Have you ever taken a close look at a dog’s paws? You are probably used to seeing the usual four toes on each foot, but some dogs are born with an extra toe known as the dewclaw. Many new Cavachon owners wonder whether their pup will have these extra dewclaws. It was a surprise to us when we came across our Cavachon Kirby’s tiny extra claw.
Do Cavachons have Dew Claws? Cavachons are often born with front dewclaws, but they may occasionally have rear dewclaws as well. These dewclaws help them to run, climb, and hold things better. While they can be removed, most veterinarians would advise against removing these front dewclaws if they are firmly attached by bone.
To learn more about dewclaws and what purpose they serve, this comprehensive guide will give you a breakdown.
Do Cavachons Have Dewclaws?
Most Cavachons will indeed have dewclaws, at least on their front paws. These extra dewclaws act as the thumb of the paw. The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to do anything to maintain your dog’s dewclaws apart from regular nail trims. They can easily be clipped when you are doing the rest of the dog’s nails.
In most cases, these front dewclaws are going to be attached to your dog’s foot.
How can you tell?
Try to wiggle it around to see how much motion it has.
The chances are that you will only be able to move it back and forth instead of in a circular motion. When you do this, you should also be able to feel the bones that connect this extra “toe” to the foot.
Sometimes, your puppy might be born with dewclaws on their back feet as well.
Unfortunately, most Cavachon owners decide to remove these dewclaws.
Unlike front dewclaws, these rear dewclaws are not likely to be attached. There is likely only a thin layer of skin holding them in place. As a result, you can probably move them in more than one direction.
What are Dewclaws For?
Dewclaws may seem unneeded, but they serve an essential purpose. Those that are attached to the front feet are particularly important. Most of the time, you may never notice your pup using their dewclaws in day-to-day life.
However, they can be a vital addition to the foot when running and playing.
When running, you might notice that your dog’s foot bends. It often leans to the point where the dewclaw meets with the ground. This is especially true at high speeds or when making sharp turns. Dewclaws are there to help your dog gain traction on the ground and to keep the wrist joint relatively stable.
Some pups may find other uses for the dewclaws. They may help your dog to hold on better to their bone while enjoying a good chew. If they are chasing a squirrel, they may use their dewclaws to help them gain purchase on a tree trunk.
While you may not notice your dog using their dewclaws daily, there are times that these extra claws serve a purpose.
Should I Remove the Dew Claws?
Since your dog doesn’t regularly use their dewclaws, you might wonder whether it’s essential to keep them. After all, this is just another aspect of your dog’s health that you will have to keep up with. Do Cavachons really need their dewclaws?
If your Cavachon happens to be born with rear dewclaws, these are often very easy to remove since they are usually only attached by the skin and not bone. They do not serve much of a purpose, so your dog isn’t likely to miss these extra toes. You can consider removing these dewclaws when your dog is already under anesthesia for another procedure such as a spay or neuter.
There is some benefit to removing these rear dewclaws. Veterinarians will commonly remove them because there is a risk of injury. Because they are very loosely attached to the dog, there is a greater chance that your dog could rip them out or injure themselves.
On the other hand, front dewclaws should rarely be removed.
They are attached by bone and are much more secure, resulting in fewer injuries. The only time that a veterinarian may consider removing a front dewclaw is if there is a severe injury to the area. They may also consider it if the front dewclaws are only loosely attached, which is rare.
Otherwise, they tend to leave this part of your dog’s body intact.
Sometimes, owners are still adamant that they don’t want their Cavachon to have dewclaws. If you prefer to get rid of your dog’s front dewclaws, you should do this very early in the pup’s life. You will want to be in touch with your dog’s breeder to let them know that you’d like this procedure done.
Most veterinarians recommend doing this when the puppy is only a few days old. It’s not something that just anyone can do. It should be appropriately numbed with some local anesthetic cream to prevent too much pain for your pup.
Removing dewclaws attached by bone can be incredibly painful for any dog.
How to Maintain Dewclaws
If you choose to keep your dog’s dewclaws intact, you need to know how to maintain them properly. An active Cavachon is likely to maintain their dewclaws all on their own. They will be running and wearing down their nails naturally.
However, many dogs of this breed are more sedentary as they tend to act more like lapdogs. If your pup is a bit less active, you probably notice that their nails need to be trimmed every few weeks. When you cut the rest of their nails, you can easily clip the dewclaw as well. You may need to trim the dewclaw a bit more frequently, so it can help you get used to clipping at least this nail on your own at home.
Final Thoughts – Cavachons and Dewclaws
Dewclaws can be an essential part of how your Cavachon runs, climbs, and chews their bone. Most are born with dewclaws only on their front feet, but you may find some that have dewclaws on the back feet as well. There aren’t many benefits to removing front dewclaws, but you should talk with your veterinarian if you feel it would be in your pup’s best interest.
More on Cavachons
If you’re simply in love with Cavachons and can’t get enough, then check out our other posts below:
- All About Cavachons By Actual Owners [The Ultimate Guide]
- Do Cavachons Like to Cuddle? [Our Kirby Sure Does!]
- Are Cavachons Good for Apartments? [Our Kirby Thinks So]
- Are Cavachons Hyper? [Our Personal Experience]
- How Big Do Cavachons Get?
- How Long Do Cavachons Sleep? *Sleep Habits & Training Guide
- How Long Does it Take to Potty Train A Cavachon? [9 Top Tips Inside]
- Cavachon Lifespan: How Long Do Cavachons Live?
- How Much Do Cavachons Cost in 2021? [Complete Price Guide]
- Do Cavachons Get Tear Stains? [Treating + Prevention Tips]