Dewclaws in Dogs: All You Need to Know

dog paws
Reading Time: 5 minutes


Often mild but can occasionally be more serious

Table of Content

Key points

  • All dogs are born with dewclaws on their front feet, but some also have them on their back feet.
  • Hind dewclaws are often more “floppy” with less of a boney attachment.
  • Dewclaws may need clipping more frequently than your dog’s other nails.
  • Dewclaws can get caught, torn, and damaged and can bleed a lot.
  • A veterinarian can help to stem the bleeding and may prescribe antibiotics.

Common in:

Symptoms and types:

All dogs are born with front dewclaws. They are essentially another toe or the equivalent of a human thumb.

Understanding the diagnostics

Learning about the causes

One of the most important things you can do to prevent dew claw issues is to keep the nails short by getting them trimmed regularly.

Best treatment options

Home remedies and their effectiveness

When to see a vet


Dr. Hannah Godfrey MRCVS graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2011. Although she initially worked in mixed practice treating all species, she found a love for small animal work and has worked exclusively with dogs and cats since 2014. She lives in Wales with her partner, son, and two cats (named Poppy and Ashton Kutcher), and writes comedy fiction in her spare time.

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