The Purpose of the Dewclaw on Canines

The dewclaw on a dog is not really what most people think. To be honest, it is the appendage that has sort of become obsolete to dogs over time. For those unaware, the dewclaw (which people often think of as the dog’s thumb) is a vestigial anatomy on the foot on the dog, and most don’t know why it exists. Well, truth is, before your dog was a big, squishy, lovable creature, they were wild animals who needed to chase prey up trees and such. That dewclaw game them the ability to do just that.

Over time, though, as we see, they use the dewclaw for less in less in their domesticated lives. While it may be good for helping to hold a bone steady while they lick out the marrow, mostly it is just a part of the anatomy left over from when they were wolves and wild dogs, way back. It should also be noted that the dewclaw is not always in the same spot. Some dogs have it more like a thumb, and some dogs have it higher up the leg and ankle a bit. This can actually be a problem, because that dewclaw tends to be attached my looser skin, and if it gets caught on something, it is not unheard of them to get ripped off. While that may not be enough to cause a fatality, it can cause a lot of discomfort (and quite a mess) so best just be careful with it.

So how do we be careful with it. Well, by learning about it, silly. And that is just what we just did.

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Dorian Dog
Beagle Tethered to a Tree During Hurricane Dorian is Saved
Dog Park
A Dog Park That is Dividing the Rich and Powerful
People Step up to Help Homeless Man Trying to Get a Job to Support his Dog
Science Tells Us Why Dogs are Better than Cats
Border Collie Boston Terrier Cane Corso Chihuahua Corgi French Bulldog German Shepherd Golden Retriever Great Dane Pit Bulls Rottweiler Siberian Husky Tibetan Mastiff
10 Dog Breeds That Really Love to Sleep
What Defines a Dog as Being a Spitz?
The Five Most Popular Spaniel Breeds in the World
How to Control Your Dog’s Anxiety When Seeing Other Dogs on Walks
Rescue Dog
How to Know a Rescue Dog is Saying Thank You
Want to Surf with Your Dog? Here Are Some Tips
Clean Dog's Ears
A Quick Guide on How to Clean Your Dog’s Ears
Dog Cancer
Possible Link Between Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Hypothyroidism, and Cancer in Dogs
Gastritis in Dogs
What You Should Know About Gastritis in Dogs
Protecting Your Pets from Poisons: What You Need to Know
Researchers 3D Print New Skull for Dog with Cancer