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.

   
Mercy
Rescue Dog Wows Shelter Staff with Amazing Hidden Talent
Dog and Man
Science Says Having a Dog Makes a Man More Attractive
Sherman
Sherman Had an Amazing Journey from Rescue to Therapy Dog
Jake and Addie
Blind Dog’s Golden Retriever Sister Acts As His Own Guide
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
10 Thanksgiving Safety Tips for Dog Owners
Dog in Heat
10 Things You Need to Know about Dogs in Heat
Dog Eating Pumpkin
Can Dogs Eat Pumpkins? Here’s Your Answer
What Does It Mean If Your Dog Can’t Pee?
What Toxoplasmosis is in Dogs and How to Treat It
How Long Does it Take for a Dog to Digest Food?
Spondylosis
What is Spondylosis in Dogs and How Is It Treated?
Foods That Can Help Your Dog’s Arthritis Pain