Can you wiggle your ears? Do you see a small, long muscle between your wrist and elbow when you connect your pinky and thumb? If so, then that’s what’s called a vestigial adaption.

That means those muscles no longer serve any purpose.

Your dog also has vestigial adaptions, too, like the dew claw. The dew claw is the “thumb” on your dog’s paw. While it helped your pup’s ancestors, it’s not doing much now. That’s why some pet owners opt for dew claw removal.

Are you considering removing dew claws from your pup? If so, then it’s important to make an informed choice. Read on to learn more about your dog’s dew claws.

Dew Claws: What Are They Good For?

Have you ever noticed an “extra” claw and pad on your pup’s paws? If so, then that’s what’s called a dew claw! Experts believe this “thumb” developed to help a dog’s ancestors climb trees.

As is clear, most modern-day dogs do not have this evolutionary ability anymore. That’s why dew claws get viewed as obsolete.

That doesn’t mean they’re completely useless, though.

For one thing, some dogs can still climb trees when the opportunity arises.

For another, the dew claw helps dogs with their grip. Without grip, your pup can struggle with balance and stability, especially as they age. If you’re concerned about senior dog health and your pup doesn’t have a dew claw, there are options.

A PawFriction Kit can help your dog keep its grip.

Finally, your dog can use their dew claw to stabilize bones and toys they chew.

The Debate Surrounding Dew Claw Removal

All dogs are born with front dew claws, but only some of them have them on the back paws. Some breeders remove the dew claw as a pup is born. That’s because many breeders believe doing so can prevent a future injury.

There is much debate around this practice, though. After all, dew claw injuries aren’t that common.

When to Remove a Dew Claw

While a dew claw can find its use, it can also be a hazard to some urban dogs. It can also be dangerous for older pets who develop arthritis or are overweight. Any put that isn’t running enough is at risk of breaking or splitting their dew claw!

As you’d imagine, a split or break will cause dew claw pain.

In these cases, it might be time to remove the claw.

Does Your Dog Have a Dew Claw?

Many dogs don’t have a dew claw because it got removed at birth. Others continue to use their dew claw without problem for their whole lives. It is up to the pet’s owner to decide whether dew claw removal is beneficial or not.

If an injury occurs, then it’s best to have the dew claw removed. Otherwise, it might be okay to leave it even if you have a senior pet. There are better ways to prevent an injury to your aging dog.

Are you looking for more ways to help support your senior pet? Has your older dog developed arthritis? If so, then check out our arthritis products now to help prevent a future injury.