the less. 

No dewclaw should be removed unless on the advice of your veterinarian. 
Occasionally dogs intended for dog shows will have their dewclaws removed at a very young age for cosmetic purposes.  There’s no need to have a domestic pets nails removed unless it’s really necessary. 

To maintain your dogs general nail health, you should visit your local dog grooming salon to have nails trimmed every few weeks.  Some dogs wear their nails down on hard surfaces, but dewclaws less so and as a result these nails can become overgrown and sharp.  If a dog’s dewclaws are allowed to grow too long, they can curl around and press on the dog’s skin causing sores or impaction.  To prevent your dog’s dewclaw from catching or snagging, please feel free to pop in and see us at Dogcutand we will trim your pets claws to a safe length for you.  It only takes a moment and for those nervous dogs, we can use our handy slings to keep the pressure off your pet’s feet whilst nails are being trimmed.  If you have a fluffy dog then sometimes it’s hard to locate those pesky extra nails.
We can help you with that too. 

Feel free to call or email us: 0131 281 2351 or woof@dogcut.co.uk